Rock County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Janesville
Organized: 1842
Parent County(s): Milwaukee [1]
Neighboring Counties
Boone (IL)  • Dane  • Green  • Jefferson  • Walworth  • Winnebago (IL)
See County Maps
Rock County Courthouse, Wisconsin.JPG
Location Map
WI Rock.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the Rock River, which bisects the county from north to south. The name of the county is pronounced with the emphasis or accent on the first syllable, just as is the case with its namesake. The County is located in the south-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Rock County Courthouse
51 S Main Street
Janesville, WI 53545-3978
Phone: 608-757-5660
Rock County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage and death records from 1849, and land records from 1839.
Registrar in Probate has probate records. [3]

Rock 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
1846 1849 1849 1840 1839 1850 1820
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1907. General compliance year unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

First Courthouse was built in 1841 and was destroyed by fire in 1859.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

There have been no boundary changes in Rock County since its inception.

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, see Wikipedia Entries and alternative HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

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 Rock 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.
1840 1,701
1850 20,750 1119.9%
1860 36,690 76.8%
1870 39,030 6.4%
1880 38,823 −0.5%
1890 43,220 11.3%
1900 51,203 18.5%
1910 55,538 8.5%
1920 66,150 19.1%
1930 74,206 12.2%
1940 80,173 8.0%
1950 92,778 15.7%
1960 113,913 22.8%
1970 131,970 15.9%
1980 139,420 5.6%
1990 139,510 0.1%
2000 152,307 9.2%
2010 160,331 5.3%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Rock 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.


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Beloit, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

City and county directories from 1858 to 1931 can be found at

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]

Dane CountyJefferson CountyWalworth CountyGreen CountyBoone CountyWinnebago CountyStephenson CountyWI ROCK.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 Rock 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 Rock:

- 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Companies K, L, and M
- 3rd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Companies C, E, H, and L
- 5th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company E
- 5th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry Reorganized, Company B
- 6th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company G
- 8th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company G
- 13th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Companies A, B, D, E, F, G, H and K
- 15th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company G

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 Rock Clerk of Circuit Court and are housed at the Rock 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 Rock County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Wisconsin Archives and Libraries.

  • Special Collections, Area Research Center, University Archives
    Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
    800 West Main Street
    P.O. Box 900
    Whitewater, WI 53190-0900
    Telephone: 262-472-5520
  • Rock County Genealogical Society Library & Archive
    Milton House Reading Room & Research Center
    18 S. Janesville Street
    Milton, WI 53563
    Hours: Wed. & Thurs.: 10 am - 4 pm
    Fri.: 10 am - 3 pm
    Phone: 608-868-7772
    Mailing Address: PO Box 0936, Janesville, Wisconsin 53547-0936

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Rock County, Wisconsin," in,_Wisconsin. accessed 07/29/2019
  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), Rock 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Rock County, Wisconsin," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Wisconsin#Communities, accessed 31 Dec 2018.