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Wisconsin Vital Records

Posted By Judy On In Vital Records,Wisconsin | No Comments

Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.

Ancestry.com  Wisconsin State Database
A large collection of databases of births, deaths, marriages, census, obituaries, directories, estate records, and service records.

Deaths

Ancestry.com  Wisconsin Deaths, 1820-1907
This database indexes over 435,000 deaths recorded in the state of Wisconsin prior to 1907. Wisconsin is one of few states to have a wide-spread index of records prior to establishment of a state vital records office. However, it is important to note that there will be some records at the county level not included in this statewide index. Taken from the index created by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Vital Records Division this database will prove useful to those seeking ancestors in early Wisconsin. (Requires Ancestry.com Membership) Get 14 Days Free Access!!!

Wisconsin State Vital Records Office
Wisconsin Division of Health Vital Records
P.O. Box 309
Madison, WI 53701-0309
(608) 266-1371

Make check or money order payable to Vital Records. Include a letter noting relationship of person on certificate to person requesting certificate; reason for requesting the certificate; full name of person on certificate; date of birth or death; city/county of event; parents name including mother’s maiden name for a birth record; for death records including age at time of death or social security number is helpful but not necessary; be sure to sign the letter of request; include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Note: Genealogy requests can take up to 3 months, other requests will be in the mail within 15 working days.

Birth

Scattered birth records earlier than 1857.  Records before Oct 1, 1907 are incomplete.

  • Mail requests to:
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison WI  53701-0309

Use the application form (a PDF file) and include all information listed below.  Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope.  You must also enclose the necessary fees (see below).  Upon receipt in they’re office, mailed requests are generally completed in 10-15 working days.

  • In-person requests may be made at the Vital Records Office in Madison.  It is located at the One West Wilson Street state office building, in Room 158.  The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Identification is required for all records that are picked up.  You may wish to complete the application form (a PDF file) before you visit they’re office.  Requests made by 10:00 a.m. are usually ready by 12:00 noon; requests made by noon are usually ready by 2:00; requests made by 2:00 are usually ready by 4:00 p.m.; requests made at 4:00 are usually ready by 10:00 a.m. the next business day.
  • Fax requests are also possible, using your credit card.  Please complete the fax application form  (a PDF file).

Fees:  The fee for the first copy of any birth record is $12.00.  Additional copies of the same record, ordered at the same time, are $2.00 each.  Therefore, two copies of the same record would be $14.00.  Please make check or money order payable to VITAL RECORDS.

Information needed to request a copy of a birth record:

  1. The relationship between the person named on the record and the person making the request.  Example:  my own, my child’s, etc.  Only the person named on the record, the immediate family of that person or anyone with written permission from the person named on the record or the person’s family may get a “certified” copy of a birth certificate.  Note:  A “non-certified” copy of a birth certificate is available to anyone who applies.
  2. The reason for needing the record;
  3. The full name listed on the birth record;
  4. The date of birth;
  5. The city and county of birth;
  6. The parent’s names including mother’s maiden name;
  7. Your signature.

Death

Records before Oct 1, 1907 are incomplete.

  • Mail requests to:
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison WI  53701-0309

Use the application form (a PDF file) and include all information listed below.  Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope.  You must also enclose the necessary fees (see below).  Upon receipt in they’re office, mailed requests are generally completed in 10-15 working days.

  • In-person requests may be made at the Vital Records Office in Madison.  It is located at the One West Wilson Street state office building, in Room 158.  The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Identification is required for all records that are picked up.  You may wish to complete the application form (a PDF file) before you visit they’re office.  Requests made by 10:00 a.m. are usually ready by 12:00 noon; requests made by noon are usually ready by 2:00; requests made by 2:00 are usually ready by 4:00 p.m.; requests made at 4:00 are usually ready by 10:00 a.m. the next business day.

  • Fax requests are also possible, using your credit card.  Please complete the fax application form (a PDF file).

Fees:  The fee for the first copy of any death record is $7.00.  Additional copies of the same record, ordered at the same time, are $2.00 each.  Therefore, two copies of the same record would be $9.00.  Please make check or money order payable to VITAL RECORDS.

