The Wisconsin Historical Society has announced its Wisconsin Name
Index, a new online tool to help genealogists research their Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Name Index leads to more than 100,000 obituaries,
personal sketches, and other short biographies of Wisconsin people.
These texts originally appeared in 150 county and local histories,
dozens of professional directories and biographical encyclopedias,
more than 60 scrapbooks containing 30,000 obituaries, and in Wisconsin
magazines and newspapers. Thousands include portraits and other
illustrations. Users can search the database with a last name, first
name, maiden name, time frame, and various other details. Photocopies
of biographical sketches, articles, and obituaries can all be ordered
online through our online genealogical research service.
The name index was created not by amateurs but by professional
librarians at the State Historical Society. Starting about 1870,
staff members made a catalog card for every biographical sketch in
each new Wisconsin county history. They made a similar card for every
obituary added to the scrapbooks they called "Wisconsin Necrology,"
and frequently added cards for magazine and newspaper articles about
Wisconsin residents. After more than a century of such work, the data
on the original cards was typed into a database and the Wisconsin Name
Index was born.
The Wisconsin Name Index is available at
For additional information about the Wisconsin Historical Society and
its genealogical tools, visit http://www.wisconsinhistory.org
Melissa McLimans, firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrator, Online Genealogical Research Service
Wisconsin Historical Society