The Local History and Genealogy (LHG) Collection was created as a central repository and Saginaw local history library in 1960. Since that time, it has become one of the premier LHG collections in the Midwest, winning the Historical Society of Michigan State History Award in 2017.
The LHG Collection at Hoyt Library serves students and specialists equally well with an array of materials in the fields of genealogy, Saginaw history, and the history of Michigan.
The Collection features many unique and valuable resources on the history of Saginaw, the Saginaw Valley, and the people and families who settled the region. This includes original source materials, diaries, scrapbooks, business ledgers, photographs, as well as over 20,000 books, microforms, and periodicals. The Collection also includes extensive genealogical resources for those researching their family history.
This page highlights some of the materials and services available, but is only a brief introduction to the unique and valuable resources of the LHG Collection. We urge you to call or visit Hoyt Library to work with our knowledgeable and friendly LHG staff to fully utilize our resources.
If you are beginning to research your family tree and this is all new to you, our expert staff will give you direction to get you started. If you are a more experienced genealogist, you will find an extensive array of resources available.
Our Collection focuses on Saginaw County and Michigan records and those areas from where the majority of Michigan's early settlers came. This includes the New England states, Great Lakes states, Eastern Canadian provinces, and some Southern states.
Family History Resources
Michigan Census: 1820-1930
(Includes Soundex and Miracode Indexes)
Other State Census: Miscellaneous Dates
Ontario Canadian Census: 1861-1911 and Other
Quebec Canadian Census: 1860 and Other
Saginaw Vital Records: 1867-1900
Saginaw City Burial Records
Slave Schedules: 1850-1860
The LHG Collection also includes family papers, cemetery readings, ancestry charts, and more!
The LHG Collection includes guides, dictionaries, and resources to help people determine ethnic origin. Materials are available for people of African, Asian, Canadian, European, Hispanic, Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Native American descent.
Whether you are researching a Saginaw history topic in-depth, working on a school assignment, or just wondering about something or someone in Saginaw's history, the LHG staff is ready to help.
Saginaw History Resources
Saginaw City Directories: 1866-Present
Saginaw Newspapers (Microfilm): 1853-Present
Saginaw County Biography Index
Subject Index File on Saginaw History,
Business, and Events
Grant Smith Saginaw Sheet Music Collection
Willie L. McKether Saginaw African-American
Oral History Collection o Saginaw Church, School, and Organization
Histories and Historical Papers
Michigan History Resources
The LHG Collection includes many books and periodicals on Michigan history from prehistoric times to present. Of special interest are the county histories, county atlases, and plat books.
Utilizing the Local History and Genealogy Collection
LHG Collection inquiries are accepted by telephone, email, writing, and in-person. Researchers within driving distance of Hoyt Library are encouraged to visit the LHG Collection in-person to realize the full potential of what the Collection offers. Out-of-area researchers will be best served via phone or email. In addition, many of our online resources can be accessed remotely. The LHG staff will work with you to determine the best method for achieving desired results.
Due to the historical nature of the LHG Collection, all materials in the Collection are restricted to library use only. The materials cannot be borrowed, nor are they available for interlibrary loan. Most materials may be photocopied, but due to the fragile nature of some materials, permission to copy is given on a case-by-case basis.
Materials available in the LHG Collection are listed in our online catalog which can be accessed at www.saginawlibrary.org. The LHG staff is always happy to confer with researchers, novice and expert, to discuss all of the resources available.
Visiting the Local History and Genealogy Collection
Hoyt Library: Remembering the Past . . . Envisioning the Future
For nearly 130 years, the Hoyt Public Library, a gift to the city of East Saginaw by Jesse Hoyt, has been a cornerstone of the community, growing and changing with the city and adapting to the needs of Saginaw residents. The library, opened in 1890, has been carefully preserved and remains a sign of the strength, endurance, and vision of the people of Saginaw.
Purchase a full-length version of this video at any Public Libraries of Saginaw Branch. The full-length video sells for $15 and all money will go toward renovations of Hoyt Library.
The Saginaw City Directories Collection contains many of the city directories from the years 1866 to 1936 pertaining to East Saginaw and Saginaw City before consolidation in 1890 and the city of Saginaw after 1890, as well as some listings for local townships. Created and maintained by the Public Libraries of Saginaw.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society contains vital records, city and town directories, census, tax and voter lists, church records, diaries and journals, published genealogies and biographies, newspapers and periodicals, and many other resources to help genealogists with their research.
This site is only available inside any of our library buildings.
This site is a special version of Ancestry.com that is only available to patrons at libraries. It has added features plus free access to information you would normally pay for on the regular Ancestry.com site.
This site is only available inside any of our library buildings.
Discover images and materials that document our local and national heritage from five Special Collections: Burton Historical Collection, National Automotive History Collection, E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, and Rare Book Collection.
An extensive source of information on approximately 14,000 19th Century ships that sailed the Great Lakes. Each vessel record may include build & owner info, a brief historical timeline, and photographs. The database was compiled from the collection of C. Patrick Labadie.
A digital preservation repository and highly functional access platform. Drawing on a full range of library collections the repository contains significant amounts of Michigan material often published outside of the state.
The Detroit Free Press is a rich source of genealogical and local history information. It covers the period before statehood, the American Civil War, and the growth of the mining, lumber and automotive industries. The information contained within the scanned and searchable pages is not limited to just Detroit area news.
October 1, Seeking Michigan will become Michiganology. Until then, Seeking Michigan is the online platform for the Michigan Historical Center. It includes Archives of Michigan research guides and indexes, a blog, and educator resources – all from the Michigan Historical Center and Archives of Michigan staff.
This page highlights selected images and audio files pertaining to Michigan. Also included on each state resource page are tools to help teachers use these items in the classroom and links to the American Memory collection home page.
This archive seeks to preserve stories from the Ypsilanti African American community. Members of this well-organized community lived through the Jim Crow era, fought racism during WWII, and led the local Civil Rights movement. Spanning several generations, these interviews illuminate eras of profound social change and offer an intimate look into the social, home, and political life of a historic Michigan community.