Wayne County, Michigan Genealogy

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United States
Michigan Genealogy
Wayne County

Guide to Wayne County, Michigan ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Wayne County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Wayne County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
Founded November 21, 1815
County Seat Detroit
Address Wayne County Courthouse
201 City Court Bldg
Wayne, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 224-6262
Wayne County Website
Wayne County Register of Deeds

County Information


The County was named for the U.S. general "Mad Anthony" Wayne. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[1]

Wayne County, Michigan Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1867 1818 1867 1820 1703 1797

County Courthouse

The Wayne County Clerk has birth and death records for events that occurred in all of Wayne County.

Wayne County Clerk
640 Temple Street; Suite 625
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 833-2887 or (313) 833-2881

Further information including obtaining them through State of Michigan records

They may also be ordered online.

All marriage records for Wayne County and the City of Detroit are available through Wayne County at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.

The Wayne County Probate Court, located at 1307 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI. 48226, has probate records for all of Wayne County and the City of Detroit. An online index is available for cases after 1976.

The Wayne County Register of Deeds, located at 400 Monroe St. 7th Floor, Detroit, MI 48226, has land records for all of Wayne County and the City of Detroit. An online deed search is available from approximately 1960 - present. [3]


Anthony Wayne.JPG

The county is named after Revolutionary War General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745-1796).[4]

Wayne County is the oldest county in the area known now as the State of Michigan and originally included areas that are counties in their own right. It includes the City of Detroit which was founded by the French on 24 July 1701 and which is now the state's largest.

Parent County

1815--Wayne County was created 21 November 1815 as an original county. County seat: Detroit [5]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Michigan county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Michigan County Boundary Maps" (1790-1897) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Populated Places

See the list of places on Wikipedia: Places in Wayne County, Michigan

Neighboring Counties

Macomb  • Monroe  • Oakland  • Washtenaw County

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Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
USGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MIGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.

Also available at the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library are:

  • Detroit City Cemetery Burial Records, 1854-1861
  • Elmwood Cemetery Record of Interments, 1846-1992
  • Mt. Elliot Cemetery Record of Interments, 1845-1861, 1865-1997
  • Woodmere Cemetery, 1868-1888


State Census


Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Michigan denominations, view the Michigan Church Records wiki page.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Detroit Dist
  • Detroit
  • Detroit E.
  • Detroit S.
  • Detroit W.
  • Mack


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Detroit, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Wayne County

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Wayne County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).




Fold3.com ($) has Detroit City Directories 1861-1923 available online.

Emigration and Immigration


Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Michigan Land and Property for additional information about early Michigan land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Wayne County, Michigan Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Michigan Local Histories.


Oakland CountyMacomb CountyMonroe CountyWashtenaw CountyOntarioMI WAYNE.PNG
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Detroit streets were renumbered 1 January 1921 (same house/different numbers).  Keep that in mind when looking at various records, such as the US Census.

City maps are often found in city directories.


Civil War

Civil War service men from Wayne County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Wayne County.

- 1st Regiment, Michigan Cavalry, Companies A, C, G, H, K, and Unassigned Company
- 12th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Unassigned Company
- 17th Regiment, Michigan Infantry, Company F


Finding More Michigan Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Wayne County, Michigan Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:



In most counties in Michigan, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate packets, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Michigan, Wayne and search for Probate records in the list.

Note: Not every county in Michigan will have Probate Records in the FamilySearch Catalog.

Probate records for Wayne County are available on microfilm at the Archives of Michigan,located in the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo Street, Lansing, MI. The Archives holds Wayne County estate case files from 1797-1901 and the Probate calendar books from 1797-1914.

Online Probate Records


Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased as shown below:

Birth Records and Death Records from the Michigan Department of Community Health (from 1867) or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.
Marriage Records (from 1867) and Divorce Records (from 1897) from the County Clerk.

Birth Records
Marriage Records
Death Records

Societies and Libraries

Wayne County Irish Society
31975 Cowan
Westland 48185

Western Wayne County Genealogical Society
PO Box 530063
Livonia 48153-0063

West Side Detroit Polish American Historical Society
3245 Junction Street
Detroit MI. 4821

Romulus Historical Society
11121 Wayne Rd.
Romulus 48174

Northville Genealogical Society
PO Box 932
Northville, MI 48167-0932

Polish Genealogical Society Of Michigan
5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit 48202-4007

Lincoln Park Historical Museum
Jerr Day, Curator
1335 Southfield Road
Lincoln Pary, Michigan 48146
Telephone: 313-386-3137

Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society
c/o Burton Historical Collection Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit MI 48202

Dearborn Genealogical Society
PO Box 1112
Dearborn Michigan 48121-1112

Genealogical Societies

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Wayne County, Georgia" in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Michigan accessed 8 Nov 2018
  2. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 369-384. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wayne County, Michigan page 351, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. "Anthony Wayne," Wikipedia.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).