The Western Michigan Genealogical Society hosts a site with Michigan Online Databases. They boast over 2,700,000 records online. Some databases require a fee to view the complete search result, others are free.

Completely free databases include:

  • Michigan Census, A compilation of census indexes from Western Michigan. The indexes were compiled by Evelyn Sawyer, and include records from Kent, Ottawa, Barry, Newaygo, Mecosta and other counties from 1860, 1870 Federal Censuses and 1884 and 1894 Michigan Censuses.

  • Kent County Deaths, Index to the names of the people listed in the Index to the deaths recorded in Kent County, Michigan. Update 4 January 2010 – added more records – total now 92,843. Included 2,364 records provided by Karen Blumenshine which include information from the records like Gender, Age at Death, Birth and Death place, Cause of Death and Parents.

  • Kent County Marriages, Index to the names of the people listed in the Index to the marriages recorded in Kent County, Michigan from 1845 to 1929.

  • Chapman’s 1881 History of Kent County, An every name index to the Chapman’s History of Kent County, published in 1881. Search results are linked to scanned images made available by the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service, which has provided searchable scanned images of many different books of Michigan History.

  • Goss’ History of Grand Rapids and its Industries, Index to the names of people in the 1906 Goss History of Grand Rapids. If you find a person you’re looking for, you can click a link to download a PDF file that has an image of that page from the book in it.

  • Quigley, An index of Family Names and Articles from various Periodicals compiled by Maud Quigley.

  • WMGS Manuscripts

  • WMGS Members’ Genealogy, Genealogy files made up from the 4 generation charts that have been submitted by WMGS Members over the 50 years WMGS has been collecting these. These files are slowly being added to as the existing charts are entered. October 2015 – added more records – there are now 703 separate trees online.

  • Black Monument Company

Fee databases include:

  • West Michigan Newspapers, An index to the Death Notices and Obituaries published in the Grand Rapids Press andGrand Rapids Herald from 1910 to today. It includes the listings of Engagements, Weddings and Anniversaries from the Saturday papers from today, going back in time to 1966. Starting on 25 January 2008 the index also includes the daily “In Memoriam” entries from the Grand Rapids Press, and also includes an index to the Rockford Register, and over 9,000 records from The Northfield Advance during the 1990s that are linked to scanned images of the notice. The clippings are used with permission of Advance Newspapers. Starting in April 2011 we are now including entries from The Holland Sentinel both ongoing and backwards as they are available.

  • Kent County School Census, Index to the listings of Student and Teacher names in the Annual Census and Statistic Returns of Kent County Schools from 1903 – 1925. We can provide copies of the pages from these books which show students names and details, as well as details about the school attended.

  • Western Michigan Church Records, In 1974, the Western Michigan Genealogical Society began the project of collecting and recording the church records in Kent County of those churches which were in existence before 1876. The records included baptisms, marriages, deaths and memberships where possible up to the year 1876.

  • Michigana

  • Veterans

  • World War One Veterans Census

  • Farm Bureau News

  • Latzek Funeral Home, An index to the Registers of the Latzek Funeral Home in Grand Rapids from 1903 – 1962. If you search it and find a record that is of interest to you, we can provide a hand written transcript of it from the book. See the Search Results page for full details.


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