Upper Peninsula Genealogical & Historical Societies
Looking for information from a specific county? Below is a list of genealogical societies and historical museums around the UP.
1496 Washington St.
Munising, MI 49862
Mary Jo Cook, President
Phone: (906) 387-4308
Fax: (906) 387-4188
Pat Munger, Historical Society President
Munising Schools Public Library
810 State Hwy. M-28 West, Ste. A
Munising, MI 49862
Lisa Cromwell, Director
Munising News 1896-current; Munising Republican, 1892-1902; Cloverland Farmer 1915-1923; Sunday Morning Star, 1890-1891; Weekly Tribune, June-Dec 1893; Manistique Courier 1896-1899; Schoolcraft County Pioneer, 1880-1896; Semi-Weekly Pioneer, 1886-1888; Manistique Tri-Weekly Pioneer, 1888-1892; Tri-Weekly Pioneer 1892-1894; Semi-weekly Pioneer, 1894-1895; Manistique Tribune 1896-1899; Grand Marais Pilot and Pictured Rocks Review 1971-1974; Alger County Republican 1888-1903; Alger County Independent, 1938-1940; Wrights Weekly, 1924-1928; Lake Superior Breeze, 1906-1907; Lake Superior Pilot, 1901; Grand Marais Gazette, 1994-2004; Grand Marais Herald, 1895-1910; Munising High School Yearbooks, Senior Photos; United States Census: Schoolcraft County 1850-1910; Alger County 1900-1920; Territory 1820-1840; Michigan Indian Census: Bay Mills [Chippewa] Great Lakes 1935-1937; Great Lakes [Chippewa & Potawatomi] 1938-1940
P.O. Box 567
Baraga, MI 49908
The Baraga County Historical Museum has a complete record of all births, marriages, and deaths in Baraga County from 1875 to the 1950s. Records prior to 1875 can be found in Houghton County. The museum also has a large photograph collection, which includes a photo scrapbook of all babies who were born in Mrs. Strieter's birthing home. This book has been badly vandalized and is not available to the general public for review; however, Museum volunteers will search it for you.
Chippewa County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 2015
Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783
This website has articles, biographies, births, cemetery records, censuses, deaths, naturalization records, obituaries, surname lists, and voter lists for Chippewa County, Sault Sainte Marie, and Sugar Island.
115 Ashmun Street
Sault Sainte Marie, MI 49783
PO Box 342
Sault Saint Marie, MI 49783
P. O. Box 111
DeTour Village, MI 49725
104 Elizabeth Street
De Tour, MI 49725
Email: Ruth Ann Hubek: firstname.lastname@example.org
The museum features displays relating to early marine operations, social and governmental activities, pioneer families, Native American history, churches, schools, business and life in the early years of the DeTour area.
Drummond Island Historical Museum
A museum with exhibits on the early settlers of Drummond Island, Native American history, Fort Drummond history and lumbering. Genealogy resources are limited.
Phone: (906)647-1372; (906) 647-8533; (906) 297-3013
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY
Kenneth J. Shouldice Library
906 Ryan Street
Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783
Special Collections areas are open for research by appointment, Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM.
This collection documents Michigan from Indian occupation to the present with emphasis on the tri-county area of the Eastern Upper Peninsula. Included are documents and publications by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, pictures and photographs, information about Fort Brady, and a vertical file.
This collection consists of printed materials on the history of water transportation on the Great Lakes and material on individual vessels, including pictures, photographs, maps and vertical file.
THE OCHSNER COLLECTION
The collection includes books on archeology and cultural history as well as an extensive collection of Native American, European and African artifacts.
THE PHILIP A. HART ROOM AND COLLECTION
Dedicated to the memory of this highly respected senator active in the senate during the 1960’s and 1970’s, this collection contains books by and about Senator Hart, as well as books covering issues that were important to him, i.e. civil rights, anti-trust enforcement, and environmental protection.
