Family History and Genealogy Services

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Wisconsin Genealogy Resources

Diaries, Letters, Stories, Address Books and More

  • Knapp Diaries These are the diaries of John Holly Knapp, his wife Valeria, and his oldest son Henry. John Holly Knapp was born on March 29, 1825 in Elmira, New York. In 1846 he moved to what would become Menomonie, Wisconsin and purchased a half-interest in a sawmill. This was the start to one of the world's largest lumber companies during the nineteenth century, the Knapp, Stout & Co., Company. His business success provided Knapp and his family the financial ability to travel around the world. John Holly Knapp's diaries cover the daily activities of his personal life as well as his participation in the management of the Knapp, Stout & Co., Company. Highlights include anything from fishing trips to his family's hasty evacuation from a hotel during the Great Chicago Fire. Henry's diaries (Henry was the son from John's first marriage) recount a trip he and his father took to Europe in 1869-70 in an attempt to find a cure for a skin affliction (cancer) that was troubling John Holly. Valeria's 1874 diary is an account of a similar trip made to the southern regions of the United States looking for a cure for John Holly's skin cancer affliction.  University of Wisconsin-Stout, University Library.

  • Palmini, Cathleen. Across the unknown waters to Wisconsin: the migration narratives of four women settlers,   pp. 105-120.  Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, ©2000.

  • Wisconsin Documents Online [WLHN]
  • Wisconsin Electronic Reader [Wisconsin Historical Society]
  • Wisconsin Pioneer Experience  A digital collection of diaries, letters, reminiscences, speeches and other writings of people who settled and built Wisconsin during the 19th century
  • Wisconsin Stories Transcripts [Wisconsin Public Television]