Source Information

Ancestry.com. Wisconsin, Death Index, 1959-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: Wisconsin Vital Records Office. Wisconsin Death Index, 1959-67, 1969-97. Madison, Wisconsin, USA: Wisconsin Department of Health.

About Wisconsin, Death Index, 1959-1997

This database is an index to approximately 1.6 million deaths that occurred in Wisconsin between 1959 and 1997 (excluding 1968). Information available in this database includes:

  • Name of deceased

  • Death date

  • Death place (city and/or county)

  • Race

  • Gender

  • Age at time of death

  • Residence county

  • Birth date

Note that each entry will not contain all of this information. Additional information, such as a death certificate number, may be available on the index image.

Where to go from here:

With the information provided in this index you may be able to obtain a copy of a death certificate. The certificate number is especially important for doing this. Death certificates can be very valuable because of the amount of information they provide (see below). Death certificates may be obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Health, Vital Records Services. Visit their website (http://dhfs.wisconsin.gov/VitalRecords/index.htm) for more information on how to order one.

About death records:

Modern (post-1910) death records, though comparatively recent, are steadily increasing in value. People are living longer, and death records often provide information about birth as well as death.

Modern death certificates have not been standardized throughout the United States; but, like birth certificates, most of them contain the same types of information. Most contemporary death certificates include the deceased's name, sex, race, date of death, age at the time of death, place of death, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, name of spouse, Social Security number, occupation, residence, father's name, mother's name, cause of death, and place of burial. Records from some states provide the birthplace of the deceased's parents. The Social Security number is not always included, but, when it is, it can be invaluable because other records (subject to right-of-privacy laws) may be accessible if you have the Social Security number.

As any experienced researcher knows, death records are only as accurate as the knowledge of the person who provided the information. Many informants are unaware of the name of parents or are unsure about dates and places of birth. Always try to find additional information about parents and dates and places of birth whenever possible.

Taken from Chapter 3: Research in Birth, Death, and Cemetery Records, The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Johni Cerny; edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry Incorporated, 1997).