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Michigan State University

Detailed Land and Property Information in Michigan: Online Land Records

Various resources are available for researching a particular property or building in Michigan.

Describing Your Property


A property can be described in numerous ways. 

  • The address is assigned by the county government and the Zip Code by the US Postal Service
  • The Legal Land Description appears on the deed
  • The name of the political township will be different from the survey township.  The easiest way to determine both township designations is to use the Michigan Recreational Travel Atlas published by UniversalMap.  Online you can find it at Michigan GeoWebFace (Michigan only).
  • The latitude/longitude of a property may be useful when using aerial photography or when you don't know a property's address.  The easiest way to find a lat/long is to use the free software Google Earth, which always has a running lat/long in the corner of the screen.  Google Maps now has Lat Longs which can be revealed at the bottom of the screen when you click on the map 
  • The parcel ID number will be used by the local government

Current Land Records


 Michigan Property Search
BSA is the major provider of record-keeping software in michigan local governments. See if your county and/or city or township provide a searchable database. Not all local governments are available! Another option is to look at the website of your local government's Assessor's Office, or contact them by email or phone for other options.  Electronic lookup may be available only from guest workstations at the City/Township building, for instance.

Michigan Assessor and Property Tax Records Directory
This is a commercial website filled with ads that provides links to Michigan local government property lookup sites.  Use with caution.  Its main value is that it may link to sites not hosted by BS&A above. The Terms of Use spells out specific limitations for use and re-use of the data.

Ingham County Equalization/Tax Mapping Viewer


BS&A tax information sample

Original Land Records

General Land Office Records at the National Archives

General Land Office records researchers a source of information on the initial transfer of land titles from the Federal government to individuals.  It also provides image access to more than three million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1820 and 1908. Images of Military Land Warrants are being added to the database, which were land patents were issued to individuals as a reward for their military service. Images related to survey plats and field notes, dating back to 1810, are added to the site state-by-state as each state's documents are completed. Due to organization of documents in the GLO collection, this site does not currently contain every Federal title record issued for the Public Land States.



State of Michigan Archives - GLO Plats at website


Subject Guide

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Kathleen Weessies
Geosciences Librarian; Social Sciences Coordinator; Head, Map Library
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive E240
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Michigan State University