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Wisconsin Genealogy Resources

Oneida County
 Genealogical Resources

Oneida County was created from Lincoln County in 1885. The original boundaries comprised a large area of what is today Oneida, Vilas and part of Iron counties. Vilas was set off from Oneida in 1893. Oneida County is said to have been named for the New York Indian tribe of that name, a branch of the Iroquois, who moved to Wisconsin early in the 19th century. The name is said to signify "granite people." The settlement and development of Oneida was due primarily to the lumber industry. Besides the city of Rhinelander, 20 towns are located in the county: Cassian, Crescent, Enterprise, Hazelhurst, Lake Tomahawk, Little Rice, Lynne, Minocqua, Monico, Newbold, Nokomis, Pelican, Piehl, Pine Lake, Schoepke, Stella, Sugar Camp, Three Lakes, Woodboro and Woodruff.

Archives, Libraries and Museums

Area Research Center
Family Research Center
Libraries
Museums

Bibliography

  • Wisconsin Historical Records Survey. Inventory of the County Archives of Wisconsin. No. 43. Oneida County (Rhinelander). Madison, Wis: The Survey, 1941.

Biographies, Family Histories, and Names

  • Bailey, Sturges W. Index to Names in the Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties ...: J.H. Beers & Company, Chicago, 1895. Madison, Wis: Wisconsin State Genealogical Society, 1980.

  • Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties of Waupaca, Portage, Wood, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Langlade, and Shawano. Chicago, Illinois: J.H. Beers & Co., 1895.

Cemeteries

  • Bay Area Genealogical Society (Wis.). Bay Area Genealogical Society [GraveSiteSearch]. [Green Bay, Wis.]: Bay Area Genealogical Society, 2006. <http://www.gravesitesearch.com/>.

  • Lakeland Area Genealogical Society (Minoqua, Wis.). The Lakeland Area (Minocqua/Woodruff, Wisconsin) 1996 Cemetery Tombstone Inventory. Minocqua, WI: Lakeland Area Genealogical Society, 1996.

     
  • Oneida County Cemeteries:

Cassian: Union Grove Cemetery, Lakewood Rd.

Clearwater Lake: Clearwater Lake Cemetery

Hazelhurst: Whispering Pines Cemetery and Lakeside Cemetery

Lake Tomahawk: Wilderness Rest Cemetery

Minocqua: Minocqua Memorial Cemetery

Monico: Monico Cemetery

Newbold: Newbold Memorial Cemetery

Rhinelander: Forest Home Cemetery, Newell and Coon streets; Northland Gardens Chapel Mausoleum and Northland Memorial Park, corner of Lake Thompson Rd. and North Shore Dr., town of Pelican; St. Mary's-St. Joseph's Cemetery, Hwy. 8

Sugar Camp: St. Kunegunda Cemetery; Sugar Camp Memorial Cemetery

Three Lakes: Three Lakes Cemetery

Woodruff: St. Patrick's Cemetery-Woodruff, Holy Family Church; Evergreen Cemetery, hwys. 51 and J. Evelyn Lee; Forest Garden Cemetery, N. Town Line Rd.

 

Census Records and Indexes

  • Swanson, Susan. 1910 Wisconsin Oneida County Census Index. Rhinelander, Wis: S. Swanson, 2002.

Church Records

  • Bay Area Genealogical Society (Wis.). Holy Apostles Cemetery (Oneida Episcopal), Town of Hobart. [Green Bay? Wis.]: Bay Area Genealogical Society, Inc, 1990s.

  • Bay Area Genealogical Society (Wis.). Oneida Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Town of Hobart. [Green Bay? Wis.]: Bay Area Genealogical Society, Inc, 1990s.

     
  • Oneida County Churches

Clearwater Lake: Clearwater Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3770 O'Neil Rd.

Minocqua: Ascension Lutheran Church, ELCA, 7937 Hwy. 51; Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8632 Hwy. 51; Christian Science Reading Room 212 Milwaukee St.; Lakeland Assembly, 9127 Hwy. J; Rock of Ages Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, 10441 Hwy. 70W; St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 403 Chicago Ave.; Trinity Lutheran Church and School, 8781 Brunswick Rd.; United Methodist Church, Church of the Pines, 415 Chippewa

Rhinelander: Calvary Baptist Church, 320 Lincoln St.; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 780 Iverson; Faith Baptist Church, 23 E. Timber Dr.; First Congregational United Church of Christ, 135 E. Larch; First United Methodist Church, 724 Arbutus St.; Grace Foursquare Gospel Church, 4360 Hwy. 17; Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 21 W. Timber Dr.; Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1980 Winnebago; Nativity of Our Lord Parish, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 1360 N. Stevens St.; Nativity of Our Lord Parish, St. Mary's Catholic Church, 133 E. King St.; Northern Lights Church of God, 126 E. Timber Dr.; Pine Grove Community Church, 5840 Forest Ln.; Rhinelander Apostolic Fellowship UPC, 4780 Ohlson Ln.; St. Augustine's Episcopal Church, 39 S. Pelham; St. Mark Lutheran church, 21 S. Baird Ave.; Seventh-day Adventist Church, 203 E. Monico; Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 235 N. Stevens St.; Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Synod, 160 N. Brown St.

