Thursday, March 31, 2016

687. GSMC Open Library and Webinar Wednesday

[The Genealogical Society of Marion County will have their library open all day next Wednesday, 9 am to 4 pm, with their free webinar at 2 pm. You are invited to drop by and check out their resources.]

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

686. Allison Transmission Records Now Online

If you have relatives who worked for Allison during the past 100 years, you might be interested in this newly-created resource. Online business collections are fairly rare. Here is another great effort by IUPUI to digitize an Indianapolis record group.
[Source: Society of Indiana Archivists Newsletter]

Saturday, March 26, 2016

685. Palatine Conference at the Athenaeum April 9

[About time to start counting your Deutsche Marks so you can register for the Pal-Am conference on April 9th. Makes me almost wish I had some German ancestry.]

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

684. It Is The Best Of Times; It Is The Worst Of Times!

   No, I didn't make that up; I read it somewhere. Here in Indy right now, it fits the genealogy scene.

1. The best thing is that the legislature has left town, so researchers can often find a parking spot close to the State Library. A selection of good food for lunch within a reasonable distance, no, but let's not be greedy.

2. The worst thing is that it's almost April 2016, and we still don't have a solid public statement about the State Archives. Is it going to be at IUPUI or not? Do they have the money or not? Is the moon made of green cheese or not?

3. I heard through the grapevine that the Indianapolis Public Library may be going to digitize some of the Indianapolis Public Schools archival material. That could be a good thing; the bad part is that so many of the IPS history documents have probably wound up in the dumpster already. Things are a little chaotic at IPS, but, hey, what's new about that. [And I say that as an IPS retiree!]

4. Also through the grapevine comes a tidbit that the City-County microfilm archives may be relocating out of the building to another location. That could be a good thing that might make the records more accessible. A cynical person, though, might take that with a grain of salt. Make it easier on the public? Doesn't sound like a City-County strong point. We shall see.

Monday, March 21, 2016

683. IGS Society Management Workshop, April 15 in Fort Wayne

[If you are a Society Officer or Director, you should get to the IGS Conference a day early, do a little research, and also attend the Society Management event at the Library. IGS can help you and your society succeed. See you there--I'm Session Two!]

IGS Society Management Day
Friday, April 15, 2016
Allen County Public Library      900 Library Plaza, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Free to members of Indiana Genealogical Society Chapters, $5 for all others.


9:30A-10:30A—First Session: Putting the Customer Back in Customer Service by Curt Witcher (Our societies succeed more when we view our members as customers.)


10:45A-11:45A—Second Session: Fraternal Groups: Doable Projects with Limited Volunteers by Ron Darrah (Hear good strategies for engaging in meaningful projects.)

11:445A-1P—Lunch on Your Own

1P-2P—Third Session: Reaching People on Social Media without Spending All Day on Facebook by Amy Johnson Crow, CG (Social media should be a critical tool for a society and its members. Hear about best practices to ensure good results.)


2:15P-3:15—Fourth Session: Issues and Answers Discussion. Share the challenges and successes your society is having and hear what others are doing.

3:30P-4:30P—Tour One: The Lincoln Collection
                         Tour Two: Behind the Scenes Tour of the Genealogy Center
4:30P-5:15P—Indiana County Genealogists Meeting

Indiana Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10507, Fort Wayne, IN 46852-0507

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

682. Indiana Genealogical Society Conference in Fort Wayne--Oh Yeah!

[I guess that Spring is about here--it's time to go to Fort Wayne for the IGS Conference! Always a treat to visit the Allen County Library anyway, but combine that with a double-track series of workshop sessions, and it's a perfect weekend. See you all there next month!!]

681." Who Do You Think You Are" Is Back!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

680. Get Family Tree Magazine Free From IPL

As long as we're talking about the Indianapolis Public Library, did you know that you can get the e-version of Family Tree Magazine free on their website? Just use your library card and the password you have now. Save yourself some cash and storage space, courtesy of your local tax money!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

679. Howe High School Yearbooks Now Online at IPL

In case you have not visited the site lately (or ever!), the Indianapolis Public Library has now added the Hilltopper yearbooks of Thomas Carr Howe High School to their ever expanding group of digital assets. As a bonus, they have also included many issues of the Howe Tower student newspaper. IPL has a very active digitization program, so I recommend following their website closely for Marion County items.

Monday, March 7, 2016

678. Indy Connection To WW2 Monuments Men

                I recently attended a presentation at the Indianapolis World War Two Roundtable by two staff members of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The lecture covered the WW2 service of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Thomas Carr Howe, Jr., one of the well-known Monuments Men. He served as part of those military Yanks and Brits who located, retrieved, and returned that multi-million dollar collection of art looted by the Nazis from throughout Europe during the War.
                Howe was a Kokomo native, but grew up in Irvington and graduated from Shortridge High School. Lt. Cdr. Howe was the son of Thomas Carr Howe, Sr., a former President of Butler University, when the school was in Irvington. An Indianapolis high school is named in his honor.
                The IMA lecturers followed the provenance of a Paul Gauguin painting now in the IMA collection to show that it was stolen by the Nazis and processed and returned to its rightful owner by Lieutenant Commander Howe during his service term.
                Lt. Cdr. Howe, who spent much of his life as the director of a California art museum, wrote a book, Salt Mines and Castles, in 1946, after he returned to civilian life. The book was reissued in 2014, probably to capitalize on the Monuments Men movie by George Clooney. I recently bought and read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Next, I have to go to the Indianapolis Museum of Art to see the Gauguin painting. IMA has a program coming up in April on this topic (

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

676. Is DNA Genealogy Your Thing?

If you are looking to get your feet wet in DNA studies, check out this new group in the area.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

675. State Archives Looks More Like Shangri-La

   In the 1930's novel Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is a mythical utopia; in the early 2000's of Indiana, the building of the new State Archives is looking like an actual fantasy. Evidently the $24 million that the Legislature reportedly stashed away to build a building was more on the order of a mythical fantasy.
   We are supposed to believe that the Archives hinged on cellphone towers: rent out a few and we get a building, otherwise not so much. Indiana's Billion-Dollar Rainy Day Fund is evidently not part of the equation, and the real-time budget doesn't contain real cash for the job. So, where are we?
   Ya know, sometimes I wish that Mike Pence was still in Congress and a long way from Indiana. It seems that there is a major difference between being Governor and being a leader. I can't help but think that Our Man Mitch could get the job done.
   The new State Archives building was supposedly a Bicentennial Project, which would be well underway by December 11, 2016, which is That Day. Oh well, maybe by the Tri-Centennial. How do we get Daniels reincarnated?