Michigan County Histories

Flag of MichiganThe origin of some Michigan county names is unclear and credible scholarly sources disagree on the meaning (or intended meaning). The wholesale renaming of counties in the early 19th century made several cultural and political points.

Nine have names invented by the ethnologist Henry Schoolcraft, usually adapted from parts of Native American words, but sometimes having parts from Greek, Arabic and Latin roots. A second group of four counties were renamed for Irish locales (Antrim, Clare, Roscommon and Wexford), apparently because it was close to the heart for certain Michigan legislators or their constituents. Ten counties, the so-called “cabinet counties”, were named for persons who served in Andrew Jackson’s presidential administration, which was tied to Michigan’s anticipated ascendancy to statehood.

Collection Details

  1. PERRY F. POWERS, A HISTORY OF NORTHERN MICHIGAN AND ITS PEOPLE ( 3 VOLS.), LEWIS PUB. CO., 1912
  2. ALVAH L. SAWYER, A HISTORY OF THE NORTHERN PENINSULA OF MICHIGAN AND ITS PEOPLE (3 VOLS.), LEWIS PUB. CO., 1911
  3. O.W. ROWLAND, A HISTORY OF VAN BUREN COUNTY, MICHIGAN A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORICAL PROGRESS, ITS PEOPLE, AND ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS, LEWIS PUB. CO., 1912
  4. HENRY P. COLLIN, A TWENTIETH CENTURY HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF BRANCH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, LEWIS PUB. CO., 1906
  5. WILLIAM V. SMITH, AN ACCOUNT OF FLINT AND GENESEE COUNTY FROM THEIR ORGANIZATION, 1924
  6. FRANK N. TURNER, AN ACCOUNT OF INGHAM COUNTY FROM ITS ORGANIZATION, 1924
  7. CHARLES A. WEISSERT, AN ACCOUNT OF SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN AND ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, 1900
  8. BAY COUNTY, PAST AND PRESENT, 1918
  9. EDWARD B. COWLES, BERRIEN COUNTY DIRECTORY AND HISTORY: CONTAINING HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE SKETCHES OF THE VILLAGES AND TOWNSHIPS WITHIN THE COUNTY, AND THE NAMES AND OCCUPATIONS OF PERSONS RESIDING THEREIN, 1871
  10. B.F. BOWEN, BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF GENESEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN, 1908
  11. BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY OF NORTHERN MICHIGAN, CONTAINING BIOGRAPHIES OF PROMINENT CITIZENS, 1905
  12. BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS OF GRATIOT COUNTY, MICHIGAN : COMPENDIUM OF BIOGRAPHY OF CELEBRATED AMERICANS., J.H. BEERS, 1906
  13. B.F. BOWEN, BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS OF ST. CLAIR COUNTY, MICHIGAN TO WHICH IS APPENDED A COMPREHENSIVE COMPENDIUM OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY; MEMOIRS OF EMINENT MEN AND WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES., 1903
  14. BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD; THIS VOLUME CONTAINS BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF LEADING CITIZENS OF HOUGHTON, BARAGA AND MARQUETTE COUNTIES, MICHIGAN, BIOGR. PUB. CO., 1903
  15. BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD; THIS VOLUME CONTAINS BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF LEADING CITIZENS OF OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN, BIOGR. PUB. CO., 1903
  16. BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW OF CALHOUN COUNTY, MICHIGAN: CONTAINING HISTORICAL, BIOGRAPHICAL AND GENEALOGICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF THE PROMINENT CITIZENS OF TO-DAY AND ALSO OF THE PAST., HOBART & MATHER, 1904
  17. STEVENS & CONOVER, BRANCH COUNTY DIRECTORY AND HISTORICAL RECORD: CONTAINING A COMPLETE LIST OF RESIDENTS … BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF COLDWATER, QUINCY, UNION CITY AND BRONSON; ALSO A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE COUNTY, 1871
