A huge treasure trove of historical and biographical information is now online for those of you that have family that lived in Wisconsin.
Why would we care on an Upstate New York Genealogy Blog? Simple, millions of people that lived in, and migrated out of New York state went on out to the upper mid-west. Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin and others as well.
You might have been searching for many years in New York for details, and you should, but actually your clues might be found in information that was published in later generations that had moved on out of NY.
So this information just came in on one of the rootsweb newsgroups (GENWISCONSIN) sent by Patricia Ricci about an hour ago and I jumped right in to see what it was about. Wow! The Wisconsin Historical Society has sponsored this project, major kudos to them, and it is a very easy website to navigate and the digitized scans are remarkably clear.
More than 80 standard county and local histories are all word searchable, or you may browse them page by page. You will find obscure directories, almanacs, local histories and county histories. Are these primary source documents? Absolutely not. Do they have immense value to genealogist, of course they do! Where else would you find such clues to spark a major in-depth search for primary records unless you know where people were at any given time?
I have always been interested in the earlier settlers of Racine and Kenosha Wisconsin as that area was first populated by old time families from around Hannibal, Oswego County, NY.
Here is a section of data that I have in my computer database regarding a family of HULET/HULETT relatives: “Many families from the town of Hannibal, New York and the immediate surrounding towns, were stockholders in “The Western Emigration Company” that originated in Hannibal and settled in Racine County, Wisconsin and the Kenosaha area. I presume that Gardner HULETT either was a stockholder or went to Kenosha to join neighbors, friends, and possibly other relatives. More can be found out about the Western Emigration Company on the Hannibal and Kenosha GenWeb sites on the Internet.”
So I went right to the search engine on the new WCH website, checked for Racine and found three publications:
Prairie Farmer’s Reliable Directory of Farmers and Breeders, Kenosha and Racine Counties, Wisconsin – 1919
Smith’s Business and Farmers’ Directory of Racine and Kenosha Counties for 1897-1898. Containing a List Smith’s Business and Farmers’ Directory of Racine and Kenosha Counties for 1897-1898.
Commemorative Biographical Record of Prominent and Representative Men of Racine and Kenosha Counties Wisconsin. – 1906
In this last one I discovered the parents and siblings of one of the HULETT wives that is sure to lead me to more clues as they were from New York state originally also.
Thank you Pat, and a big thank you to the Wisconsin Historical Society!
Here is the link to the Wisconsin County Histories
Upstate New York Genealogy Blog