Pierce County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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United States
Pierce County

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


The County was named for Franklin Pierce. The County has Ellsworth as its seat and the County was created 1853. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

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

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

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

Boundary Changes

  • 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

The following are locations in Pierce County, Wisconsin:

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


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

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

  • 1850 - 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

  • 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

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

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



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



Military Records

Civil War

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

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship



Other Records


Probate Records

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

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.





Research Facilities


  • 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

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.


  • 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



  • Pierce County Historical Assn
    PO Box 148
    423 W. Main Street
    Ellsworth, WI 54011
    Phone: 715-273-0118
  • Prescott Welcome and Heritage Center
    233 Broad St N
    Prescott, WI 54021
    Phone: 715-262-3284
    Toll-free: 800-474-3723
  • St Croix Valley Genealogical Society
    PO Box 396
    River Falls, WI 54022


Research Guides


  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.