Michigan State Census, 1894 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Michigan, State Census, 1894 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Michigan, United States
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Flag of Michigan
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Location of Michigan
Record Description
Record Type State Census
Collection years 1894
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

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

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

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. The census information was handwritten on preprinted sheets.

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

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.

Collection Content

Sample Images

The census includes the following information:
  • Name of every person who resided in the family
  • Age
  • Gender
  • 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 Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • Identifying information such as names of other family members and their approximate ages

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list 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 about more than one person to find your ancestor. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

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.
  • 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.

Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Michigan, State Census, 1894." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Department of State. State Archives, Lansing.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Michigan, State Census, 1894.

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