VanBuren County Michigan
Proud to be
an American

        Welcome to The
   Van Buren Co., Michigan
     USGenWeb Project

Photo of Main four corners in Paw Paw taken in 1910 while they were watering the streets.
While sitting at the main four waiting for the light to change - looks almost the same today



         Van Buren Co., MIGenWeb Project

 In March and April, 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Michigan Comprehensive Genealogy Database. The idea was to provide a single entry point for all counties in Michigan, where collected databases would be stored. In addition, the databases would be indexed and cross-linked, so that even if an individual were found in more than one county, they could be located in the index.  At the same time, volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate the collection of databases and generally oversee the contents of the web page. My name is Joan Jaco and I'm responsible for Van Buren county. Please contact me if you would like to contribute to this database. This page is now sponsored by the  Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society We would like to see this page grow and welcome any contributions of information  to add to our pages.  If you would like to host a Michigan county, please contact  Jan Cortez.  Please visit the  MIGenWeb   page for a lot of good links.   To learn more about the USGenWeb Project read this disclaimer

Search All Files on the Website

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 Search the USGenWeb project with one search


Van Buren RootsWeb Message Boards

To post a new query or view new queries submitted

You may post your Queries, Obits, Bible Records, Bios, Deeds, Pensions and Wills on the RootsWeb Message Boards.  Remember to search these boards, you must search using  the RootsWeb Message Board Search Engine, or go directly to the Message Boards and search from there.
You may  view  queries that have been posted to the Van Buren Query board previously using the links below.   Using the above Search Engine (Free Find or RootsWeb)  will also find any names on the Van Buren query pages.

 Van Buren Queries 1999
 Van Buren Queries 1998
    Van Buren Queries 1996-7

I've added a Guestbook for this site - Be sure and sign it!

VBRGS is now on


VBRGS Southwest Michigan Genealogy

Thanks to
Melissa Green Zagrzebski
for becoming the administrator
for this open group

The Van Buren Regional Genealocial Society
now has a new web site

Thanks to Joyce Beedie for all her hard work!


"Southwest Michigan Local History and Genealogy Blog"
sponsored by the
                   Van Buren District Library
With postings at least twice a week, this blog  focuses on
genealogy and local history resources, upcoming events,
case studies, frequently asked questions, new acquisitions,
collection highlights and research tips as they pertain to the
Local History Collection housed at the library.  Also
is news of a general nature, as well as of specific
interest to anyone researching in the Southwest Michigan
counties of Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph
& Van Buren.

In 1985 Leonard Lee from Breedsville gave an oral history of growing up in Breedsville.
These tapes have been transcribed and can now be viewed here

Search the updated Southwest Michigan Obituary Index in the free Member and Institutional Collections beta site.

This Index now has over 118,000 entries


Page 2 of Obituaries
Obits that have been posted to this site

Van Buren Cemeteries

Arlington Hill Cemetery
Vi Peterson is doing a walk through transcription of graves of the cemetery
I will continue to update as new graves are added to the database
Thank you Vi

New Cemetery Database
Eleven Van Buren Cemeteries are now on-line

Paw Paw Township listing of burials in Wildey, Cuddeback and Prospect Hill Cemeteries

Burials - A - F
Burials - G - M
Burials  N - S
Burials T - Z

CU = Cuddeback
PR = Prospect
WI = Wildey

off site link in PDF format

Keeler Cemetery
Tombstone Photos - taken and submitted by Jim Smith
(This is not a complete listing of Keeler Cemetery)

Geneva Township  and Cemetery Pages
Lacota, Chambers and Monks Cemeteries
Thanks to Karen Clinard and Norman Funk for this site!

Teresa has sent me a link to her Web Page with lots of great Van Buren pictures of Schools, Cemeteries,
Town Halls, Churches, etc. - Other Michigan pages also
Be sure and check out this great site!

Van Buren Co., Michigan
Tombstone Photos and Data

Susan M Householder Smith has started
a Web Page with photos and information
on several Van Buren cemeteries.
Thanks to Vi Peterson for providing the photos.

