Van Buren County, Michigan Genealogy
Guide to Van Buren County, Michigan ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Van Buren County, Michigan|
Location in the state of Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
|Founded||October 29, 1829|
|County Seat||Paw Paw|
|Address||Van Buren County Courthouse|
212 E Paw Paw St.
Paw Paw, MI 49079-1492
Phone: (616) 657-8218
Van Buren County Website
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Cemeteries
- 5.2 Census
- 5.3 Church
- 5.4 Court
- 5.5 Directories
- 5.6 Emigration and Immigration
- 5.7 Land
- 5.8 Local Histories
- 5.9 Maps
- 5.10 Military
- 5.11 Newspapers
- 5.12 Obituaries
- 5.13 Probate
- 5.14 Taxation
- 5.15 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
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. 
Van Buren County, Michigan Record Dates[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]
Parent County[edit | edit source]
1829--Van Buren County was created 29 October 1829 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Cass and Lenaww Counties prior to organization 3 April 1837. County seat: Paw Paw 
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
For animated maps illustrating Michigan county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Michigan County Boundary Maps" (1790-1897) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
Places/Localities[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:
Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.|
Census[edit | edit source]
Church[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.
Court[edit | edit source]
Directories[edit | edit source]
- 1869 - Van Buren County gazetteer and business directory containing historical and descriptive sketches ... and a list of post and money order offices in the State of Michigan. Decatur, Mich.: Hill & Leavens, 1869.
- 1916 - Directory of Van Buren County Michigan. Published by Wilmer Atkinson Company. 1916. With Road Map of the County. also at FamilySearch
- 1921 - The Farm Journal Illustrated Directory of Van Buren County Michigan 1916-1921. Published by Wilmer Atkinson Company.
Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]
Land[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 county courthouse and where records are currently housed.
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- The Michigan County Histories and Atlases Digitization Project is comprised of 428 digitized titles (many composed of multiple volumes) published before 1923.
Local histories are available for Van Buren County, Michigan Genealogy. 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.
- A History of Van Buren County, Michigan: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests, Volume 1. Oran W. Rowland, Lewis Publishing Company, 1912 also at Michigan County Histories
- A History of Van Buren County, Michigan: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests, Volume 2. Oran W. Rowland, Lewis Publishing Company, 1912. also at Michigan County Histories
- History of Berrien and Van Buren counties, Michigan. With ... biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers. Ellis, Franklin, 1828-1885., Johnson, Crisfield., D.W. Ensign & Co. Philadelphia: D. W. Ensign & Co., 1880.
- Portrait and biographical record of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties, Michigan, containing biographical sketches of ... citizens ... governors of the state, and ... presidents of the United States. Chapman Brothers. Chicago: Chapman brothers, 1892
Maps[edit | edit source]
- Maps of Michigan (1790-1897)
- Family Maps of Van Buren County, Michigan Genealogy (land patent maps) at HistoryGeo.com ($). Free surname search.
- 1860 - Map of the counties of Cass, Van Buren, and Berrien Michigan
- 1873 - Atlas of Van Buren County, Michigan / from actual surveys by and under the directions of D. J. Lake; assisted by B. N. Griffing...[et al.]. Lake, D. J., Griffing, B. N., Titus, C. O., Bourquin, F. (Frederick), b. 1808., Worley & Bracher. Philadelphia: C.O. Titus, 1873.
- 1895 - Illustrated atlas of Van Buren County, Michigan / compiled from official records and local inspections by the Kace Publishing Company, 1895, Wangersheim, S. Racine, Wis.
- 1912 - Standard Alas of Van Buren County, Michigan : including a plat book of the villages, cities and townships of the county, map of the state, United States and world, patrons directory, reference business directory and departments devoted to general information ... / compiled and published by Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1912
Military[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
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.
- Michigan, Civil War Centennial Observance Commission, Committee on Civil War Grave Registration, Burial Records at FamilySearch — index
World War I[edit | edit source]
- 1917-1919 - Michigan, Census of World War I Veterans with Card Index, 1917-1919 at FamilySearch — index
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Finding More Michigan Newspapers[edit source]
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Van Buren County, Michigan Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
- Southwest Michigan Obituary Index from the earliest date to 2000.
- 1820-2006 - Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006 at FamilySearch — index and images
Probate[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.
The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Michigan, Van Buren and search for Probate records in the list.
- Note: Not every county in Michigan will have Probate Records in the FamilySearch Catalog.
Online Probate Records
- 1784 – 1980 Michigan Wills and Probate Records 1784-1980 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1797 – 1973 Michigan Probate Records 1797-1973 at FamilySearch — images
Taxation[edit | edit source]
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased as shown below:
- Birth Records and Death Records from the Michigan Department of Community Health (from 1867) or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
- Marriage Records (from 1867) and Divorce Records (from 1897) from the County Clerk.
- Marriage Records (from 1867) and Divorce Records (from 1897) from the County Clerk.
Birth[edit | edit source]
- 1867-1917 - Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1867-1902 - Michigan Birth Registrations, 1867-1902-- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch. Records include such information as name of child, birthdate and place, if still-born, illegitimate or twin, gender, race and record number.
Marriage[edit | edit source]
- 1585-1945 - Michigan, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1820-1937 - Michigan, County Marriages Index, 1820-1937 at FamilySearch — index
- 1820-1940 - Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1940 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1868-1925 - Michigan Marriage Registrations, 1868-1925 -- Free name indexes at FamilySearch. Records include such information as names of bride and groom, date of license, ages, race, residences, birthplaces, occupations and names of the fathers of the bride and groom.
Death[edit | edit source]
- 1850-1880 - Michigan Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1867-1897 - Michigan Death Registrations, 1867-1897 - Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch. Records include such information as name of deceased, date and place of death, gender, color, marital status, age in years, months and days, disease or apparent cause of death, birthplace, names and occupations of parents, and the date the record was made.
Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]
Van Buren County Historical Society
6215 E. Red Arrow Hwy.E., Box 45
Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society
PO Box 143
Public Libraries[edit | edit source]
The following public libraries in Van Buren county have collections of particular interest to genealogists.
- Van Buren District Library
Webster Memorial Library Building
200 N. Phelps Street
Decatur, Michigan 49045
The Local History Collection houses books, periodicals, photographs, and records relating to Southwest Michigan and other localities. The room also houses the Southwest Michigan regional collection of the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society (VBRGS). Telephone: (269) 423-4771
- Michigan eLibrary - Michigana: Sources in U.S. History Online
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.
- For current information about a center near you, go to the Family History Center Map
- South Haven Michigan Family History Center 05272 73 1/2 St, South Haven, MI 49090 United States
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Van Buren County, MI History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Michigan Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- Michigan Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Van Buren County MI Genealogy (Michigan Genealogy)
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Van Buren County, Georgia" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Buren_County,_Michigan accessed 8 Nov 2018
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Van Buren County, Michigan . Page 343-351 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 346-349.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Van Buren County, Michigan page 351, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- "Martin Van Buren," Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Van Buren County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Buren_County,_Michigan, accessed 14 November 2019.
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