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The Brighton District Library Offers a variety of ways to learn more about your family story.
To begin, choose an index search method below that works best for you.

Birth Records Index Search

Obituary Index Search

Marriage Index Search

Featured Research Resources

The following services are all free and available to Brighton District Library patrons.
If you do not have a library card with us and are a current resident, please fill out our online library card application.

MyHeritage Library Edition

Family history resource including more than 6 billion historical ​records from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and other regions. Includes the full USA federal census (1790-1940); census of England and Wales (1841-1901); U.S. World War II Army Enlistment as well as records of Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers. Over 2 billion family trees.

Includes digitized images of the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 forward, the American Genealogical Biographical Index, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, and more.

In-library use only

The Brighton Room

The Genealogy and Local History Collection of the Brighton Room has developed over time to become one of the largest collections of family and local history information in Livingston County. It provides a full range of services and materials for genealogists, historians, teachers and other interested hobbyists and scholars.

So what’s all collected? The collection includes 3,000+ printed items composed of family histories, indexes to records, how-to books, cemetery transcriptions, obituaries, family history magazines, photographs, microfilm of Livingston County vital records and more. Additionally the Brighton Room houses microfilm of the Brighton Argus from its beginning in 1880 to its present incarnation entitled the Livingston Daily Press & Argus which was formed in 2000 by a merger of the Brighton Argus and the Livingston County Press.

The emphasis of the Brighton Room collection is on Brighton and Livingston County, as well as bordering counties and the state of Michigan overall.

To that end, the Brighton Room’s extensive collection of print and microfilm items continues to grow through library purchases and donations from appreciative genealogists and historians.

Brighton Local History

Brighton Area Women’s History Roll of Honor

The Roll of Honor Advisory Council is pleased to announce the 2022 Honorees to the Brighton Area Women’s History Roll of Honor.

African American Clippings Index Search
Includes about 70 newspapers from around Michigan, as well as Chicago. From the Grand Rapids Public Library.

American Ancestors of Michigan Governors
Information available in several formats.

Cass City Newspapers
Searchable scanned images of the Cass City Chronicle and the Cass City Enterprise dating to the 1800s. From the Rawson Memorial Library in Cass City.

Cyndi’s List (Michigan resources)
Hundreds of links to genealogy and local history sites throughout Michigan. (Michigan Genealogy Guide)
Guide to Michigan ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Kalamazoo Public Library Local Indexes & Community Information
Kalamazoo Gazette, complete subject and name index, 1972 to 2005; Kalamazoo Gazette obituaries, 1857 to 1888, with more date information available from the Kalamazoo Public Library. When searching the catalog, select Local Indexes & Community Information under the library drop-down menu.

Lake Orion Review
Most of the issues of the Lake Orion Review published since 1935, plus many older issues. To search, click on the “Lake Orion Review” link in the “Choose an Index” column on the lefthand side. From Orion Township Public Library.

Making of Modern Michigan
Digitized local history materials, such as photographs, family papers, oral histories and genealogical materials, from around the state.

Michigan Biographical Index
Name index of many Michigan publications and manuscripts.

Michigan Cemetery Sources
Lists published cemetery transcriptions located at the Library of Michigan. Identifies the location of more 3,700 cemeteries in Michigan. Links to online cemetery transcriptions.

Michigan Centennial Farms
The Centennial Farm Program is intended to recognize farms that have remained in the same family for a hundred years or more and highlight the family farm’s contributions to Michigan’s development.

Michigan County Clerks Directory
Contact information, hours and genealogy research procedures for each county in Michigan.

Michigan County Histories
Digitized reproductions of Michigan county atlases and histories dating from 1866 to 1926. Ongoing project.

Michigan Disasters
Articles and photos from the events that affected ancestors’ lives.

Michigan Family History Network
MFHN has over 120,000 Michigan records online for you to search. Michigan early births, Dibean Marriage Index, Michigan deaths, Civil War census records online and continues to grow.

Michigan Genealogist Newsletter
Genealogy newsletter from the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries.

Michigan Genealogical Resources
From Genealoger Family History and Genealogy Services.

Michigan Genealogy Resources lists 15,305 worthwhile record sources for doing genealogy in Michigan. All records are organized by county, town, and record type to quickly pinpoint the information you need.

