Wisconsin and Me
Wisconsin has always felt like a 'second home' to me. Growing up in Illinois we traveled through Wisconsin to visit my grandfather in Upper Michigan. Later as teens Lake Geneva and the Wisconsin Dells were summer getaways and many of my friends chose to go to college in Wisconsin instead of Illinois. And then there was that football team.... The Packers.
Soon after I married Chuck his uncle and aunt moved to Eleva Wisconsin. We spent weekends enjoying their hospitality, horses, gardens and bailing hay. We always bought bags of cheese curds for the drive home!
Researching Your Wisconsin Roots
Wisconsin became a state on May 29, 1848
Wisconsin settlers were first enumerated in 1820 as part of the Indiana Territory. The 1830 Census found those same residents enumerated as Iowa County and part of Michigan. For a complete guide to Wisconsin Census Records visit Census Finder - Wisconsin Census Records. Wisconsin researchers can use the 1895 State Census as a substitute for the lost 1890 Federal Census.
The Wisconsin Historical Society has many online resources including pre 1907 birth and death records. Read about Belmont, the original capitol of the Wisconsin territorial government.
Another great site is the Wisconsin Genweb Site. Broken down by county there is a wealth of information arranged by county. It also has links to the Wisconsin Rootsweb Message Boards.
I have been very successful doing newspaper research on Chuck's Wisconsin ancestors. If you do not have access to NewspaperArchive.com check to see if their newspaper collection includes the area you are researcing. If so, it may be worth a three month subscription.
Using the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune I have been able to document the life of one of Chuck's ancestor from 1922 to 1928. This information included two divorces and remarriages. My mother in law knew virutally nothing of her grandmother's life during this period.
Unfortunately she moved to Iowa in 1928 and I am still looking for information on her life from 1928 until she moved back to Minnesota before her death in 1933. I just need to find the right Iowa newspaper!
Little House Memories
And the Younger Generation
I was so happy to find out my granddaughter liked the Little House on the Prairie books and television series. Why? Because it gave me a great basis to talk to her about her Great Great Grandmother Charlott Horton Maish.
Grandma Maish grew up in Wisconsin and later in life moved to Minnesota. When a box of Grandma Maish's photos was found Tori and I talked about the houses and outfits. We talked about how Grandma Maish had REALLY lived on 'the prairie'.
Take Care and have a good time researching your Wisconsin ancestors.