Wayne County, Michigan Genealogy
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|
Location in the state of Michigan
Location of Michigan in the U.S.
|Founded||November 21, 1815|
|Address|| Wayne County Courthouse|
201 City Court Bldg
Wayne, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 224-6262
Wayne County Website
Wayne County Register of Deeds
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Cemeteries
- 5.2 Census
- 5.3 Church
- 5.4 Court
- 5.5 Directories
- 5.6 Emigration and Immigration
- 5.7 Land
- 5.8 Local Histories
- 5.9 Maps
- 5.10 Military
- 5.11 Newspapers
- 5.12 Obituaries
- 5.13 Probate
- 5.14 Taxation
- 5.15 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
Wayne County, Michigan Record Dates
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. 
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.
1815--Wayne County was created 21 November 1815 as an original county. County seat: Detroit 
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.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
See the list of places on Wikipedia: Places in Wayne County, Michigan
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|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Michigan Cemeteries for more information.|
- Old Baptist Cemetery, Plymouth
- Presbyterian Cemetery, Plymouth
- Riverside Cemetery, Plymouth
- Shearer Cemetery, Plymouth
- Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit 1868-2004 (Research Blog - personal research only. The site is copyrighted
- Elmwood Cemetery Genealogy Inquiries (cost $)
Also available at the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library are:
- Detroit City Cemetery Burial Records, 1854-1861
- Elmwood Cemetery Record of Interments, 1846-1992
- Mt. Elliot Cemetery Record of Interments, 1845-1861, 1865-1997
- Woodmere Cemetery, 1868-1888
Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Michigan denominations, view the Michigan Church Records wiki page.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
LDS Ward and Branch Records
- Detroit Dist
- Detroit E.
- Detroit S.
- Detroit W.
- Records of the American Lutheran Church, Detroit, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
- Records of the American Lutheran Church, Wayne County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
- A large number of Roman Catholic church records from the Archdiocese of Detroit are available on microfilm at the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library. Depending on the church, the records range from 1704-1930 and can include baptisms, marriages, deaths, first communions, and confirmations. A guide to the churches and their available records is located at www.detroit.lib.mi.us/featuredcollection/burton-historical-collection (Free).
Fold3.com ($) 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 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.
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.
- Maps of Michigan (1790-1897)
- Map of Detroit Land Annexation 1806 – 1926
- Detroit annexations 1915-1925 : because of Detroit's annexations 1806-1926,
especially during 1915-1925, MANY community names became extinct.
City maps are often found in city directories.
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
- 1817-1830 - Detroit Gazette at Google News - free.
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
- 1784 – 1980 Michigan Wills and Probate Records 1784-1980 at Ancestry.com — index and images $
- 1797 – 1973 Michigan Probate Records 1797-1973 at FamilySearch — images
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.
- Marriage Records (from 1867) and Divorce Records (from 1897) from the County Clerk.
- 1867-1917 - Michigan, County Births, 1867-1917 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1867-1902 - Michigan Birth Registrations, 1867-1902-- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch. Records include such information as name of child, birthdate and place, if still-born, illegitimate or twin, gender, race and record number.
- 1585-1945 - Michigan, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1868-1925 - Michigan Marriage Registrations, 1868-1925 -- Free name indexes at FamilySearch. Records include such information as names of bride and groom, date of license, ages, race, residences, birthplaces, occupations and names of the fathers of the bride and groom.
- Wayne County Marriage Returns, 1803-1867 and 1868-1893 -- Original records are held at the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library. These records include marriages throughout Wayne County, including the City of Detroit.
- 1867-1897 - Michigan Death Registrations, 1867-1897 -- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch. Records include such information as name of deceased, date and place of death, gender, color, marital status, age in years, months and days, disease or apparent cause of death, birthplace, names and occupations of parents, and the date the record was made.
- 1934-1953 Wayne County Death Index-- An index to original records held at the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library. These records do not include deaths that occurred within the City of Detroit.
- Detroit Death Index, 1920 - current -- Microfiche index of all deaths occurring in the City of Detroit.
- Wayne County and Detroit Death Records and Obituaries - A Genealogy Records Guide
Societies and Libraries
Wayne County Irish Society
Western Wayne County Genealogical Society
PO Box 530063
West Side Detroit Polish American Historical Society
3245 Junction Street
Detroit MI. 4821
Romulus Historical Society
11121 Wayne Rd.
Northville Genealogical Society
PO Box 932
Northville, MI 48167-0932
Polish Genealogical Society Of Michigan
5201 Woodward Ave.
Lincoln Park Historical Museum
Jerr Day, Curator
1335 Southfield Road
Lincoln Pary, Michigan 48146
Fred Hart Williams Genealogical Society
c/o Burton Historical Collection Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit MI 48202
- Western Wayne County Genealogical Society
- Dearborn Genealogical Society
- Dearborn Genealogical Society
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.
- Palmer Park Michigan Family History Center 17400 Second Ave, Detroit, MI 48203 United States
- Riverview Michigan Family History Center 18701 Grange Rd, Riverview, MI 48192 United States
- Westland Michigan Family History Center 7575 N Hix Rd, Westland, MI 48185 United States
- Wayne County, MI History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Michigan Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- Michigan Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- Wayne County USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Detroit Society for Genealogical Research on Facebook
- Detroit Genealogy on Facebook
- Western Wayne County Genealogical Society on Facebook
- Wayne County MI Genealogy (Michigan Genealogy)
- 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
- 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.
- "Anthony Wayne," Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).