Michigan Grand Army of the Republic Records
List of known Michigan G.A.R. records and location.

Michigan Historical Collections
Digitized reproduction of Michigan Historical/Pioneer Collection are available at the Internet Archive. Perform a search for Michigan Historical Collections.

Michigan Newspaper Holdings at the Library of Michigan
List of Michigan newspapers on microfilm, organized by county.

Michigan Poorhouse History
Photos and links to more information on Michigan poorhouses.

Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Collection
Information on more than 3,000 one-room schools in the state. Maintained by Van Buren District Library in Decatur.

MIGenWeb Project
Each Michigan county has its own website of historical information and record transcriptions.

Saginaw Cemeteries Search
Records from Brady Hill, Forest Lawn and Oakwood cemeteries. An ongoing cooperative effort by the Public Libraries of Saginaw and the City of Saginaw.

Saginaw City Directories 1866-1934
Digitized directories between the years 1866 and 1934.

Sault Ste. Marie Evening News Index
Evening News, 1888 to present; other Sault Ste. Marie papers, 1887 to 1903. Ongoing.

Seeking Michigan
The online collection of the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Ongoing.

Statewide Search for Subdivision Plats
Includes all plats in the State of Michigan beginning with the plats created under the 1821 territorial act for recording town plats. From the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth.

Women’s History Clippings Index Search
Includes about 70 newspapers from around Michigan, as well as Chicago. From the Grand Rapids Public Library.

Woodmere Cemetery Research
Online index to burials at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit. Ongoing project.

Wyandotte City Directories
Digitized directories between the years 1898 and 1936.

Livingston County
Genealogy and History Resources

The History of Livingston County, Michigan with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers by Everts and Abbotts, 1880 is available either as a transcribed copy or a downloadable pdf file. The transcription is provided by Mardos Memorial Library and has the advantage of an online index which will take the user to a specific section of the 462 page work. The pdf file is large and may take several minutes to download depending on the speed of your internet connection.


Cemeteries in Livingston County, Michigan from

A guide to Livingston County, Michigan ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records from FamilySearch.

The Mardos Memorial Library’s resources for Livingston County include land records, plat and atlas maps, marriage and death indexes, images and more.

A volunteer run website devoted to Livingston county genealogy. Includes information on vital records, cemeteries, military records, and much more including downloadable eBooks about Livingston county’s history.

Cities and Villages of
Livingston County

The City of Brighton is located approximately forty-five miles northwest of Downtown Detroit. It was incorporated as a village in 1867 and became a Home Rule City in 1928. Brighton encompasses an area of approximately 3.65 square miles, has an estimated household population of approximately 7,442, and is the central business hub for approximately 54% of Livingston County’s approximate 180,102 household population, who reside in its southeast quadrant. The City’s estimated 3,603 households reflect an approximate average of 2.00 persons per household, which is the lowest in Livingston County.

The City is primarily residential and commercial in nature, with residential land uses comprising 35% of the land area and contributing 48% of the total ad valorem tax base. Although commercial uses comprise only 18% of the City’s land, they generate approximately 38.5% of the tax base. Industrial land uses occupy 11% of the land and contribute 4.2% to the property tax base. The remaining 9.3% of the ad valorem tax base is comprised of Personal Property Taxes on Commercial and Industrial real estate.

Brighton has the quality of life of a small city, but also has the advantage of being ideally located with easy access to the metropolitan areas of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, and Lansing. The City operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The Mayor is chosen by the seven-member elected City Council from among its members. The City Council appoints the City Manager who is responsible for the administration of the City’s activities. The City Council also appoint the City Attorney, City Planner, and City Engineer.

–From City of Brighton, Michigan: Comprehensive Annual financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2012, p. ii.


As the county seat, the City of Howell is centrally located within Livingston County. It was platted in 1835 and later incorporated in 1863. The City of Howell is the most populated city in the county. The City currently has a land area of approximately 4.9 square miles and a population of 9,489 based on the 2010 census. The government is empowered to levy a property tax on both real and personal property located within its boundaries. The government also has the power by state statute to extend its corporate limits by annexation, which is done periodically, when deemed appropriate by the City Council.

