A letter from Afghanistan

In the Harriet L. Paddock collection, in between folders of genealogical research on the Paddock and other families, is a letter from Bill Castor to Harriet’s father William S. Paddock. During the latter part of 1954, Bill decided to take a trip to Afghanistan, a place that had long fascinated him. In his letter he also recounts his travels through the region including his time spent in Tehran, Iran after the 1953 coup.

The following correspondence is available in the Indiana Digital Collections.

Harriet L. Paddock taught in the Business Department of Butler University for 28 years. She attended Indiana State University, graduating in 1929. She later received her master’s in education from Harvard University and a doctorate from Indiana University.

Her collection of genealogical research and correspondence relating to the Paddock, Lewis, Rea and other families is available to view in the Genealogy Division on the first floor of the library.

“This blog post by Sarah Pfundstein, genealogy librarian. For more information, contact the Genealogy Division at (317) 232-3689 or email spfundstein@library.in.gov.”

Last call for night owls

Join us for another exciting evening of Genealogy for Night Owls tomorrow, May 17, 2017 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. If you aren’t able to make it to the Indiana State Library to research your family during our regular hours, aren’t sure where or how to get started on your family history or just want to put in some extra hours of research, Night Owls is the perfect opportunity.

We have an evening of fun planned, including an informative tour and sessions available with experts from the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Indiana Chapter of Palatines to America, professional genealogist Betty Warren, the Genealogical Society of Marion County, the Indiana African-American Genealogy Group and the Central Indiana DNA Interest Group. And…it’s free!! Registration is required by today, May 16, 2017. You can register online here.

Future genealogy webinars

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to get started on your family history? Are you wondering how to begin or where to start? The Indiana State Library (ISL) Genealogy Division wants to help you stay on track and meet your goal this year. Perusing your family history can be fun and rewarding. However, for the beginning genealogist, research can be difficult and many wonder how to get started. ISL can help you with this goal.

The Genealogy Division has created a brand new webinar that will be available online in the coming months. This webinar will help you tackle the beginning steps in genealogy research. The webinar will be recorded and available on ISL’s website. Once the webinar is published you will be able to access the recording free and on your own time. Learn about records sets, how to get started and why you might be having road blocks; all from the comfort of your home. Topics to be discussed include the basic principles of genealogy research, where to start and what information you can find in different records. Be sure to check out our website for updates on this and future webinars.

In the meantime, please browse our current collection of webinars and videos.

This blog post was written by Crystal Ward, librarian in the genealogy department. If you would like more information about this webinar or other genealogy events, please contact the genealogy department at 317-232-3689. 

Finding Indiana birth, marriage and death records online

Birth, marriage and death records form the core of genealogical research. They document the basic facts of a person’s life and familial relationships. However, finding these records can be difficult, particularly as one traces one’s family farther and farther into the past. With that in mind, here are a few pointers to help you find your ancestors’ vital and marriage records:

  1. Know what records are available

Birth certificate of Bernece Tipps, 1908. “Indiana Birth Certificates, 1907-1940,” Ancestry Library Edition. Accessed January 17, 2017.

Indiana did not issue birth and death certificates until 1882 and such records were not mandatory or collected at the state level until 1907. So, before 1882, there are no government-issued certificates recording these life events.

Under Indiana law, birth records are not available to the public for 75 years to protect privacy and identity. If you need a more recent record, see the Indiana State Department of Health Vital Records division for information on how to proceed. If you are researching birth records pertinent to an adoption, see the Indiana State Department of Health for more information on obtaining records.

Marriage records, on the other hand, were issued in each county from the establishment of that county. Because couples could not get married without a marriage license, these records tend to be complete all the way back to 1816 and even a bit before that in certain counties.

  1. Know where to find records

Death certificate of Violet Edwards Commer, 1959. “Indiana Death Certificates, 1899-2011,” Ancestry Library Edition. Accessed January 17, 2017.

Birth and death records are available at the health department in each county as well as the Indiana State Department of Health (1907 forward). There is a small fee to obtain a copy, but a non-certified “genealogical copy” is usually cheaper and sufficient for genealogy purposes.

Marriage records are available at the clerk of court’s office in each county and also at the Indiana State Department of Health (1958 forward). Once again, there is a small fee for copies as well as the option for a non-certified copy.

If you need a copy of your own records, you will need to contact the county where the records were issued. The county of issuance is the only office permitted to certify a record.

  1. Know what research aids are available

Marriage record of Abraham Michael and Winna Smith, 1845. “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” Family Search. Accessed January 17, 2017.

There are a number of databases online that have indexes or full digital images of birth, marriage, and death records. Some are available for free, while others require a subscription or a visit to a library with an institutional subscription.

