Michigan State Census Records

Abrams Foundation Genealogy Highlights
Winter 2004
Volume 6, Number 1

Many genealogy researchers are familiar with U.S. census records in researching their family history. Not as well known, however, is that the State of Michigan conducted its own censuses of population. Originally designed for determining state legislative apportionment, these under-utilized historical resources are invaluable tools in Michigan genealogical research. With the first survey taken in 1827 before statehood, Michigan steadily conducted complete censuses of its population up to 1904. Although most of these records have unfortunately disappeared, many of the surviving schedules are from the mid- to late 19th century, a period of special interest to genealogists. Availability for these records depends on the year and the specific county. Although incomplete, the surviving census schedules still remain an important resource in family history research.

With some families moving a number of times over a 10-year period, locating ancestors can be quite difficult. However, because Michigan state censuses were conducted between the federal ones, some researchers may be able to locate their elusive ancestors with these state records. Although most of the Michigan state census records are not indexed as completely as their federal counterparts, they may still be very effective if a researcher is unable to locate an ancestor in the federal census. Given the near-complete loss of the 1890 U.S. Census, state census records can sometimes serve as an effective substitute, giving special value to the surviving 1884 and 1894 Michigan schedules.

This publication is an overview of Michigan state census resources available at the Library of Michigan. Titles may be located by searching ANSWER, the Library's online catalog. The easiest way to locate additional Michigan state census resources on ANSWER is with a keyword search using the term census, followed by the county name and specific census year. For example, a search using the phrase census kent county 1884 will list both the Library's microfilmed copy of the census and the index. Clicking on the links in this publication will take you to the ANSWER catalog search results or the catalog record for a particular item.

Genealogical Resources

Barnett, LeRoy. "State Censuses of Michigan: A Tragedy of Lost Treasures." Family Trails 5.1 (1983): 1-25.
Michigan Documents F 565 .F35

Lainhart, Ann S. State Census Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992.
Genealogy CS 68 .L37 1992


1894 Muskegon County, Michigan, Census Index, Head of Household. Muskegon: Muskegon County Genealogical Society, 1996.
Michigan F 572 .M9 A18 1996

Branch County, Michigan, State Censuses for 1854 & 1874. Coldwater: Branch County Genealogical Society, 1995.
Michigan F 572 .B8 B75 1995

Eaton County, Michigan Surname Index: 1854 Census. Lansing: State Archives of Michigan, 1991.
Michigan Documents F 572 .E2 E35 1991

Hillsdale County, Michigan, 1894 State Census Index. Litchfield: Southern Michigan Genealogical Society, 1989.
Michigan F 572 .H6 H65 1989

Index of 1894 State Census for Washtenaw County, Michigan. Ann Arbor: Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, 1984.
Michigan F 572 .W3 I5 1984

Index to the 1884 State Census of Kent County, Michigan. Grand Rapids: Western Michigan Genealogical Society, 1990.
Michigan F 572 .K3 I53 1990

Jackson, Ronald V., ed. Michigan 1845 State Census: St. Joseph Co., Lenawee Co., Washtenaw Co., Eaton Co. North Salt Lake, UT: Accelerated Indexing, 1988.
Michigan F 565 .M56 1988

Lucas, Richard E., ed. Index to Ingham County, Michigan 1894 Census. 6 vols. Lansing: Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society, 1994.
Michigan F 572 .I5 I52 1994

Midland County, Michigan Census Records, 1850-1894: A Listing of All Persons Appearing on the Official Census Rolls. Midland: Midland Genealogical Society, 1984.
Michigan F 572 .M6 M532z

Sawyer, Evelyn M., comp. Index 1884 Ottawa County, State Census Michigan. Hudsonville: E.M. Sawyer, 1996.
Michigan F 572 .O8 S395 1996

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Michigan State Censuses: Population Schedules

What follows is a detailed listing of the Library of Michigan's holdings of Michigan state census population schedules. A "Y" under the Index column indicates that the Library owns an index for this county, which generally includes only the names of the heads of household; a "N" means that the Library does not own an index. In the Notes column, "Incomplete" means that the Library of Michigan does not own the entire state census for that year, or that not all of the county's records have survived. "Abstract" indicates that the Library of Michigan's copy has been compiled or transcribed from the original source. "Index only" means that the Library of Michigan owns an index to the state census, but not the record itself.

Michigan State Censuses Available at the Library of Michigan

 Barry  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Bay  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Benzie  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Branch  1854  Y  Incomplete/Index only
   1874  Y  Index only
 Clinton  1864  N  
 Crawford  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Dickinson  1894  N  
 Eaton  1845  Y  Abstract
   1854  Y  Index only
 Emmet  1884  Y  
 Gratiot  1894  N  
 Hillsdale  1884  N  Incomplete
   1894  Y  
 Houghton  1864  N  
   1874  N  
 Ingham  1884  N  
   1894  Y  
 Jackson  1884  Y  Partial index
   1894  N  
 Kalamazoo  1837  Y  Abstract
   1874  N  
   1884  N  Incomplete
   1894  N  
 Kent  1884  Y  
   1894  Y  
 Keweenaw  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Lapeer  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Leelanau  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Lenawee  1845  Y  
   1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Menominee  1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Midland  1894  Y  Abstract
 Montcalm  1884  Y  
   1894  Y  
 Muskegon  1884  Y  Partial index
   1894  Y  
 Newaygo  1884  Y  
   1894  Y  
 Oakland  1845  Y  Abstract
 Ottawa  1884  Y  
   1894  N  
 Roscommon  1884  N  
 St. Clair  1845  Y  
   1884  N  
   1894  N  
 St. Joseph  1845  Y  
   1884  N  
   1894  N  
 Van Buren  1845  N  
 Washtenaw  1827  N  
   1834  N  
   1845  Y  
   1884  N  
   1894  Y  

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Updated 08/02/2011