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Librarian Recommended Category - Genealogy

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Category - Genealogy

1940 Census
1940 Census records are now online. Visit the National Archives' Census Research 101 page for helpful search tips.
1940 Census Enumeration Districts
There is no index to the 1940 census for Wisconsin. For Milwaukee, the census researcher must get an address and locate the enumeration district. All City of Milwaukee codes start with "72." "72" stands for City of Milwaukee. "72-38" would be Milwaukee enumeration district 38. The rest of Milwaukee County codes start with "40." This site is designed to assist 1940 Census users in identifying Milwaukee enumeration districts. One catch is that a single street might have more than one enumeration district. With a city map, cross streets may be identified so that users can determine the exact enumeration district. For more information about the 1940 census, see NARA's 1940 Census Research overview page.
19th Century U. S. Newspapers  MPL Special Link
Consisting of just under 17 million articles, 19th Century U. S. Newspapers from the Thomson Gale Company is a genealogy or history buff's dream come true. Fully searchable by keyword, this database includes papers from across the U.S., and is particularly strong on the Midwest. Newspapers with significant runs include the Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel, Wisconsin State Journal, Chicago Evening Journal, Cleveland Daily Herald, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, and Frederick Douglass' Paper, to name just a few.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.
Use this source for African American genealogical material. Includes a network of genealogy sites including links for slave data, surnames, census, and cemeteries.
Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana
The Allen County Public Library Genealogy Department's renowned collection contains more than 232,000 printed volumes and 288,000 items on microfiche. Among the materials found in the collection are over 38,000 family histories, most National Archives passenger lists and indexes, the Freedmen's Bureau (1865-1870) and Freedmen's Savings and Trust (1865-1874) records, applications and enrollment cards of the Five Civilized Tribes (1896-1914).
America's Obituaries & Death Notices  MPL Special Link
If you are trying to find information on someone who has passed away, this may be the place where you will find what you need. Containing over 1,000 U.S. newspapers, most of which date back to the late 1990's (some before), America's Obituaries & Death Notices includes everything from front page news articles to paid death announcements.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.
Ancestry Library Edition  MPL Special Link
Access the United States Census (all states, 1790-1930), military records, the Social Security Death Index, slave narratives, many city directories, court, land & probate records, state vital records, numerous passenger and immigration sources, the American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI), the Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), and many, many more resources. Records from the United Kingdom are also included. Much of the content of this database appeared in the former Ancestry Plus database. The Milwaukee Public Library is grateful to the Milwaukee County Genealogical Society for their sponsorship of this database.
Library subscription. Only available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries.
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries
Find individuals buried in the eight Catholic cemeteries located in southeastern Wisconsin owned by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The cemeteries are: All Saints, Calvary, Holy Cross, Holy Trinity, Mount Olivet, Resurrection, Saint Adalbert and Saint Joseph. Information may include some or all of the following: name, date of death, date of burial, age at death, marital status, last address, funeral home, cemetery, and location in cemetery. If you click on the "about us" phrase at the left of the screen and them click on "our locations" you will get information on the cemetery including address, date founded, and a site map.
Archives Unbound - County and Regional Histories & Atlases: Wisco  MPL Special Link
From Cengage/Gale, comes Archives Unbound - County and Regional Histories & Atlases: Wisconsin which provides vivid illustrations of people, places, and events, putting the state's local history into context with the examination of geographic, demographic, social, and cultural transformations. Included in this collection on Wisconsin are 12 cities, regions, and counties in 158 titles. The original source material spans the years 1857-1909.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.
Area Research Center Network
For the purposes of local historical research, records created by county offices and other local government units are housed at one of Wisconsin's Area Research Centers, as are non-governmental manuscript collections of regional interest. The state is divided into fourteen regions, thirteen of the regions are served by an Area Research Center, and one is served by the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison.
Atlas of the German Empire
The 1883 Atlas des Deutschen Reichs by Ludwig Ravenstein was selected by the Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for digitization because of its usefulness to genealogists.
