Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give the historical background of the area; others show migration routes such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical maps show physical and manmade features, such as creeks, hills, trails, and roads used as persons came to Wisconsin. Sometimes maps also include cemeteries and churches. Plat and land ownership maps, as well as other types of maps, are described in United States Maps. In the Family History Library Catalog, atlases are listed in the Place Search. Remember to search each locality as a town, a county and as a state.
- Topographical map of Wisconsin (Univ of Texas) Shows counties
- County Outline Map of Wisconsin (U.S. Census Bureau)
- County highway and township maps (Wisconsin DOT)
- Wisconsin Cartographers' Guild. Wisconsin's Past and Present: A Historical Atlas. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998.
- Historical County Plat Maps from South Central Wisconsin
Library of Congress Maps
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
- Captain Carvers Travels in the Interior Parts of North America - 1781
- Partie des Etats-Unis. Amer. - 1827
- North West and Michigan Territories - 1833
- Iowa and Wisconsin - 1838
- Traveller's and Emigrant's Guide to Wisconsin and Iowa - 1838
- Map of Michigan and Part of Wisconsin Territory - 1839
- State of Michigan and the Territory of Wisconsin - 1839
- Iowa and Wisconsin - 1841
- Iowa and Wisconsin - 1844
- Wisconsin (Southern Part) - 1844
- Wisconsin - 1846
- Karte von Wisconsin - 1852
- Minnisota und Wisconsin - 1854
- Wisconsin - 1855
- States of Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa - 1857
- County Map of Michigan and Wisconsin - 1860
- Michigan and Wisconsin - 1860
- Public Surveys in the State of Wisconsin - 1866
- County Map of Michigan and Wisconsin - 1870
- Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin - 1872
- Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin - 1873
- Wisconsin - 1874
- Rail Road and Township Map of Wisconsin - 1875
- Historical Atlas of Wisconsin - 1878
- State of Wisconsin - 1878
- Wisconsin - 1879
- County and Township Map of the States of Michigan and Wisconsin - 1880
- Eastern United States, Number 1 (includes Wisconsin) - 1883
- County and Township Map of the States of Michigan and Wisconsin - 1890
- Wisconsin - 1897
Family History Library
The Family History Library has a few Wisconsin maps dating from 1855 and a collection of county histories and atlases. It also has land ownership and geological survey maps for Wisconsin. See United States Maps for detailed information. Several helpful atlases are:
- Robinson, Arthur, and Jerry B. Culver. Atlas of Wisconsin: General Maps and Gazetteers. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1974. (Family History Library book Q 977.5 E3v.) This atlas includes an excellent gazetteer.
- Snyder, Van Vechten & Co. Historical Atlas of Wisconsin . . . Janesville, Wisconsin: Origins, 1995. (Family History Library book Q 977.5 E7s.) This is a reprint of the 1878 publication and contains useful maps for each county.
- Walling, H. F. Atlas of the State of Wisconsin. Detroit, Wisconsin: Walling, Tackabury and Co., 1876. (Family History Library film 1036174, item 2.)
- DeLorme Mapping Company. Wisconsin Atlas & Gazetteer. Freeport, Maine: DeLorme Mapping Co., 1988. (Family History Library book Q 977.5 E7d.)
- Fox, Michael. Maps and Atlases Showing Land Ownership in Wisconsin. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1978. Lists maps available at the Wisconsin Historical Society (not at the Family History Library).
- Ward Maps of United States Cities . . . Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1975? (Family History Library film 1377700; fiche 6016675–682.)
To see changes in county boundaries, use:
- Long, John H., ed. Historical Atlas and Chronology of County Boundaries, 1788–1980. Scale: 1:633,600. Vols. 1–5. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1984. ('Family History Library 973 E7hL v. 1–5; fiche 6051426–30.) Maps show when and where each county changed boundaries. Maps for Wisconsin are in volume 3 (fiche 6051428).
United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau State and County Map. This map will allow you to zoom in on any state or county in the United States and read the names of all of the neighboring counties.
University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
University of Wisconsin - Madison
UW-Madison is the location of the Arthur H. Robinson Map Library, which houses an extensive collection of maps of the United States.
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
UW-Milwaukee is the location of the American Geographical Society Library, one of the largest collections of maps for the entire United States. Many maps of Wisconsin are included in their online digital collection.
Other Wisconsin Map Collections
- Maps of Wisconsin University of Texas
- Maps of Counties of Wisconsin Digital-Topo-Maps.com. County maps can be purchased.
- National Atlas of the United States Printable maps of the United States
- Historical Maps of Wisconsin University of Alabama Map Library
- Maps of Wisconsin netstate.com
Wisconsin Historical Society
A source for detailed Wisconsin maps is the Wisconsin Historical Society. The collection includes land ownership maps, survey maps, aerial maps, state and county atlases, fire insurance maps, and topographical maps.