Cemetery records, such as tombstone and sexton’s records, have value in that they may give birth and death dates, age at death, name of spouse and children, a maiden name or, occasionally, a birthplace. Tombstones may have symbols or insignias indicating military service and social or religious affiliations. It is important to look at surrounding tombstones because family members may also be buried nearby.
Cemetery resources for Wisconsin include the following:
- Wisconsin State Old Cemetery' Society
The society has card indexes to the names of many persons buried in Wisconsin Cemeteries. It also publishes a newsletter in which you can place queries. For a small fee, you can have them search their card index. Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society
c/o President Mr. Larry W. Petcovic
6100 W. Mequon Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092-1951
- Wisconsin State Genealogical Society'
The Wisconsin State Genealogical Society has published inscriptions from several hundred cemeteries in the state in the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society Newsletter. Indexes to the inscriptions published to date can be found on each county's research page. Printed copies of the inscriptions can be purchased from the Society following the instructions on each page.
- Archdiocese of Milwaukee
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has an online index of the eight Catholic cemeteries operated by the diocese.
- 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 848695-701 and 858651; various computer numbers). It is listed in the Author/Title Search of the catalog. Generally there is an index at the beginning of each volume.
This collection is described in and is partly indexed by family surname in:
Kirkham, E. Kay. An Index to Some of the Bibles and Family Records of the United States. vol. 2. Logan, Utah: Everton Publishers, 1984. (Family History Library book 973 D22kk v.2.) See section two, pages 1–50, which includes Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society and the Milwaukee Public Library also collect cemetery records. A list made in 1965 of the records in these collections and in the DAR collection is in Cemeteries in the State of Wisconsin (List only) of Those Copied and on File . . . Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Wisconsin Genealogical Society, 1965. (Family History Library book 977.5 A1 no. 11.)
- Family History Library
A county-by-county list of cemetery record transcripts available at the Family History Library is:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family History Library. Index to United States Cemeteries. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988. (Family History Library films 1206468–94.) Film 1206493 includes Wisconsin.
The Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog lists more of these records under:
WISCONSIN- CEMETERIES WISCONSIN, [COUNTY]- CEMETERIES WISCONSIN, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- CEMETERIES
The Family History Library has 47 films of Milwaukee cemetery records dating from about 1850 to 1979. These are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
WISCONSIN, MILWAUKEE, MILWAUKEE - CEMETERIES.
Locations of Wisconsin cemeteries can be found in:
Herrick, Linda M. and Wendy K. Uncapher, Cemetery Locations in Wisconsin. 3rd ed. Janesville, WI: Origins, 2002. (Family History Library book 1st edition 9775.V34h). Cemetery locations and name listed by county, township, section number. Indexed.
- Find A Grave can be searched by the name of a person, family or cemetery. Usually gives birth and death dates and often comes with a picture of the tombstone. May also give obituaries, biographical information and names of family members with links to their information in Find A Grave.
Several periodicals have published inscriptions and inventories from Wisconsin cemeteries. These are referenced in the "Places" portion of the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), described in Wisconsin Periodicals.
- USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription Project for Iowa County, Wisconsin
- Wisconsin GenWeb Archives, which includes cemetery transcriptions
A wiki article describing an online collection is found at: Wisconsin, Fond du Lac Pubilc Library Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)