Biography & Genealogy Master Index  MPL Special Link
Biography and Genealogy Master Index is a comprehensive index (not full-text articles) to over 17 million biographical sketches on nearly 5 million people in more than 2,000 volumes and editions of current and retrospective reference books, covering both contemporary and historical figures, living or dead, throughout the world. [For a full description of this database, go to Gale Group's Product Fact Sheets to link to a PDF format file. The Acrobat Reader plug-in is loaded on the MPL PCs.] Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.
Castle Garden
This Web site offers free access to a database of information on 10 million immigrants who arrived in the U.S. between 1830 and 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Castle Garden, today known as Castle Clinton National Monument, was America's first official immigration center.
Cemeteries, Graveyards & Burying Grounds
Locate links to resources on cemetery history and preservation, including to directories of decedents, related organizations and publications, and specific cemeteries and sites in the world.
Cemetery Junction
On this site of over 18,554 listings of U.S. cemeteries listed alphabetically by state and searchable by name, is the largest collection of active and retired United States cemetery addresses on the Web. Also here, are links to sites for tombstone articles, obituaries & wills, funeral homes, etc. Througout this directory, there are CrO symbols wherever a cemetery has been quick-linked to a transcription at The Cemetery Transcription Library, another useful site.
Census Information (USGenWeb Archives)
This free digital library includes scanned census images, transcribed census schedules, and indexes.
Christine's Genealogy Website
For those doing African American genealogy. The format is similar to a paper genealogy magazine. Includes articles from other sources. Subjects covered include county census transcriptions, Freedmens Bureau records, and slave cases
Civil War Soldiers & Sailors
This is the National Park Service computerized database of Civil War Soldiers & Sailors. There is a complete searchable index of U.S. Colored Troops and more than six million soldiers.
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites
A well-organized site with links to over 94,100 genealogical Web pages. is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices and registers, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery and burial records. You can also find information here about searching the Social Security Death Index online.
Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970  MPL Special Link
The Sanborn Map Company was the primary publisher of American fire insurance maps for nearly 100 years. Fire insurance maps, which detailed buildings and their construction materials over a period of time, were used to assess potential risk from fire and other hazards, but today are a tremendous source of historical and genealogical data. More than 250 Wisconsin communities are represented in this product from ProQuest. The Help file and Frequently Asked Questions pages can help you get started if you are unfamiliar with using the maps. Maps may be printed. For more on Sanborn maps, the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee also has a digital Sanborn collection.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.
Ellis Island Immigration Records
Containing arrival records for 22 million immigrants who entered through the port of New York from 1892 to 1924 (70 percent of all arrivals), this searchable database includes immigrants' names, port of origin, age, nationality, hometown, and marital status. Caution: online access to the American Family Immigration History Center is limited, so you may have to try multiple times before connecting to the site.
Family Genealogy and History Internet Education Directory
Links to worldwide Internet genealogy and family history databases and resources.
The FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service is a service sponsored by the Mormon Church (officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints) to help people find and share family history information. The service currently contains information on over 400 million names, extracted from vital records worldwide, dating to 1500. The Search for Ancestors feature helps to find out whether any of the cataloged Internet sites, resource files, and donated information available through the service contain additional information about an ancestor while the Browse Categories feature allows people to look for information about a family history topic. A new feature is the African American Resources page.
This site is hosted by the Federation of East European Family History Societies, a group which includes societies and organizations representing nearly every East and Central European group that has an existing genealogy society in North America, a growing number of Central and East European Societies and a growing group of world-wide organizations and individual members, from novices to professionals. This also includes Central Europe (Germany and Switzerland).
Find A Grave
This site allows users to search 21 million grave records and to find information on more than 250,000 cemeteries.
Provides an index to the Civil Registration from England and Wales which was designed to record all the birth, marriages, and deaths since 1837. Project undertaken with the assistance of volunteers and is a work in progress. Sponsors include RootsWeb and
Genealogical Charts and Forms
This Brigham Young Univeristy website offers downloadable Pedigree Charts, Family Group Records, Research Logs, Source Notes, and more.
