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Mackinac County, Michigan Genealogy

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


Mackinac County, Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Founded October 26, 1818
County Seat St. Ignace
Michigan, Mackinac County Courthouse.png
Address Mackinac County Courthouse
100 S Marley Street
St. Ignace, MI 49781
Phone: 906-643-7300
Mackinac County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Straits of Mackinac. The County has St. Ignace as its seat and the County was created on October 26, 1818. The County is located in the north area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1873 1867 1873 1808 1785 1851 1820
Statewide registration started in 1867 for births and deaths. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1873, marriage records from 1867, divorce and court records from 1808. [3]

History[edit | edit source]

Mackinac (pronounced 'Mackinaw') County is situated in southeastern portion upper peninsula of Michigan. The name is from Indians in the area. The Straits of Mackinac are also named for this area and are between the two peninsulas that make up Michigan.

Books online

  • Mackinac and Lake Stories - Google Books
  • Mackinac, formerly Michilimackinac - Google Books
  • Annals of Fort Mackinac - Google Books
  • Early Mackinac: "the Fairy Island" : a Sketch - Google Books
  • Names of Places of Interest on Mackinac Island, Michigan - Google Books
  • Nicolet day on Mackinac Island - Google Books
  • Island of Mackinac: giving a description of all the objects of interest... - Google Books
  • Historic Mackinac: The Historical, Picturesque and Legendary, Volume 1 - Google Books
  • Historic Mackinac: The Historical, Picturesque and Legendary, Volume 2 - Google Books
  • Lewis Cass Day on Mackinac Island, August 28, 1915 - Google Books
  • Early Mackinac: an historical and descriptive sketch - Google Books
  • History of Chegongan and Mackinac Counties - Google Books
  • The Old Mission Church of Mackinac Island: An Historical Discourse - Google Books
  • Two Missionary Priests at Mackinac: A Lecture Delivered at the Village... - Google Books
  • Father Marquette at Mackinaw and Chicago: A Paper, Read Before the Chicago ... - Google Books
  • Old Mackinaw, Or, the Fortress of the Lakes and Its Surroundings - Google Books
  • Mackinaw in History: A Critique on Dr. John R. Bailey's Brochure Entitled ... - Google Books
  • Index to Volumes I-XX of the Wisconsin Historical Collections - Hathitrust
  • A Brief History of Les Cheneaux Islands - Internet Archive

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1818--Mackinac County was created 26 October 1818 from Wayne County. It was formerly Michilimackinac County, until name was changed 26 January 1837.  County seat: St. Ignace [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • See COUNTY EVOLUTION IN MICHIGAN, 1790-1897 by Richard W. Welch for the development of the counties in the state. This will help you to determine place of residence of your ancestors and under whose civil jurisdiction they resided. It is also useful for when you start to read the census records.

For animated maps illustrating Michigan county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Michigan County Boundary Maps" (1790-1897) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Bois Blanc Township

Brevort Township

Clark Township

Ft. Mackinac

Garfield Township

Hendricks Township

Hudson Township

Mackinac Island

Marquette Township

Moran Township

Newton Township

Portage Township

St. Ignace

St. Ignace Township

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
Native American communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Cheboygan  • Chippewa  • Emmet  • Luce  • Schoolcraft

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Federal Census

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.

Churches: various

Court[edit | edit source]

Families[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 Mackinac 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]

Luce CountySchoolcraft CountyChippewa CountyMI MACKINAC.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
Spanish American War[edit | edit source]
World War I[edit | edit source]

Native Americans
[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 Mackinac 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, Mackinac 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

Queries: Mailing Lists & Message Boards
[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

State vital records started in 1867, however marriage records started at the county level earlier. Check both. 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.

Birth Records[edit | edit source]
Marriage Records[edit | edit source]
Death Records[edit | edit source]

Societies, Libraries and Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Luce-Mackinac County Genealogical Society
    PO Box 113
    Engadine, MI 49827-0113
  • Michilimackinac Historical Society
    334 North State Street
    St. Ignace, MI 49781
    Phone: 906-643-6627
  • St. Ignace Public Library
    110 W. Spruce Street
    St. Ignace, MI 49781
    Phone: 906-643-8318
  • Ft. de Baude Museum
    334 N State Street
    St. Ignace, MI 49781
    Phone: 906-643-6627
  • Library of Michigan
    702 W. Kalamazoo Street
    Lansing, MI 48915
    Phone: 517-335-1477
Some holdings:
For Mackinac
For Mackinaw

State wide or ethnic groups[edit | edit source]


Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society
c/o Burton Historical Collection, DPL
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit MI 48202-4007
Publication is Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society News published twice a year
Located in Wayne County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council

Lansing Area African American Genealogical Society
Post Office Box 22203
Lansing MI 48909-2203
Publication is Newsletter published quarterly
Member of Michigan Genealogical Council


Keweenaw Houghton Cornish Society of the Copper Country
Cornish Connection Of Lower Michigan
8494 Wesley Drive
Flushing 48433


Joint Archives of Holland, Hope College


Finnish American Heritage Center


Genealogical Society of Flemish Americans
Facebook Page

FRENCH-CANADIAN (includes Acadian, Cajun and Metis)

French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan
Post Office Box 1900
Royal Oak MI 48068-1900
Publication is Michigan's Habitat Heritage published quarterly
Located in Oakland County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council
Facebook Page/


Irish Genealogical Society of Michigan
c/o Gaelic League/Irish American Club
2068 Michigan Avenue
Detroit MI 48216-1303
Publication is Irish Tree published nine times a year
Located in Wayne County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council
Facebook Page

Wayne County Irish Society
31975 Cowan
Westland 48185


Americans Of Italian Origin Society
18336 Lister E.
Detroit 48021


Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan
PO Box 251693
West Bloomfield MI 48325-1693
Publication is Generations published quarterly
Located in Oakland County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council Facebook Page


Polish Genealogical Society of Michigan
c/o Burton Collection
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit MI 48202-4007
Publication is The Polish Eaglet published three times a year
Located in Wayne County
MGC Member of Michigan Genealogical Council
Facebook Page

Polish Heritage Society
P.O. Box 1844
Grand Rapids 49501


The St. Andrew's Society of Detroit
2360 Rochester Ct
Troy Mi 48083
Phone:(248) 526-1849
Fax:(248) 528-1477

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, "Mackinac County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Michigan."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Mackinac 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), Mackinac County, Michigan page 347, 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, "Mackinac County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Michigan, accessed 24 October 2019.