Wayne County, Michigan Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Michigan Gotoarrow.png Wayne County

Guide to Wayne County Michigan genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Michigan
Online 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

County Courthouse

The Wayne County Clerk, located at 201 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI., has birth and death records for events that occurred in Wayne County other than those that occurred in the City of Detroit. Births and deaths that occurred in the City of Detroit are available through the Herman Kiefer Health Complex, located at 151 Taylor Street-Room 104B, Detroit, MI 48202 until October 1, 2013, after which time all vital record service will be transferred to Wayne County. All marriage records for Wayne County and the City of Detroit are available through Wayne County at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.

The Wayne County Probate Court, located at 1307 Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI., has probate record for all of Wayne County and the City of Detroit. An online index is available for cases after 1976 at public.wcpc.us/eservices/home.page.3.

The Wayne County Register of Deeds, located at 400 Monroe St. 7th Floor, Detroit, MI 48226 has land records for all of Wayne County and the City of Detroit. An online deed search is available from approximately 1960 - present at www.waynecountylandrecords.com/ [1]


Anthony Wayne.JPG

The county is named after Revolutionary War General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745-1796).[2]

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

1815--Wayne County was created 21 November 1815 as an original county. County seat: Detroit [3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

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

Neighboring Counties



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



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

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Detroit Dist
  • Detroit
  • Detroit E.
  • Detroit S.
  • Detroit W.
  • Mack


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

Wayne County

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

  • A large number of Roman Catholic church records from the Archdiocese of Detroit are available on microfilm at the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library.  Depending on the church, the records range from 1704-1930 and can include baptisms, marriages, deaths, first communions, and confirmations. A guide to the churches and their available records is located at www.detroit.lib.mi.us/featuredcollection/burton-historical-collection (Free).



Fold3.com ($) has Detroit City Directories 1861-1923 available online.


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

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.


City maps are often found in city directories.


Civil War

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


Finding More Michigan Newspapers

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


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.


Vital Records

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.

  • Michigan Birth Registrations, 1867-1902 -- Free name indexes and images at FamilySearch Record Search. Records include such information as name of child, birthdate and place, if still-born, illegitimate or twin, gender, race and record number.
  • Michigan Marriage Registrations, 1868-1925 -- Free name indexes at FamilySearch Record Search. Records include such information as names of bride and groom, date of license, ages, race, residences, birthplaces, occupations and names of the fathers of the bride and groom.
  • Michigan Death Registrations, 1867-1897-- Free name indexes and images atFamilySearch Record Search. Records include such information as name of deceased, date and place of death, gender, color, marital status, age in years, months and days, disease or apparent cause of death, birthplace, names and occupations of parents, and the date the record was made.
  • 1934-1953 Wayne County Death Index-- An index to original records held at the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library. These records do not include deaths that occurred within the City of Detroit.
  • Wayne County Marriage Returns, 1803-1867 and 1868-1893 -- Original records are held at the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library. These records include marriages throughout Wayne County, including the City of Detroit.
  • Detroit Death Index, 1920 - current -- Microfiche index of all deaths occurring in the City of Detroit.

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites

Detroit Society for Genealogical Research - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Detroit-Society-for-Genealogical-Research/178028022193
Detroit Genealogy - https://www.facebook.com/groups/156291504501244
Western Wayne County Genealogical Society - https://www.facebook.com/groups/146887561005


  1. 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.
  2. "Anthony Wayne," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).