Wednesday, July 30, 2014

441. Combine State Fair Military Day and Heritage Day!

    Next Thursday some folks can go to the State Fair for free and combine Military Appreciation Day and Hoosier Heritage Day into a twofer. If you are a current military or veteran with an ID card you get free admission to the Fair (plus family!). You can also get in with a vets organization card, American Legion, VFW, etc. Since that is also Hoosier Heritage Day, you and the family can check out the great organizations with tents along the main street off E. 38th. Now, isn't that a deal--and we haven't even mentioned all that great Fair food! Be sure to stop by the booth of the Genealogical Society of Marion County, where I plan to be in the afternoon.

Monday, July 28, 2014

440. Looking Forward To Midwestern Roots!

     I don't know about you, but I am planning to really enjoy myself at the Midwestern Roots Conference this weekend. I will be spending some time at both the Indiana Genealogical Society booth and the Genealogical Society of Marion County booth, but mostly I will be enjoying meeting and re-meeting lots of genealogy friends from across the state.
     As a speaker who travels around Indiana, I find that a lot more folks know my name and face than the other way around, so, if I meet you and look puzzled, don't assume brain damage, just fill me in one more time and we will have a nice chat. Thanks and see you there!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

439. New Browsing Collection Area At State Library

     I have not been there yet, but, according to their website, the Indiana State Library has recently renovated a space on the second floor of the library, and created a Browsing Collection. The collection contains some of the newest and most popular items from the closed stacks, for patrons and state employees to browse and check out. It looks like the area over by the Manuscript Collection.
     The Library says, "The space is a great place to relax during the lunch hour or any free time.  Patrons can catch up on James Patterson’s books in our large print collection or read about the history of Indiana breweries, the Colts, and more local topics from items in our Indiana collection.  History buffs can find several new books of interest in our General Collection."
     The Browsing Collection large print fiction is organized in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, the rest of the collection is arranged by the call number, subject-based sections.
     I don't know if this includes any materials of interest to genealogists, but it is a improved use of some of that empty space they have had for a long time. Why don't we all check it out to see if it's a thumbs-up?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

438. "Finding Your Roots" TV Show Also Returning

   Now that "Who Do You Think You Are?" is up and running, with the first new episode broadcast last night, we can also look forward to a second returning TV genealogy show.

Finding Your Roots Returns to PBS in September

            A recent press release from television’s Public Broadcasting System says that--

“Tuesday nights are devoted to exploring the personal histories and ancestries of pioneers who helped shape modern society, including the return of FINDING YOUR ROOTS with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on September 23, in which the Harvard scholar and cultural critic helps famous people identify relatives hidden for generations.
            This second season features 30 guests, including actor/director Ben Affleck, journalist Anderson Cooper, actress Jessica Alba, tennis great Billie Jean King, presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett, author Stephen King, and rapper Nas.
            Each of the 10 episodes will feature three guests bound together by an intimate, sometimes hidden, link, as Gates treks through layers of ancestral history, uncovers secrets and surprises, and shares life-altering discoveries. Tuesdays, September 23-November 25, 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET.”

            Genealogists may also be interested in a second show on PBS--

“Filmmaker Rick Burns' THE PILGRIMS: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, premiering November 25, explores the converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women across the Atlantic in 1620

            With distinct and often riveting personal histories, passionate religious beliefs, and the will to survive, even through violent means, this narrative reveals the real history of our nation's beginnings. Tuesday, November 25, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET.” 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

437. Tribute To All the "Indiana Room" Sites

     One thing that often gets overlooked in the current mania for huge online databases is the constant work of the county libraries in maintaining and developing their Indiana Room's. These are the areas of varying sizes and capacities that many, if not most, of the county librarians and their volunteers maintain for historians and genealogists.
     I have visited many of these and they are uniformly well done and well worth a visit or two. Every genealogy library is unique and tailored to its immediate area. The Indiana Rooms invariably contain some resources that are in no other facility--even counting Fort Wayne and Salt Lake City!
     Nearly all our research is county-based, so be sure you check out these sites when you visit "your" counties. You'll be glad you did--I guarantee it!  [Below is the flyer for the Hancock County version in Greenfield.]

Sunday, July 20, 2014

436. Genealogy On TV Getting Set To Roll

I don't know about you, but I have enjoyed all of this series and am looking forward to the coming season.

     The new season of Who Do You Think You Are? is launching on July 23rd with an outstanding cast on TLC. The fifth season premieres on Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST/PST. Check your local listings for the channel near you.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

435. IHS Conservation Lab Getting Some Recognition

   Many folks know that the Indiana Historical Society has a great conservation program, and now that knowledge may be going international. The IHS History Lab is in the running for an award by a British conservation group, The International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. One of three finalists, the Lab is competing with British and Canadian sites.
         [I found this in a posting by Margaret Bierlein on Facebook.]

