Click on the pictures above to go to the next section. In the below section, click on the highlighted letters

Revised 27 December 2010


France maintained an outpost in Detroit in the region of Michigan from very early on, however French domination ended in 1763, when a British victory in the French and Indian Wars finally forced the French to cede Michigan along with the remainder of Canada and the Great Lakes to their victors.  Even with end of the war the Native American factions continued to battle against the American settlers, attacking Great Lakes outposts even to to the borders of New York before they were finally brought under control.

When the American Revolution started, the British used these same Native American factions to battle against the settlers in Ohio and western Pennsylvania and in fact, the British encouraged these raids.  Although the Michigan area was deemed part of the United States at the end of the Revolutionary War, the British continued to rule the area until 1796.  This area became a further issue in the subsequent War of 1812.  With the support of the Native American tribes, the British forces took control of the area from Mackinac Island to Detroit.  They retained control of the area until the following year, at which time the American colonials scored major naval victories on Lake Erie and the Thames River in Canada and finally restored Michigan to the Union.

Upon return to the United states, the settlers rapidly poured into the area via the upper Great Lakes, which were traversed by steam ships as early as 1818 when settlers came to participate in the first public land sales, and the grand opening of New York's Erie Canal, which occurred in 1825.  The earliest wave of settlers came in from New England, as early as 1796.  

Following the construction of the territorial road through the Kalamazoo Valley in 1829, many New Englanders began arriving in the Jackson, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and Allegan counties.  After that, they moved into the Saginaw valley and the counties of Shiwassee, Saginaw and Bay began obtaining residents.  By 1840, the immigration   had extended settlement to about half of the southern Peninsula, bringing settlers from New York, the New England sections and from Germany.  From 1840 to 1890, lumber camps and mining camps drew even more settlers.  The man power came from such diverse areas as Canada, Ireland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Wales, Poland, Italy and England, and brought also tin miners from Cornwall, England.  Religious refugees from Holland came into the Grand Rapids area and the Western coast of the state.  

Michigan's borders continued to be an issue.  by 1834, the Michigan Territory included lands as far west as the Missouri River.  It's request to become a state was also complicated by a territorial dispute with Ohio as to an area known as the Toledo Strip.  There was also an issue of whether it would be a slave state or a free state.  A compromise on the issue was resolved by allowing Arkansas to be admitted as a slave state, while Michigan would be admitted as a free state.  Ohio was given the Toledo Strip as consolation and Michigan received a new piece of territory known as the Upper Peninsula, which was created from the New Wisconsin Territory.  Michigan became our 26th state on 26 January 1837.  

Many of the Michigan counties had their names changed in 1843, in what was called the "Great Renaming."  I have no idea what necessitated all of these name changes, perhaps someone would care to enlighten me.

