Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Didn't find what you were looking for?


Didn't find the birth record you were looking for?

If you have not found the records you were looking for, try some of the following suggestions:

Try several different name variations. There are misspellings throughout the index for a variety of reasons, so a name may be listed under a variation. For example, if you are searching for a McMann, it would be a very good idea to search for MacMann as well. Other examples include Brown/Braun, Peterson/Petersen/Pederson, etc.

Try searching by exact date without a last name. This will show you all of the births on a certain date and may show you a name variation that you were unaware of.

There are many entries that just include a last name, county and date. These may be the records you are searching for, but the child had not been named at the time of registration. The difficulty in this is that there is no way to know if this is your ancestor unless you place an order, so use the date and location to help decide if this is a record to order.

Take a look at a county map. The birth may have occurred in an adjacent county. For example, if a family lived close to a border county, which had the closest hospital, that's where the birth would be recorded.

Beginning with the 1902 birth records of Outagamie County through the end of Wood County, an unnamed baby was indexed under the father's first name with an "F" (female) or "M" (male) as the middle initial. For example, Martin, Frank F could be an unnamed female baby whose father's name was Frank Martin. There may also be cases of male births where the middle initial of "F" or "M" does indeed reflect an abbreviated middle name. As time permits, we will be reviewing all birth records with middle initials of "F" and "M" and where appropriate, correcting them to read "unnamed male" or "unnamed female".

If you still can't find the birth record:

  • Gather all the information that you can from your family. Work from the present to the past.
  • Check for the record at the county level. Some records were never forwarded on to the state level and are therefore not included in the Pre-1907 indexes created from the state copies.
  • WI Marriage records often ask for the groom's birthplace, and in later years, the bride's as well.
  • WI Death records ask for the birthplace and age of the deceased. Later records ask for the date of birth.
  • Check census records; both WI state census (1836-1905) and U.S. federal census (1790-1930) can help pinpoint the year of birth. The 1900 federal census even asks for the month and year of birth. See our web site for more info on our census holdings: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/genealogy/census/

Didn't find the death record you were looking for?

If you have not found the records you were looking for, try some of the following suggestions:

Try several different name variations. There are misspellings throughout the index for a variety of reasons, so a name may be listed under a variation. For example, if you are searching for a McMann, it would be a very good idea to search for MacMann as well. Other examples include Brown/Braun, Peterson/Petersen/Pederson, etc.

Try searching by exact date without a last name. This will show you all of the deaths on a certain date and may show you a name variation that you were unaware of.

There are many entries that just include a last name, county and date. This indicates an infant who died prior to being named.

Take a look at a county map. The death may have occurred in an adjacent county.

Deaths were recorded under the most recent name of the deceased, or the name they were using when they died. This might include a nickname, "Hank" for "Henry" or "Mrs. Ellen Brown" instead of "Ellen Brown". Married women are also occasionally listed under their spouse's name, such as "Mrs. Henry Brown".

The death record I'm seeking wasn't found. What do I do next?

  • Gather all the information that you can from your family. Work from the present to the past.
  • Check for the record at the county level. Some records were never forwarded on to the state level and are therefore not included in the Pre-1907 indexes created from the state copies.
  • Check for a probate record in the county of last residence. These records usually state the date of death or allow you to narrow down the possible time period of death. Some of these records have been microfilmed and are located at the local Area Research Center for that county. Others are still held by the county and are located at the relevant Register of Probate's office. Check the ArCat online catalog first, to see if the county you seek is in the Society's holdings: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/archives/arcat.html
  • Check census records; both WI state census (1836-1905) and U.S. federal census (1790-1930) can help pinpoint the year of death. See our web site for more information on our census holdings: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/genealogy/census/
  • If their spouse survived them, look for the spouse's death record and obituary. That obituary will often state when the first spouse died. See our web site for more information on our newspaper holdings: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/genealogy/newspapers/
  • Check the Wisconsin Necrology, an indexed collection of obituaries from throughout the state, covering many old settlers. You can check this in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society Library, request research by regular mail through Library Reference Services or search our online index at http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/wni/.

Didn't find the marriage record you were looking for?

If you have not found the records you were looking for, try some of the following suggestions:

Try several different name variations. There are misspellings throughout the index for a variety of reasons, so a name may be listed under a variation. For example, if you are searching for a McMann, it would be a very good idea to search for MacMann as well. Other examples include Brown/Braun, Peterson/Petersen/Pederson, etc.

Was the bride married previously? The marriage may be located under her last name from a first marriage.

Try searching by exact date without a last name. This will show you all of the marriages on a certain date and may show you a name variation that you were unaware of.

Take a look at a county map. The marriage may have occurred in an adjacent county.

The marriage record I'm seeking wasn't found. What do I do next?

  • Gather all the information that you can from your family. Work from the present to the past.
  • Check for the record at the county level. Some records were never forwarded on to the state level and are therefore not included in the Pre-1907 indexes created from the state copies.
  • WI Death records asked for the name of the spouse at the time of death. Even if the spouse was deceased, their name may still be listed.
  • Locate obituaries for the deceased and/or their spouse. These may reveal the date and place of their marriage. See our web site for more information on our newspaper holdings at: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/genealogy/newspapers/ or search our Wisconsin Name Index to see if you Wisconsin ancestor’s obituary can be ordered online at www.wisconsinhistory.org/wni
  • Consider the possibility that they were married in a neighboring state.
  • Check census records; both WI state census (1836-1905) and U.S. federal census (1790-1930) can help identify a spouse and/or narrow down the year of marriage. The federal census, 1880-1920 asks if each individual is single, married, widowed or divorced; and the 1900 and 1910 federal census also asks how many years an individual has been married to their present spouse. See our web site for more information on our census holdings: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/genealogy/census/

Who will you find?

Society members receive a 10-percent discount on:

  • Vital records and microfilm
  • Civil War service records
  • Plus more!

Become a member today!

  • Questions about this page? Email us
  • Email this page to a friend
select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text