Genealogical Resources

  • RootsWeb Guides to Tracing Family Trees
  • Wisconsin GenWeb site
  • Columbia County GenWeb site
  • Dane County GenWeb site
  • Rock County GenWeb site
  • Sauk County GenWeb site
  • List of all the Wisconsin county GenWeb sites (many Wisconsin County GenWeb sites changed their URLs in early 2008)
  • Guide to Wisconsin-oriented email discussion lists, especially those at the level of individual counties (these lists facilitate correspondence and exchange of research suggestions with other genealogists interested in the same area)
  • Wisconsin Historical Society (see especially the links to Library & Archives and to Genealogy)
  • Dane County Historical Society
    The DCHS maintains a collection of published and unpublished archival materials relating to Dane County at the Lussier Family Heritage Center. They offer research help, answering genealogical and other research or reference inquiries from the public; see the DCHS website for further information. DCHS has posted or contributed old Dane County plat maps which can be viewed on the web; the 1873 map can be viewed on the DCHS website; the 1861, 1890, 1899, and 1911 maps can be searched for from the home page of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collection.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives and Records Management Services (see especially the web pages for genealogical resources and for oral history).
  • Ancestry Library Edition
    This is not a web site which can be accessed from your home, but it can be used from any of the six computers in the Reading Room of the WHS library labeled “Reserved for Genealogical and Federal Document Research ONLY”. Ancestry Library Edition replaces AncestryPlus; it offers most of the databases available with individual subscriptions to ancestry.com; it does not include the following collections: Family & Local Histories, Historical Newspapers, OneWorldTree, Filby’s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI), PERiodical Source Index (PERSI), and Freedman’s Bank Records. Additionally all “personalized features” normally available when using ancestry.com, such as surname alerts, are unavailable when using Ancestry Library Edition. For several years, most of the databases available with paid personal subscriptions to ancestry.com have been available free of charge at most Family History Centers. This changed in April of 2007; now only about thirty-seven of the databases offered by ancestry.com are available on the computers at most Family History Centers. A list of these remaining databases can be seen at www.ancestry.com/fhc/dblist.aspx; note that most of these databases include just the indexes – only the three included U.S. census databases include the actual data images. Several other subscription genealogy database services have moved to fill the void left by the nearly complete loss of Ancestry databases at Family History Centers; World Vital Records, Godfrey Memorial Library, Fold3, HeritageQuest Online, and MyTrees have all announced that their databases will soon be available at suitably-equipped FHCs, including the one in Madison. Click here for a list of available services.
  • HeritageQuest Online Index
    This website can be accessed from any of the six computers in the Reading Room of the WHS library labeled “Reserved for Genealogical and Federal Document Research ONLY,” but there is also a high likelihood that it can be accessed from your home (or any other location from which you access the world wide web) for little or no extra cost. Many libraries are making this subscription service available to their members – for instance, most of the fifty-two public libraries in Adams, Columbia, Dane, Green, Portage, Sauk and Wood Counties which belong to the South Central Library System.The URL to start with for SCLS access is http://www.scls.lib.wi.us/cgi-bin/auth.cgi?connectto=HQ; you must provide your library card number each time you use this service.
    It can be used to search a head-of-household index for most years of the US federal census (currently there are indexes available for twelve years, but only five states have been indexed for the 1930 census). It can be used to browse the images for all years of the US federal census from 1790 through 1930. It can be used to do full-text searches of more than 20,000 (slated to grow to more than 25,000) genealogy and local history publications, and to display images of any individual page in any one of these publications. This resource is now generally the favored access point to PERSI (the Periodical Source Index, from the Allen County Public Library); note that as of March 2008, due to unusual circumstances PERSI indexing is running about a year and a half behind on HeritageQuest Online.
  • Research Help documents from the Family History Library
    This link takes one to a list of a portion of the available Research Help documents which includes those specifically for Wisconsin. By using various sort-order and starting-letter menus on this website, you can get access to virtually all of the Research Help documents published by the FHL. All of these Research Helps are available as a web page or a series of web pages; most are available as [free] downloadable PDF files; some can be ordered as printed documents which will be mailed to you [for a small fee] by the Family History Library.
  • Online access to The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy and Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. Ancestry.com has announced that they will no longer publish these two well-regarded references in book form, and have made the contents of the third edition of each reference available online. Click on the name of either book to go to the main page for that reference
  • MadCat (catalog of the Univ.of Wisconsin-Madison libraries, including the computerized portion of the library of the Wisconsin Historical Society)
