Just like many other states, Michigan conducted its own state censuses at various times throughout its history. They were done every 10 years between 1854 and 1904. Up to 1884, census takers recorded names and occupations only for men over the age of 21. They collected only numerical any information about the women and children in the household.
By 1884, information collected in the census expanded considerably and included the names of all residents, their ages and the number of years they had lived in Michigan. Due to the fire lost in 1921 of the Federal 1890 Census, many state censuses help fill in any gaps.
There is still some missing information due to many documents lost or missing over time. Some of the Michigan counties have both the 1884 and 1894 state censuses and some counties have one or the other. Many the key or major counties like Kalamazoo, Kent, Washtenaw , Hillsdale, Lapeer, and Muskegon (plus others) have both 1884 and 1894 state censuses. Wayne County (not counting city of Detroit) just has 1884.
There are 62,000 images. Some of the interesting questions on the Michigan census would include how many years they had lived in Michigan and how long they had lived in the United States. Important to all researchers is the question about the month and year date of those married in the last year. Each parent’s place of birth along with an individual’s health status.
To search make the box is checked for Michigan State Census Records 1884 – 1894 at the bottom. Then in the search box place a surname or hometown. A thumbnail image of the census record will appear, along with the township and county name. Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge that census page.
There are about 20 names per page and it is scanned in two parts. First is #1 – 20 names, age, male or female, race, relationship to head of household, martial status, place of birth for individual and parents. Then scrolling down is the second scan, follow the number for each individual to see about occupation, whether they served during the American Civil War, their health condition, educational level and ability to speak English.
Scroll even further down on the page and the names are transcribed as to name, sex, relationship to head of household and age. This method allow you to look for an ancestor easier. Even if you see an ancestor or surname listed with a hometown or county you don’t recognize, check them out on the census, they may have moved.
Photo: The York, Washtenaw Co., Michigan census for 1884 – the Schreen and Luckhardt families.< Return To Blog