The WSOCS Newsletters at MPL

At our last meeting, Robert Felber told us about the past work done by gravestone researchers in Wisconsin through the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society (WSOCS), which ran from the early 1970s to the mid-2000s. I spent a few hours at the Milwaukee Public Library last week and while they have many records relating to Milwaukee County burials and cemeteries, they didn’t have the collected work of the WSOCS. The librarian was really helpful by showing my a few online resources which ultimately helped us track down the records. We found that they were given to the Wisconsin Historical Society in the mid-2000s and are available at the University of Wisconsin-Madison archives here.

I have yet to visit the archives in Madison, but the Milwaukee Public Library did have the WSOCS newsletters bound in several volumes, running from 1972 to 2004. The newsletters are fascinating. They share quotes, events, amusing epitaphs, comments from members, and occasionally recommend methods for cemetery recording and preservation.

Below are some excerpts from the newsletter, which also state it is okay to reproduce them as long as credit is given where due. Image 1 is a summary of the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery Society taken from the first volume of newsletters immediately after the first newsletter. Image 2 appeals to the ethos and pathos of its members to support the ongoing endeavors of the Society and actively take part in the community. This was taken from the same volume of newsletters. Image 3 is the front page of the first newsetter, which sets up the template for following newsletters.This was also taken from the first volume of newsletters found at the Milwaukee Public Library.




I must admit, I  have no experience with genealogy searches and practices. These links are probably familiar to many in our chapter, but here are the ones I came across nonetheless: 

MPL Genealogy Resources
UWM Archives
UWM Archives-Genealogy Collection
Wisconsin Historical Society Cemetery Records


-Erin Hastings
March 1st, 2017


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