Humanities librarians have identified the following free websites as highly useful resources for genealogy research.
For other genealogy resources, please see our Genealogy home page.
General or Multi-purpose
Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, Fort Wayne, Indiana
The ACPL Genealogy Center has one of the largest genealogy research collections available, incorporating records from around the world. Their holdings include 350,000 printed volumes, more than 513,000 microform items, and over 55,000 family histories.
Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites
A well-organized site with links to over 330,000 genealogical Web pages.
Family History Forms
Downloadable blank family history forms and charts to record information on individuals, family units, multi-generation trees, census records, research logs, and more from the Midwest Genealogy Center.
Sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this site is designed to help people find and share family history information. The service currently contains information on 3 billion names, extracted from vital records worldwide.
PERSI, or the PERiodical Source Index, is a comprehensive index of articles and records in historical, genealogical and ethnic publications. There are over 3.1 million fully-searchable entries that allow you to discover new records and resources you may not have encountered elsewhere. Formerly available to MPL users via the subscription database HeritageQuest, we now suggest using it on findmypast.org. The Periodical Source Index is compiled quarterly by the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and will be simultaneously updated on findmypast. Along with these updates, findmypast is also working to provide access to the same articles indexed in PERSI through their site. Images from PERSI-indexed articles are regularly added every month.
One of the oldest and largest genealogical Web sites, now owned by Ancestry.com. Rootsweb hosts tens of thousands of websites of genealogical groups and historical societies, over 30,000 mailing lists and millions of message board posts. This site is especially useful for surname searching. Try their Soundex converter for easy name coding.
RootsWeb Soundex Converter
The Soundex system is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census. Soundex can also aid genealogists by identifying spelling variations for a given surname.
Wisconsin Genealogy (USGenWeb)
Here is a great page for seeing what is on the Web regarding Wisconsin genealogical resources. Click on County List and go to Milwaukee County for a list of local resources.
Wisconsin Historical Society Genealogy Page
More than just Wisconsin history, the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society (located in Madison, WI) also contain family and local histories, census material, vital, church and immigration records, and newspapers from all over North America, with more than 4 million items in the genealogy collection.
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic Cemeteries
Find individuals buried in the eight Catholic cemeteries located in southeastern Wisconsin owned by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The cemeteries are: All Saints, Calvary, Holy Cross, Holy Trinity, Mount Olivet, Resurrection, Saint Adalbert and Saint Joseph.
Cemeteries, Graveyards & Burying Grounds
Locate links to resources on cemetery history and preservation, including to directories of decedents, related organizations and publications, and specific cemeteries and sites in the world. Includes links to Cemetery Junction, Find A Grave and similar sites.
Milwaukee County Almshouse and Poor Farm Cemeteries
The Milwaukee "County Farm" Cemetery (a.k.a. Potter's Field) was used during the years 1872-1974 to bury the deceased from the poorhouse, the Home for Dependent Children and Infant's Hospital and the Milwaukee County Insane Asylum as well as other indigent people and transients for whom no funds were available for burial. This site includes nearly 6,400 names found in the burial register.
Nationwide Gravesite Locator
From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker.
Country-specific, Ethnic and Cultural Groups
African American genealogical material. Includes a network of genealogy sites including links for slave data, surnames, census, and cemeteries.
Christine's Genealogy Website
For those doing African American genealogy. Includes articles from other sources. Subjects covered include county census transcriptions, Freedmens Bureau records, and slave cases.
International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry®
ISDSA maintains this database of slaves searchable by surname. View data such as date of birth and death, state of birth and death, photographs if available, and more.
Index to the Civil Registration from England and Wales, which was designed to record all the birth, marriages, and deaths since 1837.
Central and Eastern Europe
Atlas of the German Empire
The 1883 Atlas des Deutschen Reichs by Ludwig Ravenstein, online at University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
FEEFHS Genealogy Resource Directory
This site includes genealogy resources for groups and individuals from dozens of Eastern and Central European countries of origin.
Database of over 62,000 Prussian place names.
Polish Genealogical Society of America
Polish genealogy resources.
Jewish Museum Milwaukee – Vital Statistics
Records available online include Death and Burial Index, Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle Obituary Index, Marriage Records, and Rabbis of Congregation Emanu-El.
JewishGen: The Home of Jewish Genealogy
Primary source for researchers of Jewish genealogy worldwide. Links to many Jewish databases and has useful general information including A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations.
In addition, see the Jewish Data library subscription database.