Information needed to request a copy of a death record:

  1. The relationship between the person named on the record and the person making the request.  Example:  my spouse’s, my child’s, etc.  Only  the immediate family of the person named on the record or anyone with written permission from an immediate family member  may get a “certified” copy of a death certificate.  Note:  A “non-certified” copy of a death certificate is available to anyone who applies.
  2. The reason for needing the record;
  3. The full name listed on the death record;
  4. The date of death;
  5. The city and county of death;
  6. You may include the decedent’s age, birth date, occupation or Social Security number.   This information is not required for us to conduct a search;
  7. Your signature.

Marriage

Records before Oct 1, 1907 are incomplete.

There are three ways to request a copy of a marriage certificate:  by mail, in person, or by fax.

  • Mail requests to:
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison WI  53701-0309

Use the application form and include all information listed below.  Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope.  You must also enclose the necessary fees (see below).  Upon receipt in they’re office, mailed requests are generally completed in 10-15 working days.

  • In-person requests may be made at the Vital Records Office in Madison.  It is located at the One West Wilson Street state office building, in Room 158.  The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Identification is required for all records that are picked up.  You may wish to complete the application form before you visit they’re office.  Requests made by 10:00 a.m. are usually ready by 12:00 noon; requests made by noon are usually ready by 2:00; requests made by 2:00 are usually ready by 4:00 p.m.; requests made at 4:00 are usually ready by 10:00 a.m. the next business day.
  • Fax requests are also possible, using your credit card.  Please complete the fax application form (a PDF file).

Fees:  The fee for the first copy of any marriage record is $7.00.  Additional copies of the same record, ordered at the same time, are $2.00 each.  Therefore, two copies of the same record would be $9.00.  Please make check or money order payable to VITAL RECORDS.

Divorce

There are three ways to request a copy of a divorce certificate:  by mail, in person, or by fax.

  • Mail requests to:
    Vital Records
    PO Box 309
    Madison WI  53701-0309

Use the application form (a PDF file) and include all information listed below.  Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped, business-sized envelope.  You must also enclose the necessary fees (see below).  Upon receipt in they’re office, mailed requests are generally completed in 10-15 working days.

  • In-person requests may be made at the Vital Records Office in Madison.  It is located at the One West Wilson Street state office building, in Room 158.  The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Identification is required for all records that are picked up.  You may wish to complete the application form (a PDF file) before you visit they’re office.  Requests made by 10:00 a.m. are usually ready by 12:00 noon; requests made by noon are usually ready by 2:00; requests made by 2:00 are usually ready by 4:00 p.m.; requests made at 4:00 are usually ready by 10:00 a.m. the next business day.
  • Fax requests are also possible, using your credit card.  Please complete the fax application form (a PDF file).

Fees:  The fee for the first copy of any divorce record is $7.00.  Additional copies of the same record, ordered at the same time, are $2.00 each.  Therefore, two copies of the same record would be $9.00.  Please make check or money order payable to VITAL RECORDS.

Information needed to request a copy of a divorce record:

  1. The relationship between the person named on the record and the person making the request.  Example:  my own, my child’s, etc.  Only the person named on the record, the immediate family of that person or anyone with written permission from the person named on the record or the person’s family may get a “certified” copy of a divorce certificate.  Note:  A “non-certified” copy of a divorce certificate is available to anyone who applies.
  2. The reason for needing the record;
  3. The full name of the husband listed on the divorce record;
  4. The full maiden name of the wife listed on the divorce record;
  5. The date of divorce;
  6. The city and county of divorce;
  7. Your signature.

Genealogy Research

  • They file records only for events that occurred in Wisconsin.
  • To schedule an appointment for self-searching, call  (608) 267-7820 .
  • To request a genealogy search:
    • You must list only one possible county of occurrence for each birth record prior to 1876.
    • You must list only one possible county of occurrence for each death record prior to 1876.
    • You must list only one possible county of occurrence for each marriage record prior to 1907.
    • You must indicate the groom’s/husband’s name for each marriage and divorce record.
    • You must list an approximate date of occurrence for each record requested.
    • You must list additional identifying information when requesting a vital record with a common surname, such as Brown, Smith, Johnson, Schmidt, etc. (County of occurrence and parents’ names are very helpful.)
    • They have no divorce records prior to 1907.
  • Genealogy requests may take 3 to 6 months to process.
  • Fees are not returned if the record is not found on file.

