Monday, December 31, 2012

193. Good Genealogy Year 2012

     As we say goodbye to 2012, we as family historians can celebrate a good year. Millions of researchers explored billions of newly available records and images; thousands of good family books were written, published, and made available to other folks. Many more librarians recognized how many of their patrons were genealogists and personal historians; hundred of genealogy conferences were well attended and well presented.
     I sometimes wonder how we did much at all 25 or so years ago; musty old books and dusty old records stuffed in obscure cubbyholes in neglected corners of courthouses and archives. No scanners or digital cameras, no photocopiers (remember mimeographs?), no instant Internet; phew, talk about the pioneer era!
    Lots more great stuff is on the horizon. It's a good time to be involved in genealogy. Let's keep pushing for improvements from one and all, including ourselves. It's almost 2013--charge!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

192. Illiana Jewish Research Group

     I found this society flyer at the Indiana Historical Society a few days ago. I did a program many years ago for a Jewish genealogy group that met at the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation on north Meridian Street. I haven't heard much about them in recent days and don't know if they are still active. If not, and you have Jewish ancestry, you might be interested in this other group. It's not too close, but maybe in this digital age that doesn't matter very much. Email:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

191. ISA Catalog Supplement #3

               The Indianapolis Donation Plat Maps Microfilm

     The Indiana State Archives has several pages of explanations about the landowners of the Indianapolis Land Donation purchases, like this: 

Indianapolis Donation Indianapolis Donation

Back to the Land Records Index

     But, in all this, I couldn't find any mention that you could look up much of this on a roll of microfilm yourself. Just go to film drawer 401-D-6 and find the roll titled, "Auditor of State, Reel #1, Indexes, Land Dept." On the end of that roll you will find the following file with lots of maps (see sample) and purchasers names. I imagine you could search the index above online and then go to the film to save some time. I heard a rumor at the Archives that all of this would soon be online in full color, but I haven't seen it to date.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

190. On The Perimeter, Christmas 2012

      If you have served any time in the U. S. military forces, it's almost inevitable that you have spent at least one Christmas in some crappy dump in some crappy country, that, no matter how good, is still not the U.S.A. There has not been a single year since the founding of our republic when all of our soldiers and sailors have been safely in-country on Christmas.
     This is my Dad, Peter Darrah, who lived through Christmas 1945 in Korea, while my Mom, my sister, and I did the same in West Virginia. His brother Art spent the Christmases of 1944 and 1945 in Europe. I spent the Christmases of 1959 and 1960 in Japan; my brother Larry spent Christmas 1968 in Vietnam.
     Our family experiences were not that unique; your family can probably tell a similar story. On this Christmas of 2012, as you gather around that holiday feast with your family and friends, raise a glass to all those American men and women whose turn it is in 2012 to guard the perimeter and to keep the barbarians away. Freedom is not free...Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

189. Check Out Genealogy Book Links

    I like website that does a lot of the work for me. [OK, I can be as lazy as anyone!]
If you have not discovered it yet, you might want to take a look at Genealogy Book Links.
    This great site lists all kinds of digitized genealogy and history books that can really assist you in your research.
It's located at

   I checked out the Marion County entries and found these:

The People's Guide, a business, political and religious directory of Marion Co., Ind....a collection of very important documents... history 1874    Arc
Names of persons enumerated in Marion County, Indiana, at the fifth census, 1830,     1908  Goo
Pictorial and Biographical memoirs of Indianapolis and Marion County ...  1893    Goo
Sketches of Prominent Citizens of 1876 : Indianapolis & Marion County ] with a few of the pioneers of the city and county who have passed away   John H. B  Nowland,  1877    Arc