The Livonia Civic Center Library welcomes and encourages all genealogists and researchers to use the Library’s genealogical resources in the library or access these resources remotely.

The focus of the collection extends beyond Livonia and Michigan to encompass the United States and Europe. Genealogy books can be looked up on the library catalog, but the Collection also includes:

A researcher may also make requests for obituary information by mail. 

The Library also contains many resources available within the library including microfilm resources and databases exclusive to our genealogy computer.

The Civic Center Library welcomes donations of genealogy books (not magazines or newsletters) in good condition.

 

Check out our Genealogy at the Library series hosted by Carl Katafiasz and learn all about the resources available at the Livonia Public Library to help your research and discovery.

Obituary Information

Obituary Information

A researcher may make requests for obituary information by mail. We charge a research fee of $10 per name submitted with a date of death. This fee includes copying the obituary and is payable in advance. Payment is required even if no record is found. Please print out and fill in our Obituary Request Form. Send the form, along with a check or money order payable to Livonia Public Library to:

Obituary Requests
Livonia Public Library
32777 Five Mile Road
Livonia, MI 48154

As we do not give refunds when an obituary is not found, please check the following two obituary resources before submitting a request:
1. The Livonia Observer Obituary Index and The Detroit News Obituary Index featured below. If the person that you’re searching for is listed in either of the indexes, fill in the obituary request form and submit the $10 per name fee.
2. If the person is not in the Livonia Observer Index, try Legacy where you can find full text obituaries from 2001 to the present free of charge.

For requests regarding residents who died outside Livonia, we suggest using the Detroit Public Library or the State Library of Michigan.

Livonia Observer Obituary Index

Livonia Observer Obituary Index

These indexes cover obituaries from the Livonia Observer newspaper from June 1955 – December 31, 2014.

Last name beginning with A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

All names 2015 +

This index covers obituaries from the Livonia Observer newspaper from January 2015 to the present. This list will be updated quarterly.

Detroit News Obituary Index

Detroit News Obituary Index

Currently, this index covers obituaries from the Detroit News newspaper from January 1, 1980 – December 31, 2001.
Please Note: we are in the process of converting our index to pdf format in alphabetical order by last name. As new letters are completed, they will be added below.

Last Name begins with:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Naturalization Record Index

Naturalization Record Index

This Naturalization Record index was compiled from the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine. From the spring of 1991 through the fall of 2008, the society published transcriptions of Naturalization Records of the Recorder’s Court, Detroit, Michigan in their quarterly magazine. In total over 5000 surnames were cited. These records contain a wealth of information for novice and advanced researchers alike. The index is alphabetized by surnames, while also providing volume, date, and page the information can be found upon in the magazine.

Last Name beginning A thru F
Last Name beginning G thru L
Last Name beginning M thru R
Last Name beginning S thru Z

Patron Directory of Wayne County 1876

Patron Directory of Wayne County 1876

Land owner directory from the Plat map book titled: “Illustrated Historical Atlas of Wayne County, MI 1876”. 

Livonia Ago

Livonia Ago

Take a step back in time.

Bentley and Franklin High School Yearbooks are available to view digitally at the Bennett Civic Center Library.

Bentley High School Yearbooks:
1953-1971

Franklin High School Yearbooks:
1963-1973

Bentley High Alumni Album (October 1961)
The Bentley Echo (March 1961)
Bentley High PTA Newsletter (1959)

Newspaper Research

Newspaper Research

Newspapers should hold a primary place in a researcher’s repertoire. Newspapers had been the reliable and most accessible vehicle of information for years. It was prevalent during the introduction of the radio and television; and still makes itself available via the internet.
 
Newspapers can provide so much more that births, marriages, and deaths. These daily, weekly, and sometimes semi-weekly publications can provide insight and color into one’s genealogy going well beyond just names and dates. These pages can provide “life stories.” 
 
Remote access to newspapers vary throughout the states and holding institutions. In some cases digitized collections could be free, available to students, faculty, or specific library card holders, or accessible through a subscription. Digitization is an expensive process and not every organization can afford it. 
 
Newspaper collection still exist in microfilm format. (Clarification to this format can be found through one’s parents or grandparents! I’m sure they know all about it). This format can only be utilized at the holding institution, but use of these holdings are generally welcome.
 
Here are a few free sites that researchers may utilize when looking for newspapers.
 
National
Chronicling America: Project by the Library of Congress.
Google Newspapers: This collection is a static collection (Google is not entering additional titles to the collection). However it still maintain a wealth of titles from the United States, Canada, and even Europe.
 
State of Michigan
Digital Michigan Newspaper Portal: Hosted by Central Michigan University, this collection provides researchers with access to a large compilation of state newspapers.
 
Local
Canton Observer (Nov. 1974-June 2019; available at cantonpl.org)                            
Plymouth Observer and Community Crier (Observer: 1887-1901, 1903-1968, 1971-1975, 1983-1995, 2001-2016; Crier: 1974-1998; available at news-archive.plymouthlibrary.org)
Westland Observer (Observer 1982-2017; westlandlibrary.org)
Farmington Enterprise/Observer (1888-present; farmlib.org)
 
A researcher could also utilize this Google search combination for additional collection both in Michigan and any other state. (“digital newspapers” and ). Focus on results from “.edu”, “.gov”, and “.lib” sites.
 
Enjoy the search!

Michigan Genealogical Resources Program Websites

Websites mentioned in the Michigan Genealogical Resources Program

Michiganology: michiganology.org
Michigan Genealogical Council: mimgc.org
Michigan GenWeb: migenweb.org
Michigan Family History Network: mifamilyhistory.org
GENDIS (Genealogical Death Indexing System): mdch.state.mi.us/osr/gendisx/index.asp
Michigan Memories: michmemories.org
Making of Modern Michigan: mmm.lib.msu.edu
Civil War Collection (MSU): civilwar.archives.msu.edu
Upper Peninsula Digitization Center Collections: updigit.uproc.lib.mi.us
Library of Michigan/Family History: michigan.gov/familyhistory
Chronicling America: chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
Google Newspapers: news.google.com/newspapers

Stemmons Publishing Collection

The Western Wayne County Genealogical Society has generously donated a phenomenal cd resource to the Civic Center Library’s genealogical collection. The Stemmons Publishing collection is a 10 cd set containing over 700 books in excess of over 230,000 pages of genealogical information. Click here to view a description of the titles available on the cds.

 

Western Wayne Genealogical Society Publications

Index of Western Wayne Genealogical Society publications housed at the Robert and Janet Bennett Civic Center Library. Click here to view a list.

 

Ancestry Library Edition

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus, Livonia library patrons will be able to remotely access Ancestry Library Edition through December 31, 2021. Click on Ancestry Library Edition and enter your library card and PIN number to begin your research.

Robert and Janet Bennett
Civic Center Library


32777 Five Mile Road
Livonia, MI 48154
Phone: (734) 466-2491


Mon - Thurs: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sun: 1-5 p.m.

Alfred Noble Library


32901 Plymouth Road
Livonia, MI 48150


Due to a building problem,
Alfred Noble Library will be
closed until further notice.
Click here for more info.

Carl Sandburg Library


30100 Seven Mile Road
Livonia, MI 48152
Phone: (248) 893-4010


Mon & Tue: 12-8 p.m.
Wed & Thurs: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Fri: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Vest Pocket Library


15218 Farmington Road
Livonia, MI 48154
Phone: (734) 466-2559


Mon: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tue: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Wed: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thurs: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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