Find Your Family.
Search our Databases
Brighton District Library offers a variety of ways to learn more about your family. Library staff and volunteers have compiled indexed lists of many of our resources including obituaries, birth and marriage announcements from all existing Brighton Argus, the Livingston County Argus-Dispatch, the Livingston County Daily Press and Argus and the Livingston Daily Press & Argus newspapers from 1880 to the present. Begin exploring our resources by searching one of our indexes below.
Featured Research Resources
The following services are 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.
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.
What do we collect? 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 first Brighton-area celebration of women’s accomplishments occurred in March 2002, when books, photographs and posters of notable women were displayed in the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education meeting room.
The original collection assembled by former school board Secretary Joyce Powers and assistant to the superintendent Sheryl Lohmiller informed, enlightened and inspired the general public.
In March, 2003, the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce and downtown merchants joined the celebration by displaying pictures and details about various women of achievement in their business establishments.
The Women’s History Advisory Council was formed, and seven local women were named to the first Brighton Area Women’s Roll of Honor at the Womenfest event held in the Brighton Center for the Performing Arts.
Since 2003, the Roll of Honor has grown every year and now includes not only notable women from the greater Brighton area, but also girls’ state champion teams from Brighton High School.
–from Livingston Daily Press & Argus, February 24, 2015
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.
FamilySearch.org (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.
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
Michigan-Genealogy.com 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.
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.
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.
Genealogy and History Resources
Men and Pioneers by Everts and Abbots (1880) is available as a downloadable pdf file. 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 FindaGrave.com.
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.
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.
The following three websites are in neighboring counties and contain some Livingston County information.
Cities and Villages of
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.