Rusk County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Ladysmith
Organized: 1901
Parent County(s): Gates[1]
Neighboring Counties
Barron  • Chippewa  • Price  • Sawyer  • Taylor  • Washburn
See County Maps
Rusk County Courthouse, WI.jpg
Location Map
WI Rusk.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the Jeremiah McLain Rusk. The County has Ladysmith as its seat and the County was created 1901. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Rusk County Courthouse
311 Miner Ave East
Ladysmith, WI 54848-1862
Phone: 715-532-2100
Rusk County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, death, and land records from 1872.
County Court has divorce, probate and court records. [3]

Rusk 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
1872 1872 1872 1901 1872 1901 1820
*Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1907. General compliance year unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1901--Gates County (eventually named, Rusk County) created from Chippewa County on 24 May 1901.
  • 1905--Gates County renamed to Rusk County on 26 June 1905.
  • County seat: Ladysmith[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[edit | edit source]

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]

Unincorporated communities
Ghost towns
  • Atlanta
  • Big Bend
  • Crane
  • Egypt
  • Flambeau
  • Horseman (Varner)
  • Jerome
  • Kalish
  • Mandowish (Manedowish)
  • Poplar / Beldonville
  • Pre Bram
  • Shaws Farm
  • Teresita
  • Tibbets
  • Vallee View / Walrath
  • West Ingram
  • Wilson Center / Dogville (Starez)

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Index to Rusk County Names Rootsweb

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Rusk 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.
1910 11,160
1920 16,403 47.0%
1930 16,081 −2.0%
1940 17,737 10.3%
1950 16,790 −5.3%
1960 14,794 −11.9%
1970 14,238 −3.8%
1980 15,589 9.5%
1990 15,079 −3.3%
2000 15,347 1.8%
2010 14,755 −3.9%
Source: "".

For tips on accessing Rusk 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.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

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]

Washburn CountySawyer CountyPrice CountyTaylor CountyChippewa CountyBarron CountyWI RUSK.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 Rusk 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 Rusk:

World War I[edit | edit source]

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

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

  • Area Research Center - University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire
    Special Collections Department
    William D. McIntyre Library
    Eau Claire, WI 54702-5010
    Phone: 715-836-2739

Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Rusk County Historical Society Museum
    998 E 3rd St. N
    Lady Smith, WI 54848
    Phone: 715-532-2642 (Visitors Center)

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

  • Bruce Area Historical Society
    998 E 3rd Street N
    Ladysmith, WI 54848
    Phone 715-415-3114

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, "Rusk 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), Rusk 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, "Rusk County, Wisconsin," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Wisconsin#Communities, accessed 31 Dec 2018.