Mason County, Michigan Genealogy

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Guide to Mason County, Michigan ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Ludington
Organized: 13 February 1855
Parent County(s): Mackinac[1]
Neighboring Counties
Lake  • Manistee  • Newaygo  • Oceana
See County Maps
Courthouse
Michigan, Mason County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Michigan, Mason County Locator Map.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Stevens T. Mason, Governor of Michigan. The County is located in the west area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Mason County Courthouse
304 E Ludington Avenue
Ludington, MI 49431
Phone: 231-843-8202
Fax: 231-843-1972
Mason County Website

County Clerk has birth, marriage, death, divorce and court records from 1867.
City Clerks have burial records.
Probate Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records.[3]

Mason County, Michigan Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1867 1867 1867 1740 1855 1820
Statewide registration started in 1867 for births and deaths. General compliance by 1915.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1840--Mason County was created 1 April 1840 from Mackinac County. Formerly Notipekago County, until the name was changed to Mason 8 March 1843. It was attached to Ottawa County prior to organization 13 February 1855.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Cities
Villages
Unincorporated communities
Townships


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Mason County, Michigan online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Michigan Cemeteries for more information

 

  • Mason County History Companion - Database with over 25,000 residents of Mason County Cemeteries. Click "Cemetery Database" under "Navigation" on the right hand side of the page.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 93
1860 831 793.5%
1870 3,263 292.7%
1880 10,065 208.5%
1890 16,385 62.8%
1900 18,885 15.3%
1910 21,832 15.6%
1920 19,831 −9.2%
1930 18,756 −5.4%
1940 19,378 3.3%
1950 20,474 5.7%
1960 21,929 7.1%
1970 22,612 3.1%
1980 26,365 16.6%
1990 25,537 −3.1%
2000 28,274 10.7%
2010 28,705 1.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".


State Census

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Michigan denominations, view the Michigan Church Records wiki page.


List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

American Indian

  • Mason County, Native American: Births, Deaths, and Marriage by Oceana County Historical and Genealogical Society. FHL book 970.1 M381m WorldCat
  • Mason County Indian Church Records: Registers of Baptisms and Marriages. manuscript located in the Rose Hawley Museum. FHL film 1306232WorldCat

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Michigan Land and Property for additional information about early Michigan land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the Mason County courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Mason County. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Michigan Local Histories.

Mason County History Companion - A listing of printed matter and published books pertaining to the Mason County Area.
Ludington Car Ferries, Goggle Books by by David K Petersen.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Manistee CountyLake CountyNewaygo CountyOceana CountyMI MASON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Ludington Daily News; Archives from 1867 to 2007 are available on the Google News Archives. Google News Archive "L" Section

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in Michigan, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate packets, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

Online Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Michigan tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information see the Wiki page, Michigan Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

  • Birth Records and Death Records from 1867 can be obtained from the Michigan Department of Community Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
  • Marriage Records from 1867 and Divorce Records from 1897 can be obtained from the County Clerk.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Mason County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Mason County. For state-wide library facilities, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Mason Area Historical Society and Museum
    PO Box 44
    200 E Oak Street
    Mason, MI 48854
    Phone (Museum): 517-676-5974
    Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Mason County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Michigan Societies.

  • Mason County Historical Society
    1687 S. Lakeshore Drive
    Ludington, MI 49431
    Phone: 231-843-4808
    Website
  • Mason Area Historical Society and Museum
    PO Box 44
    200 E Oak Street
    Mason, MI 48854
    Phone (Museum): 517-676-5974
    Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
  • Mason County History Companion - Lots of information about the Mason County Michigan area and resources for researchers and history buffs.
  • Mason County MI Genealogy (ldsgenealogy.com)
  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Mason County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_County,_Michigan."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Mason County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_County,_Michigan, accessed 01 November 2019.