About Our Pre-1907 Wisconsin Vital Records
The Society has millions of vital records recorded in Wisconsin before October 1, 1907, at the state level. The collection includes approximately:
- 1 million birth records and 27,000 delayed birth records
- 1 million marriage records
- 400,000 death records
Wisconsin law required counties to register birth, marriage and death events with state officials starting in 1852, but the law was not strictly enforced until roughly 1880. Most records date from 1880 or later.
It is possible that some records only exist at the county level and are not in our state-level collection. The Society does not own vital records after September 30, 1907.
How the Pre-1907 Wisconsin Vital Records Collections are Organized
Vital records are indexed in the Pre-1907 Vital Records Index. This online resource can be searched by ancestor name and year of event from the Research Your Family History page. Write down the microfilm location information to find and view the record on microfilm or buy a copyof the vital record from the Wisconsin Historical Society. The full record will include details not found in the index.
- Then use filters on the left hand side of the results page to refine your search.
Original vital records are stored on microfilm in the Society's Library. The reels are arranged by county and date of registration. Records are not filmed by the date of the event. Therefore, it is necessary to first get the microfilm location information using the index before you can view a record.
Locating Post-1907 Vital Records
To view post-1907 vital records, contact one of the following organizations:
Both the state registrar and local registers of deeds are required by state statute to require a written application and fees for copies.
Many vital records are available for purchase through the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Due to Wisconsin state law, we can only issue uncertified copies of the records. Currently, no vital records can be digitized and published in electronic form.
Each record costs $15. Wisconsin Historical Society Members receive a 10 percent discount. Learn more about how to become a member. Orders are usually mailed within two weeks of receipt.
If a record is for sale through the Wisconsin Historical Society, copies may be available through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services or the Register of Deeds office in the appropriate county courthouse. View a list of addresses (PDF, 125 KB).
Purchasing Certified Copies
For a certified copy of a vital record contact:
Researching your family history
See more articles about researching your family history.
Contact our Library and Archives staff by email.