Archdiocese of Milwaukee Genealogical Records Policy
- At this time we do not allow in-person, on-site research to be done at the archives.
- Records are only open to genealogists prior to 1920. Records after 1920 are only open to the individual(s) who received the sacrament.
- The Archdiocesan Archives can respond to requests for records from any parish within our current archdiocesan boundaries using our copy of pre-1920 sacramental records.
- Genealogical inquiries requiring the use of sacramental records must come to us in writing or through our online form.
- Electronic requests can be made using our online form
- Written requests should be mailed to the archivist at:
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Archives
3501 S. Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207
- Requests should be limited to 5 separate record searches. We will not respond to general searches such as, “everything you have on the Smith family from 1850-1920.” Please be specific and include as much information as you know regarding the people you are researching: full names of parents and children, the type of sacramental record requested, approximate dates the sacrament occurred, the parish or city/town/county where the sacraments took place.
- Records being requested for dual citizenship purposes will be dated and certified with the Archdiocesan seal. Please make sure to click the appropriate box for dual citizenship requests on the online form.
- There is no fee for genealogical searches. A donation is appreciated for the time and resources used to research your requests. Please note that even if we do not locate any records relevant to your request, we have still spent time on that search. It often takes more time to search for something that is not there than for something that is there. On average, the suggested donation amount is $25.00. Further instructions on the suggested amount and how to make a donation will be included with our reply letter.
- After your request is received it generally takes 2-6 weeks for our staff to research and respond. We will post mail copies of any records we are able to locate and provide a translation of the records. If we do not find any records will send a letter summarizing which church records were searched during our research.
Each baptism, marriage, and death recorded was done in hand-written chronological parish registers. There is no master database or alphabetical index to search for records; each record is searched for in parish registers page by page. In order for our staff to begin a search we ask that you provide the name of the church where the sacrament took place.
If you do not know which church the sacrament took place please provide information about where your ancestors lived. This type of information can often be found in census records, city directories, or civil records. Remember, we can only search for records within our current archdiocesan boundaries which include the counties: Dodge, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha.
To help your research a list of parishes within our archdiocese that were in existence prior to 1920 and other resources can be found in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Genealogy Research Resource Guide.
If you would like to speak with someone prior to submitting you request, you may contact Amy Nelson, (414)769-3431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have compiled a listing of Orphanages and Protective Insitutions that have existed in the Archdiocese. The Archdiocesan Archives does not maintain the records for the majority of these institutions; contact information for the last known location of records is included with the historical brief of each institution. Historical information may also be found in the archives of the specific religious order in charge of each institution.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Archives does not have legal authority to release any adoption information. For information regarding adopted persons please contact the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.