News: Wis. - Historical Municipal Records Restored (15 Aug. 2007)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Musser

----Sources: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co., WI.) August 15, 2007

Historical municipal records restored

The Records Preservation Project, which preserved thousands of historic documents, making them available online, has been completed. According to State Representative Terry Musser (R-Melrose), the project to preserve documents filed by municipalities was originally approved by the legislature in 1999 and was recently successfully completed by the office of the Wisconsin Secretary of State.

The new database now available online includes municipal records submitted by Wisconsin’s towns, villages, cities and counties such as incorporation papers, annexations, corporate boundaries, maps and litigation correspondence.

Musser explained there were approximately 40,750 documents or 458,027 pages of municipal; records and deeds that were filmed and scanned. All of these were original documents filed with the Secretary of state over the past 150 years, or since Wisconsin became a state in 1848. Many of these documents were only in paper with no duplicates.

In addition, all Wisconsin trademarks and trade names and all notaries public commissioned in Wisconsin are available on the Secretary of State Web site. These paper records consisted of 35,525 documents or 77,798 pages of trademarks and trade names and 171,980 records of notaries public.

Musser explained that the Wisconsin Constitution requires the Secretary of State to maintain the official acts of the legislature and governor and to keep the Great Seal of the state of Wisconsin and affix it to all official acts of the governor. In addition to the filings mentioned above, the office is responsible for publishing legislative acts; filing oaths of office; and filing deeds for state lands and buildings.

To access this information, go to the Wisconsin secretary of state website at and click on the database of interest.



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