 View Karen Clinard's  Bangor Twp. cemeteries (Southard, Van Auken, Thomas & Taylor) on

Van Buren County Michigan
Death Index 1935 - 1945
Transcribed by Donna Goble of Tucson, Arizona

Michigan Death Records
The Library of Michigan has put on line
1 million digitized death records covering the years 1897 through 1920

Michigan Deaths before 1897
Michigan Death Index

 Van Buren County Births 1867-1871
This is now off-site -  search engine will not find names

Van Buren Co., MI Marriages
                 A database of Marriages for Van Buren Co. that has been compiled by
Jack and Marianne Dibean.  Please contact them at  [email protected]  if you have corrections, additions or questions.
I would like to Thank them for sharing this database with us.

Index of Dibean Marriage's for Van Buren Co., MI

Dibean Marriages for Van Buren - Michigan Archives
This is a more recent database

The Dibean Marriages for Michigan
An index to the counties that are online

Van Buren County Newspaper Index Pages
 Decatur and Bangor Papers
South Haven   Marcellus News
 Paw Paw Newspapers

New files have been added for the South Haven Messenger
My thanks to Roger Cobb for indexing them!

Gobles Newspapers
Several years of the Gobles Newspapers are on line

Excerpts from Bangor Newspapers
  Submitted by James W. DeHaven
  James DeHaven graciously sent us this file of excerpts that he copied from microfilms of the old
   Bangor newspapers while looking for selected genealogy information.  He concentrated on the
          greater DeHaven family but many friends and/or distant relatives are included.

 Yesterday's News
            Tidbits from Old Newspapers

Michiana Genealogical Index”

An index of over 900,000 names that were compiled by Mr. Norbert Cramer of St. Joseph, Michigan
and hosted by the South Bend Area Genealogical Society website

 1820 Census for the entire territory of Michigan
 1830 Census for the entire territory of Michigan
1830 Census for Van Buren Co.
1840 Allegan Co. Census Index
1850 Allegan Co. Census
1850 Allegan Co., Census
Transcribed by
Mary Lou Barrett
1860 Allegan Co. Census Index  
1850 Van Buren Census Index
   1850 Van Buren Census
Van Buren Census Transcribed by Mary Lou Barrett
1870 Michigan Census Index
Actual Images now On-line
   1870 Van Buren Co., Michigan - All Name Index
1880 US Census now online at:

  Van Buren Townships

 Antwerp Township Pages
Submitted by Gary Beam

Emma Thornburg Sefcik has just put a wonderful History of Hartford website on line.
Pearls in our Past

Some of the features she has added are a searchable Hartford High School Graduate Database
A Military Database with photos
Many Interesting photos
Check it out - She's done a great job!

Decatur, Michigan
Grace Weeks Photo Collection

Breedsville, Michigan
 I've added lots of old pictures of Breedsville

Lacota, Michigan
Lots of wonderful pictures and personal data
submitted by Jerry Clark -
[email protected]
 In Memory of Letha Culver
Letha was a member of the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society

Interesting New Website

MIGenWeb Family Group Sheet Collection

Van Buren Family Group Sheets

 Biographies of Van Buren Citizens - 1912
              Complete Book is now on-line

Ray Brown who hosts Rays Place -
has started posting biographical sketches of people from Van Buren County
that are listed in the 1880 History Book.

Philo M. Brown
This bio was sent to me by Michalene Cardella - [email protected]

Joseph Woodman Biography

Southwestern Michigan Military Register

1894 Veteran's Census for Van Buren Michigan

Van Buren Michigan Spanish America War
1898 Veterans

        Michigan One Room Schools

A database of Michigan One Room Schools
compiled by Bess Britton

A listing of the School Yearbooks in the collection at the Decatur Library

Pine Grove School 1893

Van Auken School - Bangor Twp. - 1918

The Following Pictures were submitted by Larry Kelly - [email protected]
Mattawan Football Team - 1967
Mattawan 4th Grade - 1961-1962
Mattawan 6th Grade - 1963-1964

Johnstown School - 1953

Decatur School - 1933

Mattawan Consolidated School Picture

Bangor Public School ca 1911

Wildy School - Paw Paw, MI

Waverly Township
Dayton School Card - 1898
Submited by Michalene Cardella - [email protected]

Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society
Echoes Index

Complete list of Holding of the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society
 at Webster Memorial Library

                         Searchable Database of Genealogy Holdings of Webster Memorial Library

A list of Directories in the Webster Memorial Library

A list of Plat Books in the Webster Memorial Library

A list of  Telephone Directories in the Webster Memorial Library

A listing of Surnames and their submitters

A Ba  Bm C Co  D
F G H Hi I  J
  K   L    N O P Q R Sa Sm T U V

  W    X   Y  

 Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society Surname Index

       Van Buren Links
 Van Buren County Community Center
Michigan Maritime Museum
    Van Buren County Lookups
Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society
 Van Buren District Library
          Van Buren County Clerk
   Pioneer Certificates - Awarded - Van Buren, Cass, Allegan, Berrien&KalamazooCounties
Pioneer Certificate Information - Van Buren, Cass, Allegan,Berrien & Kalamazoo Counties
                    Gobles Baptist Sunday School Cradle Roll
         A listing of Place Names for Allegan, Cass, Berrien, Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties
 Van Buren Co., MI -- General Land Office Records - 1807-1907
Michigan General Land Office Records
Van Buren Archives
Van Buren Co., MI Tombstone Transcription & Photo Project
Van Buren County Poorhoue & Museum
Van Buren AHLN
Van Buren Map
1873 Van Buren Map
1895 Van Buren Maps
Site also has individual township maps

Can you identify any of these?

Phyllis Wenban has sent some Pictures for identification.
Take a look at her photos and see if you can help her.


South Haven Baseball Team

Charlie Thompson Family
Janie and Lizzie Thompson
Photos were submitted by Lucy

Daniel Adams
Submitted by Rebecca Palmer

Karen Clinard's Photo Album
Unidentified pictures of Clinard, Cushman, Dillman, Funk & families

Cathy Sisson's Photo Album
Photos of Jillson, Newton, Henry & Cogswell

Photo of James Franklin Lee and wife Emily Willis Lee
An early photo of J. Frank Lee and wife Emily
submitted by Tracie Gross-Ott - [email protected]

Hogmire - Raum - Langs Photo Pages
Chris Corstage  [email protected] has sent me photos for identification

South Haven Camp Fires Girls

Unidentified Photos from the Green Family Album
The Green Family from Randolph County, Indiana
Please take a look and help us identify these people

Can you Identify this picture of a possible Ice House as a Bangor Picture?

Pictures sent to me by Steven Benton for identification
 These photos are from an album that belonged to
his great grandmother, Luria Edick.  Her parents were James Salisbury and
Marion Clark.  James was born in Kalamazoo County and Marion in Van Buren
County.  They were married in Mattawan in 1873 and resided in Goblesville.
Some time during the 1880s they moved to Muskegon County.  Pictures were probably taken in the 1880's.
Gobles 1
Gobles 2
Gobles 3
Paw Paw
Identified as Benjamin Richard Clark and Julia Etta Bliss Clark
Please contact Steven at [email protected]  if you can identify any of them

Two Breedsville Girls cared for by Moses and Annie (Hudson) McNees
Ida Os
Possible Ryther Family??
          Reunion of Pinery School, 1924
J. Frank Lee, Bangor,MI - Heaviest Living Veteran of Civil War
Wildy School - Paw Paw, MI
George Bush Family from Gobles
Alton Clark and Group Possibly from Almena or Antwerp Twp.
Mary Elizabeth {Hice} Perkins and Grandchildren
Bloomingdale Loyal Sons
       Daughters of William Henry Havens (1829-1892)  and Jane Lewis Havens
of Keeler, Van Buren Co., MI
  Rosevelt House - Keeler, MI
     Sarah Wells Olds - Mary Havens Rosevelt - Frank Rosevelt - Keeler, MI
                         Unidentified Photos #4 Possibly Identified
South Haven Pier in Winter - Van Buren
Multimag  - Van Buren Towns
A great site for current pictures of Van Buren towns
         Listing of Photographs on File in VBRGS Library   

Diane Dublin has sent me the following link, which includes letters written by John S. Malbone. He was the original owner of the Malbone Hardware and Furniture Company in South Haven, MI:  Index - Malbone Family Letters (1907 - 1938)

She also has contributed the following link, which highlights the photography of Mr. David Cares Moyer. He was one of the proprietors of the Moyer and Hopkins Photographic Studio, which was located at 319 Center St., in South Haven, MI:
D C Moyer,  Photographer

Below is a website address for a Letter by Jehiel Hull Baker to Dan Fay's GGgrandmother Mollie B. Southwick/Fay. Jehiel's twin brother was John Randolph Baker. John Baker  was a lawyer/district attorney in Lawrence and Paw Paw during ~1840's to 1873. He supposedly surveyed Lawrence and at one time owned the property where the village square is in Paw Paw.

