Index to the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900 U.S. Censuses of Portage County, Wisconsin
About the Portage County Census Index
Please read the introductions that are provided for each individual census index. The indexer has taken great pains to explain various factors that took place during each decade, which may affect your search, such as changes in Portage County political boundaries. A general introduction to the index follows below on this page. For the complete introductions and descriptions of each census, click below:
The Archives staff will not make spelling changes in the indexes. This is not an ongoing project. It stands as is. Some of the names on the microfilm that the indexer used are exceedingly difficult to read. Considerable effort has gone into resolving these difficulties for the production of this index, but unfortunately many necessarily remain. Allowances should be made for variant spellings and misspellings. The poor penmanship of many of the enumerators plus an attitude of “spell it like it sounds” combined to make deciphering the names on the lists a difficult task. Add to this the habit of the auditors in the census office of writing their notations directly over the names, and the result may be a combination impossible to decipher. At their best, enumerators wrote in an elegant hand, but at their worst, one wishes they had foregone the flourishes and printed in simple block letters.
The 1890 Federal Census was almost completely destroyed by fire. All that remains is a census of Civil War Union Veterans and their widows. Dr. Miller has not indexed this Portage County Census.
Index and introductions courtesy of Dr. Gordon L. Miller
For additional genealogy resources in Portage County, see the Portage County Cemetery Locator, the Stevens Point Obituary Index, the Genealogy pages on the University Library's Web, and the history and genealogy page of Central Wisconsin on the Web.