Wisconsin Genealogy Resources
Manuscripts - Manuscript collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society are extensive. Genealogists must be diligent and imaginative in using these sources. A sampling of collections and access tools is listed below.
- Draper Manuscripts. Collected in the nineteenth
century by Lyman Copeland Draper. The variety of the collection
includes correspondence, interview notes, extracts from
newspapers and other published sources, muster rolls, and
transcripts of offcial documents and research notes for the
western Carolinas and Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, the entire
Ohio River valley, and parts of the Mississippi River valley.
The collection is available on 134 reels of microfilm, which is
owned by numerous libraries in the country. To access the
collection, consult Josephine L. Harper, Guide to the Draper
Manuscripts. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical Society of
- Grignon, Lawe, and Porlier Papers (1712-1884).
Includes some of the oldest Wisconsin documents. The sixty-five
volumes contain the business, personal, and official papers and
correspondence of three early Green Baby families that were
involved in the fur-trading industry.
- Patterson, Betty, ed. Some Pioneer Families of Wisconsin,
An Index. 3 vols. A Bicentennial Project of the Wisconsin
State Genealogical Society, Madison, Wisconsin, 1977, 1987, and
2001. It is a collection of indexes of application for pioneer
or century certificates. The indexes include the following, if
available: name of ancestor, birth date and place, death date,
name of spouse, county of residence, and name of applicant.
Supporting documentation for volumes one and two is in the
archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society and is accessible
to researches. Documentation for volume three is available
through the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society. Both societies
provide photocopies by mail for a fee.
Pioneers of Southeastern Wisconsin Collections, A-I ,
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
- Smith, Alice E., ed. Guide to the Manuscripts of the
Wisconsin Historical Society. Madison, Wisconsin: State
Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1944, 1957.
- The Territorial Papers of the United States: the
Territory of Wisconsin, 1836-1848: a Microfilm Supplement.
Washington, D.C.: National Archives, 1959. - On 122 FHL films
beginning with 1601731. Has a few court records for 1836-1848;
Bureau of Indian Affairs records 1836-1848; appointments of
postmasters 1836-1848; maps 1836-1848; records of lighthouses
and customs, and many other governmental records.
- University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Guide to Archives and
Manuscripts in the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Area
Research Center. Rev. ed. Green Bay, Wisconsin: University
of Wisconsin-Green Bay Area Research Center, 1992.
- White, Bruce M. The Fur Trade in Minnesota: An
Introductory Guide to Manuscript Sources. St. Paul:
Minnesota Historical Society, 1977. An excellent index to all
fur trade manuscripts.
- Wisconsin. State Historical Society. Guide to Archives
and Manuscripts in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Area
Research Center. Madison, Wisconsin: State Historical
Society of Wisconsin, 1990.
- WPA Life Histories from Wisconsin - Manuscripts from the Federal Writer's Project, 1936-1940, Library of Congress