When conducting genealogical research, Wisconsin marriage records are going to be extremely useful. On a marriage license, marriage register or marriage certificate, you will find important information that will help you build your family tree. Normally, these records contain the full name (including the maiden name) of the bride and the full name of the groom. The date and location of the ceremony is also typically provided on these records.
Often times there is additional information on marriage licenses. Marriage registrations or marriage certificates can be helpful to you as you research your family tree through Wisconsin marriage records. The bride's and groom's ages and/or their birthdays, as well as their residence and place of work at the time of the wedding might be in these documents as well. Maybe the most commonplace piece of information that could be on these documents is the name and birthplaces of the bride's parents as well as the names and birthplaces of the groom's parents. That information can truly help you when you are putting together your family tree.
While you are searching Wisconsin marriage records, it is important that you have the proper information to make your search as easy and as accurate as it can be. You will need the full name of the ancestor and the full name of their spouse. Middle names should be noted, as a lot of people might have a similar first and last name as others in their time. You should find out both names of within the couple first, as this will assist you in making sure that you are looking at the proper record for the right person.
The date of the marriage will be useful in your research also. While you certainly may not know the exact date that the marriage took place, knowing the approximate year will help guide your search to the correct record for the marriage you are trying to find documentation on.
The approximate location that the marriage took place will be helpful in your research also. Knowing the county in which the marriage took place is a good start, as it will be less difficult to limit the search parameters down to a small number of possible cities. Usually, marriage licenses are printed and kept at the health department of the city in which the ceremony was done.
You should not worry if you can't find the license because there are other ways to verify marriage. If the wedding ceremony took place at a church, you may be able to locate a record of the event within the church's old records. It may be even easier if they were married by in a courthouse because you can check court records for the marriage event. Often times couples will announce their engagement or wedding in the local newspapers, so newspaper archives could have a record related to the marriage, sometimes with a picture.
You can access marriage records by visiting the Wisconsin Vital Records office and making a formal request. You cannot request copies of records online or over the phone as the state law requires payment and a signature.
To obtain a Wisconsin marriage record, follow these instructions below:
Download the Wisconsin Marriage Certification Application form from the Dept. of Health website.
Read the instruction carefully. Then complete the form with the information about the marriage certificate, including the birth names of bride and groom, location and date of marriage.
Submit your completed application to the address below, or stop by in person. You must include a check or money order for $20.
Send your completed application to:
Wisconsin Vital Records Office
1 Wilson Street
PO Box 309
Madison, WI 53701-0309
Where to Find Wisconsin Marriage Records
In Wisconsin, marriage records are considered a vital event and are maintained at the Vital Records Office with the Department of Health Services. Records from 1857 to the present are located at this office.
Search Limitations for Marriage Records
If you do not know the exact date of marriage, the Vital Records office can search any five-year period from October 1, 1907 through 1972. Multi-year searches can be performed for records prior to 1907 and 1973 to the present.
Identification Requirements for Requesting Marriage Records
In Wisconsin, proper identification is required for obtaining a copy of a marriage record. A government issued driver's license or ID must be presented in person, or a legible copy sent along with an application form.