Local History & Genealogy

Loutit District Library is committed to preserving the unique history of the Tri-Cities, which includes Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg, and surrounding areas.

Local History Experts

We have a large collection of materials for your local history/genealogy research and computer stations with multiple databases to explore. Ottawa County is rich with Dutch heritage! Our staff is familiar with the peculiarities of Dutch genealogy and can help with your research. We look forward to helping you find those missing links in your family tree. “A-HA” moments are our specialty! For staff assistance, call 616-850-6925. COVID-19 update: Please note the room’s new hours — Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

New to Genealogy? Been at it awhile? Need help? Have something to share? Join Jeanette Weiden and other local family historians to discuss all things genealogy.

Second Monday of every month 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

If you would like to join virtually, email jweiden@loutitlibrary.org for the Zoom meeting link.

Join our Loutit District Library Genealogy Facebook group.

Genealogy Resources

Ancestry

Discover your story in the world’s largest online resource for your family history and historical records.

Fold3

Fold3 provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served.

MyHeritage

MyHeritage provides access to a library of historical records and an internationally diverse collection of family trees.

Newspapers.com

Search for obituaries, marriage announcements, birth announcements, social pages, local sports action, advertisements, news articles, and more in the largest online newspaper archive.

HeritageHub

Explore your family history with the premier collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research, 1704 – today.

HeritageQuest

Search city directories, census map guides, US Indian census rolls, mortality schedules, agricultural and industrial schedules, and US Freedman’s Bank Records, 1861-1875.

Digital Archives

When you visit the Local History and Genealogy Department, you’ll find a wealth of materials. We’re working hard to digitize many of these materials to make them available from our website. Please be patient while we work to bring them to you.

Additional Information

In-House Research Queries

Our staff will provide friendly guidance in your research, but we are not able do your research for you. If you’re just getting started in genealogy, we recommend that you visit the Information Desk in the Adult Wing. The staff there can locate books for you to check out and read to become familiar with doing genealogy.

Many of the materials in the Local History and Genealogy Department are rare and fragile. Visitors are asked to check their bags, purses, and jackets at the door and store them in a locker. Pencil (no pens, please), paper, and your research materials are allowed in the Department.

Remote Research Queries

We are always happy to assist you with your research! We encourage you to visit us but realize a special trip to Grand Haven may not be possible. We can email, mail, or fax information to you, but if your research requires excessive staff time and postage, we will charge a small fee. Payment must be received before the information requested can be sent to you. Please be mindful that we need to give priority to patrons who walk in the door. We’ll handle your request as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience! Call or email Jeanette Weiden at 616.850.6925 or jweiden@loutitlibrary.org.