An update submitted by Dan - filling in numerous gaps with names and places

Sumitted by
Dan Fay, Wyandotte, Mi.

Van Buren County Mailing List

    To subscribe to the list send an e-mail to  [email protected] with the word

subscribe in the body of the message.
To subscribe to the digest mode send an e-mail to
[email protected]  with the word subscribe in the body of the message.
For questions contact    Joan Jaco  -List-Owner

Publications and Services

VBRGS Publications

Bangor Pictorial History
Bob Emmert has put on a great Web Page describing the Pictorial History Book titled, "Bangor: Our History In Photographs" that Bangor is working on.  There are some wonderful old pictures of Bangor on the site along with information on the photos.  There are also requests for help finding some of these old photos and identification on some of them.  The site is
While at the site be sure and look at the  Family Portraits

 “Reminiscing With Pearl Playford, Columns From The Watervliet Record 1959-1966”
A new book published by Rick Russell
To learn more about this book, read pages from it, or order it, go to:

You may now obtain this book at no charge by having it emailed to you - A Column-A-Day - See above URL

 Regional Links

 Allegan County MIGenWeb
Allegan Co. Marriages
Berrien County MIGenWeb
 Berrien County Genealogy Project
   Berrien County Genealogical Society
Cass County MIGenWeb
     Cass County Vital Records Index        
 Kalamazoo County MIGenWeb
Kalamazoo Gazette Index
Kalamazoo County Vital Records - actual records - great site
Fort Custer National Cemetery
Historical Association of South Haven

Michigan Links
 Michigan USGenWeb
Michigan Death Index
Michigan Vital Records Site
Michigan Newspapers Online
     People of Color - Michigan - African American Genealogy
Tombstone Transcription Project
Michigan Archives
Michigan General Land Office Records
1830 Michigan Territory Map
Michigan ALHN County List
Library of Michigan Cemetery Listing
       Michigan Place Names
Historical Society of Michigan

Helpful Links
Grand Army of the Republic Records Project  Great Site - New
Michigan Regimental Rosters
Civil War Grave Registrations
Address and Phone Numbers of VA National Cemeteries
U.S. Military Personnel From Michigan who Died From Hostile Action (Including
Missing and Captured) In The Korean War, 1950-1957
MIA/POW Information
Native American Research   New
Looking for a Funeral Home?
 US Land & Property Research Online Class,  instructed by Bill Utterback
International Internet Genealogical Society University
 Bureau of Land Management - Eastern States, General Land Office
Geographic Names Information System -United States and Territories
The American Local History Network
RootsWeb WorldConnect Project
RootsWeb's SSDI
RootsWeb's Soundex Converter
          Deciphering Old Handwriting
The Obituary Links Page
Birthdate Calculator
10,000 Year Calendar
       Historical Maps of the United States
Cemetery Plaques & Flag Holders
Dowsing for Graves

USGenWeb Page
USGenWeb Archives
International Homepages at RootsWeb

In Memory of
Ila Mae Mitchell
who passed away September 28 2013
Ila was a long time member of the society serving on its board of directors as well as   
contributing her time and talents to many society and local history projects.

In Memory of
Gerald "Jerry" Phillips
who died August 30, 2013
Jerry spent many hours volunteering in the library.

In Memory of Toni Irene (Jackson) Benson
October 25, 1962 - July 5, 2013
We will miss you dear friend!

In Memory of
Ann Burton
who passed away
June 25, 2012

In Memory of
Nancy Corwin
October 15, 2011
Nancy was responsible for many of the books that were Indexed for VBRGS

In Memory of
June Treat
who passed away October 18, 2005
June was a VBRGS member
and will be sadly missed

In Loving Memory of
Charles 'Andy' Burleson
who passed away
 Monday, Dec. 22, 2003

Andy was a VBRGS member and on the committee
for the "Van Buren Co. MI Pictorial History".
He will be greatly missed!

In Memory of
Michael D. "Mike" Case
who passed away
September 3, 2009

Mike spent many hours indexing WWII veterans for our upcoming book.

Thanks to Vicki for the above photo

Joan Jaco /Breedsville, Michigan /[email protected]
This page was last updated 26 Feb 2014

Copyright 2004-2014 by Joan Jaco

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