Wisconsin, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Wisconsin, United States
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Flag of Wisconsin
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Location of Wisconsin
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Index
Collection years 1836-1911
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What Is in the Collection?

The collection consists of a name index to marriage records in Wisconsin for the years 1836-1911. The record content varies by county. Marriages were recorded by the clerk of the district court for each county from the time the county was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred.

Civil marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs to legal claims on property. The marriage date, place, and residence of the bride and groom are relatively reliable. Other information, such as birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Genealogical facts found in these marriage records include:

  • Name of the groom
  • Name of the bride
  • Names of the officiator and witnesses
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
  • Date of the marriage
  • Birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Occupation of the groom
  • Races of the bride and groom

Collection Content

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Wisconsin marriages, click here.

Sample Image

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a parent or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the names of the parents to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, and death records. Also search for immigration, military, land and probate records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members in censuses.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record. Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Try variant spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Wisconsin, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Library Catalog


Citing This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911.


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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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