410 South Third Street    River Falls, WI 54022 715/425-3567 archives@uwrf.edu
Tips
 
If you strike out looking for a death record, remember often times records just do not exist because it was not a law to register all deaths in Wisconsin until 1907. You can also try searching cemetery records, newspaper obituaries, and local history books. For more recent deaths (post-1962) try the Social Security Death Index.
 

Try a wide variety of spellings when searching vital records. Surname prefixes (Van or Mac) may or may not be included in vital record indexes. Be sure to check both spellings.

 
Looking for post-1907 vital records? Contact the courthouse for the county in which the event took place or contact the State Vital Records Office.
 
Women might be filed under their full husband's name (Mrs. George Jones) or even under the M's for Mrs.

  Pre-1907 Wisconsin Vital Statistics Index: Problems & Pointers

What are Vital Statistics?

Vital Statistics, or vital records, refer to birth, death, and marriage records. In Wisconsin it was not a law until October 1907 to file all birth, death, or marriage records.

Each WI ARC holds a pre-1907 microfiche statewide index for vital records and each ARC houses the actual certificates for their designated geographic region. The UW-River Falls ARC holds records for Burnett, Pierce, Polk, and St. Croix Counties.

The Wisconsin statewide pre-1907 vital statistics index is now available online.



Things to know when using the microfiche index:

Birth Records

All birth records for the counties that begin with an S are indexed under the wrong county name:

St. Croix is indexed as Sauk
Sauk is indexed as Sawyer
Sawyer is indexed as Shawano
Shawano is indexed as Sheboygan
Sheboygan is indexed as St. Croix

Part of the birth records for Outagamie County, Reel 224, doc. 1000-1359, are indexed as being in Columbia County.

When searching for Trempealeau County and Washington County births, check at the end of the alphabetical listing for the particular letter the surname starts with. Many of the records are listed there because something went wrong with the indexing and they have numbers instead of letters for some parts of the names.

Names with a D or DX in front of the reel number indicate a delayed birth record.

Marriage Records
Marriage records were indexed only for Adams County through Racine County.

For Pierce County marriages, in addition to the statewide index and corresponding records on microfilm, there is a collection (Pierce Small Series 1) which contains marriage information copied from marriage records for the years 1860, 1870, and 1880. Also, Pierce Series 95 contains an index to marriage licenses from 1867-1891.

For the index to St. Croix County marriage records, see River Falls Microfilm No. 59. There is a gap from 1870-1872 in the marriage records so either the St. Croix County Government Center or the Wisconsin Vital Records Office must be contacted for these years. River Falls Microfilm No. 59 begins with the year 1856. For records earlier than that, consult the book located in the Area Research Center called, Marriages for St. Croix County, Wisconsin, 1852-1867, call number F587.S13 M37. Additional sources to consult would be St. Croix Series 4, Marriage License Record, 1899-1946; and St. Croix Series 5, Index to Marriage Licenses of Ladies, 1899-1933.