The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

August 12, 2012

Indiana sources helpful to researchers

JOAN GRIFFIS
Commercial-News

The Indiana Digital Archives continues to add to its collection of historical records. At http://www.indianadigitalarchives.org one can search in a variety of records, including institution records. The most recent material in this category includes almost 20,000 names of women committed to the Indiana Women’s Prison between 1873 and 1969.

Information in this database includes the prisoner’s name, race, county of conviction, crime, term of sentence and/or fine, sentence date, and the date(s) of discharge, parole, pardon or death. When applicable, information is included about transfers to other institutions, maiden or married names, escapes, and previous convictions or paroles.

Other institution records in the Department of Correction series include the Boys School 1867-1937, Girls School 1873-1935, the Prison North 1858-1966, and the Prison South 1822-1877.

Other digitized records include death records, military records, naturalizations, and miscellaneous. After conducting a search for a specific individual, researchers may contact the Indiana State Archives at arc@icpr.IN.gov to learn what records are available on that person and to order reproductions of documents.

Willard Library

The Willard Library at Evanston, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, maintains a website with several online resources. Visit http://www.willard.lib.in.us/index.php to access such resources as the Marriage Index (containing Vanderburgh County marriages from 1920 to 1979), the Biography Annotated Index, and the Newspaper Index.

For example, a search in the six Evansville newspapers, (published from 1821 to 1860) for the surname Richardson resulted in eight “hits” and identified the name of the person, type of article (divorce, marriage, news item, county fair, real estate sale, etc.), name of publication, date, page and column. A self-addressed stamped envelope may be sent to the library to request copies of items.

Kosciusko census

Kosciusko County, Indiana, was organized in 1836 and previously had been part of Cass County, “with a tiny sliver of Turkey Creek and Tippecanoe Townships part of a larger Allen County.” The census records for Kosciusko County can be viewed at http://www.ingenweb.org/inkosciusko/census.htm for the years 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870, as well as the Mortality Schedules for 1850 and 1860.

One can search for an individual in the index for any of these censuses, and then be linked to the page(s) having individuals listed along with page, line number, and township or city. The transcription of the census page shows each family unit listed together (with every member’s age, place of birth, etc.). Thus one can easily trace a family over several years.

The website also provides a link to the FamilySearch.org website having the 1880 census. There is also a link to an article, “What Happened to the 1990 Census?”

Queries, as well as a general exchange of genealogical material that readers would like to share, will be printed in the column for free. Contact Joan Griffis by e-mailing JBGriffis@aol.com