Where Past Meets Present

Requesting RCHS Research Assistance

The Rock County Historical Society (RCHS) offers historical research assistance for a fee. Our skilled researchers focus mostly on resources within the RCHS Archives and the Rock County Genealogical Society (RCGS) Library.

Upon request, we will also travel locally to other repositories like the Rock County Courthouse (for vital records, land, tax or probate records) and to local libraries (for newspaper microfilm notices of births, marriages & deaths/obituaries).

Four Ways to get Research Help

  • Visit the Archives and the RCGS Library – Skilled volunteers will point you in the right direction, pull records for your review and provide copies or digital images. To get in touch with these volunteers you can visit the Charles Tallman Archives:
    • Address: 430 N. Jackson St., Janesville, WI.
    • Hours: Closed until April 1, 2020
    • Admission: $10 or free for RCHS/RCGS members.
    • Call ahead: (608) 752-5891.
    • Copy charges apply.
    • Sorry, smartphones & digital cameras prohibited.
  • Request help with an online form
  • Request help by email
  • Request Research by US Mail at: Charles Tallman Archives, 430 N Jackson St, Janesville, WI 53548

Submit Your Request

Research requests are accepted via online form, email or U.S. Mail. Click the button below to submit your request via online form, or mail your request to:

Rock County Historical Society
Attn: Archives
P.O. Box 8094
Janesville, WI 53547-8096
[email protected]

What to include with Your Research Request

Narrow your request to an individual or one family, and tell our researchers all about your ancestor so we don’t spend our time (and your resources) looking into facts you already know.  Include with your request:

  • Full Name of Ancestor to be researched and Related Others (parents, siblings, spouse, children).
  • Your Ancestor’s Important Dates & Locations of birth, marriage, death, arrival, naturalization, Janesville, Milton, etc.,
  • Record(s) Sought – Type, e.g., “birth certificate” or “obituary” & Approximates Dates, e.g., 1885-1895

Archives Research Services & Fees

You set a research budget. Then we propose a plan based on membership status, copy volume & travel (if any).

Archives Assistance Options

Your options include:

  • Hiring a Researcher: Our skilled researchers are available to pursue more targeted historical/genealogical questions. Talk to our Library staff to hear current fees, build a research plan and a set a budget, or
  • Purchasing a Copy of the Original Source: We will travel to local archives, libraries or the courthouse to obtain copies of individual records like probate files, vital records and microfilmed newspaper clippings.

RCHS Archives Research Fees

Fees as of Feb, 2016; Fees subject to change without notice with 1 hour minimum:

  • Research at RCHS Archives: Individuals & Non-Profits: $20 per hour, Businesses: $40 per hour.
  • Research Off-Site: (local courthouses and libraries):  $30 per hour for research time (includes travel).
  • Copy Costs at RCHS Archives: $1 per page (black & white) or $1.50 per page (color), less member discounts.
  • Copy Costs Off-Site: (local courthouses and libraries): billed at actual copy cost plus RCHS travel fee.

View the full list of research fees

What to expect

Research results are unpredictable. Your ancestor may have left behind a wealth of interesting documents or he/she may have tread lightly across Rock County, leaving few, or even no, records behind. You can expect your researcher to implement your research plan diligently and to spend your budgeted research dollars wisely. However, when you commission research, you are responsible for research fees regardless of results.