Pierce County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Ellsworth
Organized: March 11, 1858
Parent County(s): St. Croix County[1]
Neighboring Counties
Dakota (MN)  • Dunn  • Goodhue (MN)  • Pepin  • St. Croix  • Washington (MN)
See County Maps
Pierce County Wisconsin Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
WI Pierce.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Franklin Pierce. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Pierce County Courthouse
4414 W Main
PO Box 119
Ellsworth, WI 54011
Phone: 715-273-3531
Pierce County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records from 1876, marriage records from 1855, divorce records from 1875, probate records from 1878 and court records from 1869. [3]

Pierce 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
1876 1855 1876 1869 1855 1878 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]

  • 1858--Pierce County was created 25 February 1858 from St. Croix County.
  • County seat: Ellsworth[5]

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

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 Pierce 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.
1860 4,672
1870 9,958 113.1%
1880 17,744 78.2%
1890 20,385 14.9%
1900 23,943 17.5%
1910 22,079 −7.8%
1920 21,663 −1.9%
1930 21,043 −2.9%
1940 21,471 2.0%
1950 21,448 −0.1%
1960 22,503 4.9%
1970 26,652 18.4%
1980 31,149 16.9%
1990 32,765 5.2%
2000 36,804 12.3%
2010 41,019 11.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

State Census

Federal Census

  • Pierce County Census Records - Scroll down to the Census heading. This site has images for Federal Censuses from 1860 to 1920, including page numbers for the various townships. USGenWeb Archives

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.



  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Pierce County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

United Church of Christ

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]

Washington CountySt. Croix CountyPepin CountyDunn CountyDakota CountyGoodhue CountyBuffalo CountyWI PIERCE.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 Pierce 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 Pierce:

- 1st Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Company C
- 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Company M
- 6th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company B
- 8th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company D
- 12th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Companies A and D
- 13th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company G

World War I[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records are held by the Pierce Clerk of Circuit Court and are housed at the Pierce 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 Pierce County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Wisconsin Archives and Libraries.

  • University Archives and Area Research Center
    Chalmer Davee Library
    University of Wisconsin-River Falls
    120 Cascade Avenue
    River Falls, WI 54022
    Phone: 715-425-3567
    Fax: 715-425-0609
    Email: archives@uwrf.edu

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 Pierce County. For state-wide library facilities, see Wisconsin Archives and Libraries.

  • Chalmer Davee Library
    University Archives and Area Research Center
    University of Wisconsin-River Falls
    120 Cascade Avenue
    River Falls, WI 54022
    Phone: 715-425-3567
    Fax: 715-425-0609
    Email: archives@uwrf.edu

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Pierce County Historical Assn
    River Bluffs History Center
    PO Box 148
    W6321 E. Main St
    Bay City, WI 54723
    Phone 715-594-3118
  • St Croix Valley Genealogical Society
    PO Box 396
    River Falls, WI 54022

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, "Pierce County, Wisconsin " in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_County,_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), Pierce 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, "Pierce County, Wisconsin," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierce_County,_Wisconsin#Communities, accessed 26 Dec 2018.