Some helpful resources are available. A bibliography is available from the Reference Desk.
16 Beaumier Way
Escanaba, MI 49829
Richard Reiffers: (906)233-9261 or (906)630-3520
This website includes indexes to birth, marriage, divorce, death, cemetery, census, hospital, immigration, pioneer, newspaper, probate, veteran, and voter records for Delta County.
Delta County Historical Society
16 Beaumier Way
Escanaba, MI 49829
The Historical Society's archives has newspapers, city directories, yearbooks, early settlement literature, railroad literature, and more.
Dickinson County Genealogical Society
c/o Dickinson County Library
401 Iron Mountain Street
Iron Mountain, MI 48901
The website has city directories, gazeteers, marriage records, death records, cemetery records, and Menominee Range biographies. The Dickinson County Library has the federal census and local newspapers on microfilm.
Menominee Range Historical Foundation
300 E. Ludington Street
Iron Mountain, MI 49801
SEASONAL PHONE: (906)774-427
Call for hours of Operation and Admission Information. Holdings include biographical card file, photos, Hazel Dault’s extensive genealogy collection; original Iron Mountain Press/Iron Mountain News/Daily News 1897-1905, 1918- 1980; Norway Current 1887-1954; Polk City Directory, 1902-1903, 1913, 1963-2001 [not inclusive]; Civil War records; Sagola Township Meeting Minutes; Foster City articles; CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] records; Health Records; Marriage Records 1914-1950 by Dickinson County Justice of the Peace.
Bruce K. Cox
408A Sunday Lake Street
P.O. Box 131
Wakefield, Michigan 49968
Books on local and regional mining history including names of mines and miners on the Gogebic Range, which included Iron, Ashland, Vilas and Bayfield Counties in Wisconsin, as well as Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties in Michigan.
Bessemer Area Historical Society
Bessemer Area Heritage Center
PO Box 148
Bessemer, MI 49911
Holdings include information and displays on logging, mining and mining deaths, the Gogebic County Poor House, local World War II deaths, and an incomplete set of city directories beginning from 1888: Gogebic Range Mining and Business Directory Gogebic County MI & Ashland Co. WI. (Iron County was not yet formed); the 1892 and 1912 Directories containing information about Ironwood, Michigan and Hurley, Wisconsin; the 1928, 1938 and 1947 contain both business and residential listings and also much information about the area including Ironwood , Ironwood Township, Erwin Township, Bessemer City, Puritan Loc., Bessemer, Bessemer Township, Marenisco Township, Carlson Township, Watersmeet Township, Wakefield, and Bergland Village & Township.
The Gogebic Range Genealogical Society
PO Box 23
Ironwood, MI 49938
The Ironwood Historical Society
Old Depot Museum
150 North Lowell
Ironwood, MI. 49938
Available is information about local mines and miners, and the Luther L. Wright High School.
The Marenisco Township has a link to records of the Marenisco Township Cemetery: http://www.marenisco.com/Cemetery.htm
Further information can be obtained at the Township Offices,
314 Hall St.
PO Box 198
Marenisco, MI 49947
Wakefield Historical Society
306 Suday Lake Street
PO Box 114
Wakefield, MI 49968
PHONE:(906)224-8151 or (906)224-1045
Houghton County Historical Society
5500 Highway M-26
PO Box 127
Lake Linden, Michigan 49945
Finnish American Heritage Center & Historical Archive (Finlandia University)
601 Quincy St.
Hancock, MI 49930
Director: James Kurtti
Archivist: Gary Kaunonen
FAX: (906) 487-7557
A large assemblage of classical and folk music including selections by Finnish national composer Jean Sibelius and former Suomi College music director Martti Nisonen. The collection also contains film and video productions. The media formats contained within the collection range from phonograph records, reel-to-reels, cassette tapes, compact discs, film, VHS, Beta and digital video discs (DVD). A/V equipment for the various media formats is on site.
