Due to the fire damage of the 1890 census, there remains a 20 year gap in federal census records for most of the United States. Researchers have been using “replacements” for the 1890 census to help fill in the gaps for the missing information. While any state census is valuable for researchers, those done between the years of 1881 and 1899 may be most invaluable because they can provide similar information to what may have been on the 1890 census.
If you had an ancestor residing in Michigan during 1894 then you may have the chance to fill some of that census gap by using the 1894 state census of Michigan.I have to prefix my statement with “may” because not all county census records remain. Unfortunately, at some point in history, most of the counties records were destroyed, and nobody really knows why, though there are some ideas. The following 16 counties have extant records:
- Barry County
- Bay County
- Benzie County
- Dickinson County
- Emmet County
- Gratiot County
- Ingham County
- Iosco County
- Kalamazoo County
- Kent County
- Keweenaw County
- Lapeer County
- Leelanau County
- Menominee County
- Montcalm County
- Washtenaw County
In 1894, the state schedules included a question as to whether the person was veteran of the Civil war, or the widow of a Civil War veteran. While not all counties are available for the 1894 Michigan state census, there do remain records for any Civil war soldier, still alive, that may have been enumerated within that census. These records are complete for the 81 counties in Michigan existing in 1894. This collection has been made available for free on AccessGenealogy:
The 1894 Michigan state census provides information on the following particulars: 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.
You can access the 1894 census for the 16 counties above from the following websites. We’ve ranked the websites (1 being the best) below in order of accessibility, meaning, if they’re free or paid, and if you can access them without having first to register. Because this database is available for free at FamilySearch and their results provide more detailed information we suggest researchers use their records. However, FamilyTreeMaker users may want to import using Ancestry’s database, so we’ve provided that as well.
- FamilySearch Michigan, State Census, 1894
Name index of the Michigan state census taken in June 1894. The results show the name, gender, event place, age, birth year, event year, relationship to head of household, family number, line number, page number, and image number.
- Ancestry Michigan, State Census, 1894
This collection contains an index to the census. The results show the name, age, race, county, birth year and birth location.