Columbia County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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Guide to Columbia County, Wisconsin ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Portage
Organized: February 3, 1846
Parent County(s): Portage[1]
Neighboring Counties
Adams  • Dane  • Dodge  • Green Lake  • Juneau  • Marquette  • Sauk
See County Maps
Columbia County WI courthouse.jpg
Location Map
WI Columbia.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County is located in the south-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Columbia County Courthouse
PO Box 177
Portage, WI 53901-0177
Phone: 608-742-9654
Columbia County Website

Register of Deeds has land, marriage, death and burial records.
Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
Register in Probate has probate records [3]

Columbia County, Wisconsin Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1860 1849 1877 1851 1829 1847 1820
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1907. General compliance year unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1846--Columbia County was created 3 February 1846 from Portage County.
  • County seat: Portage[5]

For animated maps illustrating Wisconsin County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Wisconsin County Boundary Maps" (1790-1961) may be viewed for free at the website.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Columbia County, Wisconsin online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Wisconsin Cemeteries for more information


Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 9,565
1860 24,441 155.5%
1870 28,802 17.8%
1880 28,065 −2.6%
1890 28,350 1.0%
1900 31,121 9.8%
1910 31,129 0.0%
1920 30,468 −2.1%
1930 30,503 0.1%
1940 32,517 6.6%
1950 34,023 4.6%
1960 36,708 7.9%
1970 40,150 9.4%
1980 43,222 7.7%
1990 45,088 4.3%
2000 52,468 16.4%
2010 56,833 8.3%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Columbia census records online, see: Wisconsin Census.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Wisconsin denominations, view the Wisconsin Church Records wiki page.


List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Wisconsin Land and Property for additional information about early Wisconsin land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Adams CountyMarquette CountyGreen Lake CountyJuneau CountyDodge CountyDane CountySauk CountyWI COLUMBIA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Columbia served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Columbia:

- 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Companies E and G
- 3rd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Company E
- 7th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Companies A and B
- 8th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company D
- 10th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company D
- 12th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company E

World War I[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

- Surnames Abraham - Fuller
- Surnames Galien - Lytle
- Surnames Maass - Ryan
- Surnames Salzman - Zunker

Korean War[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Wisconsin Newspapers Online

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records are held by the Columbia Clerk of Circuit Court and are housed at the Columbia Courthouse. See the wiki page Wisconsin Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, and adoptions.

Online Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Wisconsin tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned property or other items that could be taxed were listed, some residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records. For more information see the Wiki page, Wisconsin Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Most counties started keeping records in the 1870s. In 1907, the counties began sending copies to the state.

For pre-1907 births, deaths, and marriages, search the Wisconsin Genealogy Index.

For additional information, see Wisconsin Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Columbia County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Wisconsin Archives and Libraries.

  • Archives - Steenbock Library
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    425 Steenbock Library
    550 Babcock Dr.
    Madison, WI 53706
    Telephone: 608-262-5629

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Columbia County. For state-wide library facilities, see Wisconsin Archives and Libraries.

  • Archives - Steenbock Library
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
    425 Steenbock Library
    550 Babcock Dr.
    Madison, WI 53706
    Telephone: 608-262-5629

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Columbia County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Wisconsin Societies.

  • Cambria-Friesland Historical Society
    112 N. Madison St.
    P.O.Box 501
    Cambria, WI 53923
    Phone: 920-348-5940 or 920-348-5787
  • Columbia County Historical Society
    112 North Main St.
    Pardeeville, WI 53954
    Phone: 608-429-1447
  • Dells Country Historical Society
    714 Broadway
    Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
    Phone: 608-254-2254
  • Lodi Valley Historical Society
    173 S Main St
    Lodi, WI 53555
    Phone: 608-592-0705
  • Portage Historical Society
    804 MacFarlane Road
    PO Box 727
    Portage, WI 53901
    Phone: 608-742-6682
  • Poynette Area Historical Society
    W5660 Hall Rd
    Poynette, WI 53955
    Phone: 608-635-2970
  • West Point Area Historical Society
    West Point Town Hall
    N2114 Rausch Rd.
    Lodi, WI 53555
    Phone: 608-592-7059


Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wisconsin.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Columbia County, Wisconsin " in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Wisconsin."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wisconsin.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Columbia County, Wisconsin. Page 755-760, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 757-759.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wisconsin.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Columbia County, Wisconsin," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Wisconsin#Communities, accessed 11 August 2018.