Wednesday, September 30, 2015

610. Wearable Genealogy Devices Webinar, Oct. 7, GSMC

GSMC Free First Wednesday Webinar

October 7, 2015  2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

GSMC Library, 9370 E. Washington St., Indianapolis  (Memorial Park)

“Wearables and Genealogy - Wacky and Wild or Worth the Wait”

                What if you could wear a device that would tell you all about a person as you stood in front of their gravestone? What about a device that told you that a DNA match was attending the same genealogy conference? These ideas may seem too futuristic, but they are available now and waiting to be used by genealogists and family historians. As technology advances, the Internet is being made personal in the form of wearable devices. These devices can not only track how far you’ve walked, what you’ve eaten and more, they can also present information when you are in front of a gravestone or a historical site. Learn about Google Glass, Smart Watches and in-development devices that are slated to become the next new genealogy tools.

Webinar Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Presenter : Thomas MacEntee

                What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more.
                Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.”

Free Handouts and Beverages; Q & A Included

Sunday, September 27, 2015

609. Don't Overlook Free Community Newspapers

[If I were you, I would spend a few minutes each week scanning through the free community newspapers that appear around your area. It’s amazing how many items they run that can help you in your genealogy. The below four articles appeared in one week’s time here in Indy, and I bet I missed some in other papers.]

Postcard Collection At Indianapolis Main Library
                Many of our ancestors used postcards as a sort of early Twitter or Facebook. I know I have several in my genealogy resources, including one from France during WW1. Postcards can tell lots of little details about our early family members.
                The Indianapolis Public Library has over 800 postcards from the local area in their Special Collections Room on the 6th floor of the Main Branch on St. Clair Street. Some of the cards go back into the 1890’s. They just received a WW2 collection from Fort Benjamin Harrison.
                The nice part about this collection is that it has been digitized and can be viewed online at Of course, if you are the traditional sort, you can actually look at the real McCoy at the library itself. Postcards also contain some great historical sites in and around the city.
Indianapolis Public Library Adds Historic Township Yearbooks Online
                For several years the Indianapolis Public Library has been digitizing high school yearbooks from the Indianapolis Pubic Schools, and now they have begun supplementing that group with township high schools.
                The library has now scanned a number of issues of the Ben Davis Keyhole, the North Central Northerner, and the Warren Central Wigwam. You can access these items at

I.H.S. Digitizing Panoramic Photographs
                The Indiana Historical Society has received a grant to digitize 500 panoramic photographs from its archives. These photographs, which are often several feet wide, were taken with special movable cameras that were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Some of these are still working. I was in one of these taken at a military reunion only a few years ago.)   
                The I.H.S. project, to be completed by April 2016, will include images from about 23 Indiana counties and many photography studios. In addition to the Historical Society website at, the images will be on the Indiana Memory site and the Digital Public Library of America site. This should be an interesting group of images; keep these in mind.

                [These three items excerpted from articles in the Senior Life newspaper, Oct. 2015.]

Who Lived In My House?
                There is an interesting article by Steven R. Barnett of the Irvington Historical Society in the September 25 issue of the Weekly View newspaper. Mr. Barnett talks about tracing the lineage of your residence using city directories and then following up about the previous residents using, Find-A-Grave, and local historical societies. Want to try a special genealogy task?

Friday, September 25, 2015

608. Interesting Archaeology Workshop At UIndy Saturday

   I will be attending the following program at the University of Indianapolis on Saturday. While not specifically genealogy, they will be looking at several sites and projects around Indiana that were created by the ancestors of present-day Hoosiers. I'm looking forward to the day!
   Do you have a family farm or business location where your folks lived during territorial or early statehood days? How might you look for artifacts or evidence of their occupation? Wouldn't you like to have a tool or a utensil that your g-g-grandparents used in their daily life? Now, that's archaeology!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

607. Library Special Collections Room Programs

[If your family was part of Indianapolis' history, you may want to sit in on some of these sessions.]

Indianapolis Public Library SCR Program Series 2015
                Individuals of all ages are invited to learn unique aspects of Indianapolis history during the Library's "ISCR Program Series 2015," to be held at Central Library in the Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room, 40 E St. Clair Street.
                The ISCR, located on the sixth floor of Central Library, houses a vast repository of specialty items and historic artifacts from the city's past, including first edition copies of works from notable Hoosier authors such as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Meredith Nicolson, Booth Tarkington and James Whitcomb Riley.
The "ISCR Program Series 2015" features the following programs:

Power, Traction and Light: The Electrification of Indianapolis and Central Indiana, 1880 - 1920
Saturday, October 3 at 2 p.m.
Writer and historian Bill Beck of the Marion County Historical Society will address the electrification of this area and how it corresponded to the history of the nation's electric utilities and electric street railways.
Indianapolis Special Collections Room Open House
Saturday, October 17 from 2 - 4 p.m.
Take a peek at all the offerings behind the glass wall of the Indianapolis Room. Meet the team that cares for the collection, learn about and the Library's growing digital collections, and view the ISCR's cookbook and menu collections.
Indianapolis Theaters
Saturday, November 21 at 2 p.m.
Presenter Eric Grayson, noted film historian and collector, will take a look at past and present Indianapolis theaters. This program is co-sponsored by the Marion County Historical Society.
Italians in Indianapolis
Saturday, December 5 at 2 p.m.
Presenter will be James Divita, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of History of Marian University and author of the books, Images of America and The Italians of Indianapolis: The Story of Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
This program is co-sponsored by the Marion County Historical Society.
                For more information about these free Library programs, call 275-4099.