Jean Nicolet first explored Green Bay and the Wisconsin region for France when he landed there in 1634. A Roman Catholic mission and French trading post near present-day Ashland were established in 1660.
After the French and Indian Wars ended, in 1763, Great Britain gained control of the Wisconsin area. In 1783, after the Revolutionary War ended, the United States Acquired the area, but the British continued to control it until the War of 1812 ended. From 1800 to 1836, the area was part of Indiana, then Illinois, and finally Michigan territories. Then it became its own territory.
Wisconsin is one of the most agriculturally-rich states in the U.S. It is famous for its cheeses and dairy products. In fact, it has the nicknames “America’s Dairyland” and “Cheese Capital of the United States.” Most of Wisconsin is plains land, which is perfect for cattle and crops. Nevertheless, some areas of the state are industrial, particularly areas along Lake Michigan, such as Milwaukee.
List of Wisconsin Counties – Adams, Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Buffalo, Burnett, Calumet, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Florence, Forest, Green Lake, Grant, Green, Iowa, Iron, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Lafayette, Langlade, La Crosse, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Menominee, Milwaukee, Marinette, Monroe, Marquette, Marathon, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Racine, Richland, Rock, Rusk, Sauk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Shawano, Sheboygan, Taylor, Trempealeau, Vernon, Vilas, Walworth, Washburn, Winnebago, Waukesha, Wood, Waupaca, Waushara, Washington
Getting Started with Wisconsin Genealogy and Family Trees
Learning to Search for Wisconsin Genealogy Materials – Wisconsin is often viewed as an abundant place where agriculture and farming are the primary activities and interests. This is unfortunate because it is a very diverse place in which peoples of many cultures have settled. This is the reason that there is such an interest in methods for Wisconsin genealogy, and this article is going to serve as a primer in some of the best methods to use.
Basic Methods for Wisconsin Genealogy Work – Genealogists today will have a lot of resources available for Wisconsin genealogy research, and many of their best resources are found with a computer. In fact, it is now possible to view state’s online resources as one of the best ways for gathering data or requesting copies of the materials needed for Wisconsin genealogy work.
Of course, not every resource is available in the electronic format. Many of the best archives, libraries and museums are just now beginning to go digital, and this means that those doing work for Wisconsin genealogy projects will have to also identify their real world or offline resources too. It is always going to be beneficial for a genealogist to be familiar with the different locations and online tools for Wisconsin genealogy, and to discover which are the best for their needs.
The First Steps for Wisconsin Genealogy – Some of the most comprehensive sets of data for Wisconsin genealogy researchers will be the groups of public records listed below:
- Vital Records – these are comprised of the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives, and can also contain cemetery or obituary information, newspaper items, military records, census records, immigration and naturalization details, passenger lists and records as well. These are available as online and offline resources for Wisconsin genealogy.
- State Records – from probate information to birth certificates, cemetery information, death records, deeds, estate information, genealogical folders, land records, maps, marriage details, military or veterans information, newspapers, private manuscripts, state census information, surname lists and more. These are available as online and offline resources for Wisconsin genealogy.
- Local Records – those looking for Wisconsin genealogy will start in a county clerk’s office or website, and then head to the local genealogical societies, small local libraries, historical societies, and school or college libraries for Wisconsin genealogy data. These are things that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.
Best Tools for Wisconsin Genealogy – We already mentioned that the Internet is among the best of the new tools for Wisconsin genealogy projects. These provide some of the most vital information, and with the least amount of effort. We have indicated the best of these tools for Wisconsin genealogy below:
- WI Vital Records Office, 1 West Wilson Street, P.O. Box 309, Madison, WI 53701-0309; Website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/wisconsin.htm .
This is the site from which can request birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written notice, or even online.
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
- Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State Street, Madison, WI 5370; Website: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/genealogy/ .
Their Genealogy pages are full of an amazing number of resources that includes everything from local histories and maps to images and newspapers.
Finally, these three websites provide many state-specific details to those in search of details for Wisconsin genealogy projects.
- State Genealogy Research Guides (guides.library.uwm.edu)
- RAOGK Volunteers for Wisconsin (raogk.org)
- Wisconsin Genealogy Network Community (plus.google.com)
- Wisconsin State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- USGenweb – Wisconsin Genealogy (wigenweb.org)
- The Wisconsin Family Group Sheet Project (fgs-project.com)
- Free GenForum Message Boards – Wisconsin (genforum.genealogy.com)
- Free Rootsweb Message Boards – Wisconsin (boards.ancestry.com)
- Cyndis List Wisconsin Links (cyndislist.com)
- Wisconsin Mailing List (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Wisconsin American History and Genealogy Project (usgennet.org)
- Wisconsin (wikipedia.org)
- Wisconsin Genealogy Look Ups (geneasearch.com)
- USGenWeb Archives Project for Wisconsin (usgwarchives.net)