Michigan State Census, 1894 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Michigan State Census, 1894 .

Collection Time Period

This census counted and gathered information about the population in 1894.

Collection Description

The collection contains population schedules for a few counties in Michigan from the state census taken in June 1894. This collection contains the following 16 of 83 counties:

  • Barry
  • Bay
  • Benzie
  • Dickinson
  • Emmet
  • Gratiot
  • Ingham
  • Iosco
  • Kalamazoo
  • Kent
  • Keweenaw
  • Lapeer
  • Leelanau
  • Menominee
  • Montcalm
  • Washtenaw

The census information was handwritten on preprinted sheets.

Record Content

The census includes the following information:
  • Name of every person who resided in the family
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Color or race
  • Marital status
  • Married within the census year
  • Mother of how many children 
  • Mother of how many children (living)
  • Birth place
  • Birth place of father 
  • Birth place of mother
  • Number of male children born during census year
  • Number of female children born during census year
  • Number of months old
  • Occupation
  • Whether in military
  • Sick or disabled on day of census
  • Nature of disability
  • Attended school within the year
  • Number of months
  • Literacy
  • Whether speaks English; if not, language spoken
  • Length of residence in Michigan
  • Length of residence in United States
  • If prisoner, pauper, or homeless child

How to Use the Collection

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the census index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page number or family number) to locate your ancestors in the census. Compare the information in the census to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

When you have located your ancestors in the census, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

For example:

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.
  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
  • Use the residence information to help you locate immigration records (such as a passenger list) which would usually be kept at the port of entry into the United States.
  • If they are subject to military service, they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment records or school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.

Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.

Some other helpful tips to keep in mind are:

  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even the county.
  • You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.
  • You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.
  • You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.

Collection History

Michigan began collecting census information in 1710 with the colonial census of Detroit. Censuses were conducted periodically throughout the colonial and territorial periods. The fist state census was compiled in 1837. Most state, territorial, and colonial censuses are at the Michigan State Archives. For additional information see the wiki article Michigan Census.

Why This Collection Was Created

The census was compiled to obtain a count of the population to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress.

Collection Reliability

Reliability of the information in the census is determined by the accuracy of the knowledge of the informant, which could have been any member of the family or even a neighbor.

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Related Web Sites

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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

"Michigan, State Census, 1894" index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 23 September 2011). entry for Milton M Clark age 47; citing State Census Records, FHL micorfilm 00,475,869. image 00,154; Michigan Department of State, Lansing, Michigan, United States.

Sources of Information for This Collection

Michigan State Census, 1894, database, FamilySearch; from Michigan Department of State, Lansing. FHL microfilm, 26 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah

A full bibliographic record is available in the Family History Library Catalog.

We welcome your assistance in adding source citation information for individual archives when collection data was collected from various sources or archives. The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations for FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.