Muskegon County, Michigan Genealogy

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 Information from MIGenWeb online:

Muskegon County was formed in 1859.  It is located on the western side of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and borders Lake Michigan. 

Muskegon County was originally inhabited by the Ottawa Indians. The first visitors to the area now known as Muskegon County were the fur traders and missionaries in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The trading posts came and went during this period but regard is given to Jean Baptiste Recollett's trading post that was opened near the mouth of Bear Lake in 1812. Louis Baddeau bought a trading post in 1834 which is the present site of the Indian Cemetery on Morris Ave. Mr. Baddeau is generally given the distinction of being the first permanent white settler in the area. Muskegon's name comes from the Chippewa word - Muskego - meaning "river with marshes".
The fur trading era, 1810 thru the late 1830's, was followed by a booming lumbering era from the late 1830's until 1900. The first sawmill construction, built by Benjamin H. Wheelock, began in 1837 on Muskegon Lake with operations commencing in 1838 and by the 1870s 26 mills were in operation .

Fire was a major problem for the area with wooden buildings, white pine lumber and huge saw dust piles. A fire in 1874, destroying a quarter of the business district and 200 homes, triggered Muskegon to established a professional fire department which it had debated since 1871. Two more devastating fires occurred in Muskegon, the first being in March, 1887, destroying many buildings on Pine Street at Webster. The fire of May 16, 1891, known as the Pine Street fire, destroyed 17 city blocks and 250 buildings including the original court house.


Link to Muskegon County Genealogical Society:

Muskegon County, Michigan Museum:



Townships   Blue Lake Casnovia Cedar Creek Dalton
Egleston Fruitland Fruitport (Charter Township) Holton
Laketon Montague Moorland Muskegon
Ravenna Sullivan White River Whitehall

Cities  Montague Muskegon Muskegon Heights North Muskegon
Norton Shores Roosevelt Park Whitehall

Other Place Names in Muskegon County :

Bailey Berry Junction Brunswick Canada Corners Casnovia Cloverville
Dalton Fruitport Holton Lakewood Lakewood Club Maple Grove
Michillinda Moorland Ravenna Slocum South Whitehall Sullivan
Sylvan Beach Twin Lake Updyke Wabaningo Wolf Lake