Bay County, Michigan
Genealogy and Facts

Bay County

Bay County was founded on April 20 1857 (Organized on April 20 1857) from Midland County, Saginaw County and Arenac County. This county was named for Saginaw Bay.

The Bay County Seat is located in Bay City also, the county government website is www.baycounty-mi.gov/.

Counties bordering Bay County Arenac County (north), Gladwin County (northwest), Tuscola County (east), Midland County (west), Saginaw County (south).

Incorporated Cities & Villages located in Bay County include  Auburn, Bay City, Essexville, Pinconning, Midland.

Townships located in Bay County include  Bangor (Charter), Beaver, Frankenlust, Fraser, Garfield, Gibson, Hampton (Charter), Kawkawlin, Merritt, Monitor (Charter), Mount Forest, Pinconning, Portsmouth (Charter), Williams (Charter).

Bay County vital records can be found at the Michigan Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records since 1867. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Michigan for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Bay County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Michigan Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications to mail.

Bay County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Bay Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Bay Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Bay Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Bay County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Bay County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Bay County Courthouse and Government Records


Bay County Courthouse

Genealogist often overlook the importance of Bay County court, probate, and land records as a source of genealogy and family history information. Hidden away in Michigan courthouses and archives just about everywhere tend to be the hopes and dreams and worries of countless Michigan citizens.

The chances are very good that your potential ancestors and forefathers have left a in-depth document of at least several elements of their lives in the Bay County court records. Even if your ancestors and forefathers is not discussed in a Court case, consider all of the other procedures which may have lead to her or him showing up in court records.

The following specifics indicates exactly what birth, death, marriage, property, probate, and legal records are in Bay County. The dates pointed out below are considered the first known records with this county.

You need to contact the clerk's office to verify hours, mailing address, fees and other details prior to visiting or seeking information because of in some cases changing contact info. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The records and documents are readily available to interested parties, barring private issues. Most staff will guide persons in locating the resources, but it's up to the man or women to carry out the researching.
  • Bay County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 515 Center Avenue Bay City MI 48708-5122
  • Bay County Clerk is responsible for keeping records of births, deaths, assumed names, co-partnerships, issuing and filing marriage licenses, gun permits, notary bonds and processing passports. The date listed for each category of record is the earliest record known to exist in that county. It does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and certainly does not indicate that all such events that year were actually registered. Bay County Clerk Information for Genealogists
    • Phone: 989-895-4280
    • Births & Deaths: 1867
    • Marriage Records: 1867
  • Bay County Register of Deeds is the official recording officer for all legal documents pertaining to the transfers and encumbrances of all real estate property within the County. The Register also provides permanent storage for approved original subdivision plats, condominiums, land surveys and section corners.
    • Phone: (989) 895-4228
    • Land Records: 1835
  • Bay County Clerk of the Probate Court responsibilities include adjudicating and disposes of cases involving property of persons who have died or become incompetent, interprets wills and trusts, commits the mentally ill when necessary and appoints guardians and conservators for minors, incapacitated individuals and individuals with developmental disability.
    • Address: 1230 Washington Ave. Bay City MI 48708
    • Phone: (989) 895-4205
    • Probate Records: 1857
  • Bay County Clerk of the Circuit Court provides a variety of functions for the court such as, but not limited to: filing and maintaing the official record for all cases that come before the court; providing staff to assist in the operation of the court; working with the Jury Commission and notifying all potential jurors to appear for jury duty; and, processing felony criminal cases bound over from the District Court.
    • Address: 1230 Washington Ave. Bay City MI 48708
    • Phone: (989) 895-4265
    • Court Records: 1883 

Bay County Links

The following are links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources related to Bay County. Most of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Commercial Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a fee. This is just a list that has been compiled or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to provide your own most liked Bay County genealogy or family history associated sites.

Bay Co. MI Books, Newspapers & Publications

Bay Co. MI Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Bay Co. MI Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Bay Co. MI Census Records

Bay Co. MI Cemeteries & Graveyards

Bay Co. MI Church & Bible Records

Bay Co. MI Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Bay Co. MI General and History Websites

Bay Co. MI Immigration & Naturalization

Bay Co. MI Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Bay Co. MI Military Records

Bay Co. MI Schools & Directories

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