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A Finding Aid for the West Michigan Cemeteries Project Collection 1973-1987

Collection Summary

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Creator: Wright, Lillian, 1901-1984.

Title: West Michigan Cemeteries Project Collection

Identification: MSS-17

Date [inclusive]: 1973-1987

Extent: 1.5 Cubic feet

General Physical Description Note: 1 box.

Language: English

Abstract: This collection contains information relating to cemeteries in Grand Traverse, Mecosta, and Ionia counties in Michigan as compiled by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The cemeteries of Mecosta County were each plotted out individually, with each gravestone being recorded by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In Ionia County the Palo Cemetery was researched by an unknown individual, and includes census information from several years, and brief biographies of several individuals buried in the cemetery. The Grand Traverse Area genealogical Society compiled documentation of two cemeteries and consists of legal records.

Preferred Citation Note: Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. West Michigan Cemeteries Project Collection. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Biographical/Historical Note

This collection of cemetery related materials are the result of multiple projects by private organizations. The material from Mecosta County was gathered as part of a project by the Big Rapids chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution between 1973-1982. The Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society (Grand Traverse county) put together the information relating to Grand Traverse cemeteries. Little is known about the history of the individual projects.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection can be used to research west Michigan Cemeteries and selected history of the surrounding communities. Many of the cemetery records include maps, as well as plot information. Different projects have gathered different sets of information as detailed below. The Grand Traverse Records contain legal documents, a grave plot map, and grave registry for Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City. These records are believed to be photocopies of the official grave registry of the cemetery. The maps detail the original cemetery and each addition subsequently made. The Grand Traverse records also contain information on Bagley Cemetery, including legal documents, a plot map, and a hand drawn map to the cemetery.

The Ionia county cemetery records contain information regarding Palo (Palo Baptist) Cemetery. Included are biographies of individuals buried there and a brief history of the church and the area. Census information for many buried there and their families also is included.

The Mecosta County cemetery records include plot listings and locations for 34 Mecosta County Cemeteries. Also included are brief histories of each cemetery and driving directions to the cemetery. The Mecosta County records are far more extensive then the other two series and include most of the cemeteries within the county.

Arrangement Note

The West Michigan Cemeteries Project is arranged into three series:

  1. Mecosta County
  2. Ionia County
  3. Grand Traverse County

These series are the three counties represented within the collection.

Administrative Information

Publication Information:

Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program. 1-26-2010.

Conditions Governing Access Note:

The West Michigan Cemeteries Project Collection is open to all researchers in accordance with the University Archives and Records Management access policies. Copyrights to the West Michigan Cemeteries Project Collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. All copyrights to non-Ferris materials found in the collection are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Any questions concerning rights should be directed to the University Archivist.

Conditions Governing Use Note:

This collection is open for research. Reproduction is allowed with permission of the University Archivist.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note:

This collection was donated to the University Archives by an unknown donor prior to September 2002.

Processing Information Note:

The West Michigan Cemeteries Project Collection was processed to the folder level by Jeffrey Pollock in December 2009 A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 2.0 utilizing the Archivist's Toolkit. A collection level MARC-21 record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Related Materials

Related Archival Materials Note

None specified.

Separated Materials Note

Materials not relating to the cemeteries were removed from this collection and discarded.

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

Geographic Name(s)


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements Note

This collection consists of paper based documents. No specialized software or hardware is required for viewing.

Collection Inventory

Series 1. Grand Traverse County Cemeteries. 1987

Arrangement Note

This series is arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the cemetery.

Scope and Contents Note

The Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society compiled records relating to Oakwood Cemetery and Bagley Cemetery in 1987. Each cemetery has legal documentation in the form of wills, probate documents, and mortgage records.

The Lakeside cemetery has documents relating to its creation, as well as a description of the general condition of cemetery, and sketches of individual headstones. Also, included are directions to the site. The Oakwwood Cemetery records include maps of each addition of the cemetery. Each addition also contains a copy of the grave registry listing plot owners. The Society also compiled a list and description of each headstone. These typically include the name, birth date, death date and any legible inscriptions.

Contents Box Folder

Bagley/Lakeside Cemetery 1987

1 1

Oakwood Cemetery General information. 1987

1 2

Oakwood Cemetery Plat 1. 1987

1 3

Oakwood Cemetery Plat II. 1987

1 4

Oakwood Cemetery Hannah Avenue. 1987

1 5

Oakwood Cemetery First addition. 1987

1 6

Oakwood Cemetery Second addition. 1987

1 7

Oakwood Cemetery Third addition. 1987

1 8

Oakwood Cemetery Fourth addition. 1987

1 9

Series 2. Grand Traverse County Cemeteries. 1976.

Arrangement Note

This series is arranged alphabetically by cemetery name.

Scope and Contents Note

The Palo Cemetery (Palo Baptist) was researched by an unknown individual who gathered local history, individual biographies, and census information about many of the individuals and families buried in the cemetery. Census information from 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870 is given for most individuals, this information includes where the individual was born, profession, age, marriage status and position in the family (husband, mother, etc.).

The series has been dated using the general highway map of the county located in the front of the folder.

Contents Box Folder

Palo/ Palo Baptist Cemetery. 1976 1.0 Cubic feet

1 10

Series 3. Mecosta County Cemeteries. 1973-1982

Arrangement Note

This series is arranged alphabetically by cemetery name.

Scope and Content Note

The Mecosta County Cemeteries were researched and cataloged by the Mecosta Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution as an ongoing project between 1973-1982.l The Mecosta County cemetery records contain cemetery histories, plot descriptions, locations and gravestone descriptions. Some records are on a burial plot level. Also included are brief histories (about a paragraph in length) of each cemetery, and locations of cemeteries.

Contents Box Folder

Front Matter. 1974

1 11

Altona Cemetery. 1974

1 12

Austin Cemetery. 1979

1 13

Boyd Cemetery. 1976

1 14

Chippewa Cemetery 1974

1 15

Church Cemetery. 1974

1 16

Crapo Cemetery. 1973

1 17

Dye Cemetery. 1974

1 18

Eaton Cemetery. 1979

1 19

Fairview Cemetery. 1973

1 20

Grant Center Cemetery. 1975

1 21

Higbee Cemetery. 1976

1 22

Highland View Cemetery. No list included. 1974

1 23

Hinton Cemetery. 1981-1982

1 24

Ladner Cemetery. 1973

1 25

Martiny Cemetery. 1974

1 26

Morton Township Cemetery. 1982

1 27

Mount Carmel Cemetery. 1975

1 28

Parkhill Cemetery. 1973

1 29

Pine Plains Cemetery. 1973

1 30

Pine River Cemetery. 1982

1 31

Pioneer Cemetery. 1975

1 32

Quigley Cemetery. 1976

1 33

Roberts Cemetery. 1974

1 34

Rodney Cemetery. 1975

1 35

Rustford Cemetery. 1976

1 36

Saint Ann's Cemetery. 1973

1 37

Saint Appollonia's Cemetery. 1976

1 38

Saint Peters Cemetery. 1973

1 39

Sparks Cemetery. 1978

1 40

Stanwood Cemetery. 1973

1 41

Van Gilder Cemetery. 1973

1 42

Vogg Cemetery. 1976

1 43

West Aetna Cemetery. 1977

1 44

Wests Cemetery. 1973

1 45

Wheatland Cemetery. 1974

1 46