Thursday, December 30, 2010

Elkhart County, Indiana

Genealogists love free stuff, and if you have research targets in north central Indiana, resources have been kindly provided by your colleagues that you may not know about, although it is not technically news: an on-line index of microfilmed loose probate papers (and some related court cases) known by the acronym CRIMP.

You can read the full story there; the index was compiled by Ned and Bea Parcell. You can tell it was done by genealogists, because in addition to the numbers needed to access the records, they included a sprinkling of other names involved on each set of probate papers, so that readers of the index can get a notion of whether these are indeed the people they're looking for.

The index then allows you to visit the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, or visit a local Family History Center and order the appropriate microfilm (using a conversion table to get the right number, available on the above site). Or you can visit the Elkhart County Historical Society library located in the county historical museum in the former Bristol High School, where the films are available for viewing. It's also possible to download your selected images onto a thumb drive -- all at no charge. The amount of embedded effort involved in making one local record set accessible is hard to calculate, or appreciate. And one of the best ways to repay is to help add more records to the store.


GrannyPam said...

This index helped us find the first wife and nine children from my husband's second great-grandfather's first marriage. We headed over to Elkhart, after a business trip, so we weren't there on the right day for the library. However, a call to the archives in advance, and we were allowed to look at the original file there. What a wonderful thing for my "not too interested in genealogy" husband to touch paperwork signed by his ancestors. Seeing the signatures, touching the papers, visiting the cemetery, it changes everything!

Kelly H. said...

Harold, I really enjoy your blog, so I'm giving you the "Ancestor Approved Award." You can pick up the badge and find the details at: