Based on the date of the vital event (birth, death, marriage, divorce), determine whether you are seeking a state or county level record. If the record you are seeking has been digitized, you can access it online, through the projects described below. If it has not been digitized or if you need a certified copy, contact the appropriate state or county office to view the record.
Michigan provides online access, as follows:
Note: Early records, particularly 1805-1820, are rare. Record keeping improved as later laws enforced registrations.
The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.
Using Ancestry Library Edition for Michigan
Begin your search through Ancestry's vast collections, by viewing the list designated as Michigan records External.
The following databases represent the type of content you may find. See Michigan records External for a complete list.
Using FamilySearch for Michigan
FamilySearch provides useful state and county wikis that make excellent starting points for research. The Michigan Wiki External includes links to each of its counties.
FamilySearch has digitized many of its microfilms containing county courthouse records. Not all records have been indexed yet, so search engine results may NOT show you the full range of FamilySearch data. You must browse the FamilySearch catalog External listings for each county to view the full set of records available. The vast amount of accessible original records is well worth your time to explore.
There is no fee to use FamilySearch, but you must create a free, personal account to access the databases and digital records.
The following databases represent the type of content you may find. See Michigan Wiki External for a complete list.
Contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about accessing state-level records and explore additional options for obtaining copies. They provide online order forms for the following:
Below are selected print publications for statewide vital records. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.
To locate additional published materials, go to the Print Resources section of this guide for search tips on locating published county courthouse records, abstracts, and indexes that may aide you in locating original records at the county level.