  • ArCat (computerized portion of the catalog of the archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society)
  • WorldCat (a combined [“union”] catalog database from about 9,000 libraries in the USA [including about 500 in Wisconsin] and forty-four other countries; sometimes referred to as “OCLC” [the corporate sponsor] or “FirstSearch” [the search program itself]).
    This service will help you get publication data for books and other library material which may not be available in your regular library. it will usually NOT tell you for sure if an item can be obtained via InterLibrary Loan, because it does not normally reveal the lending policies of the libraries which hold an item. Individuals who hold library cards in any of the 52 public libraries in Adams, Columbia, Dane, Green, Portage, Sauk and Wood Counties which belong to the South Central Library System can access WorldCat from any computer with Internet access. The URL to start with for SCLS access is http://www.scls.lib.wi.us/cgi-bin/auth.cgi?connectto=WC; you must provide your library card number each time you use this service.
  • Great Lakes Regional Facility (Chicago), National Archives and Records Administration
         (see especially the link to the Archival Holdings Guide for the Great Lakes Region)
  • National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records
  • Directory of Wisconsin Libraries
  • Public library systems of Wisconsin (map)
  • South Central Library System (encompassing 61 libraries in Adams, Columbia, Dane, Green, Portage, Sauk and Wood Counties) (see especially the links to Databases and to connecting to LINKcat--a shared online catalog for 46 of the libraries in the system)
  • Information about obituaries published in the Wisconsin State Journal; use the subject search tool in the local newspapers portion of LinkCat to search the index of obituaries published between 1960 and “a few days ago”
    Note: the entire newspaper index system, including the index to obituaries published in the Wisconsin State Journal between 1960 and 2002, is currently (as of late April 2011) our-of-order, a temporary casualty of the new LINKCat system.Full text of obituaries published between 11/19/2002 to just a few days ago
  • Arrowhead Library System (encompassing seven libraries in Rock County)
  • Milwaukee County Federated Library System (includes fourteen branches of the Milwaukee Public Library and fourteen other city libraries). (see especially the Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) and the summary of genealogically-significant records housed at its central branch)
  • WISCAT On-Line Catalog (a union catalog for more than 1200 libraries of all types throughout Wisconsin; now includes a connection to BadgerLink)
  • Allen County Public Library (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
    The extensive renovation/expansion which you probably heard about has been completed; reports about the new facility have been glowing.
  • Brigham Young University’s Family History Archives search engine
    BYU’s Harold B. Lee Library, the Family History Library, and the Allen County Public Library are working together on a project to eventually digitize over 100,000 out-of-copyright family histories and thousands of local histories. The collections will have every-word search capability; search results are linked to digital (PDF) images of the original publication. A good beginning has been made, but be forewarned that searches can be very time-consuming. Search hits lead to individual pages, but the actual hits are not highlighted on the page.
  • Information about federal censuses, as provided by IPUMS-USA: Questions, 1850-2000 and Enumerator instructions, 1850-1950 (censuses after 1950 were mostly conducted by self-enumeration) 
  • Wisconsin Veterans Museum Research Center (see especially the link to “Resources,” including the Wisconsin Veterans Memorials Catalog)
  • State of Wisconsin Blue Book (complete text of every Blue Book issued since 1995, plus selected feature articles dating back to 1983; search capability is included) 
  • Do you want to check out the experimental databases available at FamilySearch Labs? Click here to see what’s currently online. Note that some of these databases are searchable, while others are only browseable.
  • Max Kade Institute (resources for research in German genealogy)
    See especially the web page on genealogical resources, including a listing of the genealogical holdings in their library. (Beware: this website uses “frames” technology.)
  • Norwegian-American Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library (formerly known as the Vesterheim Genealogical Center & Naeseth Library; resources for research in Norwegian and Norwegian-American genealogy)
    Handouts available at the May 2007 DCAGS meeting included a listing of the data collections the NAGCNL holds and a research questionnaire one should fill out when requesting that the NAGCNL do research for you.
  • Wisconsin Vital Records Office – click here to learn about vital records indexes available in this office
  • Dane County Register of Deeds Office
  • Forest Hill Cemetery (Madison) This website now provides the ability to search burial records by name or lot number (a spot check indicated that burials are listed within three weeks of their occurrence)
  • Online Searchable Death Indexes & Records This website has an extensive directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county throughout the U.S.A.. Included are death records, death certificate indexes, death notices & registers, obituaries, probate indexes, and cemetery & burial records.
  • Upcoming genealogical events in the region (Wisconsin & surrounding states)

Dane County Area Genealogical Society | PO Box 5652 | Madison WI 53705-0652

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