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Any Michigan Ancestors?

MichiganIn an early August FamlyTree Genealogy Blog the online site ‘Seeking Michigan’ and its death records from 1897 to 1920 were explained. This same site has even more to offer a researcher with ancestors from the state of Michigan. Their large Michigan Collection is divided into other aspects of her people and history that makes up Michigan. There are several sections you do need to investigate.

Of course anyone with a relative who served during the American Civil War from Michigan will find the Michigan collection of Civil War Manuscripts and Civil War Service Records invaluable. The manuscripts are composed of diaries and letters written by many of Michigan’s soldiers to their families. There is a search box or try just viewing the thousand plus items, there might be a regiment or name you didn’t know to search.

The Civil War Service Records have the lists of dead, the muster rolls and information sent to Michigan’s Adjutant General as events occurred. With nearly 1,500 items to view you can use the search box or browse the many fascinating letters, enlistment papers and other documents. Each item is a scanned image, easy to enlarge and you can print a copy of it.

To go along with the Civil War Records is the Michigan collection of wonderful Civil War Photographs. There are some 1,400 images in the Michigan collection. Besides photos of individuals, there are groups and regiments shown. Added with this collection are not just Michigan soldiers, but also soldiers from other states. For example there is Private D. B. Ainger of the 23rd Ohio Infantry in a wonderful portrait.  He may have been originally from Michigan, but joined the Ohio Infantry or he could have moved to Michigan after the war. Also not all photos were taken during the war.  There are images of the soldiers after they returned to their families and civilian life, some taken in the 1870s to 1880s. With each has been researched information on their enlistment and regiment, along with the battles they witnessed.

In the Seeking Michigan collections there are other items.  A great online assortment of maps from 1841 to the early 1900s across Michigan can be a good resource. Then there is a very unusual assembly of Music of Michigan. This offers 407 pieces of sheet music from Michigan songwriters and publishers. Who knows, maybe your great granduncle wrote a song?

The site has images and postcards of Michigan’s lie-saving stations and lighthouses. The 586 images cover from 1852 to 1980. Again a search box is available.

If you know the town or city an ancestor lived in then the Main Streets collection will be very helpful. Here in the form of photos and postcards, totaling 1988, are the typical scenes of the buildings, parks, schools, businesses, hotels and residences of a location.  One example is an image of the high school in Grand Rapids that my husband’s grandmother graduated from was located.

Another collection to check-out is the Early Photography group. Here will be 211 images from ambrotypes, tintypes and daguerreotype photos covering the 1850s to the 1860s. A search box is available and a description of what is known for each image.

The last other featured items are the recorded oral interviews of Michigan citizens, the inventories of buildings during the 1930s done by the Works Progress Administration and early documents important in the development of Michigan from a territory to a state. Everything is a worthwhile search for details surrounding those Michigan ancestors.

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