Lenawee County, Michigan, Online Resources for Local Information, Cemeteries, and Vital Records

Lenawee County, Michigan, sign post, photograph by Lorelle VanFossenMy West and Farlin family were brought together in Raisin Township, Lenawee County, Michigan.

The term “lenawee” or “lenawai” (Shawnee) cames from the Native American word meaning “man” from the Delaware “leno or lenno”. Lenawee County’s first white settlers were thirty New Yorkers who founded Tecumseh on the River Raisin in May 1824. The Farlin family arrived in the 1820-30s and the West family arrived in the 1840-50s. A railroad between Toledo and Adrian was finished in 1836, opening up the area’s farm land and population to the rest of the world, becoming a leader in agriculture in Michigan. It continues to be agricultural land today, though times for farmers are tough.

Raisin Township, Lenawee, Michigan, the farm land is much as it was 100 years ago, photograph by Lorelle VanFossenMuch of the area remains as it was in the middle to late 1800s, with a few spots where farm land has been converted into subdivisions of homes. It remains far outside of metropolitan and populated areas, so growth and change is slow.

I was surprised to find dirt roads leading to my the homesteads of our ancestors, Farlin and West, still there in wide open fields surrounding old farm houses. At times I could tell when the original farm house and barns remained or where replaced by newer buildings, other times, I couldn’t tell if they’d restored the original farm house or not. I wish I’d had time to knock on doors to find out if anyone still remains and knows of any history from that time. I’ll have to plan that for my next visit.

Lenawee, Michigan, 100 year old homestead signs, photograph by Lorelle VanFossenAs you drive around Lenawee County, you will see occasional signs marking the homestead as being continuously owned by the same family for over 100 years, paying tribute to the areas history.

The Lenawee County Family Researchers Genealogy Society provides local help and research as well as many events and activities around Lenawee County for historians, genealogists, and residents.

Here are some other helpful online resources I’ve found to help with my family history research in the area.

Most Recent Articles by Lorelle VanFossen

About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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