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Local record searching in counties, libraries, churches and other sources in Michigan. Complete ancestry research, reports and charts. Brick wall breaking a specialty.
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Do you need help with your research?  Email

Our specialty is research at the local and/or county level, as well as complete genealogical research.

Do you need research done on marriage, death, birth, property, or probate records at the local level? Most of these records are held in the vaults of local and state collections and are not available online.
Many county clerks and employees in register of deeds and probate courts offices say that they will do look ups for a small charge if you provide the correct name and date of the event.  However in reality we have found that most of these local officials are far to busy to spend much time looking for your information, especially if you don't have the correct spelling or dates.  Quite often the official reply is "we could not locate the records you requested".  Perhaps you don't have any idea of the exact date except that it happened in a 20-year range.  This will take more than 15 minutes to look up and that is one of the services we perform for you. 
If you have the time and finances to travel to each county office that holds the desired records there is little that is more rewarding to a genealogist than finding the marriage record of your gg grandparents or the will of gg grandpa, which provides the names of all of his children including their spouses.  There is no guarantee of finding this information, but the likelihood is good.  Since many genealogists don't have the time to visit, we are pleased to offer this service to you. 

Send us an email requesting the information that you desire.  Please include the city or township, county, names including maiden names, dates, ages, etc.  All of this information is not necessary, but the more you include the easier the search is, thus reducing the costs.  Following receipt of your email we will call you to discuss the search.   Our standard research rate is $25.00/hour.  Copying charges by records officials will be additional.  Where it is allowed we will take digital pictures of the records at no additional cost.  We find that in many cases digital pictures are superior to standard copies.  They are quite often clearer and can be easily enlarged and emailed to other researchers.  You will not be put on a mailing list and your email address will not be given to any third party. Your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us.

An example of what is available by personally searching at the local level.
My parents told me years ago that my g grandfather Godfrey Wakenhut was born in Manchester, Washtenaw County, Michigan, in 1849.  I was unable to find any records of the Wakenhuts being in Washtenaw County, despite submitting requests to the various county offices.  However, when I visited the county clerk's office I was able to find the marriage record of Godfrey's father, Christian Wackenhut and Catherine Betts in 1847.  Following this I went to the register of deeds and found that Christian and Catherine (Betz) Wackenhut had sold property in 1849.  This property was previously owned by a John Betz, quite likely Catherine's father or close relative.  Suddenly I had proof that Christian and Catherine were in Freedom Township, within a few miles of Manchester, two years prior to Godfrey's birth.  Also I learned that Catherine's maiden name was Betz, not Goleow as we had previously thought.


The marriage record index had the last name as Rackenhut instead of Wackenhut.  It was only by intensive searching that I was able to find the record.  This was a search that the clerk could not possibly take the time to perform.  Please note the difference in the name of Wakenhut/Wackenhut.  Wackenhut is a prominent name in Washtenaw County and I am presently trying to determine if we are related.   The marriage and property records lead me to believe that we are indeed connected.  This is rather ironic since I grew up in Washtenaw County and never knew that I might have cousins living there.


I have recently found out that Catherine's maiden name was Dettling and that she married Johannes Betz in 1844.  They had two daughters before Johannes died in 1848.  The lesson learned is that we should never quit looking for more information.  This information was found in the records of the Rev. F. Schmidt who founded the first Lutheran church in Washtenaw County.  His original handwritten records are at the U of M Bentley Library in Ann Arbor, MI.


Michigan counties in which we do research: Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, Washtenaw and Wayne.