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Bay County, Michigan Genealogy

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Michigan Genealogy

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

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Bay County, Michigan
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Facts
Founded April 20, 1857
County Seat Bay City
Courthouse
Address Bay County Courthouse
515 Center Avenue, Ste. 101
Bay City, MI 48708-5122
Phone: (989) 895-4280
Fax: (989) 895-4284
Bay County Website


County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Saginaw Bay. The County has Bay City as its seat and the County was created February 17, 1857. The County is located in the east area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1868 1857 1867 1965 1835 1857 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 1868,
marriage records from 1857, death records from 1867,
divorce records from 1883 and court records from 1965.
Probate Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1857--Bay County was created 20 April 1857 from Saginaw, Midland, and Arenac Counties.
County seat Bay City [4]

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:[5]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
Townships

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Arenac  • Gladwin  • Midland  • Saginaw  • Tuscola

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
USGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
Tombstone Project
MIInterment
EPodunk
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.

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 Bay 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]

Gladwin CountyArenac CountyMidland CountySaginaw CountyTuscola CountyMI BAY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Bay 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 Bay 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 Bay 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, Bay 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.

See also How to order Michigan Vital Records

Births[edit | edit source]
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Bay County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 1366
500 Center Avenue
Bay City 48708
Telephone:989-893-9566
Website

Bay County Historical Society
321 Washington Ave
Bay City 48708
Website

Bay Mills - Brimley Historical Research Society
P.O. Box 274
Brimley 49715
Website

Saginaw River Marine Historical Society Dept.
W Box 2051
Bay City MI 48707-2051

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Bay County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_County,_Michigan."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bay 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), Bay 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, "Bay County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_County%2C_Michigan#Communities, accessed 3 September 2019.