Name Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Aishcum (see Lake) 1840 Changed to Lake in 1843
Alcona 1869 Alpena, Cheboygan Harrisville
Alger 1855 Schoolcraft Munising
Allegan 1835 Kalamazoo Allegan
Alpena 1857 Cheboygan Alpena
Anamickee (See Alpena) 1831 renamed Alpena in 1843
Antrim 1863 Grand Traverse Bellaire
Arenac 1883 Bay, Saginaw Standish
Baraga 1875 Houghton L'Anse
Barry 1839 St. Joseph, Kalamazoo Hastings
Bay 1857 Saginaw, Midland Bay City
Benzie 1869 Grand Traverse, Lelanau Beulah
Berrien 1831 Cass St. Joseph
Bleeker (See Menominee) 1861 renamed Menominee 1863
Branch 1833 St. Joseph, Lenawee Coldwater
Calhoun 1833 St. Joseph, Kalamazoo Marshall
Cass 1829 Lanawee Cassopolis
Charlevoix 1869 Emmet Charlevoix
Cheboygan 1853 Mackinac Cheboygan
Chenoquet (See Montmorency) 1840 renamed Montmorency in 1843
Chippewa 1826 Mackinac Sault Ste. Marie
Clare 1871 Isabella, Midland, Mecosta Harrison
Clinton 1839 Shiawassee, Kent St. Johns
Crawford 1869 Cheboygan, Antrim, Kalkaska Grayling
Delta 1861 Mackinac Escanbe
Des Moines 1834 Discontinued after 1834
Eaton 1837 St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Calhoun Charlotte
Emmet 1853 Mackinac Petoskey
Genessee 1836 Oakland Flint
Gladwin 1875 Saginaw, Midland, Ontonagon Bessemer
Grand Traverse 1851 Mackinac Traverse City
Gratiot 1855 Saginaw, Clinton Ithaca
Hillsdale 1835 Lenawee Hillsdale
Houghton 1848 Chippewa Houghton
Huron 1840 Saginaw, St. Clair, Sanilac Bad Axe
Ingham 1838 Washtenaw, Jackson Mason
Ionia 1837 Kent Ionia
Iosco 1857 Saginaw, Cheboygan Tawas City
Iron 1855 Marquette, Menominee Crystal Falls
Isabella 1859 Saginaw, Midland Mt. Pleasant
Isle Royale 1875 Eliminated in 1897 and became part of Keweenaw County.
Jackson 1832 Washtenaw Jackson
Kalamazoo 1830 St. Joseph Kalamazoo
Kalkaska 1871 Grand Traverse, Antrim Kalkaska
Kanotin (See Iosco) 1840 Name Changed to Iosco
Kautawaubet (See Wexford) 1840 name changed to Wexford in 1843
Kaykakee (See Clair) 1840 Name changed to Clair in 1843
Kent 1836 Kalamazoo Grand Rapids
Keweenaw 1861 Houghton Eagle River
Lake 1871 Oceana, Mason, Newaygo Baldwin
Lapeer 1835 Oakland Lapeer
Leelanau 1863 Grand Traverse Leland
Lenawee 1826 Wayne Adrian
Livingston 1836 Shiawassee, Washtenaw Howell
Luce 1887 Chippewa, Mackinac Newberry
Mackinac 1818 Wayne an the French (originally called Michilimackinac.  Name changed in 1849) St. Ignace
Macomb 1818 Wayne Mt. Clemens
Manistee 1855 Mackinac, Ottawa, Oceana, Grand Traverse Manistee
Manitou 1855 Disbanded in 1895
Marquette 1848 Chippewa, Houghton Marquette
Mason 1855 Ottawa, Oceana Ludington
Mecosta 1859 Kent, Newaygo Big Rapids
Meegisee (see Antrim) 1840 Renamed Antrim in 1843
Menominee 1861 Marquette (originally known as Bleeker) Menominee
Midland 1850 Saginaw Midland
Michilmackinac (See Mackinac) 1818 Shortened to Mackinac in 1843
Mikenauk (See Roscommon) 1840 Renamed Roscommon in 1843
Missaukee 1871 Antrim, Grand Traverse Lake City
Monroe 1817 Wayne Monroe
Montcalm 1850 Iona Stanton
Montmorency 1881 Cheboygan, Alpena Atlantic
Muskegon 1859 Ottawa Muskegon
Neewago (See Alcona) 1840 Renamed Alcona in 1843
Newaygo 1851 Kent, Muskegon, Oceana White Cloud
Notipekago (see Mason) 1840 Renamed Mason in 1843
Oakland 1820 Wayne Pontiac
Oceana 1851 Ottawa Hart
Ogemaw 1875 Cheboygan, Midland, Iosco West Branch
Okkuddo (see Otsego) 1840 Name changed to Otsego in 1843
Ontonagon 1848 Chippewa, Houghton Ontonagon
Osceola 1869 Mason, Newaygo, Mecosta Reed City
Oscoda 1881 Cheboygan, Alpena, Alcona Mio
Otsego 1875 Mackinac, Alpena, Cheboygan, Antrim Gaylord
Ottawa 1837 Kent Grand Haven
Presque Isle 1871 Mackinac Rogers City
Reshkauko (see Charlevoix) 1840 Renamed Charlevoix in 1843
Roscommon 1875 Cheboygan, Midland Roscommon
Saginaw 1835 Oakland Saginaw
Shawano (see Crawford) Renamed Crawford in 1843
St. Clair 1820 Wayne Port Huron
St. Joseph 1829 Wayne Centreville
Sanilac 1848 Oakland, St. Clair, Lapeer Sandusky
Schoolcraft 1871 Chippewa, Houghton, Marquette Manistique
Shiawassee 1837 Oakland, Genessee Corunna
Tonedagana (See Emmet) 1840 Renamed  to Emmet in 1843
Tuscola 1850 Saginaw Caro
Unwattin (See Osceola) 1840 Renamed Osceola in 1843
Van Buren 1837 Cass Paw Paw
Wabassee (See Kalkaska) 1840 Renamed Kalkaska in 1843
Washtenaw 1826 Wayne Ann Arbor
Wayne 1796 Original County Detroit
Wexford 1869 Manistee Cadillac