Ingham County Genealogical Society

Researching in Ingham County

Ingham County is rich in genealogical research  resources and fortunate to be home to the Archives of Michigan and the Lansing Family History Center. The Capital Area District Libraries’ (CADL) has an extensive array of local history services including collections housed at various CADL branches,  a
dedicated website, and a Local History Librarian.
 
Whereas CADL has extensive holdings on Lansing and its history, the Ingham County Genealogical Society’s (ICGS) Resource Room holdings emphasize Ingham's out-county resources.  The ICGS holdings are located on the second floor of CADL-Mason, 145 W. Ash Street, Mason, MI. ICGS materials are available only for use in the Resource Room. The ICGS Room is closed when the Library is closed. Otherwise, the Resource Room is open from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm Wednesdays or by appointment by emailing the Resource Room librarian at librarian@icgsweb.org.
 
The Resource Room is not handicap accessible, however, volunteers will meet and work with researchers downstairs and assist in finding research information from the second floor. For additional information email the librarian at librarian@icgsweb.org
 
A.  INGHAM DATABASE
The Ingham Database includes data from four different sources: 1) Michigan Pioneer Records; 2) the Ingham County Democrat Newspaper Index - Mason, Michigan 1876-1915; 3) Burial Pemits, Burial Transit Permits, Disinterment and Re-Interment Permits Index 1873-2008; and 4) names and death dates of persons buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery.  
 
Search parameters of the database defaults to "ALL" which means all four databases can be searched for a surname.  If you want to search only one of the four sources, click the down arrow on the right side of that box for a drop down menu that lets you select the single source you want to search.
 
1) MICHIGAN PIONEER RECORDS
The first call for Michigan Pioneer Records went out in 1948. It was initiated by Mrs. Esther Loughin, head of the State library's local and family history section. The intent was to gather information on Michigan's early settlers. A questionnaire was developed by George Hammel, a retired East Lansing newspaperman, and the printed forms were distributed throughout the state.
 
Individuals, historical and genealogical societies gathered the data, completing what we recognize today as a family group sheet. Some individuals could only complete portions of the form while others added far more than was asked, attaching pedigree charts, narratives and other manuscript material. Some of the questionnaires were typed responses and some were hand written. 
 
As the submissions accumulated over the years, they were bound by the Library into volumes of one hundred records each until they numbered thirty-seven, the last submissions occurring in the early 1980s. The bound volumes are located at the Library of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan and are located in the Michigan collection on the Second Floor, North.
 
2) INGHAM COUNTY DEMOCRAT NEWSPAPER INDEX - MASON, MICHIGAN 1876-1915
This is an index of names of the deceased found in death, burial and funeral notices, obituaries, notices of postmortems, murder trials and life insurance pay-offs for the years listed. Pages in the INGHAM COUNTY DEMOCRAT are not numbered.  All information contained in the index is the property of ICGS and may not be reproduced in any format printed or electronic for distribution or sale without the permission of ICGS.
 
See details on how to purchase a copy of the Ingham County Democrat information in the ICGS Store section of this webpage.
 
For those who prefer to look up the information themselves, microfilms of the Ingham County Democrat can be found in the ICGS Resource Room (there is no printer available at this location); the Library of Michigan, Lansing, and the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana. 
 
The Capital Area District Library-Local History Section has copies of this Newspaper and other Ingham County papers on line.  The collection is primarily of the Ingham County News (1860-1969 with some gaps), but includes single issues or a few issues of the Dansville Herald (1888); Ingham County Democrat (1917); Ingham Democrat (1846); and Orion Weekly Review (1905).  Each issue is one PDF file with sub-records for earch year.  All PDFs are keyword-searchable to the extent technology has allowed for newspapers of their age.
 
