Vernon County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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United States
Wisconsin
Vernon County


Guide to Vernon 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: Viroqua
Organized: 1851
Parent County(s): Bad Ax County[1]
Neighboring Counties
Allamakee (IA)  • Crawford  • Houston (MN)  • Juneau  • La Crosse  • Monroe  • Richland  • Sauk
See County Maps
Courthouse
Vernon County WI Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
WI Vernon.png
Adoption

County Information

Description

The County was named for the county's green fields of wheat and to evoke Mount Vernon. The County has Viroqua as its seat and the County was created 1851. The County is located in the west central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Vernon County Courthouse
400 Courthouse Square Street
Viroqua, WI 54665
Phone: 608-637-5380
Vernon County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, death and land records.
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
Register in Probate has probate records. [3]

Vernon 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
1863 1855 1878 1853 1851 1850 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

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 Vernon County, Wisconsin:

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Vernon 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

 

  • In the town of Forest is the Mount Tabor Cemetery. Even though the cemetery is listed under the town of Forest, Wisconsin, google maps places the cemetery in Hillsboro, Wisconsin. A common surname in this cemetery is Cox.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 11,007
1870 18,645 69.4%
1880 23,235 24.6%
1890 25,111 8.1%
1900 28,351 12.9%
1910 28,116 −0.8%
1920 29,252 4.0%
1930 28,537 −2.4%
1940 29,940 4.9%
1950 27,906 −6.8%
1960 25,663 −8.0%
1970 24,557 −4.3%
1980 25,642 4.4%
1990 25,617 −0.1%
2000 28,056 9.5%
2010 29,773 6.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

For tips on accessing Vernon 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.

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 Zion Lutheran Church, Vernon County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Court Records

Directories

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 VERNON.JPG

Migration

Military Records

Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Vernon 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 Vernon:

- 1st Regiment, Wisconsin Cavalry, Company H
- 6th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company I
- 7th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company H
- 8th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company F
- 12th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company I
- 13th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company B
- 14th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company H, with men from the town of Forest, which is found in Fond du Lac County, Richland County, St. Croix County or Vernon County

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

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

  • Area Research Center
    Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
    1631 Pine St.
    La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
    Telephone: 608-785-8511
    Email: specoll@uwlax.edu
    Website
    Facebook

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

  • Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
    Area Research Center
    1631 Pine St.
    La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
    Telephone: 608-785-8511
    Email: specoll@uwlax.edu
    Website
    Facebook

Museums

Societies

  • Hillsboro Area Genealogical Society
    Hillsboro, WI 54634
  • Hillsboro Area Historical Society
    PO Box 9, Route 2
    Hillsboro, WI 54634
    Phone: 608-489-3322
    Website
  • Log Cabin Heritage Society
    714 Abbey Ln
    Viroqua, WI 54665
    Phone: 608-637-7109
  • Vernon County Historical Society
    PO Box 444
    410 S. Center Avenue
    Viroqua, WI 54665
    Phone: 608-637-7396
    Email: vcmuseum@frontiernet.net
    Facebook
    Website
The Vernon County Historical Society (VCHS) is the officially recognized county organization for the preservation of Vernon County's historical heritage. A genealogical class is held on the 2nd Thursday of the month. Check the online schedule for date and time.
The Westby Area Historical Society (WAHS) meets on the first Monday of each month at 1:30 p.m. at the Thoreson House. Winter meetings are held at the Halvorson Apartments.
The first settlers arrived in Vernon County, Wisconsin in the 1840s, and many of their descendants are still in the area. Others have carried their heritage to the ends of the country and beyond. Our goal is to collect and preserve their stories, family artifacts and other memorabilia, and to educate future generations in the heritage of this community.

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Vernon County, Wisconsin " in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vernon_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), Vernon 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.