Genealogical Resources

Libraries and Archives

Research Guides

  • RootsWeb Guides to Tracing Family Trees
  • 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)
  • 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.

Time Lines

  • Our TimeLines This web site generates truly fascinating personalized web pages for you. They show how your life (or the life of anyone else you choose — for instance, your descendants and ancestors) fits into history as we know it.

GenWeb Sites

Historical and Genealogical Societies

Online Record Databases

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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)

Newspapers, Books

  • 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
  • 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)  

Census Information

Record Holders in Madison

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

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