Sugar Camp: St. Kunegunda Catholic Church, 6895 Hwy. 17

Three Lakes: Chapel in the Pines, 7739 Preacher's Point Rd.; Faith Lutheran Church, ELCA, 6995 Hwy. 45S; Grace Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, 6948 E. School St.; St. Theresa Catholic Church, 1701 Superior St.; Three Lakes Evangelical Free Church, 1614 Hwy. 32; Union Congregational United Church of Christ, 6993 Forest St.

Woodruff: Faith Evangelical Free Church, 9035 Blumenstein Rd.; First Church of Christ, Scientist, 134 S. Town Line Road; Holy Family Catholic Church, Woodruff; Lakeland Assembly, 9127 Hwy. J; Lakeland Church of Christ, 1111 First Ave.; Northwood Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8625 Peggy's Lane; Woodruff Baptist Church, 1200 Third Ave.; Woodruff Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, 3656 Hwy. 47

Court Records

Deaths and Obituaries

Directories

Ethnic Groups

Forums, Mailing Lists, and Message Boards

History

Land Records

Maps, Gazetteers, and Atlases

  • Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Oneida County, Wisconsin : With Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads, and More. Norman, Okla: Arphax Pub. Co, 2007.

  • Rockford Map Publishers. Oneida County, Wisconsin, 2008: Land Atlas & Plat Book. Rockford, IL: Rockford Map Publishers, 2008, 1984.

Military Records

Miscellaneous Materials

  • Olson, Frances B. Frances B. Olson Collection. 1900s. Scrapbook containing photographs, newspaper clippings and brief histories. Documents the timber harvesting and subsequent reforestation in Oneida County, Wisconsin, and the evolution of conservation and forestry education in the local school system.

Naturalization Records

Newspapers and Periodicals

Photographs, Postcards, Historical Images

Projects

Researchers

Societies

  • Northwoods Genealogical Society. [Newsletter]. Rhinelander, WI: Northwoods Genealogical Society, 1987.

Towns and Cities

Cassian

The earliest record found of Cassian, which was originally part of Woodboro, is the record of an ordinance passed in February 1903.  Early settlers were lured by reports of great farming opportunities in the region. About the end of World War II, discontent developed within the township. Steps were taken in 1948 to separate the "lower" township and form a new township -- Nokomis.

Crescent

Most of the settlers of the area were homesteaders. Bountiful forests, good farmland and lakes lured people from many places. In 1904, a power dam was built on the Wisconsin River at what is now Hat Rapids Road and a bridge was constructed to give access to the road leading into Rhinelander.

Enterprise

Enterpise is located in southeastern Oneida County on the south and west sides of Pelican lake. At present, only a bar and grocery store combination and a few homes remain in the immediate village, but at one time a school, church, general store, post office, saloon and sawmill, as well as several homes, were all located within the few3 blocks of the village itself. The first residents of Enterprise were Indians -- both Chippewa and Potawatomi. The first white man to settle in what is now Enterprise was George Keeler in 1884. The building of a railroad through Enterprise to open up the timber lands for logging helped bring in more settlers. Around 1898, Enterprise was known as Robert's Siding.

Hazelhurst

Hazelhurst had its origin in 1882, when C.C. Yawkey and a timber cruiser arrived in the area and purchased large tracts of land. The village was begun in 1887 with the construction of Yawkey-Leigh Lumber Co. Hazelhurst was named by Mrs. Yawkey upon her arrival in 1888. "Hazel" for the large amounts of hazel brush and "hurst," which means grove in German. Yawkey-Leigh Co. owned the entire village of Hazelhurst -- a sawmill, box factory, planing mill, sawdust burner, all the workers' dwellings, a boarding house, barber shop, general store, post office, blacksmith shop, church, school and the Hazelhurst and Southern Railroad. Mr. Yawkey was chairman of the town board and the first postmaster of Hazelhurst.

Lake Tomahawk

Tomahawk Lake became a township in 1914, with Charles Gahler as its first town chairman. Its name was changed to Lake Tomahawk in the early 1930s. The Chicago and North Western Railroad was the chief economic support of the town. Passenger service was discontinued and in the early 1980s, freight service was also discontinued and the tracks were removed.

Little Rice

The town was formed on 10 November 1909 from areas of the town of Lynne and in 1910 from areas of the town of Hazelhurst.

