Rock County, Wisconsin
Genealogy and Facts
Rock County, Wisconsin genealogy and family tree research page. Discover links to record collections, history, and genealogy sources to assist you to you track your personal Rock Co. ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
Rock County was founded on December 7, 1836 from Milwaukee County. The county was named for the Rock River, which flows through the county .
The Rock County Seat can be found in Janesville and the county government website is www.co.rock.wi.us/
Bordering Counties in Rock County include Green County (west), Dane County (north), Jefferson County (northeast), Walworth County (east), Boone County, Illinois (south), Winnebago County, Illinois (south).
Populated Places in Rock County are Cities which consist of Beloit, Brodhead, Edgerton, Evansville, Janesville, Milton; Towns consist of Avon, Beloit, Bradford, Center, Clinton, Fulton, Harmony, Janesville, Johnstown, La Prairie, Lima, Magnolia, Milton, Newark, Plymouth, Porter, Rock, Spring Valley, Turtle, Union; Villages consist of Clinton, Footville, Orfordville.
Rock County does have Federal Census Schedules to assist in finding out about your family tree. United states federal Population Schedules are available for 1840 (as Wisconsin Territory), 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890 (fragment, see below), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940.
Rock Co. Mortality Schedules can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Rock Co. Industry and Agriculture can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Rock Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free down-loadable and also printable census forms to help you with your research.
Rock County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Rock County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Wisconsin State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Rock County Genealogical Society, PO Box 711, Janesville, WI 53547-0711; Phone: 608-752-5891
- Rock County Historical Society, PO Box 8096, Janesville, WI 53547-8096; Phone: 608-756-4509
- Area Research Center - University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Harold Andersen Library, 800 West Main Street, Whitewater, WI 53190; Phone: 262/472-5520
- Beloit Historical Society, 845 Hackett St, Beloit, WI 53511; Phone: 608-365-7835
- Clinton Community Historical Society, PO Box 606, Clinton, WI 53525; Phone: 608-676-4940
- Evansville Grove Society, PO Box 234, Evansville, WI 53536; Phone: 608-882-6939
- Milton Historical Society, PO Box 245, Milton, WI 53563; Phone: 608-868-2930
- Sterling North Society, 409 W Rollin St, Edgerton, WI 53534; Phone: 608-884-7589 Or: 608-884-3731
- Rock County, Wisconsin Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Rock County
- Rock County, Wisconsin Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Rock County
- USGenWeb Archives for Rock County (usgwarchives.net)
- Wisconsin Genealogy Index (wisconsinhistory.org) Search for pre-1907 Vital Records, as well as for 150,000 Wisconsin Name Index (WNI) records, including biographical sketches, obituaries, and newspaper articles published before 2000.
- See Also Wisconsin Archives, Genealogical and Historical Societies for statewide Addresses and links
Rock County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often fail to notice the importance of Rock County court, probate, and land files as a source of family history and genealogy details. Buried away in Wisconsin courthouses and archives everywhere are often the dreams and frustrations of countless Wisconsin residents.
The chances are excellent that your forefathers have left a in-depth record of at least some elements of their lives in the Rock County court records. Even if your ancestors is not discussed in a Court case, contemplate all of the other methods that could have lead to her or him to appear in court records.
Make sure you get in touch with the clerk's department to identify hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics in advance of visiting or asking for information because of in some cases changing contact information. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The files are readily available to interested parties, barring private issues. A good number of workers will assist persons in obtaining the materials, however it's up to the particular person to undertake the researching.
The following indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Rock county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered.
It has been estimated that less than 50 percent of the vital records, for example, were prepared and submitted for permanent filing prior to 1907. Land deeds, probate, and court records generally begin in Wisconsin with the organization of the county. Prior to that date, check the County or Counties it was created from. Some counties formed from other counties transcribed their portion of property deeds to be kept with the new county deed records. Rock County Courthouse was built in 1841 and was destroyed by fire in 1859.
- Rock County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: 51 South Main Street, Janesville, WI 53545; Phone: 608.757.5660
- County was attached to Racine County for county and judicial purposes from 1836–39. Some early records may be found there.
- Rock County Register of Deeds purpose is to provide official record keeping for Records or files land record documents authorized by law, such as deeds, mortgages, satisfactions, certified survey maps, plats and Federal Tax liens. Files and indexes Birth, Death and Marriage records, Military Discharges, and issues certified copies upon request.
- Phone: 608-757-5650
- Birth Records: 1856
- Marriage Records: 1840
- Death Records: 1860
- Land Records: 1839
- Rock County Register in Probate Office has the responsibility to maintain and update files regarding probate of estates, guardianships, protective placements, adoptions and mental commitments. This is a statutory office with the position of Register in Probate filled by judicial appointment.
- Phone: 608-757-5637
- Probate Records: 1850
- Rock County Clerk of Court Office is required to maintain a record of all documents filed with the courts, keep a record of all court proceedings, and collect various fines and forfeitures ordered by the court and specified by statute.
- Phone: (608) 743-2200
- Court Records: 1840
- Rock County Treasurers Office collects all real estate taxes including postponed and delinquent, all county revenues in addition to the research and issue tax deed applications. Our department is the holder of tax records and assessed values.
- Wisconsin Office of Vital Records has copies of Birth, Marriage, Divorce & Death Records reported since 1907. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Wisconsin for current fees and application process.
Rock County Links
The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources associated to Rock County. Many of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a cost. This is just a listing which has been collected or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to provide your own most liked Rock County genealogy or family history related sites.
Rock Co. WI Books, Newspapers & Publications
- See Also Statewide Newspapers Books & Publications Links for Wisconsin
- Historical Newspapers from Wisconsin (1837 - 1992) (genealogybank.com)
- Janesville Daily Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin) (search.ancestry.com)
- Janesville Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin) (search.ancestry.com)
- Weekly Gazette And Free Press (Janesville, Wisconsin) (search.ancestry.com)
- Janesville Morning Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin) (search.ancestry.com)
- Janesville Weekly Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin) (search.ancestry.com)
- Beloit Journal, of Politics, Literature, and General Intelligence (Beloit, Wisconsin) (search.ancestry.com)
- Rock County, Wisconsin Books (amazon.com)
- Rock County Wisconsin Genealogy Books (books.google.com)
- Search Wisconsin Obituaries (1985 to current) (genealogybank.com)
- Wisconsin Newspapers (newspaperarchives.com)
Rock Co. WI Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Rock Co. WI Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Rock Co. WI Census Records
Rock Co. WI Church & Cemeteries
Rock Co. WI Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Rock Co. WI General and History Websites
Rock Co. WI Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Rock Co. WI Military Records
Rock Co. WI Schools & Directories