Fox Footprints: local history

The Appleton Public Library is very interested in preserving local history and collecting our shared stories. Here you will find unique photos and stories, updates on our projects and information on our programs in local history and researching your family history. If you have a great photo or story, let us know!   -Diana


Using Court Records to Find Ancestors

Do you have a “black sheep” ancestor or hard feelings in the family stemming from someone’s will? 

After exhausting vital records, the census and newspapers, resourceful genealogists turn to less-used historical records to develop their family histories. UW Oshkosh archivist Joshua Ranger will talk specifically about the American civil, probate and criminal court records that may still exist and how they might help you learn more about your ancestors. 

Saturday, December 12, from 2:00-3:30 in Lower Level Meeting Room C.  Free and open to the public.

Part of the Find Your Ancestors series of genealogy programs, funded by Friends of the Appleton Public Library.  

Step-by-Step - Back to Your Norwegian Ancestors

Wisconsin was a primary destination for immigrants from Norway. In 1900, one quarter of Norwegians who had immigrated to America lived in the state of Wisconsin. If your ancestors came from this Scandinavian country, please join us for the first Find Your Ancestors program of the year.  

Experienced Norwegian researcher Mary Ellen Petersen will present Step-by-Step - Back to Your Norwegian Ancestors on Saturday, November 14, from 2:00-3:30 pm in Meeting Room C.

Funded by the Friends of Appleton Public Library. 

Steampunk Saturday is October 10

Ladies and gentlemen, rogues and explorers - mark your calendar for Saturday, October 10!  That is the day steampunk comes to the library, with presentations by Cassie & Jerry Beyer, steampunks of style and discernment.   You will have a chance to talk with role-playing game designer/author, Ken Vinson. Be present for our first tea dueling demo and learn about the importance of tea in the world of steampunk. 

Dress in your best retro-futuristic style if desired; the costume contest (for all ages) begins at 2:00, or you may pose for a souvenir Victorian-style photo. We will have plenty of steampunk crafts and prizes, so bring your friends!  We hope to see you then.

Searching for your Dutch and German Ancestors

Learning about our immigrant ancestors is both exciting and complicated.  We have two local experts who will speak at our March 14 Find Your Ancestors program.  Paul West, an officer of the Little Chute Historical Society, will describe his methods in researching his Dutch ancestors and suggest ways you can find yours. 

Antoinette Powell, Lawrence University Music Librarian and Associate Professor, will be our second speaker.  Winner of this year's Lillian F. Mackesy Historian of the Year Award, presented by the Outagamie County Historical Society, she will describe how to find your German ancestors as well as answer questions and give research tips.

Saturday, March 14 in Lower Level Meeting Room C, from 1:00-2:30 pm.  Free, with no registration required.

Researching Land Records in Wisconsin

If you’ve ever wondered how land descriptions work or how to read a deed, our next Find Your Ancestors program is for you.  Randy Bixby, Land Records Archivist at the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands will be our featured speaker.  She will explain how early land records worked—land patents, deeds, plats and more.  An experienced genealogist, Randy knows how to make the connection between the land and the families who lived there.  There will be local plat maps and Sanford Insurance maps to view as well as items she will be bringing from Madison.

This free program will take place Saturday, February 14 in Lower Level Meeting Room C, from 1:00-2:30 pm.  No registration required.

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