The mailing address for the Vital Records Office:
Vital Records
PO Box 309
Madison WI  53701-0309

Earliest Registration Dates

Registration of events prior to 1907 was rather sketchy.  It has been estimated that less than 50% of the records were prepared and submitted for permanent filing before that time.  Records are not on file for events that occurred before the following dates.

County Births Deaths Marriages County Births Deaths Marriages
Adams 1857 1876 1857 Manitowoc 1858 1864 1859
Ashland 1876 1877 1874 Marathon 1870 1868 1865
Barron 1877 1877 1868 Marinette 1874 1879 1878
Bayfield 1879 1870 1869 Marquette 1864 1876 1863
Brown 1814 1834 1823 Milwaukee 1835 1872 1851
Buffalo 1855 1873 1856 Monroe 1877 1876 1856
Burnett 1853 1846 1869 Oconto 1876 1872 1855
Calumet 1858 1856 1850 Oneida 1887 1888 1877
Chippewa 1858 1855 1869 Outagamie 1856 1869 1855
Clark 1869 1877 1857 Ozaukee 1852 1849 1855
Columbia 1860 1877 1849 Pepin 1863 1877 1857
Crawford 1858 1876 1862 Pierce 1870 1876 1851
Dane 1860 1876 1839 Polk 1867 1865 1855
Dodge 1870 1852 1843 Portage 1866 1875 1859
Door 1852 1856 1860 Price 1880 1879 1880
Douglas 1861 1877 1854 Racine 1877 1880 1939
Dunn 1870 1877 1858 Richland 1875 1876 1864
Eau Claire 1870 1876 1857 Rock 1856 1871 1847
Florence 1882 1882 1882 Rusk 1900 1901 1901
Fond du Lac 1879 1854 1844 St. Croix 1858 1876 1852
Forest 1891 1871 1889 Sauk 1864 1876 1852
Grant 1870 1876 1842 Sawyer 1869 1883 1883
Green 1862 1874 1838 Shawano 1862 1873 1848
Green Lake 1864 1877 1858 Sheboygan 1852 1854 1848
Iowa 1876 1871 1836 Taylor 1877 1877 1852
Iron 1886 1887 1858 Trempealeau 1845 1847 1875
Jackson 1876 1876 1858 Vernon 1863 1878 1856
Jefferson 1852 1856 1844 Vilas 1889 1889 1855
Juneau 1877 1876 1844 Walworth 1872 1872 1893
Kenosha 1876 1876 1850 Washburn 1883 1883 1839
Kewaunee 1861 1873 1857 Washington 1859 1873 1883
La Crosse 1877 1876 1851 Waukesha 1860 1872 1846
Lafayette 1854 1877 1847 Waupaca 1858 1848 1846
Langlade 1882 1868 1881 Waushara 1859 1876 1852
Lincoln 1875 1871 1875 Winnebago 1876 1876 1860

Menominee became a county in 1961.

Wood 1871 1872 1844

Note:  Birth – The charge for the first search period is $12.00.  The charge for additional search periods is $7.00 for each 5-year period; or $7.00 for each single index period listed below.

Death, Marriage, or Divorce – All searches cost $7.00 for each 5-year period; or $7.00 for each single index period listed below.

Index Search Periods

Birth: Pre – 1907 to Oct. 1907 Marriage: Pre – 1907 to Oct. 1907
1948 to 1966 1973 to 1978
1967 to 1979 1979 to 1992
1980 to Present 1993 to Present
Death: Pre – 1907 to Oct. 1907 Divorce: 1907 to 1935
1959 to 1979 1965 to 1978
1980 to 1991 1979 to 1986
1992 to Present 1988 to Present*

 

 

* The State Vital Records Office does not have divorce certificates for the period of January 1, 1987 through December 31, 1987.  You should contact the Clerk of Court in the county where the divorce occurred if you require proof of divorce.


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