Wisconsin Historical Society

Resource Description

About Our Birth Records

Pre-1907 Vital Records Collection

Online Birth Index Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society | Wisconsin Historical Society

The Society has approximately 1 million state-level birth records and 27,000 delayed birth records through September 30, 1907. They are a part of our Pre-1907 Vital Record Collection.

Wisconsin law required counties to register birth 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. We do not have birth records after September 30, 1907.

How Birth Records are Organized

Online

Birth index records are online as a part of our Pre-1907 Vital Records Collection, which is accessible from any computer. The index provides the information necessary to locate a specific microfilm reel containing the ancestor's full birth record. The full record will include details not found in the index. Search for your ancestor by name or year of the event on the Research Your Family History page.

Physical

The Society's Library has microfilm of full birth records organized by county and date of registration; not by name or date of the event.

Purchasing Copies

You can buy vital records through the Wisconsin Historical Society. On the individual record, click the orange "Buy" button and proceed through the Online Store purchasing process.

Due to Wisconsin state law, we can only issue uncertified copies of the records. 

Each record costs $15. Orders are usually mailed or emailed within two weeks of receipt. Wisconsin Historical Society Members receive a 10-percent discount. Learn how to become a member.

How to Cite

For the purposes of a bibliography entry or footnote, follow this model.

Wisconsin Genealogy Index Citation
Wisconsin Historical Society. Wisconsin Genealogy Index: Birth Record Entry for Racine County, Reel 0248, Record 002578; viewed online at //www.wisconsinhistory.org/ on [insert today's date here]
Birth Record Citation
John Alvin Doe birth record, Jackson County, Wisconsin, Reel 38, Record 43, Wisconsin Historical Society Library Archives

Locating Birth Records After 1907

Contact one of the following agencies:

Wisconsin Vital Records Office
Department of Health Services
P.O. Box 309
Madison, Wisconsin 53701-0309

or

Register of Deeds at the appropriate county courthouse. View a list of addresses (PDF, 125 KB).

Learn More

See more articles about researching your family history.

Have Questions?

Contact our Library and Archives staff by email.