Door County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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United States
Door County

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

County Facts
County seat: Sturgeon Bay
Organized: February 11, 1851
Parent County(s): Brown[1]
Neighboring Counties
See County Maps
Door County Wisconsin Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
WI Door.png

County Information


The County was named for Door Peninsula. The County has Sturgeon Bay as its seat and the County was created 1861. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Door County Courthouse
421 Nebraska Street
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235-2204
Phone: 920-746-2200
Door County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, divorce, and land records from 1850.
Clerk of Court has divorce records from 1900 and court records from 1860.
Register in Probate has probate records from 1863.[3]

Door County, Wisconsin Record Dates

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
1850 1850 1850 1860 1850 1863 1820
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1907. General compliance year unknown.

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1851--Door County was created 11 February 1851 from Brown County.
  • County seat: Sturgeon Bay[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

The following are locations in Door County, Wisconsin: [6]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Places with their included locations

  • Washington Island includes Detroit Harbor.
  • Liberty Grove (Town of) includes Villages of Gills Rock, Ellison Bay, and Sister Bay; old towns/areas of Rowleys Bay, Appleport, Hedgehog Harbor, North Bay, and North Port.
  • Baileys Harbor includes Peninsula Center
  • Gibraltor (Town of) includes Villages: Ephraim, Juddville, Fish Creek, Horseshoe (Eagle), and Chamber Islands.
  • Jacksonport includes West Jacksonport.
  • Egg Harbor includes the Villages of Egg Harbor and Carlsville.
  • Sevastopol including Villages of Valmy, Institute, and Whitefish Bay.
  • Sturgeon Bay
  • Gardner includes Little Sturgeon Bay
  • Forestville includes Village of Forestville, Carnot, and Maplewood.
  • Nasawaupee, includes Idlewild.
  • Union includes Shoemaker Point and Namur.
  • Brussels includes Rosiere and Kohlberg.
  • Clay Banks includes Vignes and Salona.

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Door 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

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 2,948
1870 4,919 66.9%
1880 11,645 136.7%
1890 15,082 29.5%
1900 17,583 16.6%
1910 18,711 6.4%
1920 19,073 1.9%
1930 18,182 −4.7%
1940 19,095 5.0%
1950 20,870 9.3%
1960 20,685 −0.9%
1970 20,106 −2.8%
1980 25,029 24.5%
1990 25,690 2.6%
2000 27,961 8.8%
2010 27,785 −0.6%
Source: "".

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

State Census

  • 1855 - 1855 Wisconsin State Census This census includes name of head of family; other individuals in the household are identified by sex and race, number of deaf and dumb, blind, insane and foreign born.
  • 1865 - 1865 Wisconsin State Census Name index and images of the 1865 State Census which names the head of household. Most records have been destroyed but schedules exist for the following counties: Dunn, Green, Jackson, Kewaunee, Ozaukee, and Sheboygan.
  • 1875 - 1875 Wisconsin State Census Identifies head of household by name.
  • 1885 - Wisconsin State Census, 1885 at FamilySearch — index and images. Search indexed census.Identifies by name of head of household. Other information is statistical and identifies the rest of the household by race, gender and country of birth.
  • 1895 - Wisconsin State Census, 1895 at FamilySearch — index and images. Identifies head of household by name. Other information is statistical.
  • 1905 - Wisconsin State Census, 1905 at FamilySearch — Name index and images of population. Enumerates by name all inhabitants.

Federal Census

Church Records

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 Bay View Lutheran Church, Sturgeon Bay, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups


Funeral Homes

Door County WI Funeral Homes -Peninsula Genealogical Society


Family Histories at Door County Library, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin-Surname Index (partial) - Peninsula Genealogical Society website


Land and Property Records

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

Maps and Gazetteers

Door County Civil Towns - Peninsula Genealogical Society

Door County Plat Maps - University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries



Military Records

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Door 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 Door:

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

Operation Iraqi Freedom

Naturalization and Citizenship


Door County Newspapers - Door County Library Newspapers Archive


Door County Obituary Index-1862 to 1899 - Peninsula Genealogical Society

Door County Obituaries - 2010 and before - no cemetery listed or out of town cemetery - Peninsula Genealogical Society

Other Records


Probate Records

Probate records are held by the Door Clerk of Circuit Court and are housed at the Door 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

Tax Records

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

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.

  • Pre-1907 Births, Marriages and Deaths at Archives and Area Research Center, Cofrin Library, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay - $, the research center will make a search





Research Facilities


  • Archives and Area Research Center
    Cofrin Library, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
    2420 Nicolet Dr.
    Green Bay, WI 54311-7001
    Phone: 920-465-2539

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.


  • Cofrin Library, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
    Archives and Area Research Center
    2420 Nicolet Dr.
    Green Bay, WI 54311-7001
    Phone: 920-465-2539



  • Door County Historical Society
    Box 71
    2041 Michigan Street
    Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
    Phone: 920-421-2332
  • Peninsula Genealogical Society
    477 No. 6th Ave
    Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
  • Sevastopol Historical Society
    PO Box 501
    Sturgeon Bay WI 54235
  • Sister Bay Historical Society
    PO Box 34
    Sister Bay, WI 54234
    Phone: 920-854-7680


Research Guides

Peninsula Genealogical Society website


  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, "Door 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), Door 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, "Door County, Wisconsin," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Wisconsin#Communities, accessed 6 September 2018.