Wisconsin Compiled Genealogies
Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections and indexes of genealogical value. For a helpful list of these organizations, see:
Ryan, Carol W. Searching for Your Wisconsin Ancestors in the Wisconsin Libraries. Green Bay, Wisconsin: C. W. Ryan, 1988. (Family History Library book 977.5 D27r 1988, Family History Library film 1440401 Item 2
The Wisconsin Historical Society Library has one of the largest genealogical collections in the United States. Their subject card catalog indexes many genealogical sources. You may wish to write to them to request a search of the catalog for the name of a specific ancestor in whom you are interested. Send a self-addressed stamped envelope with any request. They are not able to do extensive searches for an entire surname.
There are many family genealogies contained in county history books. The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society published indexes to many of these county histories, of which the Family History Library has about fifty. They are listed under WISCONSIN - [COUNTY] - HISTORY. The Wisconsin Historical Society has also digitized more than 80 standard county histories relating to Wisconsin and made them available and searchable online for free in their Wisconsin County Histories collection.
Especially helpful sources are:
Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Collection. This collection is listed in the Author/Title Search of the catalog and consists of transcripts of Bible records, cemetery records, church records, marriage records, death records, obituaries, and wills. It was microfilmed in 1971 at the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., and is available on microfilm at the Wisconsin Historical Society and at the Family History Library (Family History Library films 848695 item 6; 848696-701.) Generally there is an index at the beginning of each volume.
Wisconsin Pioneer and Century Certificate Project. The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society issues pioneer certificates to anyone whose ancestors settled in Wisconsin by 1850 and century certificates to those who can document pre-1876 Wisconsin ancestry. The applications contain detailed family history information.
The applications are at the Historical Society of Wisconsin and are filed by county. You can request a search and photocopies of information in this file.
The following index to the applications gives brief genealogical information for more than 7,000 ancestors and includes the names and addresses of the applicants:
Patterson, Betty. Some Pioneer Families of Wisconsin: An Index. Madison: State Genealogical Society, 1977. (Family History Library book 977.5 D22s.)
An additional index has been published which lists over 2,000 more pioneers:
Some Pioneer Families of Wisconsin: An Index, Volume 2. Madison: State Genealogical Society, 1987. (Family History Library book 977.5 D22s.)
Gene-A-Rama. Another source for family trees in Wisconsin is:
Wisconsin Genealogical Council. Gene-A-Rama. Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Genealogical Council, 1987–. (Family History Library book 977.5 D2w 1993.) There are several editions from 1987. They list over 1,000 ancestors of members and give the place where ancestors lived and the date.
French-Canadian Families. A helpful source for French-Canadian ancestors who emigrated to Wisconsin is Paul J. Lareau and Elmer Courteau, French-Canadian Families of the North Central States: A Genealogical Dictionary, 8 vols. St. Paul, Minnesota: Northwest Territory French and Canadian Heritage Institute, 1980. (Family History Library book 973 D2la; fiche 6010503-11.)
See Wisconsin Biography for additional sources for family genealogies.
Writing and Sharing Your Family History[edit | edit source]
Sharing your own family history is valuable for several reasons:
- It helps you see gaps in your own research and raises opportunities to find new information.
- It helps other researchers progress in researching ancestors you share in common.
- It draws other researchers to you who already have information about your family that you do not yet possess.
- It draws together researchers with common interests, sparking collaboration opportunities. For instance, researchers in various localities might choose to do lookups for each other in remote repositories. Your readers may also share photos of your ancestors that you have never seen before.
- See also: