Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Great Lakes Research - Through Wisconsin?

Cofrin Library Genealogy and Archives
It’s not the first time I  have touted the benefits and treasures to be found in University Archives or Special Collections. But why not highlight the Cofrin Library  at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. 

But any researcher who has tried to narrow Great Lake immigrants knows the difficulty in narrowing repositories that may hold ancestors’ documents: vital records, court records, and especially Citizenship Records to include Naturalization records.  So gathering an arsenal of possible repositories is key. The Cofrin Library home page clearly invites the researcher to visit their Local History & Genealogy or their University Archives.

What a sigh of relief when I found my Norwegian immigrant “Houdini” (and he was good at the disappearing act) at this repository.

Local History & Genealogy
At the Cofrin Library Local History &Genealogy page the researcher can search online indexes for nine counties for dates spanning from 1829-1963. An online Citizenship Records index covers several counties (years vary):
       Brown County
       Outagamie County
       Kewaunee County
       Manitowoc County

Various court record indexes are available for Shawano County.  An 1875 Plat Map and even various Will Book(s) index are available online for Brown County; Probate Case File index for Outagamie County.

Where to Begin?
Try the Online Index Search first.   Citizenship listings are even searchable by county. Be sure to llok at their Digital Collections

But Don’t Stop There?
As you peruse this website, you will see that many records are not indexed or online. However, you can request for a search and copies by using the Research Requests and Services (lefthand side).   I used this service to obtain copies of Declaration of Intention, Petition and Naturalization papers of my “subject”. 

Kathleen Brandt
Accurate, Accessible Answers

1 comment:

  1. Kathleen:

    Thanks for the great words of recognition for our Archives program. We love to help people find their family roots.

    Just wanted to let you know that we added more online indexes to our website. You may now search for Brown County Probate case files; Kewaunee Circuit Court records; Calumet County citzenship records; and Oconto County Probate records.

    Researchers can find our indexes at:


    Deb Anderson, Coordinator
    Archives and Area Research Center
    UW Green Bay