March 2017

If you live close to Indianapolis, IN, I highly recommend the Indiana Genealogical Society Annual Meeting and Conference.

The conference will be held at the Indianapolis Public Library on April 8, from 9AM – 5PM.  Tony Burroughs will be the featured speaker, and there will also be speakers Tina Lyons, Ron Darrah, and Mauri Stotts Pratt.

Please visit the web page of IGS – – to register.  The deadline for pre-registration is April 4.


You have found the area where your ancestor lived in the mid 1800’s.  And, you have determined where it was that your ancestor went to church.  Where are the records?

Sometimes the exact same church will have the records that contain information concerning your ancestor.  However, sometimes it will not.

Did their church keep the records?  Or, were the records donated to a repository for records of the denomination?  Another possibility is that their church became a “part” of a larger congregation.  In this case, the “newer” church may have the records.


In the 1860 U. S. Census, there is a column that is labeled, “Married within the year”.  It could be that this notation will be the first, or only, indication as to when your ancestor married.

In the census image shown here, one can see that Elijah and Cashelia were married in the year preceding the 1860 census.  It could be that there is no other record of their marriage.









When encountering an abbreviation on a document, be careful about the meaning of the abbreviation. Over the years, abbreviations have changed.

One example is state abbreviations used in census records.

If the abbreviation for the state of birth is “Ia”, do you know what state it is signifying?  This may be Iowa, or it may be Indiana!

Be careful!


You have searched and searched for your ancestor, and you are not finding him. Maybe your ancestor was known by another name.

You may have an ancestor that was called by a different name than what you were told was his name.  The first name that you were told may have been John.  However, maybe John was his middle name, and others knew him by Richard (his real first name).


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