The City has operated under the council-manager form of government since 1955. All powers of the City shall be vested in and all matters of policy of the City shall be exercised and determined by a Council of seven members composed of the Mayor and six Council members. The Council shall hold at least two regular meetings per month. The Council is the City’s legislative and policymaking body. Council is responsible for adopting the annual budget, contracts, laws, ordinances and resolutions; approving purchases; and granting permits and license terms. Council members are elected at large to four year, staggered terms; elections are held in November of odd years. City Council serves as the direct citizen’s link to City Hall. City Council appoints the City Manager, Clerk, Treasurer, Attorney and Assessor. The City Manager is responsible for carrying out the policies and ordinances of the governing council, for supervising the day-to-day operations of the government, and for appointing the heads of the government’s departments.

The City provides a full range of services, including: police; the construction and maintenance of highways, streets and other infrastructure; sanitary sewage treatment and disposal; water treatment and distribution; economic development; recreational activities; and cultural events. The City is also financially accountable for certain legally separate entities, which are reported separately within the City’s financial statements. Additional information on each of these legally separate entities can be found in the notes to the basic financial statements.

–From City of Howell, Michigan: Comprehensive Annual Financial Report For the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2014, p. 1-2.


Located in the heart of Livingston County, one of Michigan’s fastest growing counties, the Village of Fowlerville stands in the path of development as it grows from the surrounding cities of Lansing, Brighton and Flint. While much of the Village is already developed, recent activity includes redevelopment of the downtown and general commercial areas, and development within the industrial districts. This has led to additional attention from residential developers; however, the majority of activity remains in the Village’s commercial areas. Most of the residential development occurred prior to 1940, leaving the Village with an historic charm and development pattern that has contributed to the Village’s close-knit, small town community spirit.

Since the 1950’s, Livingston County and the Village of Fowlerville have experienced steady population growth. Like many communities in suburban southeast Michigan, the County experienced a surge in development during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Centrally located between several of the State’s metropolitan centers–Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint–Livingston County has become an attractive place for residents looking for a less hectic lifestyle and for businesses seeking a location at the bustling crossroads of commerce. As development migrates eastward from Lansing and westward from Metro Detroit, the Village has emerged as a desirable location for commuters.

–From Village of Fowlerville, Livingston County, Michigan: Master Plan, Adopted September 14, 2009, pp. 1-1, 2-1.


The Village of Pinckney is located in southern Livingston County along M-36, a major east-west road
corridor through the County. Pinckney’s location offers its residents convenient access to the major
metropolitan centers of Lansing, Flint, Detroit, and Ann Arbor via the major expressways of I-96, US 23,
and I-94. Interstate 96 is approximately 12 miles north of Pinckney, US-23, 13 miles to the east and
Interstate 94, nine miles to the south. This convenient location is advantageous for the Village’s economic
prosperity and the general quality of life for its residents.

The 2010 Census reported 869 households within the Village of Pinckney, representing an 18.9 percent
increase from the number reported in 2000. Seventy-eight percent (78%) of households in Pinckney are
categorized as “family households,” meaning that they consist of a householder and one or more other
people related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. Conversely, “non-family households”
consist of people living alone or households which do not have any members related to the householder.
The average household
size in Pinckney was reported at 2.78 in 2010, down by 4 percent from the 2000 size.

–From Village of Pinckney Master Plan, May, 2015, pp. 3,10.


Townships of Livingston County

Brighton Township is located on the southeast side of Livingston County, and is within a short driving distance of a number of metropolitan areas such as Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Flint. The Township has the benefit of having access to both I-96 and US-23, making it a logical center for residences and businesses. Benefiting from its desirable location, Brighton is one of Livingston County’s most heavily populated Townships.

–From Brighton Township Master Plan, May 19, 2014, pg. 100.

Cohoctah Township is located at the Northwest quadrant of Livingston County. It is the largest farming community in the county and is very rural in nature.

The quaint burgs of Oak Grove, Cohoctah, and Cohoctah Center, and the Nazarene Campground are the only population centers within the township. Cohoctah was, at one time, a stop on the Howell to Linden stage route. A grain elevator, Post Office, and a gas station are located in Cohoctah.

The population of Cohoctah based upon the 2010 Federal Census was 3,317 individuals.

