Van Buren County, Michigan Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Paw Paw
Organized: April 3, 1837
Parent County(s): Unorganized Territory
Neighboring Counties
Allegan  • Berrien  • Cass  • Kalamazoo  • St. Joseph
See County Maps
Courthouse
Michigan, Van Buren County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Michigan, Van Buren County Locator Map.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Martin Van Buren before he became president. He was US Secretary of State and later Vice President under President Andrew Jackson. The County is located in the southwest area of the state. [1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Van Buren County Courthouse
212 E Paw Paw St.
Paw Paw, MI 49079-1492
Phone: 616-657-8218
Van Buren County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1867, marriage records from 1836, divorce and court records from 1837.
Probate Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [2]

Van Buren 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[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1836 1867 1837 1836 1837 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]

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:[5]

Cities
Villages
Unincorporated communities
Townships
Ghost towns


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Additional Information

Martin Van Buren.JPG

The county is named after President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) who was serving as United States Secretary of War at the time of the county's formation.[6]

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 Van Buren 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

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 5
1850 1,910 38100.0%
1860 5,800 203.7%
1870 15,224 162.5%
1880 28,829 89.4%
1890 30,807 6.9%
1900 30,541 −0.9%
1910 33,185 8.7%
1920 30,715 −7.4%
1930 32,637 6.3%
1940 35,111 7.6%
1950 39,184 11.6%
1960 48,395 23.5%
1970 56,173 16.1%
1980 66,814 18.9%
1990 70,060 4.9%
2000 76,263 8.9%
2010 76,258 −0.0%
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]

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 Van Buren County courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Van Buren 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.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Allegan CountyKalamazoo CountySt. Joseph CountyCass CountyBerrien CountyMI VAN BUREN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from Van Buren County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Van Buren County.

- 12th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Company H
- 70th Regiment, New York Infantry, Company C

Online Indexes and Records

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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 Van Buren 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 Van Buren County. For state-wide library facilities, see Michigan Archives and Libraries.
Van Buren District Library
200 North Phelps Street
Decatur, MI 49045
Phone: 269 423-4771
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society
PO Box 143
Decatur 49045
Website Facebook

Van Buren County Historical Society
PO Box 452
58471 Red Arrow Highway
Hartford, MI 49057
Phone: 269-621-2188
E-mail:hsm@hsmichigan.org
Webstite

Websites[edit | edit source]

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


Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Van Buren County, Georgia" in wikipedia accessed 8 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Michigan.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Van Buren County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia accessed 14 November 2019.
  6. "Martin Van Buren," Wikipedia.