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Michigan State Census, 1894

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This database contains information from the 1894 Michigan State Census for the counties of Barry, Bay, Benzie, Dickinson, Emmet, Gratiot, Iosco, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Keweenaw, Lapeer, Menominee, Montcalm, and Washtenaw. Information listed includes the name of every member of the household, and their age, race, and birthplace.

Microfilmed copies of this census are held at the Michigan State Archives, the National Archives, and the LDS Family History Library. The 1890 U.S. Federal Census was damaged and destroyed by fire in 1921. Less than 1 percent of the schedules are available for research today. Because of this problem, the 1894 Michigan State Census has become a highly valuable source as it provides a wealth of information that would otherwise be found in the Federal Census.

During the eighteenth century, Michigan was involved in international wars, as the French, the English, and the American colonies fought for supremacy in the area, and many of the native tribes were involved in these battles. The British flag flew over Michigan from 1760 to 1796, although the United States actually ceded the area in 1783. Michigan was defined, although not named, in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. From 1796 to 1800, Michigan was governed under the auspices of Northwest Territory. At that time the principal population settlements were at Detroit and Mackinac Island, and most inhabitants were of French ancestry. English and Scottish nationalities were most prevalent in the merchant class. Along the Raisin River, south of Detroit, was a community of French farmers. From 1800 to 1803, Michigan was considered both Indiana Territory and Northwest Territory, but from 1803 to 1805 it was totally included in Indiana Territory. On 11 January 1805, Michigan Territory was established. The War of 1812 again put Michigan in British hands, but it returned to the United States in 1813.

State censuses were often taken in years between the federal censuses. In some places, local censuses were designed to collect specific data, such as the financial strengths and needs of communities; tallies of school-age children and potential school populations to predict needs for teachers and facilities; censuses of military strength, cavalry horse resources, and grain storage; enumeration for revenue assessment and urban planning; and lists to monitor African Americans moving into the northern cities.

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