  18. DAVID D. OLIVER, CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF ALPENA COUNTY, MICHIGAN., ARGUS PRINTING HOUSE, 1903
  19. E.S. INGALLS, CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MENOMINEE COUNTY, HERALD POWER PRESSES, 1876
  20. ELON G. REYNOLDS, COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY OF HILLSDALE COUNTY, MICHIGAN, A.W. BOWEN CO., 1903
  21. DAVID FISHER & FRANK LITTLE, COMPENDIUM OF HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY OF KALAMAZOO COUNTY, MICH., A.W. BOWEN CO., 1906
  22. WILLARD D. TUCKER, GRATIOT COUNTY, MICHIGAN, SEEMANN & PETERS, 1913
  23. HISTORY OF ALLEGAN AND BARRY COUNTIES, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THEIR PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., D.W. ENSIGN & CO., 1880
  24. H.R. PAGE, HISTORY OF BAY COUNTY, MICHIGAN WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., 1883
  25. HISTORY OF BERRIEN AND VAN BUREN COUNTIES, MICHIGAN. WITH … BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., D.W. ENSIGN & CO., 1880
  26. CRISFIELD JOHNSON, HISTORY OF BRANCH COUNTY, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., EVERTS & ABBOTT, 1879
  27. WASHINGTON GARDNER, HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY, MICHIGAN; A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORICAL PROGRESS, ITS PEOPLE, AND ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS, LEWIS PUB. CO., 1913
  28. ALFRED MATHEWS, HISTORY OF CASS COUNTY, MICHIGAN. WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS. (2 VOLS.), WATKINS & CO., 1882
  29. SILAS FARMER, HISTORY OF DETROIT AND WAYNE COUNTY AND EARLY MICHIGAN (2 VOLS.), MUNSELL & CO., 1890
  30. EDWIN O. WOOD, HISTORY OF GENESEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN, HER PEOPLE, INDUSTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS, BY EDWIN O. WOOD … WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND GENEALOGICAL RECORDS OF MANY OF THE OLD FAMILIES, FEDERAL PUB. CO., 1916
  31. HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COUNTY. MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., EVERTS & ABBOTT, 1879
  32. SAMUEL W. DURANT, HISTORY OF INGHAM AND EATON COUNTIES, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THEIR PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., D.W. ENSIGN & CO., 1880
  33. JOHN S. SCHENCK, HISTORY OF IONIA AND MONTCALM COUNTIES, MICHIGAN., D.W. ENSIGN & CO., 1881
  34. HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY, MICHIGAN, INTER-STATE PUB. CO., 1881
  35. HISTORY OF LAPEER COUNTY, MICHIGAN : WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., H.R. PAGE, 1884
  36. FRANKLIN ELLIS, HISTORY OF LIVINGSTON COUNTY, MICHIGAN. WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., EVERTS & ABBOTT, 1880
  37. HISTORY OF MACOMB COUNTY, MICHIGAN: CONTAINING … BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, PORTRAITS OF PROMINENT MEN AND EARLY SETTLERS : THE WHOLE PRECEDED BY A HISTORY OF MICHIGAN, LEESON, 1882
  38. JOHN M. BULKLEY, HISTORY OF MONROE COUNTY, MICHIGAN: A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORICAL PROGRESS, ITS PEOPLE, AND ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS. (2 VOLS.), LEWIS PUB. CO., 1913
  39. JOHN W. DASEF, HISTORY OF MONTCALM COUNTY, MICHIGAN ITS PEOPLE, INDUSTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS…WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS AND GENEALOGICAL RECORDS OF MANY OF THE OLD FAMILIES (2 VOLS.), B.F. BOWEN, 1916
  40. HISTORY OF MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICHIGAN: WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., H.R. PAGE, 1882
  41. D. SEELEY, HISTORY OF OAKLAND COUNTY MICHIGAN A NARRATIVE ACCOUNT OF ITS HISTORIC PROGRESS, ITS PEOPLE, ITS PRINCIPAL INTERESTS / COMPILED FROM THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE COUNTY, THE NEWSPAPERS AND DATA OF PERSONAL INTERVIEWS (2 VOLS.), LEWIS PUB. CO., 1912
