Obtaining Marriage Certificates

It was voluntary to record Vital Marriage Records prior to October 1907; records previous to Oct. 1907 are scattered but go back as far as the 1830s for some Milwaukee communites. It has been estimated that less than 50% of the records were submitted for State permanent filing before Oct. 1907. Marriage Records at the Wisconsin Vital Records Office are available for marriages after April 1846. Additional records might be found at the county level.

Searching for Marriage Certificates

There are a number of marriage indexes available both online and at area facilities.

A list of free online marriage indexes is available here.

Once you have the information you need, you can order a marriage certficate from Milwaukee County Register of Deeds or the Wisconsin Vital Records Office.

Wisconsin Vital Records Office allows in person searching of records. See their site to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Marriage Records Searches

If you don't have the information to order a certificate, the Wisconsin Vital Records office will conduct a search for a nominal fee.

Ordering a Certificate by Mail

If you know the county of marriage is Milwaukee, you will have the best luck ordering the certificate from the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds

Cost of a marriage certificate is $20.00 Check or money order is acceptable payment Although, money order is preferred. If they don't have the record in their books, the money is kept for the search fee. Otherwise there is no search fee, just the amounts quoted for the records.

For More information see the Milwaukee County Website

Wisconsin State Law states that only the person named on the record, the immediate family of that person or anyone with written permission from the person named on the record or the person's family may get a "certified" copy of a marriage certificate. A "non-certified" copy of a marriage certificate is available to anyone who applies.

Application is available here: http://dhfs.wisconsin.gov/forms/dph/dph05281.pdf

With your request include as much as you can of the following:
full names of bride and groom (including bride's maiden name)
the date of marriage
the place (city, county) of marriage
your daytime telephone number with area code
your mailing address and your signature
Application and fee payment

Other Sources of Marriage Information

Bible records and other family papers
Court records (wills and administrations)
Census records
Military service and pension records
Newspapers (Marriage notices, news articles)
Cemetery records and tombstone inscriptions
Church Records
Death Certificate
Children's Birth Certificates