To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here.

Alpena County, Michigan Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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


Alpena County, Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Founded April 1, 1840
County Seat Alpena
Address Alpena County Courthouse
720 W Chisholm St.
Alpena, MI 49707
Phone: (517) 356-0115
Alpena County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for a neologism coined by Henry Schoolcraft, meaning "a good partridge country. The County has Alpena as its seat and the County was created February 7, 1857. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1869 1871 1871 1871 1858 1858 1820
Statewide registration started in 1867 for births and deaths. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has birth records from 1869; marriage, death, divorce and court records from 1871.
Probate Judge has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1840--Alpena County was created 1 April 1840 from Mackinac County and unorganized territory. It was formerly Anamickee County, until the name was changed to Alpena 8 March 1843.  Alpena county was attached to Mackinac and Cheboygan Counties prior to organization 7 February 1857.
County seat: Alpena [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Alcona  • Montmorency  • Oscoda  • Presque Isle

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
MIGenWeb Archives WorldCat Billion Graves
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

State Census

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.

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Alpena County is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord.

Court[edit | edit source]

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]

Local histories are available for Alpena 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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Presque Isle CountyMontmorency CountyOscoda CountyAlcona CountyMI ALPENA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Alpena 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 Alpena County.

Online Records

World War I[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Finding More Michigan Newspapers[edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Alpena County, Michigan Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

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, Alpena 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

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.

Births[edit | edit source]
  • 1867-1917 - Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917 at FamilySearch — index and images
  • 1867-1902 - Michigan Births, 1867-1902 -- Free name indexes and images at Records include such information as name of child, birthdate and place, if still-born, illegitimate or twin, gender, race and record number.
  • 1869-1911, 1870-1947 - Alpena County Births, 1869-1911, and Delayed Birth (reported between 1870-1974) from the county clerk's records are available on microfilm at Alpena Public Library.  Records from the 1860's to the early 1900's have been indexed and can be searched on-line using the Alpena County Library's Vital Records Index, which is published in individual .PDF files by year.  Years must be searched individually (or as grouped).
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Northeast Michigan Genealogical Society
491 Johnson St.
Alpena MI 49707-1433
Telephone: 989 379-3303

Family History Center[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.

Alpena Family History Center
411 Long Rapids Plaza Road
Alpena, Michigan 49707


For more information about the resources available at Family History Centers, see Introduction to Family History Centers.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Alpena County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Michigan."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Alpena 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.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Alpena County, Michigan page 343, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Alpena County MI Cities, Towns, & Neighborhoods," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,cfips,007,c,alpena.cfm, accessed 26 August 2019.