A very broad collection that includes microfilmed Finnish church records dating back to the late 16th century, Finnish American church records, local cemetery and funeral home records, historic photographs, church and temperance calendars, family histories, books, newspapers, obituary clippings and on-line subscription resources such as the Institute of Migration’s web site that has access to Finnish passenger and passport records.
This collection also includes non-Finnish American resources including hard copies of the Daily Mining Gazette, the Evening Copper Journal, Swedish-American resources and a Library Edition of Ancestry.com, which is open for public use on the Family History Computer.
HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
This resource is divided into a unique organizational structure that suits the needs of a single-ethnic collection. Categories include Individual Donors, Family-Genealogy, Immigration-Folk Ways, Landscapes, and Organizational Culture.
MANUSCRIPTS, NEWSPAPERS, AND PERIODICALS COLLECTION
The manuscripts portion contains minutes, financial ledgers and other unique, original and one of a kind material from various organizational groups and individuals associated with Finnish America. The newspapers and periodicals represent the vast cross-section of organizational culture that existed within Finnish America, including publications from the labor and political movements, cooperative movement, religious institutions and temperance movement. The Archive also has a number of current newsletters, newspapers and periodicals pertaining to Finnish North America.
MONOGRAPHS (LIBRARY) COLLECTION
Topics in this collection include, but are not limited to national, regional and local histories, folkways, Finnish design, Australian and Canadian Finns, Sami sociological studies and the Finnish Winter War.
MUSEUM OBJECTS COLLECTION
Artifacts and associated material culture are stored in the archival and museum space. An exhibition area contains interpretive displays that feature elements of Finnish and Finnish American culture, heritage and history. Exhibits are rotated semi-annually. A companion guide to the museum exhibits is available in both English and Finnish.
ORAL HISTORY COLLECTION
This collection contains a valuable resource, the 1970s Oral History Project. An alphabetical index organized by interviewee exists for this project. Many of these interviews have been transcribed and include oral histories with immigrant and first generation “Finns.” This collection also contains first hand accounts of the Italian Hall Disaster and non-Finnish interviews with influential Copper Country residents such as William Parsons Todd and former Calumet Police Chief John Sullivan.
VERTICAL FILE COLLECTION
The vertical files are a hodgepodge of historical and current materials relating to Finnish and Finnish American culture, heritage and history. This collection contains such resources as historical ephemera, newspaper clippings, photo reproductions, advertising, announcements and copied articles.
MTU ARCHIVES AND COPPER COUNTRY HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS
Michigan Technological University
J. Robert Van Pelt Library
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295
FAX: (906) 487-2357
Early yearbooks from local high schools and Michigan Technological University, centennial books, and local history titles, as 1863-64 Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory; 1887-88 A.H. Holland’s Handbook and Guide to Hancock & Houghton, MI; 1891 Le Guide Francais des Etats-Unis (French Guide to the United States); 1910 Guide to the Italians of the Copper Country, published by the Italian Miner. Includes all of Houghton County. 1917-18 Polk's Michigan State Gazetteer including a business directory of Windsor and Walkerville, Ontario with latest map of Michigan, v.45 as well as Polk Directories Houghton and surrounding communities from 1837-1939 (non-inclusive); local and Upper Peninsula newspapers on microfilm; Reports of the Inspector of Mines regarding mining accident deaths in seven counties.
MINING COMPANY COLLECTIONS
Three of the more important companies represented through large manuscript collections are the Copper Range Company, the Quincy Mining Company and the Calumet & Hecla Consolidated Mining Company. These three key collections, measuring well over 1200 cubic feet (excluding engineering drawings), include manuscript material concerning other enterprises subsumed in their operations and compliment smaller collections documenting hundreds of other Keweenaw mine, mill, and smelter operations. Mining collections contain many types of material of interest to historical researchers, including (but not limited to) records of capital stock and boards of directors, financial statements and accounting records, various sets of correspondence, underground survey documents and maps charting development work, ore production and shipment records, and personnel records, including employment and medical records. In conjunction with the department's books, clippings files, abstract files and graphic collections, these unique primary documents offer unique opportunities for research on individual mining ventures dating to the 1840's as well as broader historical analyses of the Lake Superior copper industry as a whole.
