Genealogy Research and Cemeteries Make
By Arlen K Burden
When you visit cemeteries in Waukesha, WI there's a good
chance you will come across early 19th century
gravestones. The first settlers in the area date back to
1834 and they lived in peace with the Native Americans.
In fact, the name of Waukesha is derived from Indian
names giving a fairly exotic element to the area's
Anyone who studies genealogy will tell you right away
that cemeteries provide a wealth of information about
family names, marriages, years of birth and deaths and
sometimes hints of occupations or family status in
memorial headstone carvings. Families used to be buried
close together also making it possible to gain new
In addition, when you do family history research on
those buried in cemeteries in Waukesha, WI, you will
find that cemetery plot locations are mentioned in
written records at the county courthouse or even in
family diaries and Bibles. To a professional or amateur
genealogist, the cemetery is not a place of sadness but
rather a place of history and information where memories
of loved ones are preserved for future generations.
Snapping Pictures and Rubbings
There are now two primary methods used by people to
document their finds in the graveyard. The first method
is possible because of electronics. You can take
pictures of headstones with your cell phone or digital
video cameras and then post those pictures online so
others can take advantage of your research.
There are also many genealogists who still take
headstone rubbings using fabric and rubbing wax. Though
you can take pictures of the headstones, those images
may not reveal worn ornamental patterns or details. It's
a shame to lose the details on gravestones due to normal
weathering because they are irreplaceable. Early
headstones made before 1900 are often well worn because
they are made from easily eroded sandstone. After the
1900s, granite was used more often, and granite is
Knowledgeable Staff Can Help
Waukesha, WI residents interested in genealogical
research should first visit with cemetery personnel
before wandering the graveyard. There's a good chance
the staff can provide either information about the
various graves of interest or can do in-depth research.
It's important to give the staff some advance warning so
researchers can check written and computerized records.
When you are doing family research possibly covering 177
years, it takes a lot of time and effort to check
resources for more details about the people buried in
The staff working at cemeteries in Waukesha, WI is happy
to help though. They don't see their jobs as the keepers
of the deceased. They are the keepers of proof that
family members lived and worked and died in the area.
It's an important role they play that genealogists
appreciate because it makes their research much easier.
If you are interesting in doing family research in the
cemeteries of Waukesha, WI, first contact the staff. You
can get valuable information that leads you right to the
graves of interest. All the information you glean from
their records after that can be used to trace your
family connections through historical records.