Local History & Genealogy
Local History and Genealogy Collection
The Local History and Genealogy (LHG) Collection was created as a central repository and Saginaw local history library in 1960. Since that time, it has become one of the premier LHG collections in the Midwest, winning the Historical Society of Michigan State History Award in 2017.
The LHG Collection at Hoyt Library serves students and specialists equally well with an array of materials in the fields of genealogy, Saginaw history, and the history of Michigan.
The Collection features many unique and valuable resources on the history of Saginaw, the Saginaw Valley, and the people and families who settled the region. This includes original source materials, diaries, scrapbooks, business ledgers, photographs, as well as over 20,000 books, microforms, and periodicals. The Collection also includes extensive genealogical resources for those researching their family history.
This page highlights some of the materials and services available, but is only a brief introduction to the unique and valuable resources of the LHG Collection. We urge you to call or visit Hoyt Library to work with our knowledgeable and friendly LHG staff to fully utilize our resources.
If you are beginning to research your family tree and this is all new to you, our expert staff will give you direction to get you started. If you are a more experienced genealogist, you will find an extensive array of resources available.
Our Collection focuses on Saginaw County and Michigan records and those areas from where the majority of Michigan's early settlers came. This includes the New England states, Great Lakes states, Eastern Canadian provinces, and some Southern states.
Family History Resources
- Michigan Census: 1820-1930
- (Includes Soundex and Miracode Indexes)
- Other State Census: Miscellaneous Dates
- Ontario Canadian Census: 1861-1911 and Other
- Miscellaneous Years
- Quebec Canadian Census: 1860 and Other
- Miscellaneous Years
- Saginaw Vital Records: 1867-1900
- Saginaw City Burial Records
- Military Records
- Slave Schedules: 1850-1860
The LHG Collection also includes family papers, cemetery readings, ancestry charts, and more!
The LHG Collection includes guides, dictionaries, and resources to help people determine ethnic origin. Materials are available for people of African, Asian, Canadian, European, Hispanic, Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Native American descent.
Whether you are researching a Saginaw history topic in-depth, working on a school assignment, or just wondering about something or someone in Saginaw's history, the LHG staff is ready to help.
Saginaw History Resources
- Saginaw City Directories: 1866-Present
- Saginaw Newspapers (Microfilm): 1853-Present
- Saginaw County Biography Index
- Subject Index File on Saginaw History,
- Business, and Events
- Grant Smith Saginaw Sheet Music Collection
- Willie L. McKether Saginaw African-American
- Oral History Collection o Saginaw Church, School, and Organization
- Histories and Historical Papers
Michigan History Resources
The LHG Collection includes many books and periodicals on Michigan history from prehistoric times to present. Of special interest are the county histories, county atlases, and plat books.
Utilizing the Local History and Genealogy Collection
LHG Collection inquiries are accepted by telephone, email, writing, and in-person. Researchers within driving distance of Hoyt Library are encouraged to visit the LHG Collection in-person to realize the full potential of what the Collection offers. Out-of-area researchers will be best served via phone or email. In addition, many of our online resources can be accessed remotely. The LHG staff will work with you to determine the best method for achieving desired results.
Due to the historical nature of the LHG Collection, all materials in the Collection are restricted to library use only. The materials cannot be borrowed, nor are they available for interlibrary loan. Most materials may be photocopied, but due to the fragile nature of some materials, permission to copy is given on a case-by-case basis.
Materials available in the LHG Collection are listed in our online catalog which can be accessed at www.saginawlibrary.org. The LHG staff is always happy to confer with researchers, novice and expert, to discuss all of the resources available.
Visiting the Local History and Genealogy Collection
Ancestry Library Edition
Bentley Historical Library
City of Saginaw Cemetery Search
Cemetery search tool created and maintained by the Public Libraries of Saginaw with the City of Saginaw.
Collections of the Henry Ford
Detroit Public Library Digital Collections
Find a Grave
Great Lakes Maritime Database
HathiTrust Digital Library
Historic South Jefferson Walking Tour
Interactive map with essays and historic photographs that leads you through the stories of twenty-three sites and their designers. Created and maintained by the Public Libraries of Saginaw.
Historical Detroit Free Press (1831-1922)
Michigana: Sources in U.S. History Online
Native American Records of the National Archives
NewsBank - Saginaw News (1998 to Current)
The Saginaw News is the dominant newspaper and advertising medium in the Saginaw marketplace offering complete local news coverage. This database provides access to articles from 1998 to current.
Index of over 200,000 obituaries from the Saginaw News. Created and maintained by the Public Libraries of Saginaw.
Saginaw City Directories (1866 - 1940)
The Saginaw City Directories Collection contains many of the city directories from the years 1866 to 1936 pertaining to East Saginaw and Saginaw City before consolidation in 1890 and the city of Saginaw after 1890, as well as some listings for local townships. Created and maintained by the Public Libraries of Saginaw.
Saginaw Genealogical Society
A database of historical images and documents from Saginaw County. Created and maintained by the Public Libraries of Saginaw.