vitals on microfilm
  Vital Records
Vital Records on Microfilm
Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin


last modified:
05 Aug 2001
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by Michael P. Christiansen

Most of Fond du Lac County's vital records, prior to about October 1907, are available through the Family History Library (hereinafter FHL) system. These records and their indexes are listed in several different places in the FHL catalog. This article consolidates the catalog information and adds several items which should make the films easier to use in conjunction with the indexes.

 In the case of marriages, the indexes refer to volume and page numbers, but the FHL catalog does not show which volume numbers are on each microfilm roll. In the chart below, I have added the volume and pages found on each microfilm item. The birth indexes give only a date of birth, and a reel and record number. Those birth index reel numbers refer to films at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and are not directly compatible with FHL films. Since many births were recorded long after the event (but appear in order of registration), they are difficult to find with only a date of birth. In the chart,  I have added the equivalent reel and record numbers found on each FHL microfilm item.

 The records on microfilm are "not exactly" the same as the records found at the Fond du Lac County Courthouse. The records on microfilm are the written transcripts deposited at the Bureau of Health Statistics at Madison. The statewide microfiche indexes are from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Some of the records at the Courthouse are original records, and some of them are transcripts also. For a more complete synopsis of the vital records of each county and the various laws that have applied (and have sometimes been ignored!), see: Guide to public vital statistics records in Wisconsin (Madison: Wisconsin Historical Records Survey, 1941).

 Volume and page numbers of these microfilmed records and indexes are NOT the same as those at the Fond du Lac County Courthouse.

 Also, the printed indexes published by the Fond du Lac County Genealogical Society are indexes to the records at the Courthouse. The Society's printed Marriage and Death indexes contain registration dates (date of filing) for the events. These can be used to easily find those events on the microfilms. In the case of births, it will be easier to find them via one of the birth indexes on microfiche. There are two microfiche birth indexes, one alphabetical, and one chronological by date of birth. Generally, you will use the alphabetical index if you do not have the date of birth. However, if you already know the date of birth from other sources such as the Society's birth index, you can use the chronological index. One possible advantage of the chronological index is that it allows you to effectively bypass possible indexing errors regarding the name, since it is easy to carefully examine all the births on a particular date and notice spelling variations and errors, such as a wrong first letter of the surname.

 There are minor differences between the Society's printed indexes, and the state microfiche indexes. Each is one individuals interpretation of a handwritten record, although the Society's indexes are probably one step closer to the original records. One other difference noted when spot-checking between the Society's Death index and the microfiche index is that some married women are indexed by maiden name in the Society's printed index, while they were indexed by married name in the state microfiche death index.

 To evaluate the completeness of the microfilmed records, I checked several pages from the first volume of the Society's Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes against the microfiche indexes. The marriages appeared to be complete. The births and deaths on microfilm did not contain those few events for which the Society's index lists a Deed or Mortgage liber as the source. The deaths recorded before 1871 were not found in the microfilmed records. This amounts to about 70 deaths which occured between 1867 and 1870, except for two earlier. Otherwise, the microfilmed records appear to be complete. Of course, this only refers to the completeness of the microfilmed records versus those at the Courthouse. Many early vital events were not recorded at all. 
 
 

     Marriages 

FHL film  item Vol: pages Registration Dates Note 1
1266973 -2 1 001-169 Jun 1844 - Nov 1859   
1266974 -1 1 170-455 Nov 1859 - Dec 1868 Note 2
1266975 -1 2 001-234 Jan 1869 - Dec 1871   
-2 3 001-098 Jan 1872 - Aug 1873   
1266976 -1 3 099-436 Sep 1873 - Apr 1879   
1266977 -1 3 437-477 Apr 1879 - Dec 1879   
-2 4 001-258 Jan 1880 - Mar 1884   
 1266978 -1 4 259-499 Mar 1884 - Dec 1887   
-2 5 001-098 Jan 1888 - Oct 1889   
1266979 -1 5 099-428 Oct 1889 - Dec 1894   
1266980 -1 6 001-361 Jan 1895 - Jun 1900   
1266981 -1 6 362-556 Jun 1900 - May 1903   
 -2 7 001-138 May 1903 - Mar 1905   
1266982 -1 7 139-326 Apr 1905 - Oct 1907   

      Marriage Indexes 
1275673 -3 Vol. 1 to 4 Note 3
1275673 -4  Vol. 5-7, A-H Note 4
1275660 -1  Vol. 5-7, H-Z  Note 4
6331479 fiches  Vol. 1-7  Note 5

 
Note 1 Generally, six certificates per page.
Page number appears on every third certificate. 
Note 2 Vol. 1, pages 456 to 527 have multiple entries per page. 
Note 3 Index by first letter of surname, grooms only, with spouses name added. 
Note 4  Index by first letter of surname, grooms in left column, separate brides index    in right column. 
Note 5  Brides and grooms in one alphabetical index, covering Adams Co. through    Racine Co. FODU is abbreviation for Fond du Lac. Index gives Vol & page.
  Disregard last three columns on right when using FHL films.