Genealogy & Family History Databases
Check this Web site for an extensive list of databases.
General Land Office Records
For the period 1820 to 1908, there is a database of "land patents" recording applications for the purchase and settlement of government land beyond the original 13 colonies. Over two million eastern records, are currently searchable using this site. These databases do not contain eastern and western patents issued after June 30, 1908 which are scheduled for automation during the next three years.
HeritageQuest  MPL Special Link
Searching for your roots in other states and faraway places? A treasure-trove of family and place histories (over 26,000) awaits within HeritageQuest. Another feature of the site is U.S. Census schedules going back to 1790. Other major resources found here include the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and the Revolutionary War Era Pension Records. Provided as part of Wisconsin's BadgerLink program.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders. the Cemetery Transcription Library
For 3 million online burial records and tombstone inscriptions from over 5,800 cemeteries all over the world, use this site, formerly called Cemetery Records Online .Site includes records for Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee.
International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry®
ISDSA maintains this database of slaves searchable by surname. View data such as date of birth and death, state of birth and death, photographs if available, and more. People who have information on individuals who were enslaved are encouraged to submit that information to ISDSA for inclusion.
Jewish Data  MPL Special Link
Jewish Data is one of the largest professionally compiled Jewish Genealogical resources of its kind currently available. Over 500,000 records including images of tombstones, school yearbook pages and Citizen Declaration documents are contained in the database. New records are added on an ongoing basis, but Milwaukee and Wisconsin are particularly well represented.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.
Jewish Museum Milwaukee
The Archives of the Jewish Museum Milwaukee have made the following records available online: Death and Burial Index, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle Obituary Index, Marriage Records, and Rabbis of Congregation Emanu-El.
JewishGen: The Home of Jewish Genealogy
Primary source for researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide. Links to many Jewish databases and has useful general information including Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations by Marian L. Smith, Historian, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service et al.
Kartenmeister Database
Database of over 62,000 Prussian place names in German and Polish. Database is searchable by German name, older German name, today's Polish, Lithuanian or Russian name, etc. Wildcard searching helps when only parts of names are legible.
Libraries and Museums: Reference Shelf for the Genealogist
Hundreds of links, both local and international, for amateur and professional researchers.
Links to the Past
Historical information on Milwaukee County: entries from early city directories, maps, vital records, early businesses, surnames, cemeteries, biographical index with links to text of History of the Great Lakes by J.B. Mansfield.
Milwaukee County Almshouse and Poor Farm Cemeteries
The Milwaukee "County Farm" Cemetery (a.k.a. Potter's Field) was used during the years 1872-1974. The farm included the poorhouse, the Home for Dependent Children and Infant's Hospital and the Milwaukee County Insane Asylum. This cemetery was used for the inmates of these establishments and also for other indigent people and transients for whom no funds were available for burial. This site includes nearly 6,400 names found in the burial register. Ages were not recorded until 1898, and cause of death not recorded until 1908.
National Archives of Canada
A good starting point for those doing Canadian genealogy.
National Personnel Records Center
Find information here on where to obtain the records for active military personnel and the medical and related records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th Century.
Nationwide Gravesite Locator
This searchable database from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs "contains more than three million records of veterans and dependents buried in VA's 120 cemeteries since the Civil War." It also has records of some burials in state veteran's cemeteries and burials in Arlington National Cemetery from 1999 to the present. Search results include military branch and rank, service dates, and location of the gravesite.
Newberry Library (Chicago, IL)
A major research library containing materials dealing with the British Isles, Canada, and the United States with an emphasis on the area from the Mississippi Valley to the Eastern Seaboard. The Newberry's exhaustive genealogical resources include pre-twentieth century birth, marriage, death, probate, deed, court, tax and cemetery records. Its collection of civil war unit histories is one of the best in the United States.
