Genealogy & Local History


Genealogy & Local History

Information You Can Find At The Library…

  • Local History Books
  • Indexes – Numerous local history books, plat books, newsletters, church records, tombstone inscriptions, and some Manitowoc newspapers are indexed. They are a great place to begin a genealogical search.
  • Newspapers – Local newspapers dating back to the 1850s are available on microfilm.
  • Census Records – The Library has census records on microfilm for Manitowoc and some surrounding counties for the dates 1836 – 1930. The 1920 and 1930 census film covers the entire state of Wisconsin. A Soundex index is available for the 1920 census to facilitate a search.
  • Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce Indexes – These indexes are available on microfiche. Each index lists Wisconsin residents in alphabetical order. Information includes the date of the event and the county in which it took place. The Library has the pre-1907 indexes for births, deaths, and marriages. The library also has indexes for the following: Deaths 1959-1997 (excluding 1968); Marriages 1973-1997; Divorces 1965-1984 (excluding 1966).
  • Manitowoc City/County Directories – Information can include a person’s place of employment, address, spouse and children, and sometimes date of death.
  • Plat Books -These books will locate land and land owners outside of city limits.
  • Church Records – The Library has records for the following churches: St. John-St. James Evangelical Lutheran (Reedsville), St. James Episcopal (Manitowoc), St. Michael’s Catholic (Whitelaw), St. John’s United Church of Christ (Manitowoc), and First German Evangelical Lutheran (Manitowoc). Records vary by parish.

Information You Can Find Online…

Manitowoc History & Genealogy
General Genealogy
  • Ancestry Library Edition – Online genealogy resource includes census data, maps, military, immigration, DAR records, slave stories and more. Full-text is available in the library only.
  • Heritage Quest Online – Genealogical information including census data, magazine articles, and local history. You need to enter your Manitowoc Public Library card number to use this database.
  • Newspaper Archive – The world’s largest newspaper archive. A good resource for historical and genealogical information.
  • Castle Garden – Search passenger lists. Castle Garden was America’s first immigration center.
  • Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet – Cyndi’s list is an index to genealogical websites. It is categorized into more than 150 categories, cross-referenced, and frequently updated.
  • Ellis Island – American Family Immigration History Center – Search passenger lists, ship manifests and other rosters for passengers arriving in New York in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Includes immigrants along with 1st and 2nd class passengers who were American citizens.
  • Family Search – This site, compiled by the Church of Latter Day Saints, contains the largest collection of genealogical data in the world.
  • Family History Forms – Midwest Genealogy Center’s Family History Forms.
  • Find A Grave – Find A Grave’s mission is to find, record and present final disposition information from around the world as a virtual cemetery experience.
  • Steven Morse One Step Pages – This site contains tools for finding immigration records, census records, vital records, and for dealing with calendars, maps, foreign alphabets, and numerous other applications. Some of these tools fetch data from other websites but do so in more versatile ways than the search tools provided on those websites.
  • Internet Archives – This site has digitized genealogy reference books.


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