Genealogy Toolbox

Researching your family is very different today than it was when I started my research in 1998. It hard to remember a time when the records available on the internet were very few. Census records and obituaries, were searched using a microfilm reader in the local library or family history center. The massive amount of information that is now being published for online research is amazing, and the sites that provide us with free online viewing and searching is a great way to jump-start your research. I encourage you to search through the websites that I have included below. Check back often as I will add to this list as I discover new sites.



  • A great resource for out of print books, or even locating books still in print that may contain information about your ancestors.
  • FamilySearch has a treasure trove of documents online for Wisconsin. Some have been indexed, some just searchable, but be sure to take a look. Click on Search, then scroll to the bottom to click on United States, then click on Wisconsin.
  • Historical Atlases and Maps of the United States shows county boundary changes, and all of the county boundaries for each census year.
  • Don’t forget that the web changes on a second by second basis. Always remember to search for the surnames, cities and towns of your ancestors. You just never know what might show up!
  • ~ The Wisconsin Historical Society is rich with free online resources, plus the opportunity to purchase materials at a reasonable cost.
  • ~ Access to courtesy of BadgerLink. All you need is a library card. NOTE: Badgerlink’s contract with NewspaperARCHIVE ended on 6/30/2018. Hopefully they will come up with a wonderful replacement option for newspaper research.


Maps and Atlases

  • ~ The Wisconsin Historical Society has an extensive Map and Atlas collection all online.
  • ~ The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
  • ~ Google Earth is a lot of fun to play with. Check out Lisa Louise Cooke and her Genealogical Gems website where she has lots of information to get you started.
  •  ~ The Outagamie County website has a wonderful Historic Maps collection to download, for Outagamie County. This site includes the original map of Appleton, published in 1872 by John Stephens.


The Fox Valley



  • ~ Appleton Public Library – Appleton History:  this page includes many links to explore including: Appleton Firsts, Appleton’s Founding, Historic Photos Index and much more.
  • ~ The 1925 Wright’s Appleton City DirectoryThis all important volume documents the street name and number changes that were made within the year.
  • ~ City of Appleton “My Neighborhood.” Are you preparing to create a house history? This is the go-to site for information regarding homes located within the city limits of Appleton.



  • ~ Kaukauna Public Library: Local History. Head here to learn more about Kaukauna history.





  • ~ Neenah Public Library: The Genealogy and Local History is full of links for Neenah resources
  • Oak Hill Cemetery: The City of Neenah has provided a searchable database for Oak Hill, which has been owned and maintained by the city of Neenah since 1848.


  • ~ “In 1957, an Ordinance was adopted by the City of Oshkosh that resulted in extensive street name changes and house renumbering…” Here is a link to the changes.



Books. Here is a collection of free online books, or books available through your local Family History Center, that contain information about some of my ancestors, or the world in which they lived.