Wisconsin State Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Wisconsin State Death Records, 1867-1907 .
Collection Time Period
Records in this collection are for the years 1867 to 1907.
The records are handwritten on a pre-printed form, usually 6 entries per page.
Record ContentWisconsin death records ask for the following information:
- Full name of deceased
- Maiden name (if deceased is a married woman)
- Name of father
- Birthplace of father
- Name of mother
- Birthplace of mother
- Birthplace of deceased
- Name of spouse
- Birth date of deceased
- Marital status of deceased
- Death date
- Residence of deceased
- Cause of death
- Place of death
- Duration of disease
- Was deceased a soldier or in the service of the United States
- Burial place
- Name of undertaker
- Date of certificate
- Number of burial permit
- Place of burial permit
- Other remarks
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to deaths make it possible to access a specific record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The place where the death occurred
- The name of the person at the time of death
- The approximate death date
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestor in the death records. Compare the information in the death record to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.
When you have located your ancestor’s death record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county.
- The name of the undertaker or mortuary could lead you to funeral and cemetery records, which often include the names and residences of other family members.
- Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the deceased who may have died or been buried in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
Keep in mind:
- The information in these records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
The state of Wisconsin required its counties to register vital records (birth, marriage, death, and divorce) beginning in 1852. However, only a limited number of these events were actually recorded before 30 September 1907. The existing records prior to 1907 have been collected by the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Why the Record Was Created
Deaths were recorded to better serve public health needs. They were also used in connection with the probate of wills and the administration of estates.
The information recorded about the death is usually reliable, including the cause of death, the name of the attending physician or medical professional, the name and address of the funeral home, and the date and place of burial. The accuracy of other information depends on the reliability of the informant, often a family member.
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Contributing to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
"Wisconsin Death Records, 18678-1907" index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 7 October 2011). entry for Lottie Osterhout Galloway Percy, died 1901; citing Death Records, FHL micofilm 1,310,190; State Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin, United States.
Sources of Information for This Collection
Wisconsin State Death Records, 1867-1907, database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org); from the State Historical Society, Madison. FHL microfilm, 68 rolls, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah
- This page was last modified on 13 October 2011, at 16:33.
- This page has been accessed 442 times.
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