Michigan Vital Records
Michigan Vital Records
In the state of Michigan, the Office of Vital Records is in charge of maintaining all state vital records relating to residents’ important life events. These events include divorces, deaths, births, marriages, and more. These documents, records, and certificates are stored in one central registry to be used for statistical analysis.
Divorce records are issued by the government after the divorce is officially registered. The earliest divorce records were take by the Supreme Court in Michigan. After this, the clerk of the circuit, chancery, or county court would collect the records. Some Michigan divorce papers are stored by the Family History Library. Many have also been published and abstracted in genealogical periodicals. There is a basic search fee of $34 for all records in Michigan, which includes a copy if found.
Marriage records, much like divorce records, are issued by government officials upon the registration of the event. Most counties kept their own marriage records from the date the county in question was created. Copies of these can be requested from the clerk’s office in the relevant county. In 1867, a new law meant that counties had to send copies of marriage records to the Office of the State Registrar. You did not need a marriage license until 1887. The Family History Library holds records for many counties from whenever they were created up until 1920 or even later. There is a basic search fee of $34 for all records in Michigan, which includes a copy if found.
Birth certificates are issued upon the birth of every child in the state of Michigan, however birth records can also refer to certified copies of the original. In 1867, county registrations of births began, but was not fully complied with until around 1915. To obtain a county record, a person must contact the relevant county clerk. Most of these records are also kept on microfilm by the Family History Library. These often date to 1913 or later, and they have indexes to the 1970s. Unindexed birth records for Wayne County are kept by the Library for the dates between 1867 and 1917. However, the records for Detroit since 1893 can be found at the Detroit Health Department. The Michigan Office of the State Registrar and Center for Health hold all state records. There is a basic search fee of $34 for all records in Michigan, which includes a copy if found.
Death records usually refer to the certificate issued upon a person’s passing, or a copy of the information included on the original. In 1805, a law required deaths to be registered with the clerk of the local district court. County registration started in 1867, but wasn’t fully complied with until 1915. County clerks kept the records in this period. State-wide registration kicked in by 1867, and was complied with by 1914. The Michigan Office of the State Registrar and Center for Health holds these records. There is a basic search fee of $34 for all records in Michigan, which includes a copy if found.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Michigan Freedom of Information Act was passed in 1889, with the latest amendment coming in 1977. This aimed to ensure that Michigan residents could access public records without question.