–from Cohoctah Township website, (, Retrieved 22 June 2015.

Conway Township is in the northwest corner of Livingston County. Conway has the second largest farming population in the county. Its agricultural lands are level to lightly rolling and they support a wide variety of crops as well as animal grazing.

Parts of Conway Township are heavily timbered with grassy openings. The township has few lakes and streams. The good folks in Conway Township want you to know when you come to Conway Township you should expect a lot of smiles. The estimated population of Conway Township for 2002 is 2,988 citizens.

–from Conway Township website, (, Retrieved 22 June 2015.

Deerfield Township is located in the north central portion of Livingston County.  Rolling countryside, dairy farms, woods and fields are some of the images of Deerfield Township.  The township is also noted for the Oak Grove State Game Area.  The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality maintains this wildlife habitat and it has a fine reputation for excellent deer hunting and fishing.  The estimated 2010 population of Deerfield Township is 4,170 citizens.

Genoa Charter Township is located in southeastern Michigan between the cities of Brighton and Howell. The Grand River Avenue corridor and Interstate 96 provide direct access to our business district. The township is centrally and strategically located within 45 miles of Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Flint and Toledo. The township has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.1 km²), of which, 34.2 square miles (88.7 km²) of it is land and 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²) of it (5.78%) is water.

As of the census of 2010, there are 19,281people, 7,807 households, and 5,647 families residing in the township. There are 8,456 housing units. The racial makeup of the township is 96.1% White, 0.6% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.50% from other races, and 1.14% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There are 7,807 households out of which 30.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.3% are married couples living together, 8.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% are non-families. 22.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.2% has someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.54 and the average family size is 2.98.

In the township, the population is spread out with 26.4% under the age of 19, 4.9% from 20 to 24, 22.4% from 25 to 44, 32.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42.7 years.

The median income for a household in the township is $69,862, and the median income for a family is $81,966. Males had a median income of $69,722 versus $42,221 for females. The per capita income for the township is $35,110. About 4.1% of families and 5.7% of the population are below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 2.5% of those age 65 or over.

–from Genoa Township Profile, Retrieved 22 June 2015

Green Oak Charter Township, established in 1835, is located in the Southeast corner of Livingston County. We are bordered by Washtenaw County on the South and Oakland County on the East. US-23 is our main North/South route through the Township and Interstate 96 is close to our Northern border. The school districts of Brighton, Whitmore Lake, and South Lyon serve our residents..

Rolling hills, streams, woodlands, and lakes are plentiful in our township. 20 percent of our township is public parkland. We have the Huron Meadows Metropark and Island Lake State Recreation Area along the Huron River as valued recreational area within our community.

–from Green Oak Charter Township, Retrieved 22 June 2015

Hamburg Township is a civil township of Livingston County in the U.S. State of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the township population was 21,165, making it the largest municipality in Livingston County.

There are 32 named lakes, with numerous smaller ponds, marshes, creeks and streams. Hamburg has a “northern Michigan” vacation land feel while being located in Southeast Michigan within driving distance of Lansing, Detroit, Flint and Ann Arbor.

–from Hamburg Township website, Retrieved 22 June 2015

Handy Township is located in the northwest quadrant of Livingston County.  Early promoters of Livingston County cited Handy Township as a good place for agriculture, noting that it was level, well watered, had few swampy areas and was heavily timbered.  The first settlers came to Handy in 1836.  The area was organized into a township in 1838.  Within the central part of the township, the Village of Fowlerville was platted in 1849 and was incorporated as a village in 1871.

–from Handy Township website, Retrieved 22 June 2015

Founded in 1836, Hartland Township has maintained its small town charm while offering amenities for modern living. Centrally located between Detroit, Lansing, Flint and Ann Arbor, the Township offers direct access to expressways for convenient commutes. The choice of rural, suburban and lake living makes Hartland Township a premier lifestyle option for those working in any of the nearby southeastern Michigan business hubs.

The Township is recognized regionally as one of area’s most welcoming and engaged communities. From the community’s exceptional schools and extensive youth sports programs to a progressive library, beautiful Township parks and an active Senior Center, the Township appeals to all generations.

–from Hartland Township website. Retrieved 22 June 2015.

