Descendants of Downriver
Wayne County, Michigan

Descendants of Downriver is a project of the Downriver Genealogical Society. Its purpose is to collect and record data about early Downriver residents and their descendants. This information will be a valuable addition to the history of Downriver and will provide a source of genealogical information for years to come. To encourage the proving of these lines, the society will recognize descendants of early families with certificates
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ELIGIBILITY: .. To qualify, an applicant must be directly descended from an ancestor who settled in one of the current Downriver communities, during one of the following time periods; prior and through 1850, 1851-1900, 1901-1925. A "Pioneer" certificate will be issued for the period prior and through 1850. A "Settler" certificate will be issued for the period of 1851-1900. A "Resident" certificate will be issued for the period of 1901-1925. The seventeen Downriver communities that make up the Downriver area are: Allen Park, Brownstown, Ecorse, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile, Lincoln Park, Melvindale, River Rouge, Riverview, Rockwood, South Rockwood, Southgate, Taylor, Trenton, Woodhaven, and Wyandotte.
The applicant must be able to prove descent from the ancestor by an official record for each generation, including the applicant. Current Downriver residency is not required.

PROOFS:
To insure that the certificate issued is the result of credible genealogical research, the following primary sources are acceptable: birth, death, marriage records, probate records, land records, tax records, census records, military records, church, mortuaries, sexton records, and court records.
The inclusion of secondary sources is encouraged but may or may not be accepted as proof: bible records, obituaries and newspaper clippings (dated and identified) tombstone inscriptions/photos, published family histories, published county histories, published biographical records, city and county directories, private papers and personal records, i.e., letters, diaries and journals.

Eligibility shall be determined by a committee of: the Downriver Genealogical Society.
The committee's decision will be final.
Since all material submitted becomes the property of the Downriver Genealogical Society no original copies of documents should be sent. No materials furnished will be returned.

Complete the lineage chart, send photocopies only of proofs for each generation. Each date must have a proof. Use extra sheets of paper to include, when known, the names of all children in all generations in direct descent and when they married, including your own family.

Certificate Project Committee Members of the Downriver Genealogical Society are available to assist with your application if you have questions. Certificates will be awarded quarterly. Send your applications, proofs, check or money order for $5.00 (non-refundable) per ancestor to:
Attention Certificate Committee
Downriver Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 476
Lincoln Park, MI. 48146

The fee for each certificate is $5.00, one ancestor name per certificate. There is no limit to the number of certificates an applicant may request,however,each name requires separate proof and a separate fee.

Click Here for Application

Descendant Sources

Primary Sources are defined as contemporary and/or government records made at the time of the event by the parties involved. These records are deemed accept-able sources in proving relationship from one generation to another.
1. Birth Records

2. Marriage Records
3. Death Records
Michigan official records began in 1867. Available at Wayne County Clerk's Office, City County Building, Detroit, MI. 48226 County Clerk's Office or Michigan Depart-ment of Public Health. P.O. Box 30035, Lansing, MI. 48909.
4. Census Records
Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward, Detroit, MI. DRGS members may use our society's census microfilm for 1850-1910 of Wayne, Macomb, Monroe, & St. Clair Counties.

5. Probate records
Wills/estates (testate-with will; intestate - without will). Guardianships, Lists of heirs and relationship. Name changes, and sometimes transfer of real estate. Records begin at the formation of the county *and are found in the Probate Court where the event occurred.

6. Land Records & Plats
Purchase and sale of property often shows resi-dency and marital relationship. Available from the county where the land was owned. Records may be maintained by the Register of Deeds.

7. Tax Records
Taxes were paid on property owned on a yearly basis. Records are available from the time of the county's formation. Records may be located in the Register of Deed's and/or Treasurer's office.

8. Military Records
Available from the National Archives 6 Records Service, 8th & Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washing-ton, D.C., 20408 or Michigan History Division, 717 W. Allegan, Lansing, MI. 48918. Indexes of Michigan Civil War soliders are available at most major Michigan libraries.

9. Church Records
Often contain birth, death, marriage and funeral information of their membership.

10. Cemetery Records
Actual records of church, city or township sextons.
11. Mortuary Records
Actual records of funeral home may include death date, burial date, location -of interment, obituaries & miscellany.
12. Burial/Transport
Permits found in village, city and township halls or county health departments. Information varies from death date to personal comments.

13. Court Records
Civil, criminal, divorce and naturalization records begin from formation of the county and may be located in circuit court or superior court where the event occurred.


Secondary Sources are any sources in print that do not come from a contemporary or government record. These records may not be acceptable as proof.
& Published Biographical Histories
1. Bible Records
Dated and/or undated. Include a photocopy of
the page showing the publisher, date of publication and the actual pages showing names, dates and events. Identify current owners of the Bible when known.
2. Obituaries
Dated and identified, when known, name of news-paper & location. Newspapers can be ordered on microfilm from some libraries.

3. Newspaper Clippings
Dated & identified, when known name of newspaper & location. Clippings may include anniversaries biographical sketches, awards, marriage notices, reminiscences, etc.
4. County Histories/ Portrait
Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI.
5. City/Co. Directories
The Library of Michigan has an extensive state-wide collection. Also, Burton Hist. Collection.

6. Family Hist./Gene.
When submitting this type of material, include a copy of the title page, photocopies showing direct ancestral descent and state location of the book.
7. Personal Papers
Unpublished written data include letters, diaries, journals, reunion records and manu-scripts. Please include dates when known.

8. Tombstone Inscrip.
Submit photographs or transcriptions of the stone.
9. Atlas/Landowners
Local libraries and Historical Societies may be able to help in locating these. Burton Hist. Collection, Detroit Public Library, Detroit.

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