Wisconsin Genealogy & History Resources
County Seat: Madison
Parent: Territorial County
* Records before the establishment of the county may be in the parent records.
From: Handbook of Wisconsin by S. Silas, 1855
Population 37,500; in 1850 16,639; increase 20,861 (1855).
This is the largest County of Southern Wisconsin, and lies midway between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. It is considered one of the best agricultural Counties in the State. The Wisconsin River forms its north-western boundary for a short distance. It is watered by Koshkonong, Sugar, and numerous other small streams, nearly all affording good water power. The best is obtained by damming the outlet of Mendota (4th) Lake, which is occupied by one of the best mills of the State. The County is rolling prairie and oak openings. Prairie abounding in the western part.
Madison, the County Seat, is also the Capital of the State, and contains all those different buildings and institutions usually gathering round the Capitol. The best stone quarry in the State, near Madison, gives a beautiful material for building, which has been extensively used in the public and private edifices. The State House one of the first buildings erected with this material, does not present that beautiful appearance of those more recently erected.
The State University, for which Congress has made large donations of lands, is located on the shore of Mendota (4th) Lake. Two of the buildings are already finished and occupied, and the University is in successful operation.
The State Lunatic Asylum is also located on the shore of the Lake. It has a large tract of land connected with it, and it is contemplated to erect a large and commodious building.
A new and elegant building for a water cure establishment has just been completed and opened on a height of ground on Lake Monona, overlooking the Lake and City, which bids fair to add another to the numerous attraction of this place.
Madison itself, the only place of note in the County, is one of those examples of rapid and continual growth not always found, even in a rapidly increasing State. It is one of the most beautifully located places in the State, between two lakes, from 50 to 75 feet above their level.
The first inhabitant settled there in 1837.
In 1840, the population was 149
1846, the population was 283
1850, the population was 1672
1854, the population was 4126
1855, (Jan.) the population was 6869
1855, (June.) the population was 8658
Besides the Public Edifices alluded to above, it has a Female Seminary--good select and common schools--six churches; and what, we regret to add, is not found in every place in Wisconsin, a good hotel.
The present terminus of the Milwaukee and Mississippi RailRoad is at Madison. Stoughton is the only other depot in the Country. The Rail Road from Beloit will soon be finished to this point. The Milwaukee and Mississippi River in 1856.
This section contains links to websites that have multiple databases or webpages with genealogical information.
Birth, Death, & Marriage Records:
Earliest Registration Dates*:
Dane County Register of Deeds
210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Rm 110
P.O. Box 1438
Madison, WI 53701
Telephone: (608) 267-8810
Court Records - Probate and Naturalization
Censuses contain valuable information about families. This section contains links to transcribed censuses, census indexes or census images for the county.
This section contains links to family tree websites, biographies and information about individuals that lived in the county.
This section contains links of published histories and historical information about the county, its villages, cities or towns. Sometimes within these histories is information about founders, or other people that settled in the area. It may also include ethnic or religious histories of the communities.