Lynne

The first logging camp was operated in 1866 by Israel Stone, who was one-quarter Indian. The settlement, however, was due largely to H.H. Stolle, who purchased acreage in 1899 and moved his family to the area in 1900. The Soo Line Railroad also played an important part in the settlement, bringing in the settlers as well as hauling out the lumber the mills produced. Finnish emigrants who arrived in Minneapolis came to work in the sawmill and the woods. A large Finnish settlement was established, and many Finnish settlers remained after the mills were closed.

Minocqua

Located on the northern edge of Oneida County, the town of Minocqua was formally established 13 March 1889. The population was concentrated on an island-like piece of land formed by lakes Kawaguesaga and Minocqua. Logging camps, and later lumber mills, provided employment for the newcomers who arrived in Minocqua via the railroad, beginning in 1887. Although the camps and mills were in Minocqua itself, the town thrived because of its transportation link and its proximity to the lumbering activity. The cutting and sawing of logs continued into the 20th century, but the lumber boom was over by 1910, as the supply of timber rapidly dwindled. Some residents turned to small-scale farming on the cutover lands, while others entered the rapidly expanding resort industry. As the resorts prospered, Minocqua became known as a tourist center. The name Minocqua is said to be derived from the name of the Chippewa Indian Chief Noc Wib or Minocquip, who lived on the island with his followers. According to early settlers, the word means "mid-journey," "noon-day rest," "stop and drink," "a pleasant place to be."

Monico

Monico was name by b.F. Dorr, an early surveyer who gave no special reason for the name. Some residents believe the name is of Indian origin. In 1882, there was nothing at Monico but a few railway shanties. By 1883, Wisconsin Sulphite Fibre Co. bought practically the whole town site and built a factory. Emil's Mill was located there in later year. In the fall of 1884, the company built a new larger factory, with the intention of building a paper mill. Within a year or so, the pulp mill burned down. The company gave up their plans, sold out and left. The site was bought by Ed Squire of Rhinelander, who sold it in lots to various people. Logging was carried on in 1885 by Green & Sons and by Clarke, Lennan & Stableton. There were also several portable sawmills. In 1882, the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railroad line was completed as far as Monico. A spur line was run 15 miles to Rhinelander and the main line continued north to Watersmeet, Michigan. During the height of the railroad boom, Monico Junction had 24  trains in and out per day -- 16 freight and eight passenger. Passenger service ended in 1971 and the freight train in 1984. Railroad trackers were removed and the depot was moved to Rhinelander.

Newbold

The town of Newbold was formed on 18 November 1898. It was named after the man operating the Newbold Land and Lumber Co. located on the Northwestern Railroad, a few miles south of the McNaughton Station. It was then known as Newbold Siding. In 1935, the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co. erected a dam on the Wisconsin River, forming the Rainbow Flowage, covering 4,485 acres. The whole system is used to control the flow of the river. During the prohibition era, the McNaughton area had the dubious distinction of being the "moonshine capital" in the area.

Nokomis

Nokomis history is part of the township of Cassian history. The township of Cassian was created from the township of Woodboro 12 February 1903. The Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad was built through what is known now as Nokomis in 1888. A spur was branched off the main line at a place named Cassanova -- later changed to Cassian. About 1906 the Wausau Land Co. moved a sawmill to Cassian and operate it for several years, giving employment to many local people. By 1912, most the the timber in this area was logged off, so the mill was moved to Malvern. After it was moved, nothing much was left at Cassian but the general store and two or three families. In about 1912, the Wisconsin Valley Improvement Co. built a dam at Bradley on the Tomahawk River to furnish power for the mills further south, thereby creating Lake Nokomis. The creation of the lake brought people who built homes, cottages, resorts and other businesses.

Pelican

The town of Pelican was probably named for the white pelicans which fed along the Wisconsin River and on big Pelican Lake. The chief early occupations in Pelican were farming and logging. The last log drive down the Pelican River took place in 1927.

Piehl

The town of Piehl was organized in 1908 as part of Oneida County. In the minds of many people, the village of Gagen and the town of Piehl are synonymous. A sawmill was first built at Gagen in the late 1800s, because the town was at the junction of two important railroads -- the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western (later known as the Chicago and North Western) and the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic. The town was named for Dan Gagen (1834-1908), who came from England and became a pioneer trader and woodsman.

Pine Lake

Pine Lake was organized in 1903 out of a portion of the town of Pelican. In its early days, Pine Lake was known for family farms, sawmills and logging. It is known today for its vast waterfront property, fishing, hunting and boating.

