Finding Indiana Ancestors, A Guide to Historical Research
Edited By M. Teresa Baer and Geneil Breeze
Genealogy is history on the most personal level, a quest to discover and share stories about one’s forebears. First-time researchers wonder where to find information and how to compile it. These are the same questions asked by historical scholars seeking to tell community and national stories. Finding Indiana Ancestors: A Guide to Historical Research serves both audiences by providing an overview of research in general while focusing on Indiana-specific sources. The Indiana Historical Society began compiling this comprehensive guide in 2000, contracting archivists, librarians, journalists, genealogists, and historians in the state’s major historical and genealogical organizations to write about their areas of expertise. The resulting essays appeared first in the Society’s family history journal, The Hoosier Genealogist. In this book, they come together to form a complete guide for historical research in Indiana. The book is divided into six parts. Parts 1–3 focus on getting started, working with family stories and pictures, documenting sources in libraries and archives, and understanding different record groups. Parts 4 and 5 explain researching with maps and researching different ethnic groups. Part 6 discusses manuscript and artifact research, nineteenth-century medicinal and industrial history, and data verification. A sample family group sheet and a sample pedigree chart appear in appendixes. Six model chapters show how to turn data into full-fledged stories. Finding Indiana Ancestors: A Guide to Historical Research will help students, scholars, and family history researchers delve deeply into historical sources. Readers will learn where to go for the next piece of information, how to interpret the data, and how to incorporate each new fact into the stories of our ancestors—the people of Indiana.