Thursday, September 22, 2011

Visiting the Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Community Library

I described my research activities in the Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Community Library in Day 10 of the Seaver Family History Mystery Tour.

I took some pictures of some of the records that I searched there:

1)  Here is the entrance to the Beaver Dam Community Library at 311 North Spring Street in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin:

2)  As soon as we entered, I asked Anita, a library employee, where the genealogy and local history section was located.  She guided me to the area which has two desks in front of some general genealogy books, and several bookcases with local history material.  There were also two microfilm reader and printer units in the area, and a cabinet full of Dodge County newspaper microfilms. 

Here is a picture of the desk area with the notebook for the indexed Dodge County Citizen newspaper index for 1856 to 1914:

3)  A look in the Dodge County Citizen newspaper index for pages with "Smith" is below:

The index has listings for births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries and probates, but not for general newspaper articles.  Unfortunately, my Devier, Mary and Ranslow Smith were not included.   Needless to say, this is a tremendous resource for Dodge County newspapers! 

4)  The bookcases opposite the desks have more local history records.  The photo below is of the bookcase with the Dodge County newspaper indexes, cemetery indexes, plat maps (1859 to the present), and telephone books:

The library has published a guide to the Beaver Dam Community Library Genealogy and Local History Collection.  The online version is at

The guide provides listings of other local genealogy and local history resources, including research libraries, vital records, and local history.  Anita suggested that I should visit the Dodge County Historical Society in Beaver Dam, and I'm glad I did because that's where I obtained the photo of Ranslow Smith's Four-Mile Inn taken in 1930.

Anita sent me links via email to:

History of Dodge County, Wisconsin (1880)

Dodge County, Wisconsin: Past and Present (1913)

*  The Dodge County Citizen Index, is online at

Genealogy research would be a whole lot easier in every county if volunteers and library staff had done as much work as the Beaver Dam and Dodge County local historians.  This is a gold mine for Dodge County, Wisconsin researchers.

My thanks to Anita for her help in my searches, and for having a great library to visit. 

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