Howell Township was founded in 1836 and originally included in what is now the Townships of Oceola and Marion and the City of Howell.  In 1960 the population was 1,540 residents.  The 2010 census reported a population of 6,702. The population has been steadily growing with the largest growth between 1970-80 with a 64.8% increase.

The mixture of single and multiple-family residential housing, along with commercial and industrial, as well as farming, creates a comfortable environment to raise a family or conduct business.  Students in Howell Township attend Howell or Fowlerville Schools.

With M-59, Grand River, I-96, the airport and railroad, Howell Township has the advantage of a good industrial, commercial, residential and agricultural mix.  Residents have a choice of housing from high density, to acreage or small lot subdivisions, country estates or farms. All are afforded the close proximity of a variety of shopping and other necessary services.  Plus there is still ample property available in the industrial and commercial areas for further development.

–from Howell Township website. Retrieved 22 June 2015.

Iosco Township is located within the southwest quadrant of Livingston County. Iosco Township was settled in 1835 and organized into a township in 1838. It is the county’s least populated township with 3,801 people according to the 2010 census. Agriculture is a big way of life within the township. Iosco has only one population center, the settlement of Parkers Corners. Farmsteads, churches and cemeteries are dotted across the countryside of Iosco Township.

Historic and Rural Resources

The Township is rich in agricultural and historic resources. Several family farms of different styles still exist, although the amount of land they originally farmed has been reduced.
Iosco Township was settled according to the grid established by the Land Survey System which divided the Township into thirty-six 640-acre sections, 160-acre quarter sections, or 40-acre quarter sections. There are thirty six sections in the Township. Six of these thirty six sections are fractional sections. Most roads followed section lines which formed the basis for the existing roadway network, many of which retain their original rural character of gravel tree lined roads.

The population of the Township in 1900 was 908 people. By 1990, the population had grown to 1,567 people. The 2010 Census population was 3,801 people.

–from Iosco Township website. Retrieved 22 June 2015

Marion Township was first settled in 1833 and is centrally located within Livingston County. It supports a wide variety of agricultural uses such as dairy and beef farms, melon farms, blueberries, corn, and tree nurseries. Marion Township is also composed of diverse landscape features such as plains, ridges and small lakes that drain into three Great Lake drainage basins. The township is the main water supply for the City of Howell. The population in 2010 was 9,996.

Oceola Township is centrally located in Livingston County. The township contains substantial expanses of  farmland upon slightly rolling terrain. More than half of Thompson Lake is located in the southwest corner of  the township. Hundreds of residents located along the shore and visitors to the Howell City Park enjoy this scenic 262 acre, all sports lake.  The 2010 Census population of Oceola Township is 11,936 citizens.

–from Oceola Township website. Retrieved 23 June 2015

Putnam Township is located within the southwest quadrant of Livingston County. The topography of the township is gently rolling to hilly, with two lake chains. Its natural features are preserved in approximately one third of the Township in the Pinckney Recreation Area, Gregory State Game Area, University of Michigan Biological Research Station, Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit and Lakeland Trail which are host to many recreational opportunities such as hiking, swimming, bridle and cross country trails. Putnam Township includes the Village of Pinckney and the hamlet of Hell.

–from Putnam Township website. Retrieved 23 June 2015.

Tyrone Township, first settled in 1834, is located in the northeastern-most corner of Livingston County, Michigan.  Historically, a major Indian trail called the Shiawassee Trail crossed through Tyrone Township as a connection between Detroit and the Shiawassee County community of Shiawasseetown.  Today, the township is a picturesque rural community with rolling hills blended with lakes, golf courses and open spaces.  The census population of Tyrone Township for 2010 was 10,020 citizens.

–from Tyrone Township website. Retrieved 23 June 2015.

Unadilla Township is located at the southwest corner of Livingston County, Michigan.  Unadilla Township is a general law township which includes the unincorporated Villages of Plainfield, Gregory and Unadilla.  The Township Hall is located at 126 Webb Street (one block east of Main Street in the Village of Gregory).  Unadilla Township is located two miles east of Stockbridge and four miles west of Pinckney.  The population of the Township is 3,366 ( 2010 Census).

–from Unadilla Township website. Retrieved 23 June 2015.