AREA BUSINESS COLLECTIONS
Among the many sets of documents in the collections are records of the Copper Range Railroad, Copper Range Motor Bus Company, and the Bosch Brewing Company. The Wesley Perron Collection includes photos and information about numerous area railroad companies, abstracted from a wide range of sources. Among the thousand items in the Roy Drier Collection are land, personal and business records from the R.S. Shelden Company and several other Keweenaw County businesses. Other industries are represented in collections like the Hamar Collection, with its maps, photos and personal recollections of the Worcester and Sturgeon River Lumber Companies.
COLLECTIONS OF PERSONAL PAPERS
In addition to corporate and business records, the Archives has also acquired a number of important collections of personal papers. One of these, the Brockway Family Collection, includes diaries-contained within the Brockway Diary Collection, correspondence, and photographs describing the lives of Daniel and Lucena Brockway, two of Keweenaw County's early residents. Mrs. Brockway was one of the first white women to reside west of the Sault and her thirty diaries, dating from 1865 to 1897, reveal the day-to-day struggles of the earliest pioneers in the Lake Superior copper country.
Other collections of personal papers span a wide range of topical and temporal areas. The Hoffman Collection contains the personal correspondence of Dr. L.L. Hubbard, state geologist, professor and mine manager. The James Fisher Collection consists largely of his correspondence during a long association with the MTU campus. Fisher was very active with the school's alumni association and published a variety of material concerning the history of Michigan's Copper Country. The Scott Turner Collection charts his tenure as Director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines and also documents his management of the Longyear mining interests in Spitzbergen. Researchers interested in Isle Royale should examine the Ben Chenoweth Collection. The materials cover many aspects of the Lake Superior island, including prehistoric and historic mining sites, as well as fishing, lumbering, marine and tourism activities. Correspondence, personal recollections as well as historic documents, photographs and maps round out this collection.
The Harbour House Museum
17 North 4 th Street
PO Box 65
Crystal Falls, MI 49920
Local newspapers dating to 1887; 100 years of the Diamond Drill, the local weekly newspaper; scrapbooks covering World War II.
Iron County Historical Museum
100 Brady Ave.
Caspian, MI 49915
P.O. Box 272
Caspian, MI 49915
Census reels & CDs for Iron Co, some Caspian land, mining and logging information, newspapers (microfilm and bound copies), obituaries, information of various societies and churches, albums, telephone books, school yearbooks, photos and much more.
Iron County Genealogical Society
PO Box 272
Caspian, MI 49915
Meets monthly at:
West Iron District Library
116 W Genesee Street
Iron River, MI 49335
Keweenaw County Historical Society
670 Lighthouse Road
Eagle Harbor, MI 49950
The former St. Anne's Church served a primarily French-Canadian congregation from 1901 to 1966 when the building was deconsecrated and the congregation joined with St. Mary's, St. John's and St. Joseph's to form St. Paul the Apostle. The building was sold, used as an antique store and essentially neglected for nearly 30 years. In 1994, R.V. Langseth, whose pastorate was Faith Lutheran Church, led a fund-raising effort to purchase the building. Restoration/rescue began in the summer of 1994 and continues through volunteer efforts and donations.
KHC's direction is toward showcasing the roles of churches and ethnic organizations in the assimilation of immigrants into a community. Those efforts are in the very beginning stages and will likely increase when all restoration efforts directed at making the building whole again are more complete.
