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Ottawa County, Michigan

Ottawa County

Ottawa County was founded on March 2, 1831 (Organized on December 19, 1837) from Mackinac County and unorganized territory . This county was named for the Native American Ottawa people.

The Ottawa County Seat is located in Grand Haven also, the county government website is

Counties bordering Ottawa County Muskegon County (north), Kent County (east), Allegan County (south).

Incorporated Cities & Villages located in Ottawa County include  Coopersville, Ferrysburg, Grand Haven, Holland, Hudsonville, Zeeland, Spring Lake.

Townships located in Ottawa County include  Allendale Charter, Blendon, Chester, Crockery, Georgetown Charter, Grand Haven Charter, Holland Charter, Jamestown Charter, Olive, Park, Polkton Charter, Port Sheldon, Robinson, Spring Lake, Tallmadge Charter, Wright, Zeeland Charter.

Ottawa 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 Ottawa 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.

Ottawa 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.

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

Ottawa County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Ottawa County Courthouse and Government Records

Ottawa County Courthouse

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

Some early records  prior to organization on December 19, 1837 may be located in Kent 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.
  • Ottawa County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive, MI 49460
  • Ottawa 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. Ottawa County Clerk Information for Genealogists
    • Phone: 616-994-4531
    • Births & Deaths: 1866
    • Marriage Records: 1848
  • Ottawa 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: (616) 994-4510
    • Land Records: 1834
  • Ottawa 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: (616) 786-4110
    • Probate Records: 1844 
  • Ottawa 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: (616) 846-8320
    • Court Records: 1839 

Ottawa County Links

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

Ottawa Co. MI Books, Newspapers & Publications

Ottawa Co. MI Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Ottawa Co. MI Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Ottawa Co. MI Census Records

Ottawa Co. MI Cemeteries & Graveyards

Ottawa Co. MI Church & Bible Records

Ottawa Co. MI Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Ottawa Co. MI General and History Websites

Ottawa Co. MI Immigration & Naturalization

Ottawa Co. MI Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Ottawa Co. MI Military Records

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