GLADWIN COUNTY MICHIGAN
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Gladwin County is located in the Northeast Central Section of Michigan's Lower Peninsula.
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Founded on 2 March 1831, Gladwin County covers about 550 square miles of prime farmland, woodlands and excellent lakes for fishing and water sports. Known for its beautiful rivers, lakes and woods, the history of Gladwin County is closely linked to the lumber industry in central Michigan. The Ojibway (Chippewa) were the original inhabitants of the Saginaw valley. Then came the voyageurs, hunters and trappers who were lured by the abundant game and easily navigable rivers.
In the early 19th century, the
county started to be settled by pioneer families migrating from the south and
east, the ethnic diversity of this county, like many of our neighbors, focused
on the immigrants from the British isles, Quebec, Ontario, Germany, the
Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia. In recent years, several Amish families
emigrated into the county. The county reported a population in 1994 of
For those in search of records pre-1870, a little history may help you locate the records you hope to find. Before 1831, Gladwin belonged to the neighboring counties of Saginaw and Midland. During the period when Michigan was awaiting Congressional acceptance of its petition for statehood, there were few permanent records for the county, and even fewer people able to maintain the records. Most marriages, births and deaths from the era will be documented by missionaries who travelled the region. There were several special census enumerations between 1830 and 1837, but the records for this part of the state are quite sketchy. The lumber industry hit the Saginaw valley in the 1850s and over the next twenty years there was a massive influx of young, strong pioneers here to not only participate in the deforestation of the region, but also to turn the cleared land into healthy, productive farmland.
It was not until 1870 that record keeping standards were implemented on a statewide basis. If you are researching ancestors from that early pioneer era, it is advisable to search out religious records and both federal and state census records, as there are very few local records available.
The county was named for the 18th century British Commander of Detroit, Henry Gladwin. The town of Gladwin serves as the county seat, with Beaverton being the other main town in the county.
SNIPPETS FROM THE GLADWIN COUNTY RECORD
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