Deeds and Land Records



1906 Ionia County Plat Map - Loads of information including the date the person came to the county, their occupation, and in some instances, name of spouse. Pictures of some are also available.  Many thanks to Cindy Bryant for all of her work in getting this information transcribed from the atlas! 

Here is a website that will help you to understand land grants and deeds.

Eastern States Bureau of Land Management -


General Information

Michigan has just one meridian dividing the state into east and west, and one baseline from which the townships are numbered north and south.

The state meridian, starting at the Ohio state line, is the county line between Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties. As it moves north, it runs inside several counties, but can also be found as the county line between the following pairs of counties: Clinton-Shiawassee, Gratiot-Saginaw, Roscommon-Ogemaw, Crawford-Oscoda and Otsego-Montmorency.

The first township east of the meridian is Range 1 East (or R1E), and they're numbered consecutively from there. Some townships contain all or part of more than one "survey township," but the numbering system is uninterrupted regardless of legal township names or boundaries.

The state baseline is a lot easier. It's Eight Mile Road in the Detroit area, also the northern county line of Wayne County. This line runs all the way across the state as the northern county line of the following counties: Wayne, Washtenaw, Jackson, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren.

The first township north of the baseline is Township 1 North (or T1N).

The system is generally written "township" (north or south) then "range" (west or east).

Each standard "survey township" is six miles by six miles (36 square mile sections), so you can use townships to roughly estimate distances. Somerset Twp. (T5S, R1W) in Hillsdale County is just west of the meridian and about 24 miles south of the baseline (there are 4 survey townships between it and the baseline). The northeast point of Isle Royale is in T67N, R33W, or about 396 miles north of the baseline and 192 miles west of the meridian.

So, in Kent County, Bowne Township in the southeast corner is T5N, R9W, and the other townships would be numbered to the west and north from there.

Tom Kephart
Executive Producer, Kephart & Associates (
Editor & Publisher, BLUEWATERTODAY.COM (
County Coordinator, St. Clair Genealogy/MIGenWeb



Last update 1/5/2008