Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kalamazoo Research Guide

The busy folks at Seeking Michigan have added research guides for six more counties to their website, including Kalamazoo.  These guides provide a basic inventory of the records held by the Archives of Michigan in Lansing or in some cases records held at other locations such as the WMU Archives in Kalamazoo.  The record types include: Court Records, Land, Military, Naturalization, Occupational, Poor House Records, Prison, Probate, Tax Records, Voter Records and more, depending on the county.

The seventeen county research guides now available are for Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, Ottawa, Shiawassee, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.  You can find the guides here.  Read them on the site or download them as PDFs.

A word of warning, however, if you see a record type that you are particularly interested in you may want to call ahead to verify that what you are looking for is likely to be there.  While looking at the guide for Kalamazoo county I noticed the guide indicates the Chancery indexes go through 1920.  While looking through the microfilmed index at the WMU Archive (where these and many Kalamazoo area records are held) I found that the index went through at least May 1941.  The guide also states that the chancery records only go through 1932.  I found them to go into 1934. 

Despite the minor differences I found for one record type, the research guides are a great resource for any Michigan researcher.  One of the best things about them is that they may lead you to a record type you might not have thought to consult or never even realized existed.

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