Wisconsin Cultural Groups

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Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

A description of the ethnic diversity in Wisconsin, along with historical maps can be found in:

  • Zaniewski, Kazimierz J. and Carol J Rosen. The Atlas of Ethnic Diversity in Wisconsin. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998.

The Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures holds resources and publishes works on the ethnic and regional cultures in Wisconsin.

African Americans[edit | edit source]

Indigenous Peoples[edit | edit source]

Germans[edit | edit source]

In the 1830s, many German settlers began arriving in Wisconsin. There are helpful indexes to the German immigrants mentioned in United States passenger lists. One set of volumes is:

  • Glazier, Ira A. ed. Germans to America: Lists of Passengers Arriving at U. S. Ports. Wilmington, Delaware: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1988–. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 W2ger. This set is a partial list of those who arrived from 1850 to 1897.

Other helpful books about Germans in Wisconsin include:

  • Lacher, John Henry A. The German Element in Wisconsin. Milwaukee: Steuben Society of America, 1925.
  • Ostergren, Robert Clifford, Cora Lee Kluge and Heike Bungert. Wisconsin German Land and Life. Madison: Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, 2006.
  • Zeitlin, Richard. Germans in Wisconsin. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 2000.

The Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies also holds resources on German-Americans in Wisconsin.

Hmong[edit | edit source]

Original homeland - Southeast Asia - Laos

In an article by Vincent Her we learn: [Hmong American Three Decades in Wisconsin. by Vincent Her. Voyageur Northeast Wisconsin's Historical Review Summer/Fall 2009. vol. 26 no. pp. 89.]

Hmong individuals and families became displaced by war torn Southeast Asia during the 1960s-1980s. In the 1980s more than 60,000 Hmong refugees lived in Thailand later they emigrated to areas around the world.

"More than 35,000 Hmong-Americans call Wisconsin home." The first Hmong immigrants arrived in Wisconsin in the late 1970s. The article reviews: Refugee Years 1976-1986, Transition Years 1987-1997, and Integration and Assimilation 1998-present.

Groups that gave aid and assisted with relocation included: the U.S. Catholic Conference, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and other groups.

Norwegians[edit | edit source]

A large number of Norwegians settled in Wisconsin as early as 1839. An important repository is:

Vesterheim Genealogical Center
Naeseth Library
415 West Main Street
Madison, WI 53703
Telephone: 608-255-2224
Internet: http://memorial.library.wisc.edu/vesterhe.htm

The center has family histories for Norway and the U.S., and Norwegian and U.S. censuses, church records, passenger lists, local histories, and maps.

Other helpful resources include:

  • Fapso, Richard J. Norwegians in Wisconsin. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 2001.

Swedish[edit | edit source]

General[edit | edit source]

See also United States Cultural Groups for additional resources.

Other records and histories of ethnic, racial, and religious groups in Wisconsin are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


You will also find records in the Subject Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under: