Berrien County, Michigan Genealogy Guide
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Berrien County, Michigan (Map It) was created on October 29, 1829 from unorganized territory . The county was named for John M. Berrien (1781-1856): Attorney General in the Jackson Administration. Learn More About State of Michigan History
Berrien County Cities, Towns & Villages include Benton Harbor, Bridgman, Buchanan, Coloma, New Buffalo, Niles, St. Joseph, Watervliet, Baroda, Berrien Springs, Eau Claire, Galien, Grand Beach, Michiana, Shoreham, Stevensville, Three Oaks.
Berrien County Townships include Bainbridge, Baroda, Benton Charter, Berrien, Bertrand, Buchanan, Chikaming, Coloma Charter, Galien, Hagar, Lake Charter, Lincoln Charter, New Buffalo, Niles Charter, Oronoko Charter, Pipestone, Royalton, Sodus, St. Joseph Charter, Three Oaks, Watervliet Charter, Weesaw.
A Map of Berrien County, Michigan contains detailed information about roads and boundaries, these maps may include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.
Berrien County, Michigan Courthouse Records
Berrien County, MI Courthouse
The Berrien County Courthouse is located in St. Joseph, Michigan. Some early records prior to organization on Septembert 1 1831 may be located in Cass County. Learn More About State of Michigan Court, Tax, Land and Probate Records.
Please contact the each clerk's department to confirm mailing address, hours, fees and other information before visiting or requesting information because contact information sometimes changes. The Clerk's Office DOES NOT DO RESEARCH. The documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. Most staff will assist people in finding the materials, but it is up to the individual to do the research.
The following dates indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Berrien county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered.
- Berrien County Clerk has Births & Deaths from 1867 and Marriage Records from 1831. The County Clerk is responsible for keeping records of births, deaths, assumed names, co-partnerships, issuing and filing marriage licenses, gun permits, notary bonds and processing passports. The date listed for each category of record is the earliest record known to exist in that county. It does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and certainly does not indicate that all such events that year were actually registered. See also Berrien County Clerk Information for Genealogists
- Berrien County Register of Deeds has Land from 1831.The County Register of Deeds is the official recording officer for all legal documents pertaining to the transfers and encumbrances of all real estate property within the County. The Register also provides permanent storage for approved original subdivision plats, condominiums, land surveys and section corners.
- Berrien County Clerk of the Probate Court has Probate from 1834. The County Clerk of the Probate Court responsibilities include adjudicating and disposes of cases involving property of persons who have died or become incompetent, interprets wills and trusts, commits the mentally ill when necessary and appoints guardians and conservators for minors, incapacitated individuals and individuals with developmental disability.
- Berrien County Clerk of the Circuit Court has Court from 1833. The County Clerk of the Circuit Court provides a variety of functions for the court such as, but not limited to: filing and maintaing the official record for all cases that come before the court; providing staff to assist in the operation of the court; working with the Jury Commission and notifying all potential jurors to appear for jury duty; and, processing felony criminal cases bound over from the District Court.
Berrien County, Michigan Census Records
- Learn More: State of Michigan Census Records
- U.S. Federal Population Schedules: 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragmented), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
- U.S. Census Reconstructed Records: Census Substitutes Index, 1827-1870
- State Population Schedules: 1845, 1854, 1864, 1874, 1884 and 1894
- U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Agriculture Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Selected U.S. Federal Census Industry Schedules: 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880
- Union Veterans Schedules: 1890
Berrien County, Michigan Vital Records
- Learn More: State of Michigan Vital Records
- Birth, Marriage and Death Records: from 1867 to present. Some of the records, especially pre-1906 births, pre-1897 deaths and pre-1926, were not filed with the state
- Divorce Records: from 1897. See County Clerk for ealier records.
- Locations: Michigan Office of Vital Statistics, 201 Townsend Street Capitol View Building 3rd Floor Lansing MI 48913; (517) 335-8666
- Vital Records Online: USAVital, VitalChek or Social Security Death Index
- Vital Records by Mail: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Applications.
Berrien County, Michigan Resources
- State of Michigan Archives and Societies
- RAOGK Volunteers for Michigan
- Berrien County Historical Association
- Berrien County Genealogical Society
- Four Flags Area Genealogical Society P.O. Box 414 Niles MI 49120-0414
- Ft. Miami Heritage Society Of Michigan 708 State St. St. Joseph 49085
- Galien Woods Historical Society 708 Galien-Buchanan Rd. Galien 49113
- North Berrien Historical Society
- Berrien County Michigan Message Boards
- Berrien County, Michigan Genealogy Forum