Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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United States
Wisconsin
Milwaukee County


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

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County Facts
County seat: Milwaukee
Organized: September 6, 1834
Parent County(s): Brown and Iowa Counties[1]
Neighboring Counties
Ozaukee  • Racine  • Washington  • Waukesha
See County Maps
Courthouse
Milwaukee County Courthouse Wisconsin.jpg
Location Map
WI Milwaukee.png
Adoption

County Information

Description

The County has Milwaukee as its seat and the County was created 1935. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Milwaukee County Courthouse
901 N 9th Street
Milwaukee, WI 53233
Phone: 414-278-4987
Milwaukee County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, death records, and land records from 1835.
Register in Probate has probate records from 1838.[3]

Milwaukee 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
1835 1835 1835 1837 1835 1838 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

  • 1834--Milwaukee County was created 6 September 1834 from Brown and Iowa Counties.
  • County seat: Milwaukee[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

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]

Cities
Villages
Ghost towns


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Milwaukee 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.  %±
1850 31,077
1860 62,518 101.2%
1870 89,930 43.8%
1880 138,537 54.0%
1890 236,101 70.4%
1900 330,017 39.8%
1910 433,187 31.3%
1920 539,449 24.5%
1930 725,263 34.4%
1940 766,885 5.7%
1950 871,047 13.6%
1960 1,036,041 18.9%
1970 1,054,063 1.7%
1980 964,988 −8.5%
1990 959,275 −0.6%
2000 940,164 −2.0%
2010 947,735 0.8%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

Lutheran
Ascension Lutheran Church

  • Records of Ascension Lutheran Church, Milwaukee County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Milwaukee County

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

Our Savior's Lutheran Church

  • Records of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Milwaukee County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Germans Important records to search for German research: Archives, Libraries, and Museums; Biographies; Church Records; Cemetery Records; Court Records; Histories; Immigration/emigration/migration; Maps; Newspapers; Societies

Volga Germans had many settlements in nearby Racine county. To find out more about Volga Germans click here. This site gives resources to help you with your Volga German research. including several links, two of which do not work, and two of which are in Russian. Family Search has a another collection - United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012. The Milwaukee Historical Society has many useful records that may help you in your German or other nationality research.

The record types available here are:

  • Civil War Rosters
  • Jail records
  • Marriage record index
  • Manuscripts
  • Newspapers
  • Naturalization
  • School census record
  • Territorial census records
  • Ordination records of church clergy
  • Published histories

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

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

Ozaukee CountyWashington CountyWaukesha CountyRacine CountyWI MILWAUKEE.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration

Military Records

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee:

- 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Companies H and I
- 3rd Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Companies D, H, K and M
- 5th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia Cavalry (Union), Company G
- 5th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Companies B and C
- 5th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry Reorganized, Company A
- 6th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Companies B and C
- 9th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Companies A, C, E, G, H, I and K
- 9th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry Reorganized, Companies A, B, C, and D
- 13th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Companies E and K

Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnamese War

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Obituaries

The following obituary indices are available through the Milwaukee Public Library. See Genealogy Obituary Resources to learn more.

  • Milwaukee Journal Newspaper Index, 1915-1917
  • Milwaukee's German Newspapers: an Index of Death Notices and Related Items
  • Wisconsin Necrology, 1846-1944
  • Index to Deaths Reported in the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, 1921-1996
  • Death Notices/Obits, 1930s (?) - June, 30, 1992: Surname Index
  • Obituaries, Milwaukee Journal/Milwaukee Sentinel, 1958-1988
  • Milwaukee Area Necrology, 1992-1998
  • Milwaukee Sentinel Card Index, 1837 - 1879
  • Milwaukee Sentinel Card Index, 1880-1890
  • Italian Times
  • The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

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

Birth

Marriage

Indices available through Milwaukee County Library:

  • Marriage Certificates for Milwaukee County for the years 1822-1876
  • Marriage Records for Milwaukee County for the years 1836-1911

Visit the library's site linked above to see a complete list of marriage records.

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

  • Area Research Center - University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
    Milwaukee, Division of Archives and Special Collections
    Golda Meir Library, Room W250
    2311 East Hartford Avenue
    PO Box 604
    Milwaukee, WI 53201-0604
    Phone: 414-229-5402
    Email: askarch@uwm.edu
    Website

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.

Libraries

  • Milwaukee Public Library
    814 W. Wisconsin Avenue
    Milwaukee, WI 53233
    Phone: 414-286-3000
    Website
  • Golda Meir Library - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Area Research Center, Milwaukee, Division of Archives and Special Collections
    Golda Meir Library, Room W250
    2311 East Hartford Avenue
    PO Box 604
    Milwaukee, WI 53201-0604
    Phone: 414-229-5402
    Email: askarch@uwm.edu
    Website

Museums

  • Wisconsin Black Historical Society Museum
    2620 West Center Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53206
    Website

Societies

  • Milwaukee County Historical Society
    910 N. Old World Third Street
    Milwaukee, WI 53203
    Phone: 414–273–8288
    Website
  • Milwaukee County Genealogical Society
    PO.Box 27326
    Milwaukee, WI 53227-0326
    Website
  • Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society
    6100 W. Mequon Road
    Mequon, WI 53092-1951
    Website
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Historians Assn
    2588 N Prospect Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53211
    Phone: 414-964-8361

Websites

Research Guides

References

  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, "Milwaukee County, Wisconsin " in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_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), Milwaukee 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, "Milwaukee County, Wisconsin," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milwaukee_County,_Wisconsin, accessed 23 September 2018.