Thursday, June 8, 2006

Wisconsin pre-1907 Vital Records

Birth, marriages and death records for Wisconsin before 1907 are available on the Wisconsin Historical Society web site:

The Wisconsin Pre-1907 Vital Records Index includes over 1 million names entered on Wisconsin marriage records dated between 1852 and September 30, 1907. Vital records, including marriage records, were maintained at the state and/or county level. The Society owns microfilm copies of state level vital records. The online database was created in 2005 by reformatting the state’s microfiche index, adding 27,000 names from delayed birth records, courtesy of the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, and adding several hundred thousand names from marriage records in counties (Richland through Winnebago) that had not been included on the microfiche index.

The Birth and Death records are straightforward - click on the "Details" link and you get the name, date, county, reel and record number of the microfilms - no parents or spouses listed.

However, the Marriage records have a twist. In addition to the name, date, county and volume/page of the record, there is a link on the marriage page to "Search for possible spouse matches." Clicking this link gives you one or more persons on the same page with the same date and county - perhaps the spouse of the person you selected. Most of the ones I checked showed just one potential spouse, but some had three names as potential spouses; for some reasons, some links provided no spouse names. It's not perfect, but it's better than what we had before.

You can also click on the "Buy" button and order a copy of the vital record certificate from the Society for a fee.

I "mined" data for Seaver, Sever, Carringer and Vaux while I was there last night - very profitable - some new spouse names and some dates I didn't have.

Before you leave the web site, check out the other pages on the Society main web page here - there are links to biographies, cemeteries, images, etc.

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