The only state to border four Great Lakes, Michigan's water access and extensive natural resources provided an attractive home for numerous tribes, including the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi. European settlement began in 1668 with the French Jesuit missionary Father Pere Jacques Marquette; eventual British and American occupation and conflict for control of Detroit during the latter half of the 18th century signaled the westward migration to come. The conclusion of the War of 1812 and the removal of indigenous tribes through land cessation treaties led to the large-scale movement by New Englanders into the territory. Since achieving statehood in 1837, Michigan has generated a wealth of sources and records of interest to the genealogical researcher.
A seventh-generation descendant of Michigan pioneers, Kim Thurman is an independent genealogy writer and researcher. She holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from the Boston University Center for Professional Education and is a graduate of the ProGen Study Groups program (ProGen 46). Kim currently volunteers as ProGen Study Groups Events Manager and treasurer for the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society (RVGS) in Medford, Oregon. She has previously served as a Coordinator for ProGen, a Mentor for GenProof Study Groups, and is a past president of RVGS. She holds memberships in the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and numerous regional organizations.