Rock County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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United States
Wisconsin
Rock County

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

County Information

Description

County Courthouse

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. [2]

Rock 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
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1856 1840 1839 1850 1840

Record Loss

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

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.

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

Populated Places

The following are locations in Rock County, Wisconsin:

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

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

For tips on accessing Rock 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.
  • 1905 - 1905 Rock County, Wisconsin State Census— Free indexed images can be viewed on the FamilySearch website. This census includes name of each member of the household, sex, race, age, marital status, country of birth, country of parents' birth, occupation, and home ownership.
  • 1836-1930 - Rock County Census Records Records from 1836 to 1930. State and federal census by township. Some links. WIGenWeb project

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

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

Court Records

Directories

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

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

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

WI ROCK.JPG

Migration

Military Records

Civil War

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

Newspapers

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

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

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

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

  • 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
    Email: archives@uww.edu
    Website
  • RCGS Library
    Charles Tallman
    Archives and Research Center
    430 Jackson Street
    Janesville, WI 53547-0936
    Phone: 608-752-5891
    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

Museums

Societies

  • Rock County Genealogical Society
    PO Box 0936
    Janesville, WI 53547-0936
  • Rock County Historical Society
    426 N Jackson St
    PO Box 8096
    Janesville, WI 53548
    Phone: 608-756-4509
    Website
  • Beloit Historical Society
    845 Hackett St
    Beloit, WI 53511
    Phone: 608-365-7835
    Website
  • Clinton Community Historical Society
    PO Box 606
    Clinton, WI 53525
    Phone: 608-676-4940
    Website
  • Evansville Grove Society
    PO Box 234
    Evansville, WI 53536
    Phone: 608-882-6939
    Website
  • Milton Historical Society
    PO Box 245
    Milton, WI 53563
    Phone: 608-868-2930
    Website
  • Sterling North Society
    409 W Rollin St
    Edgerton, WI 53534
    Phone: 608-884-7589 Or: 608-884-3731
    Website
  • German Interest Group-Wisconsin

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wisconsin.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.