Luce-Mackinac County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 113
Engadine, MI 49827-0113
Holdings at either Engadine, Newberry or Curtis include: Durant Roll 1870, Ottawa Chippewa Indian Roll; 1910 Census of Mackinac Co, MI, 1920 Census of Mackinac Co, MI, 1920 Census of Chippewa Co, MI, 1920 Census of Emmet Co, MI (also parts of Eaton & Gratiot); Mackinac Co Cemeteries Index, Allenville, Gross Cap Cemeteries, Mackinac Island Cemetery, Sandtown and Woodlawn Cemeteries, Newton Twp Cemeteries, Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery – Engadine Index to the 11th US Census (1890) Mackinaw Co - Civil War Veterans & Widows; Luce-Mackinac Genealogical Society Surname Index; Publications: “100 Years of Luce County History,” “The Les Cheneaux Chronicles,” “Tahquamenon Country: A Look at Its Past,” “The Land of Indian Elik,” “History of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan,” “Ripples from the Breezes;” Newspaper Scrapbooks: Marriages, Anniversaries, School Reunions, "Looking Back", etc; Obituary File: St Ignace & Newberry Newspapers; Centennial Books for Engadine, Gulliver, Negaunee, Naubinway, Germfask, and Edmore; Publications: “Old Log School by the Lake,” “When Farmers Came to Seney,” “Lumberjacks and Other Stories,” “Simmons Woods Including Indian Alec,” “Newberry High School Yearbook 1920,” “Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery, Engadine MI,” “Luce-Mackinac Genealogical Society Newsletters,” “Index to 11th US Census (1890) Mackinac County, Michigan,” “Surname Index Vol I, 1984, “Surname Index Vol II, 1989,” “WW II Book by Gen. Marshall” (featuring a section on local involvement).
Luce County Historical Museum
411 West Harrie Street
P.O. Box 41
Newberry, Michigan 49868
PHONE:(906)293-5709 or (906)293-3786
Luce County Historical Society
110 E. McMillan
Newberry, MI 49868
CENTRAL UPPER MICHIGAN AND NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES
1401 Presque Isle, LRC 126
Marquette, MI 49855
The Citizens to Save the Superior Shoreline Records (MSS-11)
A environmental activist group that worked to prevent the construction of a power plant near Little Presque Isle in the late 1960s.
The Sam Cohodas Papers (MSS-18)
Sam Cohodas was a prominent Upper Peninsula business leader in the areas of banking and produce. The collection also highlights Cohodas' work with the state of Israel.
The Patrick M. Gagliardi Papers (MSS-60)
Pat Gagliardi was a state representative from the central and eastern Upper Peninsula. He served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1983-1998.
The K.I. Sawyer Support Group and Reconversion Authority Records (MSS-62)
This citizen's group worked to prevent the closure of the K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base and later worked with Marquette County on the base's Reconversion to civilian use.
(MSS-90)The Martha and Perry Hatch Papers (MSS-101)
Perry Hatch was very active in the development of Boy Scouts in the Upper Peninsula and Martha Hatch was Northern Michigan University's first staff nurse.
The Stewart Kingsbury Papers (Univ Series 152)
The collection contains papers, data, audio cassettes and open reel tapes of interviews, and books dealing with place names in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, including their origin and folkloric materials dealing with loggers, miners, ethnic groups (Finnish) and Native American.
The Archives of the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mining Company (CCI)
For the last 150 years, CCI has been the dominant iron mining corporation on the Marquette Iron Range. Consequently, CCI has had a profound impact on the historical development of the central Upper Peninsula. The company's archives not only document the history of iron mining but also agriculture, lumber, and shipping industries.
The Oral History Collection of the Central Upper Peninsula
The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives maintains an extensive oral history collection that documents the social, economic, political, and demographic history of the region. Important subjects include the Italian-American immigration, underground mining, labor history, Northern Michigan University, the Great Depression, and World War II.
The Labor Archives of the Central Upper Peninsula
The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives established the Labor Archives of the Central Upper Peninsula on June 7, 1997. The Labor Archives program seeks to identify, collect, preserve, and make available for research the archival records that document the history of organized labor in Michigan's Central Upper Peninsula. For more information contact.
