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Revision as of 19:52, 3 February 2020

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


St. Joseph County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting St. Joseph County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Founded October 29, 1829
County Seat Centreville
Michigan, St Joseph County Courthouse.png
Address St. Joseph County Courthouse
125 W Main St.
Centreville, MI 49032-0189
Phone: 616-467-5602
St. Joseph County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for St. Joseph. The County is located in the east area of the state.[1]

St. Joseph County, Michigan Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1832 1867 1900 1830 1832 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 records from 1832, divorce and court records from 1900 and naturalization records.
Probate Court has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1829--St. Joseph County was created 29 October 1829 from unorganized territory. County seat: Centreville [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 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]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Branch  • Calhoun  • Cass  • Elkhart County, Indiana  • Kalamazoo  • Lagrange County, Indiana  • Van Buren

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies[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.

Mottville Township:

  • Mennonite Cemetery
  • Mottville Township Cemetery

Park Township:

  • Center Park Cemetery
  • Moorepark Road North Park or Mint Cemetery
  • Moorepark Cemetery
  • Parkville Cemetery
  • South Park Cemetery

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.

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 St. Joseph 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]

Van Buren CountyKalamazoo CountyCalhoun CountyCass CountyBranch CountyLaGrange CountyElkhart CountyMI ST JOSEPH.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from St. Joseph 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 St. Joseph County.

- 17th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Company C

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 St. Joseph 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.

Online Probate Records

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

  • Birth Records and Death Records from 1867 can be obtained from the Michigan Department of Community Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
  • Marriage Records from 1867 and Divorce Records from 1897 can be obtained from the County Clerk.

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

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Colon Historical Society
Blackstone Ave.
Colon 49040

Governor Barry Historical Society
340 Florence
Constantine 49042

Tri-state Genealogical Society
c/o Sturgis Public
130 N. Nottawa St.
Sturgis MI 49091
Telephone Number: 616-651-3597

St. Joseph County Genealogical Society
PO Box 486
White Pigeon, MI 49099-9734

Committee will provide one hour of local research for $10.00. Please include a pedigree chart, a stamped self-addressed envelope, along with your check or money order made out to SJCGS

St. Joseph County Historical Society
PO Box 492
Centreville, MI 49093
Telephone Number:616-496-5695


Burr Oak Public Library

220 S 2nd

Burr Oak, MI 49030

Sturgis Public Library

255 North St

Sturgis MI 49091

Colon Library

128 S Blackstone Ave

Colon MI 49040

Three Rivers Public Library

920 W Michigan Ave

Three Rivers MI 49093

Constantine Library

165 Canaris

Constantine MI 49042

White Pigeon Library

105 N Kalamazoo St

White Pigeon MI  49099

Mendon Library

314 W Main

Mendon MI 49072

Glen Oaks Community College Library

62249 Shimmel Road

Centreville MI 49032

Nottawa Public Library

112 S Clark St

Centreville MI 49032

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.


  • St. Joseph County Genealogical Society
  • Tri-State Genealogical Society

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "St. Joseph County, Michigan" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Michigan."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), St. Joseph 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), St Joseph County, Michigan page 351, 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, "St. Joseph County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 14 November 2019.