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Most archives, historical societies, and genealogical societies have special collections of previous research and indexes of genealogical value. To begin the search of an ancestor in these collections, you may wish to begin with available published indexes, both on a national level and a local level. Many genealogy databases are on line through various websites.
- FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service - Trees contains lineages organized into family groups and pedigrees with an every-name index. This was created from a database formerly known as Ancestral File.
- The Newberry Library of Chicago, Illinois has a collection of thousands of genealogies published before 1917. An index is available at the library. Coverage is best for New England, with secondary coverage for Midwestern and Mid-Atlantic states. The index is also found on the Family History Library FHL film 928135–928137; book 973 D22n volumes 1-4
- The Family History Library has a collection of almost 50,000 published U.S. family histories and newsletters. Copies at the library are listed in the Last names Search of the Family History Library Catalog.
- Major collections of printed family histories are also found at most of the archives and libraries listed in United States Archives and Libraries. Most large libraries have indexes and catalogs to published family histories. For a list of the indexes and catalogs available at the Family History Library see the Family History section of United States Genealogy in the Wiki.
- The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), established in 1959, is a catalog of manuscript collections from United States repositories that are open to the public. Operated in collaboration with the Library of Congress, the catalog is searchable online at the NUCMC website. An index is available at the Family History Library FHL book 016.091 N21 1959 to 1984
- Ancestry.com ($) Public and Private member trees.
- World Connect includes hundreds of thousands of ancestors in pedigrees and family trees with a search engine.
- The Periodical Source Index (PERSI) is an index of content found in genealogical periodicals. The PERSI database is available on the Internet at HeritageQuestOnline and Ancestry. Both are subscription websites, but often available at local libraries.
The Wisconsin Historical Society Library has one of the largest genealogical collections in the United States. Its subject card catalog indexes many genealogical sources. Their catalog is searchable online at MadCat.
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 in their Wisconsin County Histories collection.
Especially helpful sources are:
- 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
- Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Collection. This collection 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 Wisconsin Historical Society and are filed by county.
- The following indexes 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: Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, 1977. (Family History Library book 977.5 D22s.)
- Some Pioneer Families of Wisconsin: An Index, Vol. 2. Madison: Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, 1987. (Family History Library book 977.5 D22s.)
Other sources for family trees in Wisconsin are:
- 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.
- Lareau, Paul J. 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.
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