3) BURIAL PERMITS, BURIAL TRANSIT PERMITS, DISINTERMENT AND RE-INTERMENT PERMITS INDEX 1873-2008

This is an index of 17,201 names of deceased individuals found in original source documents for Maple Grove Cemetery, Alaiedon Township, Aurelius Township, Leroy Township, Locke Township, Maple Ridge Cemetery, Meridian Township, City of Stockbridge, Vevay Township and Woodland Cemetery burial permits, burial transit permits, disinterment and re-interment permits. The permits were indexed then microfilmed  by the Ingham County Genealogical Society.

The genealogical information typically found on these types of records include:

1. Deceased full name
2. Date of Death
3. Place of Death
4. Possible date of Burial
5. Age
6. Sex 
7. Cause of Death
8. Lot number and Section in Cemetery 
9. Other persons buried in this same lot

Microfilms of these records can be found in the ICGS Resource Room (there is no printer available at this location), the Library of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan, and at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

See details on how to purchase a copy of the burial permit information in the ICGS Store section of this webpage.

All information contained in the Index is the property of ICGS and may not be reproduced in any format, printed or electronic, for distribution or sale without the permission of ICGS.

 
4) MAPLE GROVE CEMETERY INDEX THRU 2001
The database provides surname name, given name, date of death, and a Book and Page number.  The information on file in the Resource Room includes a copy of the death certifiate, Burial Transmittal Permit, and Obituary when available.  Book 1 covers the oldest sections of the cemtery (Blocks 1 through 3).  Book 2 covers Blocks 4-5 (partial).
 
Go to the ICGS Store section of this website to see details on how to purchase a copy of the ICGS file on an individual found in this Maple Grove Cemetery Index.
 
B. CEMETERY RECORDS
The Cemetery Records database lists all the cemeteries in Ingham County. It also lists some cemeteries from other counties nearby where Ingham residents may have been buried or cemeteries of particular interest to Ingham County's history.  The search option at the top of the page allows you to search a surname by cemetery or to search all cemeteries in that database for a surname.
 
Inscriptions from the Bethany Cemetery in Morrice & Perry Township, Shiawassee County, MI were recorded by Donna Dansby Heminger along with some additional genealogical material and its source.  A copy of that work can be found in the ICGS Library.  It includes an index.
 
Donna Dansby Heminger completed work on transcribing and adding additional genealogical material to those buried in Locke Township.  A copy of that manuscript can also be found in the ICGS Library.
 
C. FUNERAL HOME RECORDS
The Funeral Home Records database currently consists primarily of records from two Mason funeral homes:
 
1) The Jewett Funeral Home owned by Arthur W. Jewett (1896-1993) that operated between 1929 and 1986. His daughter, Janice Jewett Doner donated the surviving funeral home records.  The records include 1,368 funeral burials between J January 1939 and 16 Novmber 1986.  Records for 1929-1938; 1943-1948, and years 1964 and 1983 are missing from the donated files.
 
2) The Ball Dunn Duneral Home that operated between September 22, 1951 and November 8, 1986. 
 
Until all the data has been entered into the database, an index of names and year of death is available in the ICGS Library.  The index will give the Book and Page number that the librarian will need in order to retrieve and provide a copy of the record.    
 
D. AREA DEATHS INDEX
The Area Deaths Index contains death information from a variety of sources, including a collection of funeral cards, obituary/death information from various local papers and death records (1897-1952) from Aurelius, Vevay, Wheatfield, and White Oak townships as well as the Village of Dansville and Ingham Township. Work on entering this information into the database is ongoing.  If you cannot find a record that you think should be included, contact the the ICGS Librarian at librarian@icgsweb.org and ask that the hardcopy Index (before computers and on-line databases) be checked. 
 
The "Obits/Local Papers" files listed by year after the Area Deaths Index include 18 years of work (1998 to present) by volunteers who clipped, compiled, and indexed by year obituaries found in the various local papers. These files provide name, year and page information that can then be used to locate the related clipping from among the 3-ring binder files on the shelves of the ICGS Library.