Wisconsin Vital Records

Wisconsin Vital Records

Wisconsin vital records are maintained by the Office of Vital Records and include documents relating to important life events such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. These records are all compiled and stored in one central registry to be used for statistical analysis.

Divorce Records

Divorce records are issued by the government upon the registration of the event. Divorce records are split into two categories in Wisconsin, pre-1907 and post-1907, as there was a state-wide registration in that year. Since this registration, records became more accurate and are now available at the Wisconsin Vital Records Office. There were 14,986 divorces in Wisconsin in 2015, with a rate of 2.6 per 1,000 inhabitants.

Marriage Records

Marriage records are also issued by an official from the government after the marriage is registered. They are also split into the same two categories of before 1907 and after 1907, the year of the implantation of state-wide registration. Before this point, the records were kept by individual counties. These pre-1907 records can be obtained from the Wisconsin Vital Records Office or the Register of Deeds in the relevant county. Some counties such as Crawford, Brown, Jefferson, and Dodge have records as far back as the 1820s. To obtain these older records a person must write to the Wisconsin Genealogy Index. The Family History Library also has some pre-1907 records on microfilm. Records have become more accurate since the state-wide registration. There were 32,385 marriages in Wisconsin in 2015, with a rate of 5.6 per 1,000 inhabitants.

Birth Records

Birth records are issued upon the birth of every child in the state, and can come in the form of a birth certificate or a certified copy of the original. These records are split up into two categories in Wisconsin, pre-1907 and post-1907. Most records began from the 1870s onwards, but some counties have documents dating back to the 1850s. You can obtain these pre-1907 documents from the Wisconsin Genealogy Index. The Wisconsin Family History Library and the Wisconsin Vital Records Office are also sources of older records. Records collected after the state-wide registration in 1907 can be obtained from the Wisconsin Vital Records Office.

Death Records

Death records refer to the collection of details from a person’s death certificate. These too are split into the categories of pre-1907 and post-1907 following the state-wide registration of death records. Many counties began recording in the 1870s, but some counties have records dating back as far as the 1850s. These can be found at the Wisconsin Family Library. Other death records can be found at the Wisconsin Family History Library and the Wisconsin Vital Records Office.

Why are these records available to the public?

The Wisconsin Open Records Law was passed in 1982 with the latest amendment coming in 2002. This ensures that the people of Wisconsin can access court records and other public records.

Wisconsin State Archives

State Archives

Contact: (608) 216-2494

Results Include

Full State Record Report:

  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Birth Records
  • Criminal Records
  • Assets
  • Property Ownership
  • Bankruptcies
  • Judgments
  • Liens
  • Public Records
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Relatives & Associates


  • State archives hold over 100,000 cubic feet of records.
  • There are 2 levels of courts – trial and appellate.
  • The Wisconsin Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court which reviews contested decisions of the Wisconsin circuit courts. 
  • The Circuit courts are the general trial courts in the state of Wisconsin. Circuit court judges hear and decide both civil and criminal cases.
  • There are currently 69 circuit courts in the state, divided into 10 judicial administrative districts.
  • The highest court in Wisconsin is the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
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