The Archives of Michigan today announced that more than 62,000 Michigan state census records from 1884 and 1894 are now available to search and print for free at www.seekingmichigan.org.
“These records will help family history researchers track important data, such as more extensive information about women and children,” said Jessica Miller, archivist at the Archives of Michigan. “In Michigan prior to 1884, only numerical data about women and children was collected.”
The state of Michigan conducted its own regular and special censuses at various times throughout history. Between 1854 and 1904, they were conducted every 10 years. Until 1884, census takers recorded names and occupations only for men over the age of 21. They collected only numerical data about women and children.
In 1884, however, the information collected expanded considerably to include, among other statistics, the names of all residents, their ages and the number of years they had lived in Michigan. The 1884 and 1894 state census records fill in gaps created when the 1890 federal census was destroyed in a 1921 fire.
Miller noted the collection of state census records is incomplete because many of the documents have been lost over time. She said two stories are told about why the state’s copies of the schedules no longer exist — they may have been donated to a paper drive during World War II or destroyed in a 1951 state office building fire. A complete list of the counties and years available online can be found at www.seekingmichigan.org under “Discover.”
The Archives of Michigan is grateful to the Library of Michigan and the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library for their help in making these records available.
Among the organizations housed at the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 W. Kalamazoo, Lansing, is the Michigan Historical Center, which includes the Archives of Michigan and the Michigan Historical Museum. For online research assistance, please visit the archives site www.seekingmichigan.org and the Michigan e-Library, www.mel.org.
Seeking Michigan is administered by the Archives of Michigan through the support of the Michigan History Foundation.
The Michigan Historical Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its museum and archival programs help people discover, enjoy and find inspiration in their heritage. It includes the Michigan Historical Museum, 11 regional museums and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/michiganhistory.