Database Title Date Range Record Type Source Availability Coverage
Indiana Birth Certificates 1907-1940 Full records Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
Statewide
Indiana Births 1882-1920 Index Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
67/92 counties
Indiana Death Certificates 1899-2011 Full records Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
Statewide
Indiana Death Index 1882-1920 Index FamilySearch Online 67/92 counties
Indiana Deaths 1882-1920 Index Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
67/92 counties
Indiana Marriages 1810-2001 Full records Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
Not statewide
Indiana Marriages 1811-2007 Full records FamilySearch Online Not statewide
Indiana Marriage Certificates 1958-2005 Full records Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
Not statewide
Indiana Marriages 1780-1992 Index FamilySearch Online Not statewide
Indiana Marriage Index 1800-1941 Index Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
Not statewide
Indiana Marriages Early 1800s-1850 Index Indiana State Library Online Statewide
Indiana Compiled Marriages 1802-1892 Index Ancestry Library Edition In library/
subscription
Not statewide
Indiana Marriages 1958-2013 Index Indiana State Library Online Statewide
Marriage License Public Lookup 1993-present Index Indiana Office of Judicial Administration Online Statewide

A list of these databases is also available as a downloadable PDF on the Indiana State Library’s Indiana County Research Guides page.

This blog post is by Jamie Dunn, genealogy librarian. For more information, contact the Genealogy Division at (317) 232-3689 or send us a question through Ask-a-Librarian.

Indiana State Library website named to Family Tree Magazine’s list of best state websites for genealogy in 2016

We are pleased to announce that the Indiana State Library (ISL) website was recently named to Family Tree Magazine’s list of “75 Best State Websites for Genealogy in 2016.” This list appears in the December 2016 issue of Family Tree Magazine and it can also be accessed for free here. The list honors the best websites specializing in genealogy research for each of the 50 United States. No matter where your ancestors lived within the United States, this list will be of immense help in tracing your American ancestors.

From Family Tree Magazine:

Indiana State Library: Genealogy Collection 

In the Site Index at the left, [on the ISL Home Page] click on Databases and Indexes and scroll down to Resources Provided by the Indiana State Library. There, search indexes to marriages (1811-2013), commercial newspaper death listings, biographies and newspapers. Indiana Memory has digitized images of many resources, including county histories, oral histories, plat books, city directories, photos, newspapers, yearbooks and more. The VINE database has local history and vital records from libraries, historical societies and genealogical societies.”

ISL has subscription databases that can be accessed within the library, including, but not limited to Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3, Heritage Quest, NewspaperArchive and Newspapers.com. There is also a lengthy list of resources that can be accessed remotely. A few of those resources are: Hoosier State Chronicles, Indiana Biography Indexes, Marriage Indexes, Indiana Memory, World War II Servicemen, Indiana State Library Digital Collections and Indianapolis Newspaper Index, 1848-1991.

Indiana has 92 counties and ISL has innumerable resources for each county. Resources could include vital records indices, marriage records, county histories, county maps, wills and probate records, city directories, newspapers on microfilm, court records, mortuary records, church records, tax records, cemeteries indices and census records.

Be sure to check out the Genealogy Webinars and Videos webpage for further resources and tutorials.

The best method for obtaining help with your family history research or finding answers to questions about the genealogy collection is through our Ask-A-Librarian service. You can submit a question through this email service 24/7 and a librarian will get back to you within two business days.

Patrons are also directed to look at the genealogy FAQ’s webpage for answers about the genealogy collection, about beginning genealogy research and miscellaneous genealogy questions. In addition, patrons have the ability to view the ISL’s Instagram pictures, YouTube videos, Facebook page, tweets and Pinterest boards, all accessible with one click on any ISL webpage. Just look for the social media icons. Who knows, you just might find a genealogy tip that will knock down your own brick wall!

We hope everyone will agree that the ISL genealogy website is very deserving of being placed on the Family Tree Magazine’s list of “75 Best State Websites for Genealogy in 2016!”

This blog post by Alice Winslow, librarian, Genealogy Division. For more information contact the Genealogy Division at (317) 232-3689.

November is International Jewish Genealogy Month

The International Jewish Genealogy month is celebrated during the Hebrew month of Cheshvan. For 2016, the civil dates are Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, 2016. At the Indiana State Library we have many resources to help you start or further your Jewish genealogy research.

“Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy” (G 929.102 J59a) is a comprehensive book that’s great for both beginners and more intermediate researchers. The book covers not only how to get started, but it also contains research topics such as Holocaust records, Jewish naming patterns, the history of surnames and variant place names. The guide also includes different resources, both within the U.S. and internationally, appendixes containing charts and mini how to guides and maps.

guide-to-jewish-genealogy

“Sourcebook for Jewish Genealogies and Family Histories” (929.2 102 J59z) is a bibliography of family sources sorted by surname. It also lists whether the information can be found in an institution or general work. Additionally, it cross-references variant spellings due to pronunciation.

jewish-cemetery

“A Field Guide to Visiting a Jewish Cemetery” (G 929.102 J59s) is a great resource for someone interested in Jewish cemeteries and deciphering their family’s graves. The guide goes into detail about the meanings behind monuments and tombstones and their decoration, where a person might be buried in the different sections of a cemetery and simple translations.

judaica-slavic-realm

“Judaica in the Slavic Realm, Slavica in the Judaic Realm: Repositories, Collections, Projects, Publications” (G929.102 J59sLa) covers Jewish collections found in Russian and Eastern European institutions often overlooked by researchers. It could be particularly helpful to those doing research in the former Soviet empire.

These resources, along with others, can be found in the Indiana State Library online catalog.

Digital Collections from the Genealogy Division

The Genealogy Division at the Indiana State Library shares items from its collection through Indiana Memory.  We add new items monthly, focusing on our Bible records, but also featuring interesting items from our Genealogy Manuscripts.  Digitizing items from our collection allows the items to be more widely shared and helps to preserve delicate items through less exposure to light and handling.

Here are just a few recent additions:

1 laughing baby

We don’t know much about this laughing baby, but he is adorable! (Photo from the Jackman collection)

2 Stout Field airport

Stout Field in Indianapolis is an airport built in 1926 and used during World War II by the U.S. Army Air Corps. It is now the Joint Forces Headquarters of the Indiana National Guard. (Photo from the Katherine P. Mondor collection)

3 court document

One of the oldest original documents in the collection is this court document from 1545 in Somerset, England. (Document from the Hadley collection)

4 mortality schedule

The full set of U.S. Census Mortality Schedules for Indiana, 1850-1880, document individuals who died during the census year in Indiana.  They are organized by year, then by county.

#YourStory at Midwestern Roots 2016 Conference

The Midwestern Roots Family History and Genealogy Conference will be held July 15-16, 2016 at the Indianapolis Marriott East. Preconference events take place on July 14. You won’t want to miss this event hosted by the Indiana Historical Society!  This year’s conference is appropriately themed, #YourStory.  The conference is excited to host Jennifer Alford, Jen Baldwin, Lisa Louise Cooke, CeCe Moore, Juliana Szucs, Curt B. Witcher and many more distinguished national, regional, and local speakers!

Midwestern Roots

The opening session on Friday by Curt B. Witcher, Your Story, Our History: The Power and Value of Story, will surely have attendees excited about our place in state and national history.

CeCe Moore will launch the Saturday sessions with her presentation, Telling Stories with DNA from “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”

Pre-conference activities include a variety of workshops offered in addition to research opportunities at any number of local genealogical research facilities including county libraries, area museums, and national organizations. Look for a complete list of facilities on the conference website.

The conference will host more than 30 sessions, many of which will spotlight online resources and changing and emerging technologies that are impacting the way genealogists research their family history. In addition, there will be sessions discussing legal genealogy, DNA, the use of Evernote in genealogy, African-American genealogy, finding female ancestors, how to work your own “genealogical cold case,” “metes and bounds surveys,” treasures at the National Archives, and genealogy and GIS, just to name a few.  You can view the brochure with a complete listing of speakers and sessions here.

Once again, the conference will host the Family History Market and Book Fair, allowing ample time in the schedule to peruse the resources from national, regional, and local history exhibitors in the Exhibit Hall.

Whether your time permits attendance for all three days or just a portion of the conference, you will find a registration option to suit your needs.  Librarians may earn continuing education credits from this conference.

To learn more and to register visit indianahistory.org/midwesternroots  or call (317) 232-1882.

Register before June 30, 2016 for early registration prices!

Follow @IndianaHistory on Twitter and stay up-to-date on Midwestern Roots with the hashtags #MWR16 and #YourStory.

Alice Winslow Librarian, Genealogy Division

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes… Marriage Records?

One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of genealogy is locating original records that document your ancestors’ lives. Finding original marriage records are no exception to this.

Unlike birth and death records, marriage records in Indiana date back to the establishment of each individual county. To this day, original marriage records are kept by the Clerk of Courts office in each of the 92 counties. If you know the date and place of your ancestors’ marriage, the research is easy: contact the county and request the record. What if you don’t know when or where your ancestors were married? What if the county where they got married doesn’t seem to have the record? Where do you go next? Continue reading

Information at Your Fingertips: Exploring ISL’s Online Resources

So many roadblocks can put a screeching halt to a genealogist’s quest to find his or her lineage. The disheartening fact that the records do not exist can often be a turning point. While such matters can put a damper on your research efforts, exploring resources in unfamiliar territory is often a source of hope. Vastly different records can be found in the numerous databases that exist and can be very helpful in providing clues to put the genealogy puzzle pieces in place. The Indiana State Library provides access to numerous databases that serve as rich resources and sometimes provide much needed information. Continue reading