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.

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

Evernote Assists Genealogists in Tracking Research

Genealogy remains one area of research where the latest trends in technology are often overlooked, especially in the area of digital organization. Family historians utilize searchable databases, internet searches, and digitization projects, but overlook one very powerful tool of organization: Evernote. In the search for an elusive ancestor or lost records, genealogists often amass a large amount of records or documents in both digital and print form. This collection of records can be gathered and archived with Evernote, a free, web-based downloadable program that allows users to collect and organize all their documents in one place.  Evernote has emerged as a clear winner for genealogy research, “It’s no exaggeration to say that this tool will change your research life. Evernote gives you a place to organize all your genealogical data,” stated Kerry Scott in the November 2015 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Evernote

Continue reading

Genealogy & Local History Fair October 24

It’s nearly time for the 2015 Genealogy and Local History Fair at the Indiana State Library. With a theme of “Crime and Punishment in Indiana,” the Fair promises to be a fun and educational event for genealogists, librarians, and local historians.

JGR 5x7 300-2

Judy Russell will speak at the Genealogy & Local History Fair October 24

The Fair is Saturday, October 24, and doors open at 9:30 am, with opening remarks at 9:45.  The first speaker of the day will be Keven McQueen, author of several historical true crime books. He will speak on unsolved murders in Indiana.  After lunch, Judy Russell, author of the Legal Genealogist blog will give two presentations covering court and prison records.

Between sessions and during the lunch break, attendees may browse the exhibition hall, featuring over 30 vendors, including historical societies, libraries, authors, and other organizations. Attendees may also explore the beautiful 1930s era Indiana State Library building or do a bit of research in the Library’s large genealogy collection. Also, there will be a raffle of several door prizes, including a Kindle and a handheld document scanner.

Admission is free and there is no registration required. All sessions have been approved for LEUs for Indiana public librarians. Parking is available in the Senate Avenue Parking Garage, 220 North Senate Avenue, for $5.00 per car.

If you have any questions about the Genealogy and Local History Fair, please don’t hesitate to contact the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library at (317) 232-3689.

Genealogy and Local History Fair
9:30 am to 4:00 pm
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Indiana State Library
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

This blog post was written by Jamie Dunn, Genealogy Librarian, Indiana State Library. For more information, contact the Indiana State Library at (317)232-3678 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at
http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm

Using School Records in Genealogy

Sugar Grove School, Henry County, Indiana, 1923. Don’t they look thrilled to be going back to school?

Sugar Grove School, Henry County, Indiana, 1923. Don’t they look thrilled to be going back to school?

As students across Indiana return to school, the Genealogy Division would like to highlight an often-overlooked genealogical resource: school enumeration records. Although an individual student’s records are protected by privacy laws, school enumerations functioned as a type of census and are therefore not private. School enumerations were created by local governments to document the number of school-aged students. Enumerators went from house to house, inquiring about the number of students in each household. Unlike the federal census, these enumerations took place every year in most areas. Continue reading

A One-on-One Conversation with Genealogy Librarian Crystal Ward

Crystal_Ward
This article originally appeared in the December 24, 2014 issue of the Wednesday Word.

For the fourth installment of this five part December series, I sat down and had a conversation with Genealogy Librarian Crystal Ward. Genealogy is a huge part of the services that the Indiana State Library provides, and Crystal was more than happy to talk about all of the interesting artifacts in the ISL collection.

RB: Tell me about how you came to ISL, and what made you want to become a librarian in the first place?

CW: I started out working in libraries. In high school I was a page at the Haughville Branch, and then I worked at several libraries. I worked at academic libraries, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Marion County Jail Library, so I’m used to working with the public doing reference work. When I saw the job listing for ISL I thought, “Oh that sounds very interesting.” I had done my own genealogy, so it was kind of a hobby to start with. When I had seen the position I thought, “Oh I can do that!” So I applied, and that is how I ended up here. When I was working in high school I never thought that I would be a librarian. I just needed some money to get a car and all that stuff.

RB: Were you volunteering there? Continue reading