  42. TRUMAN B. FOX, HISTORY OF SAGINAW COUNTY FROM THE YEAR 1819 DOWN TO THE PRESENT TIME. COMP. FROM AUTHENTIC RECORDS AND OTHER SOURCES: TRADITIONARY ACCOUNTS, LEGENDS, ANECDOTES, &C., WITH VALUABLE STATISTICS, AND NOTES OF ITS RESOURCES, AND GENERAL INFORMATION CONCERNING ITS ADVANTAGES: ALSO A BUSINESS DIRECTORY OF EACH OF THE THREE PRINCIPAL TOWNS IN THE COUNTY, ENT. PRINT, 1858
  43. HISTORY OF SHIAWASSEE AND CLINTON COUNTIES, MICHIGAN, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THEIR PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., D.W. ENSIGN & CO., 1880
  44. HISTORY OF ST. CLAIR COUNTY, MICHIGAN, CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT OF ITS SETTLEMENT, GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT AND RESOURCES, ITS WAR RECORD, BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, THE WHOLE PRECEDED BY A HISTORY OF MICHIGAN., A.T. ANDREAS & CO., 1883
  45. H.G. CUTLER, HISTORY OF ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, MICHIGAN (2 VOLS.), LEWIS PUB. CO., 1912
  46. HISTORY OF TUSCOLA AND BAY COUNTIES, MICHIGAN : WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF THEIR PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., H.R. PAGE, 1883
  47. HISTORY OF WASHTENAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN : TOGETHER WITH SKETCHES OF ITS CITIES, VILLAGES AND TOWNSHIPS…AND BIOGRAPHIES OF REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS, CHAS. C. CHAPMAN & CO., 1881
  48. JOHN H. WHEELER, HISTORY OF WEXFORD COUNTY, MICHIGAN, EMBRACING A CONCISE REVIEW OF ITS EARLY SETTLEMENT, INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENT CONDITIONS, COMP. BY JOHN H. WHEELER, TO WHICH IS APPENDED A COMPREHENSIVE COMPENDIUM OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY AND LIFE SKETCHES OF WELL-KNOWN CITIZENS OF THE COUNTY, B.F. BOWEN, 1903
  49. INDIAN AND PIONEER HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY : WITH HISTORIES OF EAST SAGINAW, SAGINAW CITY, AND BAY CITY, FROM THEIR EARLIEST SETTLEMENTS, ALSO PIONEER DIRECTORY AND BUSINESS ADVERTISER FOR 1866 AND 1867, THOMAS & GALATIAN, 1866
  50. KALAMAZOO COUNTY DIRECTORY, WITH A HISTORY OF THE COUNTY FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT, J.M. THOMAS, 1869
  51. RICHARD I. BONNER, MEMOIRS OF LENAWEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN: FROM THE EARLIEST HISTORICAL TIMES DOWN TO THE PRESENT, INCLUDING A GENEALOGICAL AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF REPRESENTATIVE FAMILIES IN LENAWEE COUNTY, WESTERN HIST. ASSOC., 1909
  52. FRANKLIN EVERETT, MEMORIALS OF THE GRAND RIVER VALLEY, CHICAGO LEGAL NEWS CO., 1878
  53. A.H. JOHNSON, MICHIGAN. LEELANAU COUNTY: HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE, 1880
  54. MUSKEGON AND ITS RESOURCES. SKETCHES OF MUSKEGON COUNTY; ITS SOIL, CLIMATE AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCATIONS–CITY OF MUSKEGON; ITS MATERIAL GROWTH AND RESOURCES, MANUFACTURING AND COMMERCIAL INTERESTS, ITS SCENERY, AND ADVANTAGES AS A PLACE OF RESIDENCE AND BUSINESS, SUPPLEMENTED WITH SHORT SKETCHES OF LEADING BUSINESS HOUSES AND FIRMS. ISSUED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE MUSKEGON BOARD OF TRADE, HARFORD & LATIMER, 1884
  55. LOUIS M. HARTWICK, OCEANA COUNTY PIONEERS AND BUSINESS MEN OF TO-DAY, HISTORY, BIOGRAPHY, STATISTICS AND HUMOROUS INCIDENTS., PENTWATER NEWS STEAM PRINT, 1890
  56. SHERMAN B. DABOLL, PAST AND PRESENT OF CLINTON COUNTY, MICHIGAN, BY JUDGE S. B. DABOLL, ASSISTED BY D. W. KELLEY, TOGETHER WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF ITS PROMINENT AND LEADING CITIZENS AND ILLUSTRIOUS DEAD. ILLUSTRATED., S.J. CLARKE PUB. CO., 1906
  57. ISAAC A. FANCHER, PAST AND PRESENT OF ISABELLA COUNTY, MICHIGAN, B.F. BOWEN, 1911