      Births
FHL film  item  Vol: pages  Registration Dates  Reel: record   
1302869 -4 1 001-227 Jan 1871 - Jul 1880 65: 0259 - 65: 1521   
1302870 -1 1 227-500 Jul 1880 - Feb 1881 65: 1516 - 66: 0150  Note 6
-2 2 001-314 Feb 1881 - Dec 1881 66: 0151 - 66: 1995   
-3 001-342  Jan 1882 - Dec 1889 66: 1996 - 67: 1011   
1302871 -1 4 001-612 Jan 1890 - Dec 1895  67: 1012 - 68: 1560   
-2 5 001-521 Jan 1896 - Mar 1900 68: 1561 - 69: 1546   
1302872 -1 5 521-615  Mar 1900 - Dec 1900 69: 1541 - 69: 2110   
-2  6 001-618  Jan 1901 - Dec 1904 69: 2111 - 70: 2129  Note 7
-3 7 001-480  Jan 1905 - Sep 1907  70: 2130 - 71: 2005   
1302873 -1 7 480-529 Sep 1907 - Aug 1937  71: 2000 - 71: 2287   
1305612 -3     Delayed  Oct 1937 - Jun 1939 320: DX2066 - DX2116  Note 8
1305613 -1      Delayed  Jun 1939 - Oct 1940 320: DX2111 - DX2175  
1305619 -4      Delayed  circa 1940-1941  Not indexed  Note 9
 1305620 -1      Delayed  circa 1940-1941  Not indexed  Note 10
Birth Indexes 
 
6331478  fiches  Alphabetical Index   Note 11 
6331476  fiches  Chronological Index Note 12

 
Note 6 Reel 65, records 1989-1994 filmed at back of volume/item. 
Note 7 Skips from page 504 to 617. Last two pages, p. 617 & 618 filmed     in reverse order. These two pages originally from Vol. 2, p. 274 & 275. 
Note 8 This item begins with Crawford Co. County names written on top of     most pages. Fond du Lac Co. at end of roll 1305612 and beginning     of roll 1305613. These records are included in the index. 
Note 9 These records not indexed. Certificates are arranged in  chronological order by births: 21 Apr 1859 - 7 Dec 1889. 
Note 10 Same as note 9 above except dates: 23 Jan 1890 - 4 Sep 1907. 
Note 11 Statewide alphabetical index, called "Unedited Pre-1907 Birth Index."     Indexes by Name, Date of birth, County, Reel, and Record. 
Do not go by registration dates given above. Many births were  registered years later. Use Reel & Record number. Record numbers go to 3000.    Record numbers are the stamped numbers at top of certificate. 
See FHL catalog regarding counties beginning with letter "S" . 
Note 12 Only useful if you already know exact date of birth. 
Deaths 
FHL film  item   Vol:  pages  Registration Dates  Note 13
1310183 -3  1:  001-372  Apr 1871 - Dec 1889   
  -4  2:  001-493  Jan 1890 - Dec 1897   
1310184 -1  3:  001-561 Dec 1897 - Dec 1903   
 -2  4: 001-420   Jan 1904 - Sep 1907   

Death Index   
6331472 fiches  Vol. 1 to 4 Note 14

 
Note 13 About 70 deaths registered before 1871 (in county records) not contained herein. 
Note 14 Statewide alphabetical index; gives volume & page. Disregard 3 columns on right    when using FHL films.

  copyright
This site represents an ongoing effort to document, and collect data related to the history of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin.
and to share this data with other researchers at no charge.
If you have corrections or additions to share, please contact Tracy Reinhardt by email at fondygenie@gmail.com

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** Ruth Shaw Worthing, The History of Fond du Lac County, as told by its Place-Names, 1976.
** The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1880.

** Portrait and Biographical Album of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Chicago: Acme Publishing Company, 1889.
** A. T. Glaze, Incidents and Anecdotes of Early Days and History of Business in the City and County of Fond du Lac from Early Times to the Present, Fond du Lac: P. B. Haber Printing Company, 1905.
** Maurice McKenna, ed., History of Fond du Lac County, Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. 
** Wisconsin Volunteers: War of the Rebellion 1861-1865 
** Plat Book of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, C. M. Foote & Co.  1893