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Vital Records

Vital records describe information about life events such as births, marriages and deaths.

For other genealogy resources, please see Researching Your Family Tree.

The information below is based on the Vital Records handout distributed in the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room.

Milwaukee County

The following records for Milwaukee County are available in the Periodicals Room at the Central Library:

Birth Records, 1854-1911   929.3 M661R (microfilm)
Index covers 1854-1932.

Marriage Certificates, 1822-1876   929.3 M661MC (microfilm)
Separate paper indexes by bride’s name and by groom’s name are available in the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room, 929.3 M3485
See also the Milwaukee County Marriage Certificates digital collection.
Additional background information and an online name index to these 1822-1876 Milwaukee County marriages is available from the Milwaukee County Genealogical Society.

Marriage Records, 1836-1911  929.3 M661M (microfilm)
Separate indexes by husband’s and by wife’s name cumulated as follows: 1838-1895, 1896-1908, 1908-1918. Many volumes also have their own indexes.

Death Records, 1852-1912   929.3 M661RD (microfilm)
Indexes are cumulated as follows: 1872-1894, 1895-1907, and 1908-1916.

Wisconsin

Indexes for the following Wisconsin records are available in the Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room:

Births
Pre-1907 alphabetical and chronological lists (microfiche)
Search this Pre-1907 index online at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Wisconsin Genealogy Index.

Marriages
Pre-1907 alphabetical list Adams through Price Counties (microfiche)
Pre-1907 marriages for Racine through Wood Counties are available in the Periodicals Room, 929.3 W795PM (microfilm)
Search this Pre-1907 index online at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Wisconsin Genealogy Index.

1973-1997 Bride alphabetical list (microfiche)
1973-1997 Groom alphabetical list (microfiche)

Divorces
1965-1978 (1966 missing) alphabetical list (microfiche)
1979-1983 Husband alphabetical list (microfiche)
1979-1983 Wife alphabetical list (microfiche)

Deaths
Pre-1907 alphabetical list (microfiche)
Search this Pre-1907 index online at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Wisconsin Genealogy Index.

1959-1997 (1968 missing) alphabetical list (microfiche)

Milwaukee Public Library does not own the Wisconsin vital records indexed above, but copies may be obtained from the Wisconsin Vital Records Office or the Register of Deeds for the county where the event occurred.

Pre-1907 records for Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, and Sheboygan counties are available for in-person research at the Golda Meir Library Archives on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus (microform). See their Genealogy Collection Guides for more information.

See the Wisconsin Historical Society’s system of Area Research Centers for locations of other counties’ Pre-1907 Wisconsin vital records on microform. Pre-1907 records for all Wisconsin counties are also available at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison.

National

Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records
This site gathers together links to online death indexes by state and county. Included are death indexes, obituaries, probate indexes and cemetery & burial indexes.

Social Security Death Index
The Death Master File (DMF) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a searchable database and contains the following information (if available): last and first name, Social Security #(State issued), birth and death dates, and state of last residence. 

Vital Records Information - United States
Included is information on obtaining vital records (birth, death, marriage, divorce) from all the U.S. states and territories.

Where to Write for Vital Records
The National Center for Health Statistics provides links to Vital Records offices in States and U.S. Territories that can supply copies of Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce records upon written request.