Sunday, April 7, 2013


recently learned about a new source for information on Michigan ancestors. It is called the Michigan Biographical Index and can be found at The Michigan Biographical Index contains names of people associated with Michigan and links to publications about these people. It is organized alphabetically by surname. When you locate a person with the name you are seeking, you click on the link and you are given sources where you will find information about that person. Some of these sources are free, others you may purchase. One did not have to be a hero to appear on this list, so you may very well find one of your Michigan ancestors.

James N. Jackson, an author and lecturer, created the Michigan Biographical Index.  Be sure to check out his blog at

It turns out that many of my ancestors left New England and New York and ended up in Michigan, which is a great thing for me since I ended up here too. I have a number of surnames I can search in Michigan: Bartlett, Beal, Boyden, Brown, Coon, Cutler, Crandall, Green, Hibbard, Kitchen, Nash, Scripture, Spaulding, Stevens, Tooley, Totten and Waugh.

I decided to start with my SCRIPTURE family, who settled in Washtenaw County, Michigan. Hiram SCRIPTURE, my 3rd great grand uncle, and his wife Margaret had a number of children including one named Langdon. Langdon SCRIPTURE (1841-1919) was my 1st cousin, 4 X removed. 

First I went to the home page of the Michigan Biographical Index and clicked on “S.” Then I scrolled down to the range of names that would include Scripture. After clicking the appropriate link, I found a list of people with the surname SCRIPTURE, as well as a few variations such as SCRIPTER and SCRIPTNER. The joy of the unique surname SCRIPTURE is that I have a good chance of being related to people bearing that name.  

There were a number of hits for Langdon Scripture, including:


I then clicked on a8e834 and got:


This refers to Heritage Quest, so I made a note to check Heritage Quest for this cite on my local library website.

I then clicked on wa_hc and got:


Since it said it was available online, I clicked that link. Soon appeared History of Washtenaw County, Michigan

Just as the citation indicated, on page 393 Langdon W. Scripture’s name appeared. He was on a list of privates in the Twentieth Infantry during the Civil War. The Twentieth Infantry was comprised of men mostly from Washtenaw County. (4) This is valuable information for further research.

I then went back to the Scripture results and found another Langdon Scripture, this time without a middle initial.

I clicked on a6mbwf and got this result:


This led me to an page where I could purchase the What I Remember of the Great Rebellion in a variety of formats, including on Kindle for $6.99.  A quick check of WorldCat ( showed that this book is available at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan and at the Library of Michigan in Lansing, two locations fairly close to me.

I then went back to the Scripture results and found a Landon W. Scripture:


I clicked on a6m20b and got this result:


Since the publication is available online, I clicked on that link and got:
Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1861-1865, vol. 20

I jumped to page 83 and found Landon W. Scripture, who enlisted in Company B in the Twentieth Infantry on 4 Aug 1862 in Ypsilanti for three years. He was 21. He mustered in on 16 Aug 1862 and mustered out at DeLaney House in D.C. on 30 May 1865. (9)

Excellent information! Even though the name is spelled “Landon” instead of “Langdon,” I am pretty certain this is my cousin. This man was also in the Twentieth Infantry and was from Ypsilanti, which is in Washtenaw County. That, plus a rare surname, makes me feel good about this finding.

Just for fun, I searched for the surname “Hadden” in the Michigan Biographical Index, and I found over 100 hits. Search Michigan Genealogical Index ( with your surnames and see what you get.

Thank you, Jim Jackson, for your hard work on this website!


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Decorative Silhouettes, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Civil War Illustrations, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.


(1) Jackson, James N. "Michigan Biographical Index," 2003-2013. Accessed April 7, 2013. (accessed April 7, 2013).

(2) Ibid.

(3) Ibid

(4) The Pioneer Society, History of Washtenaw County, Michigan; together with sketches of its cities,villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens, (Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co., 1881) text;view=image;q1=History of Washtenaw County (accessed April 7, 2013), 392-393.

(5) Michigan Biographical Index.

(6) Ibid.

(7) Ibid.

(8) Ibid.

(9) Michigan Adjutant-General’s Dept., Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War, 1961-1865, (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Ihling Bros. & Everard, 190-);seq=9;view=1up;num=i (accessed April 7, 2013), 83.

No comments:

Post a Comment