Sunday, August 28, 2016

733. Don'tcha Love Dorothy Parker?

This doesn't have much to do with genealogy, except that I would love to have some relatives like Ms. Parker in my family. Bright, witty, slightly cynical people really turn me on. Oh, yeah, I also like puns and wordplay, so look for some of that lying around.

Friday, August 26, 2016

732. IPS Reorganization: Here We Go Again!

   Remember that old joke about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? As a former supervisor at the Indianapolis Public Schools, I can say for sure that IPS is a master of that genre. Over a 27-year career I must have participated in at least a dozen "rearrangements" like this one just announced by the district. It was a running source of amusement for the staff members that the top dogs never improved the school system, they just reorganized it.
  I now have another view of this procedure--as a genealogist. Our Genealogical Society of Marion County is currently working on an IPS-SIG project to find old documents for all IPS schools, open or closed, and it's like pulling teeth. Why? Because is seems that when IPS reorganizes, they also close buildings (I must have helped with 40-50 of these!), and they throw as much as possible away, especially documents, memorabilia, and artifacts.
  Will they do that same thing this time? I hope not, but I do not have any high expectations. I do hope that the community comes out to prevent that from happening. Will you help?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

731. Want To Recognize A Fellow Genealogy Volunteer?

(The Indiana Genealogical Society has a good honors program. You can nominate someone.)

Honor Your Local Genealogists

The Indiana Genealogical Society (IGS) recognizes that in every community, there are persons who are committed to genealogical research and the preservation of our ancestor’s histories and heritage. As a state-wide organization, The Indiana Genealogical Society has created several awards that will honor these committed genealogists. But in order to honor these persons, they must be nominated from their local communities within Indiana.

Therefore, we are inviting Indiana libraries and Indiana genealogical societies to nominate those persons who are making outstanding contributions to genealogical research and preservation. The nominations must be received by IGS by January 15, 2017. The nominations are then reviewed and the award recipients determined. Those selected to receive the awards are notified and invited to receive the award at the IGS State Meeting on April 8, 2017 in Indianapolis.

Note that the first two awards are for honoring persons for their work in your local community. These award provide local societies and libraries to honor outstanding volunteers. The other awards are to honor IGS members for their service to the Indiana Genealogical Society.

The awards for service in a Local Community are:


This award is given to an individual who has given ten or more years of service to the field of genealogy in a local area. The nominee does not have to be a member of IGS. The nomination is to be made by two IGS members.


This award is given to an individual in recognition of a singular, outstanding contribution to the field of genealogy in a local area. The nominee does not have to be a member of IGS. The nomination is made by one IGS member.

There are also awards for service to the Indiana Genealogical Society:


This award is given to an IGS member for five or more years of distinguished service to IGS. Nomination is made by three IGS members.


This award is given to an IGS member in recognition of a singular service providing exceptional benefit to IGS. A person may be nominated for one project. The nominee must be an IGS member. Nomination must be made by at least three IGS members.

To make your nomination, print off the nomination form and mail it to IGS by November 15, 2016. To get the nomination form, go to the Indiana Genealogical Society website. Then click on the following buttons: “About Us”, then “Awards”, the “Service Awards”, and then “Nomination Form.”

Curt Sylvester, Chair, IGS Honors and Awards; impossibledream@comcast.netON

Sunday, August 21, 2016

730. African-American Conference Sept. 17th

The IAAGG continues to impress me with their active series of events. I imagine their programs are of great help to black researchers in an oftimes frustrating genealogy area. Go, IAAGG!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

729. State Archives Update August 19

    I attended a Libraries and Archives workshop in Fort Wayne last week, and one of the speakers was Indiana State Archivist Jim Corridan. His topic was the progress of the new Archives building. Even after discounting some "conditional wording," it seems that the door opening date for the building is 2019, three years from now. Long time for genealogists and historians to wait. 
    One positive note was Mr. Corridan's commitment to placing a new State Archives catalog online next month. Can't wait to see what all that entails. Of course, the bar is pretty low in that area, so we can only hope. More about that later. [Here are a couple of his PPT slides.]

Sunday, August 14, 2016

728. Another Hoosier Soldier Returns From The War

Most genealogists are aware that obituaries can appear for a good while after the death of the person. This extreme example was printed in the Indianapolis Star on Saturday. Welcome home, Lieutenant.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

727. Attucks HS Featured In New Film

[If you have African-American ancestry in Indy, or even if you don't, I recommend taking in this new documentary about a well-known IPS school that succeeded in spite of the system.]

Monday, August 8, 2016

726. Building A Case File at GSMC Saturday

Come on in to the cool GSMC library (in more ways than one!) and explore how to build a great case history on an ancestor.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

725. Help Digitize Civil War Telegrams

[This sounds like a good project for Civil War buffs and folks with Civil War ancestry.]

Volunteers Wanted! 75,000 Strong!
Join our Effort!
            Over one hundred and fifty years have passed since the end of the United States Civil War and it still captures the imagination and passion of young and old. Decoding the Civil War, funded by a two-year grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), is a consortium project to digitize and transcribe the Union Army telegrams from The Thomas T. Eckert Papers.
            This project draws together the expertise of four organizations — The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens; the Papers of Abraham Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; North Carolina State University; and the Zooniverse with its team at the University of Minnesota — with the hope that the transcription and decoding of Civil War telegrams will engage, and fire curiosity, in new and younger audiences.

Follow our campaign:
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Thursday, August 4, 2016

724. Progress On State Archives Building

In case you were wondering how Indiana was progressing on the new State Archives Building, below I present an August 2016 report. This is the corner of Indiana Avenue and Blackford Street on the IUPUI campus. Please marvel over the massive amount of structural steel and poured concrete as the marvelous modern structure takes shape. Gaze in appreciation at the ability of our state government to put our new building in place only 17 months after the $24 million dollars was approved by the Legislature. Or maybe not...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

723. School Records Program In Plainfield Thursday

[As a former teacher and school administrator, I am always interested in finding new school records for genealogists to use. I'm looking forward to presenting this workshop at the Plainfield Library. If you're in the area, please drop in and let's explore.]