The Keck Awards
In 1994, the IIC Council announced the establishment of the IIC Keck Award, generously endowed by Sheldon and Caroline Keck to commemorate their shared lives of distinguished achievement in conservation. The cash award is presented every two years at the IIC Congress to -- in Caroline Keck's words -- the individual or group who has in the opinion of the Council contributed most towards promoting public understanding and appreciation of the accomplishments of the conservation profession.
The W. Brooks and Wanda Y. Fortune History Lab at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center (USA)
The History Lab conveys the importance of preservation to the IHS core mission, and the role staff conservators play in preserving the paper-based collections of the Indiana Historical Society Library.
It is a 1,000 sq. ft. gallery and preservation classroom adjacent to the 1,200 sq. ft. paper conservation laboratory at the IHS. Content emphasizes the importance of conserving objects of heritage and presents methods conservators use to inform treatment decisions. Using objects as the focus, the primary learning experience for the History Lab is the WHY, WHAT and HOW of conservation, learned through the four tenets Identify, Examine, Treat, and Properly Store heritage objects. In doing so, conservation is valued as a means to preserve cultural heritage, and guests better understand what they can do to preserve objects in their own collections.

Guests view content as a traditional gallery experience and interact on their own and with a lab trained facilitator. The space incorporates an electronic microscope bank to explore paper and media surfaces. A flat screen video relays progressive condition issues, and electronic video pin-boards provide a large dictionary of visuals that convey historic materials, and technologies. The preservation classroom provides a hands-on mending activity for groups up to 25, using traditional mending techniques with Japanese tissue and starch pastes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

434. Garfield Park Confederate Monument

     I come from a long line of Yankees. Not one of my direct ancestors, as far as I can discover, lived any further south than Noble County, Ohio. Very few of my distant cousins did either. I have found nearly 30 Civil War soldiers in my family, all of them wore the Union blue.
     All of the above is by way of establishing my bona fides before I comment on the page A4 feature article in the Indianapolis Star this past Sunday.
     First a little history: Indianapolis was the site of a Civil War POW prison called Camp Morton. Many of the Confederate soldiers held there died during their incarceration, and they were buried in Greenlawn Cemetery downtown. That cemetery was eliminated in the early 20th century, and the Confederates remaining there (some burials had been claimed by Southern families) were moved to Crown Hill.
     A large memorial placed at Greenlawn in 1912 was moved to Garfield Park on the south side in 1928. I don't know why the soldiers went north and the memorial went south. Anyway that memorial is in need of restoration, and the local Sons of the Confederate Veterans group want to help Indy Parks do that. This action is apparently controversial; you know-the Stars and Bars and slavery and all that.
     As a Unionist and a genealogist and an historian, my take is that you can't rewrite history, and you can't deny descendants from honoring their ancestors. If my great-grandfather had fought for the Gray, and I wanted to honor his service by placing a marker for him, I would be really torqued if someone said I couldn't do that.
     Just being on the "wrong" side of history doesn't make the average participant invisible or a sinner. Do we hate all the Native Americans who killed our relatives? Do we hate the Tories who opposed Washington's troops? Do my ancestors hate the folks on the other side of the Battle of the Boyne?
     So anyway, I say let their descendants honor their Confederate ancestors, even though they are up here in Yankee country. If you are a Southerner by ancestry and want to donate money to help, look up the Star article on line. And that's my position on that.

Monday, July 14, 2014

433. Historic Indiana Newspapers Site Starting To Roll

  If you are doing Marion County or just Indiana research, you might want to bookmark the site below, so you can refer back to it on a regular basis. Indiana is finally getting with the digital newspaper program, and this site has dozens of Hoosier papers online and readily searchable.
  The URL is

Saturday, July 12, 2014

432. New Historical Reenactment Event In August

   I like historical reenactments. Not that they are necessarily accurate or anything, but they tend to focus attention on historical periods and get people thinking.
   A new event is on the horizon here in Marion County that may be interesting. I don't have many more details other than what is in the graphic below, but more info should be forthcoming. If you have family members who participated in the French and Indian War, AKA the Seven Year's War, you might hold the date open.
   If nothing else, the pageantry should be a fun attraction for families. I plan to attend, so see you there.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

431. More Indy Newspapers Online

   You probably know about the Indianapolis Star being online at the Indianapolis Public Library website, but there are two other papers online at IUPUI. Check them out at the locations below.

Friday, July 4, 2014

430. GSMC Presents Civil War Research July 12th

     I'm looking forward to presenting the inaugural monthly program held at the new library of the Genealogical Society of Marion County. It took a lot of work and several significant equipment donations to get the library configured to have the meeting this soon. 
     We hope everyone will take this opportunity to come up to speed on their Civil War research and to explore the new Marion County research facility. See you there! Coffee, tea, and soft drinks are on the house!

GSMC July Program
Saturday, July 12  1:00pm to 3:00pm

“Brother Vs. Brother: Genealogy and the Civil War”
Presenter: Ron Darrah

[Program in honor of Independence Day
and the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War]

GSMC Library, Memorial Park
9350 E. Washington St., Indianapolis

This program is free; public is invited.
We will have a brief Society Meeting prior to the program.