  58. ROBT. F. ELDREDGE, PAST AND PRESENT OF MACOMB COUNTY, MICHIGAN: TOGETHER WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF ITS LEADING AND PROMINENT CITIZENS AND ILLUSTRIOUS DEAD, S.J. CLARKE PUB. CO., 1905
  59. ALBERT E. COWLES, PAST AND PRESENT OF THE CITY OF LANSING AND INGHAM COUNTY, MICHIGAN, BY ALBERT E. COWLES, HISTORICALLY. TOGETHER WITH BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF MANY OF ITS LEADING AND PROMINENT CITIZENS AND ILLUSTRIOUS DEAD, MICH. HIST. PUB. ASSOC., 1905
  60. DANIEL STRANGE, PIONEER HISTORY OF EATON COUNTY, MICHIGAN, 1833-1866, CHARLOTTE REPUBLICAN PRINT, 1923
  61. FLORENCE M. GWINN, PIONEER HISTORY OF HURON COUNTY, MICHIGAN, HURON COUNTY PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 1922
  62. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF BRANCH COUNTY, MICH., CONTAINING FULL PAGE PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS OF THE COUNTY, TOGETHER WITH PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHIES OF ALL THE GOVERNORS OF THE STATE, AND OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES., CHAPMAN BROS., 1888
  63. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF HILLSDALE COUNTY, MICH., CONTAINING FULL PAGE PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS OF THE COUNTY, TOGETHER WITH PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHIES OF ALL THE GOVERNORS OF THE STATE, AND OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES., CHAPMAN BROS., 1888
  64. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF NEWAYGO COUNTY, MICH., CONTAINING PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS OF THE COUNTY … ALSO CONTAINING A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE COUNTY, FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME., CHAPMAN BROS., 1884
  65. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM OF SANILAC COUNTY, CONTAINING … BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF … CITIZENS … ALSO … A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE COUNTY, FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME., CHAPMAN BROS., 1884
  66. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM, MECOSTA COUNTY, MICH., CONTAINING PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF … CITIZENS … [AND] A COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE COUNTY, FROM ITS EARLIEST SETTLEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME., CHAPMAN BROS., 1883
  67. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF GENESEE, LAPEER AND TUSCOLA COUNTIES, MICHIGAN, CHAPMAN BROS., 1892
  68. PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF NORTHERN MICHIGAN, CONTAINING PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS, TOGETHER WITH BIOGRAPHIES AND PORTRAITS OF ALL THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES., RECORD PUB. CO., 1895
  69. THE BOOK OF DETROITERS, A.N. MARQUIS & COMPANY, 1914
  70. W.H. WARE, THE CENTENNIAL HISTORY OF CHEBOYGAN COUNTY AND VILLAGE: ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNTY, TOWNSHIPS AND VILLAGE, EARLY HISTORY, SETTLEMENTS, IMPROVEMENTS, PRESENT BUSINESS, VALUABLE STATISTICAL TABLES, ADVERTISEMENTS. SUPPLEMENT, DESCRIPTIVE OF MACKINAC ISLAND, NORTHERN TRIBUNE PRINT, 1876
  71. CLARENCE M. BURTON, THE CITY OF DETROIT, MICHIGAN, 1701-1922 (5 VOLS.), S.J. CLARKE PUB. CO., 1922
  72. THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS AND KENT COUNTY, MICH.: UP TO DATE, CONTAINING BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS., A.W. BOWEN CO., 1900
  73. THE COUNTY OF SAGINAW, MICHIGAN : TOPOGRAPHY, HISTORY, ART FOLIO., IMPERIAL PUB. CO., 1896
  74. STANLEY NEWTON, THE STORY OF SAULT STE. MARIE AND CHIPPEWA COUNTY, SAULT NEWS PRINTING CO., 1923
  75. THE TRAVERSE REGION, HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCENERY AND PORTRAITS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF SOME OF ITS PROMINENT MEN AND PIONEERS., H.R. PAGE, 1884

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