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Birth Records

Click here for Wisconsin Historical Society's index to our pre-1907 vital records (this external link takes you to WHS website)

Our Holdings of Birth Registrations
1852 - 1907
Fond du Lac
1852 - 1907
Green Lake
1852 - 1907
1852 - 1907
1861 - 1907

(From the register for Series 2070. Dept. of Health and Social Services. Registration of Births, 1852-1907):

From 1852 until 1907, physicians or other persons attendant on a birth or the parents, if no one was attendant, were required to file a certificate of birth within 30 days with the county Register of Deeds. After July 1, 1897, the certificate was to be filed with the local health officer or the local clerk if there was no health officer who then forwarded the certificate to the Register of Deeds.

The Register of Deeds was required in turn to enter information from the certificate into a separate registry book. The Register was further required to submit a copy of the registry semiannually to the Secretary of State for safekeeping. In October 1907, the registration of births and other vital records was centralized in the State Bureau of Vital Statistics (now called the Vital Records Office). Registrations on file with the Secretary of State were transferred to that new office. These records are microfilm copies of registry volumes. See list above for Oshkosh holdings of registrations of births.

In 1852, the Wisconsin Statutes specified that the birth registry contain the following data: full names of child, sex, color, name of other issue living, full name of father, occupation of father, name of mother previous to marriage, hour , day, month and year of birth, place of birth, name of physician or other person signing the certificate or making application, their residence, date of certificate, date of registration, and any additional circumstances to be noted. In 1898, this list was amended to include the birthplaces of the farther and mother.

Though registration has been required since 1852, the early records are far from complete. Many births, particularly those prior to 1870, simply were not recorded. Conversely, many pre-1852 births were registered, including some dating back to 1808.

As of 2006, you can now search the WHS's vital records index from home! Click here to search the index (this external link takes you to WHS website).