Michigan County Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Michigan, United States
Michigan flag.png
Flag of Michigan
US Locator Michigan.png
Location of Michigan
Record Description
Record Type Births
Collection years 1867-1953
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

The records are for the years 1867 to 1910.

The collection consists of images of county birth records from 53 of the 83 county courthouses in Michigan. Some of the records are "delayed births" which were recorded years after the actual birth. The time period varies by county.

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. 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.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The key genealogical facts found in birth or christening index entries may include:

  • Name of the child
  • Gender
  • Names of the parents
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Race
  • Christening date (if the source is a church record)
  • Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the child
  • The approximate birth date and place
  • The names of the parents

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County"
⇒Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" which will take you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • 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.

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, County Births, 1867-1953." Images or Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing County Clerks, Michigan.

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.