Michigan Biography

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Michigan Wiki Topics
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Local Research Resources
Moderator
The FamilySearch moderator for Michigan is Sallyrose1.

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

Online Resources[edit | edit source]


The Burton Historical Collection, the Bentley Historical Library, and the Library of Michigan (see the "Archives and Libraries" section for addresses) have extensive collections of biographical works. The Family History Library has several statewide and regional biographical encyclopedias. The following emphasize the territorial period, the Detroit area, and the Northern Peninsula:

  • Loomis, Frances. Michigan Biography Index. 10 vols. Detroit, Michigan: Detroit Public Library, 1946. Reprint New Haven, Connecticut: Research Publications, 1973. (On 4 Family History Library films.) An important index to Michigan historical biographies. Online at http://www.michlist.com/.
  • Michigan Biographies. Lansing, Mich.: Microform Systems, Inc., 198-? (Family History Library fiche 6334361.) Index to biographies, newspaper articles, and obituaries of notable individuals in Michigan.
  • Callard, Carole, ed. Sourcebook of Michigan Census, County Histories, and Vital Records. Lansing, Michigan: Library of Michigan, 1986. (Family History Library book 977.4 A3sm; fiche 6101261.) County-by-county bibliography of biographies, local histories, and abstracts or indexes to census, church, probate, cemetery, and vital records.


External Links[edit | edit source]