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 information contained on the questionnaire began with the settler's name, birth, marriage and death information. The same information was collected for the parents of the settler, then the spouse, and the spouse's parents. On the reverse side of the form was the place to list children and their data, as well as information about the settler's occupation, religion and other useful information.
The following individuals compiled an every-name index of the individual pioneer certificates: Julie Carr, William Carr, Isabelle Wells, Pat Currigan, Sara Price and Sheri Sleep. That index is now included here as a searchable on-line tool. The bound volumes are located at the Library of Michigan in Lansing, Michigan and are located in the Michigan collection on the Second Floor, North.
Our database will be available soon.