Genealogy is the study of ancestors. At the County Clerk's Office one can research family history or family ties through the birth, death, marriage and military documents.
- County Clerk's Office: Research hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm.
- Two hour limit if others request access, exceptions to the rule may be given if from out of state or have made prior arrangements.
- Two people may do research at a time.
- Young children are not allowed in the research area.
- Pencils only may be used while working in our index books.
- Call (616) 632-7640 in advance for additional information.
- Certified copy of death or marriage certificate/additional: $10.00/$3.00.
- Anyone may obtain a copy of a birth record more than 100 years old. If the desired record is less than 100 years old and the individual is deceased, an heir may obtain it by providing a copy of the death certificate. Birth indexes are not open to the public. Staff will assist in birth record searches as time permits.
- The Local History Room at the Grand Rapids Public Library has copies of Kent County marriage and death indexes on microfilm.
When submitting written requests, please include the name(s) of the individual(s) and the date of the event. If the date is unknown, please supply an approximate date. We will search a 5 year window. Please allow 3-4 weeks for us to complete your search.
Birth Certificates are available 1867 to present. Anyone may obtain a copy of a birth record more than 100 years old. If the desired record is less than 100 years old and the individual is deceased, an heir may obtain it by providing a copy of the death certificate. Birth indexes are not open to the public.
Anyone can purchase a death or marriage certificate. Death Certificates are available 1867 to present and Marriage Certificates are 1845 to present.
- Birth, Death, Marriage Certificate Request Form (English)
- Birth, Death, Marriage Certificate Request Form (Spanish)
Divorce Records - 1918 to present
Divorce records are kept at:
Circuit Court Clerk's Office
180 Ottawa NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 632-5480
Some divorce records prior to 1918 are located at:
Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections
East Hall Room 111
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Phone: (616) 387-8490 or (616) 387-3995
Adopted persons searching for their original birth record should contact:
Central Adoption Registry
Family Independence Agency
PO Box 30037
Lansing, MI 48909
State Archives of Michigan has the naturalization/citizenship records for Kent County for 1860 - 1929.
State of Michigan Vital Records - The State of Michigan vital records office has records of births, deaths, and marriages that occurred in Michigan and were filed with the state as early as 1867, and divorce records as early as 1897. You can order a record online, print an application to order by mail or to change a record.
U.S. GenWeb Project Kent County - U.S. Genealogy Web Project Kent County Site. This is a volunteer effort county by county through-out the U.S.
Western Michigan Genealogical Society - Searchable databases including obituary indexes from the Grand Rapids Press and Grand Rapids Herald.
Michigan County Clerks Directory - Contact information for vital records from other Michigan counties.
GENDIS (Genealogical Death Indexing System) - Taken from microfilmed records transcribed by genealogists from Michigan's local genealogical societies, this searchable database contains (as of August 1999) information on 150,000 Michigan death records from 1867-1884, with more records being added regularly.