Rhinelander

Rhinelander was born in the boom days of logging and settled in 1880, first being called Pelican Rapids. Two years later, it was granted a charter and renamed for F.W. Rhinelander, president of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore and Western Railroad (now the Chicago and North Western) after his railroad agreed to come to their town. The railroad made possible a logging industry grand in scale in an area perfect for the harvesting of timber. With the completion of the railroad, the city became a terminal and supply point for dozens of logging camps to the north toward the Michigan border. Today, dozens of smaller logging operations supply pulpwood and saw logs for the manufacture of paper, cardboard, particle board, plywood, paneling, lumber, and a variety of other wood products.

Schoepke

The town of Schoepke became a part of Oneida County sometime between 3 March 1896 and 4 May 1897. It had been the town of Pelican Lake, which was created 3 April, 1883, from the township of Neva, Langlade County. The town was named for August F. Schoepke, who was the first agent for the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western Railway. The village of Pelican Lake was started when the railroad (later known as the Chicago and North Western) was built through this region in 1882. Farming and logging were done in the early years, and several farms in the Jennings area are still being operated by members of the original families.

Stella

Stella was widely known in the early years for its tremendous potato growing. Today, seed potatoes from the farms in Stella Township are shipped all over the U.S. The main population center of Stella is Starks. Starks was originally called Pennington, for E. Pennington, then superintendent of the new railroad. The name was changed in the early 1900s in honor of Commander Hobson, famous hero of the Spanish-American War. In the mid-1900s, Leonard Starks bought 10,000 acres of land around what was then Hobson. He rebuilt the town and gave it his name. Starks, known as the "Potato King," owned as many as 18,5000 acres of land. Due largely to Starks' early success, Wisconsin has become nationally known in the field of seed potatoes.

Sugar Camp

The first permanent white settlers from Poland moved to the Sugar Camp area 11 April 1895. Each family bought 80 acres of land and made their living by logging. At that time, the area was known as Robbins, named for Frank Robbins, a pioneer lumberman. Sugar Camp became a separate township in 1899; prior to then it was part of Pelican. Its name was derived from the fact that many people came to the area to buy maple sugar and syrup from the Indians. Many descendants from original settlers still live in the area, such as the Stefoneks, Walkowskis, Kundas, Piaseckis, Nowaks, Pitliks, Sowinskis and Kasmareks.

Three Lakes

The first white settler who came into the Three Lakes area was Dan Gagen, known as the "King of the North." He worked up a thriving business, trading merchandise to the Indians for raw furs. By 1880, the government had made its first land grants in the area and, in 1884, the small village that sprang up around the trading post and the township became known as Gagen. The village changed its name to Three Lakes 27 May 1909. The name was the result of two railroad surveyors seeking to run a line. Three attempts found three lakes -- the three lakes being Maple, Townline and Rangeline. Due to the dense forests and finding no more lakes, the men assumed there were only three lakes and the name was chosen for the village.  The coming of the Chicago and North Western Railroad in 1881 ushered in the exploitation of the land, marked by three ears: the logging of the pine, the plowing of the land and the developing of the tourist cabin. The farming era included activities ranging from potato growing to cheese factories to moonshine stills. Prohibition ended in 1934 and thus, the end of the homestead-type farm operations. Government subsidies spawned commercial potato growing operations and the area became known for its choice seed potatoes. In the Depression years of the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps brought the "tree army" to the area, and twenty-two camps of 200 men each were established on the Nicolet National Forest land alone, six of them within 10 miles of Three Lakes. Today, the millions of trees planted by these men are being harvested on a selected basis. In 1946, Vernon Goldsworthy and Ralph Sampson opened up the Thunder Lake Marsh west of the village for commercial cranberry development. The famous Chain of 28 Lakes, with more than 100 miles of shoreline and 7,000 water acres, is located in Three Lakes. The chain stretches north to Eagle River.

Woodboro

The township of Woodboro was created from the town of Pelican 21 March 1893. The one village in the township carrying the same name was started in 1890 by George E. Wood of Chicago, operator of the George E. Wood Lumber Co. Wood built a sawmill in the early 1890s and as a lumbering community, Woodboro prospered for about 14 years. While the mill operated, it cut about 200 million feet of pine lumber and built and operated its own log railroad of standard gauge. The Washburn Lake Road was once part of this railroad. In 1904, the company lost its planing mill and several hundred thoursand feet of lumber to fire. After the fire, about 7,000 acres were sold to a Chicago real estate firm that platted lake frontage and sold farms.

Woodruff

A medley of settlers from Canada, Scandinavia, Scotland and Ireland established the town of Woodruff in 1888. A majority of the first settlers were loggers. Other recognized the potential of the area and established resorts on lakes in the area. Fish preservation received early attention, and the State Fish Hatchery was started in Woodruff in 1901. It is believed that the town of Woodruff was named for George Woodruff, owner of the Woodruff-Macquire Lumber Co. He often had freight labeled, "Ship to Woodruff at Muskonegan Creek, North Western Termina." Thus his name became associated with the site.

Transportation, Business and Industry

Vital Records

Web Sources