The State Historical Society of Wisconsin has the second-largest collection of newspapers in the United States. Many, including all Wisconsin newspapers, are on microfilm and can be loaned to public libraries through interlibrary loan. Newspapers produced by German and other ethnic groups are especially valuable for research about residents of the state.
From the state historical society, the Family History Library has obtained microfilms of 52 volumes of obituaries for 1846 to 1968 known as the Wisconsin Necrology (FHL films 977684–91). These are primarily from 1846–1944. There are 52 chronological volumes, and each volume has an index. The Milwaukee Public Library has a card index to the Milwaukee Sentinel for 1837–1890. It is also on microfilm at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
There is an index to the Green Bay newspapers:
Noonan, Barry Christopher. Index to Green Bay Newspapers, 1833–1840. Madison, Wisconsin: Wisconsin State Historical Society, 1987. (FHL book 977.5 A1 no. 194.)
Directories that can help you locate copies of newspapers are:
Hansen, James L. Wisconsin Newspapers, 1833-1850: An Analytical Bibliography. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1979. (FHL book 977.5 A3h.)
Oehlerts, Donald E. Guide to Wisconsin Newspapers, 1833-1957. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1958. (FHL book 977.5 B3o.) This source is primarily helpful for finding pre-1950 newspapers.
Many newspapers contain obituaries. Some of these have been indexed, for example:
Bookstaff, Manning M. Index to Deaths Reported in "The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle," 1921–1961. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: M. M. Bookstaff, 1994 (FHL 977.595 B32b.)
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin has indexed many of the obituaries in Wisconsin newspapers. There is a card for each person, and the cards are in their Subject Card Catalog. The library will check this card catalog for a name if you will send a self-addressed stamped envelope. Contact them at:
State Historical Society of Wisconsin
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706-1417