The society has been collecting family tree information since 1981 with several genealogy experts among the membership. For a time, members that specialized in genealogy operated a separate Lafayette County Genealogy Society. But as of 2023, archives of both societies have been combined to create the Family History Center, at the Museum on Main Street. We are affiliated with the Wisconsin State Genealogical Society. Staff are indexing the records to aid research by surname. Surname List
Experienced genealogists volunteer at the Museum including several members of DAR. We have internet access, including Ancestry.com.
All are welcome to visit in person. We are located convenient to additional resources. The Johnson Public Library is next door (they have HeritageQuest and Newspapers.com) and the County Courthouse is across the street. Have a question but not able to visit in person? Contact us with your questions Contact US or request research service Research Services
The perfect blend of history with genealogy: the Pioneer Certificate connects the history of early settlement of our part of Wisconsin — the people that pioneered frontier Wisconsin — and their descendants today. We have records of the Pioneer Certificates awarded in Lafayette County to date. If you believe you are directly descended from one of our pioneers, and are interested in pursuing a Pioneer Certificate, the application and instructions are below. We recommend contacting staff at the Museum to see if a family member has already submitted the required proof for a certificate which can save time and effort. Another time saver – the ancestor may have been a member of the Old Settlers Society which was a historical/social society formed in 1884. We can check that possibility in their membership records in the archives. Needed documentation may be at the museum in the archives, available online, or at the county courthouse (land records).
When approved, the certificate will be issued by the Lafayette County Historical and Genealogy Society, signed by the President of the Board and embossed with our emblem.
Preserving Family Trees and Historical Materials
Do you have family members that will be caring for your genealogy findings and treasures? If you do, that is great. If not, now may be the time to inquire of your family members and their interest. What will they do with all those hours and years you put into your Genealogy? Don’t take the chance of it being put out with the trash or recycling.
A local or county Genealogy and/or Historical Society or nearby University Library may be willing to accept such records. If not, check with your state level resources. Lafayette County Historical and Genealogy Society is available as a repository for such records that may include a variety of items including genealogy findings, phone and address books, city or county directories, deeds, abstracts, plat books, photos, or maps to community history, churches, school year books, and cookbooks, to name just a few. We can provide you with a “Codicil to Last Will and Testament” which clearly identifies where you want individual items within your holdings to go. This form is a legal document, that does not need lawyer involvement. Lafayette County Historical and Genealogy Society would consider your collection a treasure, and as a 501(c)(3) organization, your donation is non-taxable. With your donation of materials, we can preserve valuable history, inspire others, and educate future generations.