When doing research in Ionia County, one must remember that the county was not formed until 1833. Before that time, area residents were governed by Kent County. This is why we often find people from the Lowell area with records in both Ionia County and Kent County. Records for the people of the "Dexter Settlement" might be found in Kent County. It is also helpful to know that Montcalm County was originally a part of Ionia County.  

     Ionia County is bordered on the north by Montcalm County, on the south by Barry and Eaton Counties, on the east by Clinton and Gratiot Counties and on the west by Kent County.   If you are having problems locating birth, marriages, deaths or burials, be sure to check out these other counties.

     In later years, when hospitals became more accessible, fewer people were actually dying at home. When an individual dies in a hospital the death record is filed in the county that the death occurred. So. those individuals from Ionia County that died in Grand Rapids, Michigan or in Lansing, Michigan will have death records in Kent County or in Ingham County. Those death records were not always sent back to the original county of the person’s residence. Occasionally, the county clerk of the county where the death occurred would send a courtesy copy to the county court of residence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Family History Help

Heritage Quest Databases Census, genealogy books and more.  Free for Michigan residents. Scans of original documents and photos.  Great free resource!
How to start your family history Information from LDS
Look up volunteers  
Everton's Michigan Research links  
Michigan Genealogy links From Library of Michigan
Free Genealogy Charts  
Free Census Charts  
Ionia History
Misc Data
Photo Album
Sebewa Recollector
Vital Records


Ionia County Resources

Ionia County Places (pdf file) A list of places both current and historical.  (This is a work in progress.  Additions appreciated!)
First Families of Ionia County Includes an index of over 14,000 names
Ionia County Churches List and brief history with contact information
School Location Guide List of one room school locations
Matherton History and Pictorial  
Libraries and Vital Record Repositories  
Microfilm at Ionia Community Library  
Family Histories at Ionia Library  
Portland Centennial Book and Map  

Other Helpful Resources

Canadian Genealogical Research  
List of Michigan Townships  
Native Americans Michigan Native American Resources
USGenWeb Michigan Archives  
USGenWeb Search Engine  

Historical and Genealogical Societies

Boston-Saranac Historical Society  
Clarksville-Campbell Historical Society  
Clinton County Historical Society Archives  
Common Corners Covers West Michigan
Hubbardston Area Historical Society  
Ionia County Genealogical Society
     Project Volunteers
Ionia County Historical Society  
Lake Odessa Area Historical Society  
Lyons Muir Historical Society  
Michigan Genealogical Council  
Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society  
Western Michigan Genealogical Society  
Ionia County Mailing List  
Belding Mailing List  

Ionia County Local Links

Ionia County Webpage  
Lake Odessa  
Otisco Township  


Alvah N Belding Memorial Library  
Clarksville Area Library  
Ionia Community Library  
Lake Odessa Community Library  
Lyons Township District Library  
Palo Community School District Public Library  
Portland District Library  
Saranac Public Library  
Clarke Historical Library  
Grand Rapids Public Library  
Library of Michigan  
Michigan Archives  

GenWeb Links

Barry County GenWeb  
Clinton County GenWeb  
Eaton County GenWeb  
Gratiot County GenWeb  
Kent County GenWeb  
Montcalm County GenWeb  
MIGenWeb Archives  

State and National Links

ALHN Michigan  
Daughters of the Union Civil War  
Michigan Back Roads  
Michigan Family History Network  
National Society United States Daughters of 1812  


Revised: August 22, 2017
Site Coordinator: Wayne Summers