Lake County, Michigan
Genealogy and Facts

Lake County

Lake County was founded on April 1, 1840 (Organized on May 1, 1871) from Mackinac County (Originally named Aishcum County, until the name was changed on March 8, 1843). This county was named for several small lakes and lies near Lake Michigan.

The Lake County Seat is located in Baldwin also, the county government website is www.lakecounty-michigan.com.

Counties bordering Lake County Wexford County (northeast), Osceola County (east), Newaygo County (south), Mason County (west), Manistee County (northwest).

Incorporated Cities & Villages located in Lake County include  Baldwin, Luther.

Townships located in Lake County include  Chase, Cherry Valley, Dover, Eden, Elk, Ellsworth, Lake, Newkirk, Peacock, Pinora, Pleasant Plains, Sauble, Sweetwater, Webber, Yates.

Lake 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 Lake 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.

Lake County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Lake Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Lake Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Lake Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Lake County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Lake County Courthouse and Government Records


Lake County Courthouse

Genealogist often overlook the importance of Lake 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 Lake 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 Lake County. The dates pointed out below are considered the first known records with this county.

Some early records  prior to organization on May 1, 1871 may be located in Ottawa County, Mason County and Newaygo 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.
  • Lake County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 800 Tenth Street, Baldwin, MI 49304
  • Lake 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. Lake County Clerk Information for Genealogists
    • Phone: 231-745-4641
    • Births & Deaths: 1870
    • Marriage Records: 1870
  • Lake 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: (231) 745-4641
    • Land Records: 1872
  • Lake 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.
    • Phone: (231) 745-4614
    • Probate Records: 1872 
  • Lake 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.
    • Phone: (231) 745-4614
    • Court Records: 1871

Lake County Links

The following are links to Genealogy and family history, Records and Resources related to Lake 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 Lake County genealogy or family history associated sites.

Lake Co. MI Books, Newspapers & Publications

Lake Co. MI Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Lake Co. MI Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Lake Co. MI Census Records

Lake Co. MI Cemeteries & Graveyards

Lake Co. MI Church & Bible Records

Lake Co. MI Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Lake Co. MI General and History Websites

Lake Co. MI Immigration & Naturalization

Lake Co. MI Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Lake Co. MI Military Records

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