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Ottawa County, Michigan Genealogy

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

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Ottawa County, Michigan
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Facts
Founded March 2, 1831
County Seat Grand Haven
Courthouse
Ottawa County Courthouse Grand Haven, Michigan.jpg
Address Ottawa County Courthouse
414 Washington Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417-1473
Phone: 616-846-8310
Ottawa County Website


County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for a Ottawa Nation. The County has Grand Haven as its seat and the County was created 1837. The County is located in the southwest area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1847 1867 1947 1834 1844 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 1867, marriage and court records from 1847 and divorce records from 1863.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1831--Ottawa County was created 2 March 1831 from Mackinac County and unorganized territory. It was attached to Kent County prior to organization 29 December 1837. County seat: Grand Haven [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
Villages
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Townships


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Allegan  • Kent  • Muskegon

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
MIGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
MIInterment
EPodunk
Billion Graves
See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.

Censuses[edit | edit source]

1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Federal Censuses for Ottawa, Michigan can be found at FamilySearch Record Search.  Free searchable name indexes and images are available for most census years.

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.

First Presbyterian Church[edit | edit source]
  • The seventy-fifth anniversary of the Organization of the First Presbyterian Church of Spring Lake, Michigan, Rev. A. Meengs, Minister / 1928 at babel.hathitrust.org. Free online

Court[edit | edit source]

Directories[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 Ottawa 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]

Muskegon CountyKent CountyAllegan CountyMI OTTAWA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Ottawa 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 Ottawa 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 Ottawa 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, Ottawa 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.

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

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • Coopersville Area Historical Society and Museum
    363 Main Street
    Coopersville, MI 49404
    Phone: 616-997-7240
    Website
  • Grand Haven Genealogical Society
    c/o Loutit Library
    407 Columbus
    Grand Haven, MI 49417
  • Zeeland Genealogy Study Group
    14 Church Street
    Howard Miller Community Center
    Zeeland, MI 49464
    Website
  • Holland Genealogical Society
    c/o Herrick Public Library
    300 River Avenue
    Holland, MI 49423

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, "Ottawa County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_County,_Michigan."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ottawa 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), Ottawa County, Michigan page 350, 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, "Ottawa County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_County%2C_Michigan#Communities, accessed 10 November 2019.

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