"... The names I am researching are HOEFT, WENDT and RAASCH in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties in the 1800s and 1900s. Since I am a beginner at this, suggestions from other researchers on good resources to check are much appreciated ..."
A resource in Milwaukee under construction since 2007 is called "Milwaukee's German Newspapers; an index of death notices and related items" (1844-1950). It's a secondary source, not a replacement for a vital records index, and best accessed with names/dates in hand. There are about 75 Hoeft, 450 Wendt, 415 Raasch entries or references in the current data. An out-of-date public library copy was cataloged in 2008 and last updated in 2010.
Gary Rebholz, compiler/editor
Indexing Milwaukee's German newspapers continuously since 2007... helping family researchers collect evidence of our historic German-American culture.