To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here.

Wayne County, Michigan Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

Anthony Wayne

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1833 1867 1835 1835 1827 1820
Statewide registration started in 1867 for births and deaths. General compliance by 1915.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

County Clerk has birth and death records for events that occurred in all of Wayne County.
Wayne County Clerk Records Division at Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit, has marriage and divorce records.
Probate Court at Coleman A. Young Municipal Center in Detroit, has probate records for all of Wayne County and the City of Detroit.
Register of Deeds has land records for all of Wayne County and the City of Detroit. [3]

History[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Ghost towns

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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Macomb  • Monroe  • Oakland  • Washtenaw County

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
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

Census[edit | edit source]

State Census

Church[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Detroit Dist
  • Detroit
  • Detroit E.
  • Detroit S.
  • Detroit W.
  • Mack
Lutheran[edit | edit source]


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

Wayne County

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

[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source] ($) has Detroit City Directories 1861-1923 available online.

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Oakland CountyMacomb CountyMonroe CountyWashtenaw CountyOntarioMI WAYNE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

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.

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

Online Records

World War I[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Finding More Michigan Newspapers[edit source]

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

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

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

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]
Marriage Records[edit | edit source]
Death Records[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Wayne County, Georgia" in,_Michigan accessed 8 Nov 2018
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wayne County, Michigan . Page 343-351 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 346-349.
  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).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Wayne County, Michigan," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Michigan, accessed 16 November 2019.