NewspaperARCHIVE  MPL Special Link
As part of Heritage Archives, Access NewspaperARCHIVE offers coverage for over 5,900 newspaper titles, with articles dating from the 1700's to the present. The database contains tens of millions fully searchable pages representing the U.S., Canada, Jamaica, Germany, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, in .pdf format. More than 700 Wisconsin newspapers are included, and Milwaukee is represented by the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Milwaukee Daily American, the Wisconsin Banner and approximately 40 others. HINT: Try all versions of a newspaper's name. For example, the Milwaukee Sentinel appears under multiple listings, such as the Daily Sentinel and Gazette, Milwaukie Sentinel, and the longest span appears as the Milwaukee Daily Sentinel. Provided as part of Wisconsin's BadgerLink program.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.
Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records
This site gathers together links to online death indexes by state and county. Included are death indexes, obituaries, probate indexes and cemetery & burial indexes.
Polish Genealogical Society of America
The Polish Genealogical Society of America provides Polish genealogy resources to find your Polish roots. A partial index for Milwaukee's Kuryer Polski newspaper during the years 1900 to about 1935 is available here. The Milwaukee Public Library's Humanities Department, (414) 286-3061, also can check an additional index for obituary, marriage, and engagement announcements in this newspaper during the years 1900 to 1926.
For the beginner or advanced genealogist, this site pulls together both free and pay Internet resources. The Family History Research Group has provided a clearinghouse for census, vital and military records, plus listings of local and international genealogical organizations and practical tools for the genealogist's use.
One of the oldest and largest genealogical Web sites. It presently hosts more than 22,288 homepages of genealogical groups and historical societies and 21,415 mailing lists. This site is especially useful for surname searching. Try their Soundex converter for easy name coding.
Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers
The Wisconsin Historical Society has reproduced here a set of volumes which list all the soldiers known to have participated in Wisconsin's Civil War regiments. Known as the Roster of Wisconsin Volunteers, War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, these two volumes were compiled in 1886 from original archival records, and their alphabetical index was published in 1914.
Ships' Passenger Lists Index by Year (Olive Tree)
Features lists of passenger names for ship voyages from 1492 to the late 1800's.
Social Security Death Index
The Death Master File (DMF) from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is a searchable database and contains the following information (if available): last and first name, Social Security #(State issued), birth and death dates, and state of last residence.
Vital Records Information - United States
Included is information on obtaining vital records (birth, death, marriage, divorce) from all the U.S. states and territories.
Where to Write for Vital Records
The National Center for Health Statistics provides links to Vital Records offices in States and U.S. Territories that can supply copies of Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce records upon written request.
Wisconsin Genealogy (USGenWeb)
Here is a great page for seeing what is on the Web regarding Wisconsin genealogical resources. Click on County List and go to Milwaukee County for a list of local resources.
Wisconsin Historical Society Genealogy Page
More than just Wisconsin history and genealogy, the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society (located in Madison, WI) also contain family and local histories, census material, vital, church and immigration records, and newspapers from all over North America, with more than 4 million items in the genealogy collection. The organization was formerly called the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW).
Wisconsin Historical Society Online Genealogical Research Service
Order copies of pre-1907 Wisconsin birth, marriage, and death records here. Before submitting an order, please have your email address and valid credit card ready, and review Terms of Service, which explains Wisconsin Historical Society fees, delivery time, and so forth. Over the next few months, the Society expects to add Civil War service records, obituaries, and biographical sketches to the menu of sources which can be searched by request over the Web.
Wisconsin Local History & Biography Articles
By the end of 2001, the Wisconsin Historical Society will have placed online 16,000 articles onpeople and places in Wisconsin. The material comes from newspaper articles found in scrapbooks available in the WHS Archives. The years cover 1860-1940.
Wisconsin Name Index
Obituaries, personal sketches, and other short biographies of Wisconsinites are indexed in this resource from the Wisconsin Historical Society. The Society will provide full-text copies from the sources cited for a fee. Many of the sources cited for the obituary or sketch may be available at the Milwaukee Public Library.
Wisconsin Vital Records
This Genealogy Research page from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) includes an informative chart outlining which vital records (Birth, Death, Marriage, or Divorce) are available for each Wisconsin county and links to pages with mailing address and fee information. Printable application forms are found by clicking on this Wisconsin Vital Records link.

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