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Vilas County, Wisconsin Genealogy

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Guide to Vilas 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: Eagle River
Organized: April 12, 1893
Parent County(s): Oneida County[1]
Neighboring Counties
Forest  • Gogebic (MI)  • Iron (MI)  • Iron  • Oneida  • Price
See County Maps
Courthouse
Vilas County Courthouse WI.jpg
Location Map
WI Vilas.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for William Freeman Vilas. The County is located in the north-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Vilas County Courthouse
330 Court Street
Eagle River, WI 54521
Phone: 715-479-3600
Vilas County Website

Register of Deeds has birth, marriage, death and land records.
Register in Probate has probate records. [3]

Vilas County, Wisconsin Record Dates[edit | edit source]

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
1889 1893 1889 1900 1893 1900 1820
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1907. General compliance year unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • 1893--Vilas County was created 15 April 1893 from Oneida County.
  • 1897--Vilas County gained land from Forest and Oneida Counties on 29 April 1897.
  • 1905--Vilas lost land to Oneida Count on 31 March 1905.
  • 1905--Vilas gained land from Forest County on 16 May 1905.
  • 1909--Vilas kept control of disputed area between Vilas County and Upper Peninsula of Michigan on 1 Jan 1909.
  • County seat: Eagle River[5]

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[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]


Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Vilas 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

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 4,929
1910 6,019 22.1%
1920 5,649 −6.1%
1930 7,294 29.1%
1940 8,894 21.9%
1950 9,363 5.3%
1960 9,332 −0.3%
1970 10,958 17.4%
1980 16,535 50.9%
1990 17,707 7.1%
2000 21,033 18.8%
2010 21,430 1.9%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

For tips on accessing Vilas 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[edit | edit source]

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.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Price CountyIron CountyGogebic CountyIron CountyOneida CountyForest CountyWI VILAS.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Vilas 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 Vilas:

- 11th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company K

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Probate records are held by the Vilas Clerk of Circuit Court and are housed at the Vilas 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[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

  • History Center and Archives, Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center
    Wisconsin Historical Society
    29270 County Highway G
    Ashland, WI 54806-9339
    Phone: 715-685-2647
    Email: whsnorthwoods@whs.wisc.edu
    Website

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Vilas County Historical Society
    Main Street
    Sayner, WI 54560
    Phone: 715-542-3388
    Website
  • Eagle River Genealogy Society
    PO Box 693
    Eagle River, WI 54521
    Phone: 715-479-8899
  • Eagle River Historical Society
    PO Box 2011
    Eagle River, WI 54521
    Phone: 715-479-4845
    Website
    Facebook
  • Lac du Flambeau Historical and Cultural Society
    PO Box 729
    Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538
    Phone: 715-588-7626
    Website
  • Land O' Lakes Historical Society
    PO Box 541
    Land O' Lakes, WI 54540
    Phone: 715-547-3638
    Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wisconsin.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Vilas County, Wisconsin " in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilas_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), Vilas 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.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Vilas County, Wisconsin," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilas_County,_Wisconsin, accessed 12 Dec 2018.