The Local Government Archives of the Central Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Northern Michigan University is an official repository for local government archives of the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan. These are records created by counties, municipalities, and townships. Records are organized by the following counties: Marquette, Alger, Delta, Dickinson, Schoolcraft. The records are owned and managed by the State Archives of Michigan.
The Political Archives of the Central Upper Peninsula
As a supplement to the Local Government Archives depository, the Archives has aggressively collected the records of individuals engaged in political activity. Currently, the collections focus on individuals in state and local government.
Forsyth Township Historical Society Museum
PO Box 851
Gwinn, MI 49841
CONTACT: Rick Wills
Holdings include photos and documentation of the building of Gwinn as a model mining town. The town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its ties to its creator, William G. Mather, and designer, nationally noted landscape designer, Warren Manning.
Also included are photos and documentation of: mining, railroading, and logging in the township; the communities of Austin, Little Lake, New Swanzy, Princeton, Swanzy; and of KI Sawyer Air Force Base and its later conversion to a civilian community. Holdings also include a local obituary file and cemetery file (the latter is available on CD and can be purchased).
Marquette County Genealogical Society
217 N. Front St
c/o Peter White Public Library
Marquette, MI 49855
(1850 Marquette Co. Census online)
The John M. Longyear Research Library 213 North Front St. - Marquette, MI 49855 - (906) 226-3571 Rosemary Michelin E-mail: email@example.com and the Marquette County Historical Society http://www.marquettecohistory.org/ Holdings include some published family histories, plat books, atlases, maps, township, school and business records, and an extensive photograph file.
Biographical Card File; Pamphlet File: Recorded historical information through diaries, manuscripts, interviews, and newspaper articles. Includes material on communities, ethnic groups, historic homes, churches, businesses, cemeteries, and mines for Marquette County and the Upper Peninsula. Extensive biographical material on U.P. families; Marquette County marriages from 1850-1866. DEATH RECORDS: Registrar's permits for burials and removals in the city of Marquette from 1889-1932 (listing is missing some data). Cemetery Records; The Inspector of Mines Reports: Reports and lists of deaths and mining accidents in Marquette County, 1889 to the present. Centennial Books; Chase Interviews: Interviews of over 350 Marquette County pioneer residents; Church Records; Marquette Religious Survey of all Marquette Catholic and Protestant church members, 1935. Marriage records from St. John's Catholic Church, Marquette for 1872-1899. Marriage and burial records for St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Marquette for 1867-1875.
City Directories; Marquette County Telephone Directories from 1914 to present. Military Records: Scrapbooks, newspaper files, photographs of G.A.R., WWI and WWII servicemen and women, Marquette County. School Yearbooks; Scrapbooks: Large collection of scrapbooks containing biographical and historical information and photographs.
Newspapers: Early to current Mining Journal issues on microfilm. Partial index available.
Negaunee Historical Museum
303 E. Main St.
Negaunee, MI 49866
Collections include Iron Herald newspaper, mining and local business photos, as well as photographs of local people.
Menominee County Historical Society
P.O. Box 151
Menominee, MI 49858
Menominee County Heritage Museum
Collections are located at the M.J. Anuta Research Center.
1105 9th Street
Menominee, MI 49858
CONTACT: William C. King, Director / Curator
904 11th Avenue
P.O. Box 151
Menominee, MI 49858
FAX: (906) 863-4611
Ontonagon County Historical Society
422 River Street
Ontonagon, Michigan 49953
Log Cabin Genealogical Society
103 North Third Street
Manistique, Ml 49854-1018
Online indexes include Deaths 1870-1899, Marriages 1870-1893, Ackley Cemetery, Germfask, and a Surname index. Also available off line is cemetery information, land records beginning from 1871, Probate records from 1874, and Divorces and Circuit Court Records from 1881.
Gulliver Historical Society
RR 1, Box 1 Box 79
Gulliver, MI 49840
CONTACT: Marilyn Fischer