Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Indiana sources

(Partly cross-posted from the La Porte County Genealogical Society blog. Sorry for any inconvenience.)

Three from the Hoosier state:

(1) The Indiana State Archives has some information on line for Indiana National Guard members 1898-1940. (Hat tip to Fern Eddy Schultz and Pat Harris, and to the volunteers who did the underlying work.) The "digital archives" also includes institutional and other military records unique to Indiana. These databases are not browseable and not searchable by location. They do allow searching by beginnings, thus "Smi" will produce all surnames that begin with those letters. (Remember: if you find something good, there may be even better in the original source it came from. Check it out.)

(2) The Indiana State Genealogical Society's ever-growing collection of databases (388 as of 12 September) has a new one for my home county of La Porte, taken from H.C. Chandler & Co.'s Railway Business Directory and Shippers Guide for the State of Indiana. Most of these databases are members-only and they're an increasingly good reason to join the state organization. They are searchable by name only, but if you are uncertain of the name a blank search will produce the entire list for browsing. (What I said after #1.)

(3) A century ago Indiana was a leader in the promotion of eugenics (which combined the ideas that mental slowness was inherited and ineducable and drew the policy conclusion that people so diagnosed should be sterilized). These days the history of this dead-end pseudo-science is a frequent topic in the Indiana Magazine of History. What struck me most in the current (September) issue, however, was the photographs and the sense of just how isolated rural dwellers could be in the time before even radio.

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