Michigan Births (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 Births, 1867-1902 .
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Online Records

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan Births, 1867-1902.

Michigan Bible Records

A Bible was often given by relatives to a bride as a wedding gift, where she recorded information about her immediate family and close relatives. Relationships were seldom stated but were often implied. Names of parents, children, and their spouses, including maiden names, were frequently given along with dates of birth, marriage, and death. Sometimes the age of a person was given at the time of death. Many families kept Bible records from the 1700s (and sometimes earlier) to more recent times, although few have survived. Some have been donated to local libraries or societies.

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images of Michigan statewide birth registration entries for the years 1867 to 1902. County birth records were entered into register books with multiple entries to a page. Pages are printed and entries are handwritten.

Clerks of each County Court recorded births that were reported by parents, doctors, and midwives, beginning in 1867. This information was then sent to the secretary of the state. Because of the way the births were recorded, some information may be slightly off or inaccurate. Users are advised to locate additional sources to confirm anything found in this collection.

From 1867 to 1879, about 15% to 20% of the births were recorded; from 1880-1902, coverage increased to about 60% to 70%.

The state required counties to begin recording births to document the occurrence of a birth and to track public health issues. Information on birth records is generally reliable, though there is always the chance of misinformation.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan Births, 1867-1902.

Collection Contents

Information found in the records may include:

  • Birth date and place of birth
  • Name of child
  • If still-born, illegitimate, or twin
  • Gender
  • Color or race
  • Names of parents, father's occupation and their residence
  • Birth place of father
  • Birth place of mother
  • Date and number of record

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Child's name
  • Other identifying information such as birth date and place or the parents' names

To search this collection by name:'
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own 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.

To browse by image:
To search the collection by image you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Film" category which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search 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.

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

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, 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 birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Clerks of each County Court recorded births that were reported by parents, doctors, and midwives, beginning in 1867. This information was then sent to the secretary of the state. Because of the way the births were recorded, some information may be slightly off or inaccurate. Users are advised to locate additional sources to confirm anything found in this collection.
  • Search the county birth records since these records were created from the county records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • The parent’s birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the county birth records since these records were created from the county 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.

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

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.


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, Births, 1867-1902." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Secretary of State. Department of Vital Records, 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 Births, 1867-1902.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Michigan Births, 1867-1902.