Our museum holds a genealogy section, which we feel is second to none for the size of our operation. On most Wednesday’s, you will find a genealogist on duty, willing to guide either the experienced or novice researcher in what ever direction that is felt will best suit their needs.
Cedar Springs, 1910's - looking south on Main Street
Our genealogy materials can be freely accessed, but unlike public libraries, those works do not circulate outside the department.
A microfilm machine is available as well as a microfilm reader/copier.
We are continually expanding our collection to include research materials which we feel are of prime interest to our genealogy patrons.
The following is only a small portion of our holdings:
- Michigan 1710-1830 Under the French, British and Americans
- 1860 and 1880 Kent County, Michigan
- 1870 Michigan
- 1884 and 1894 State Census for Kent County
- State Census of Michigan, June 1, 1894,
- United States Soldiers of the Civil War, Vol.3
- Canada West (Ontario) 1848 and 1850 Census With an Every Name Index.
CENSUS ON MICROFILM-
- 1790 United States, 1840 Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Service
- 1810, 1830, 1850, 1870 Fleming and selected counties of Kentucky
- 1820 Clermont and selected counties of Ohio
- 1830 Erie and Essex counties of New York
- 1840 Dutchess County New York
- 1850-1920 Kent County Michigan, excluding 1890
- This is supplemented by the 1890 Michigan Special Schedules of Federal Census Enumerating Union Veteran and Widows of Union Veterans of the Civil War. Many other Michigan counties are also available covering various periods of time
CENSUS AND CENSUS INDICES ON COMPACT DISCS-
- 1810 United States Census Index
- 1880 United States Census and National Index
- 1881 Canadian Census
- 1930 Kent County, (not all townships).
A wide array of genealogical information can be gleaned from these historical books we have, such as:
One of our ongoing projects is the Surname File which at this time has well over 183 names listed on family files. Also available is Volume I of the Michigan Surname Index. Our store of genealogies include:
We maintain a good selection of Michigan and Kent County histories, as well as many of this states township histories. Naming only a few, we have:
Military records include: Service Records of Area (Cedar Springs) Men and Women who Served in the United States Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy. Collecting these records has been an ongoing project and they are now contained in 5 large notebooks. Another notebook is filled with news clippings on those from the area who were serving or had served during WWI, WW II, Viet Nam and the Korean conflict.
Other excellent military research material we have are: Index to Michigan Soldier’s Obituaries, Civil, Spanish and World War I; Soldiers of the Great War Memorial Edition, 3 vols.; DAR Patriot Index to the Spouses of the DAR Patriots; History of Company K During the Spanish American War With Cuba in 1898; United States and Canadian Loyalists; Michigan Soldiers and Sailors Alphabetical Index; The History of Newaygo County Michigan Civil War Veterans and Twenty-four Hundred Tennessee Pensioners, Revolution, War of 1812, and much more!
We carry a wide array of newsletters and periodicals, running the gamut from several of Kent County’s Historical Societies to those covering many other parts of the United States.
Cedar Springs Train Station - Looking North
The Wolverine Clipper was published in Cedar Springs from December 29, 1869 through April 17, 1878, becoming the Cedar Springs Clipper from April 24, 1878-October 19, 1983.These papers are all on microfilm and can be viewed on our reader. Since the demise of the Clipper, the Post has become Cedar Springs weekly newspaper. Most of those issues, 1992 to the present can be perused at our facility. The Bugle, a monthly periodical covering mainly local events, was first published on June 25, 1984. All copies to date are contained in 4 large notebooks and shelved for use, in the genealogy department.
We are exceptionally pleased with the wide assortment of vital records we have been able to accumulate. Burial listings are available for these townships in Kent County:
Algoma, Cannon, Courtland, Gratton, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield, Solon and Spencer. Other areas of interest are some records of burials in the counties of Genesee, Marquette, Newaygo, Ottawa and Van Buren.
Death notices, obituaries and memorials have been compiled by our volunteers into a 5 volume set of notebooks thus far. We also have a few vital records for some towns in other states.
A few more miscellaneous categories of records that could be of help are:
Church records; Cedar Springs School yearbooks; Journal of Cedar Springs High School Graduates, 1880-1960, With Married Names and Addresses; Directories; Plat maps; Tax Records; Federal Land Patents, Kent County Michigan, Original Land Patents Granted by the United States Government in the State of Michigan from 1837-1875, plus, our many books in the reference section.
If you are unable to visit our facility in person, we can make a search of our records for a fee of $10.00 per hour, plus 25 cents per page if copies are required.