Monday, July 28, 2008

Genealogy Workshop in Southern Indiana

The Southern Indiana Genealogical Society will hold a Genealogy Workshop on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 7 pm in the Indiana History Room of the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library. Vic Pfau will begin the workshop by giving a brief orientation regarding genealogy research and gathering information, then Indiana History Room staff will hold breakout sessions covering: computer databases/websites; microfilmed newspapers and records; maps, and other Indiana Room resources. To reserve your space, or for any questions, please e-mail

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Query: Eckhard of DeKalb County

I am looking for any information or connection to my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Henry Eckhard (Eckhart/Eckhardt) who owned 80 acres of land in Franklin Township, DeKalb County, Indiana around 1850-1860. He died August 17, 1853, but the family is in the 1860 census with his widow Barbara and son John and daughter Martha. Henry's son George Eckhard (Eckhart/Eckhardt) is my great-great-great-grandfather, and was a preacher on horseback and a pastor in the German Methodist Church. The entire family was devoted to the church, and particularly the German Methodist. George's cousin was the Charles Eckhart who began the Eckhart Carriage Co. which became the Auburn Car Co.

Tom Eckhardt
1026 N. Parkside Dr.
Peoria, IL 61606

Query: Lanning/Johnson of Jay and Randolph counties

I have traced my family back to my great-great-grandfather, Amos Lanning, who was born March 14, 1853 (the son of Robert Lanning) and died in 1920 in Randolph County, Indiana. Amos was married in 1870 in Jay County, Indiana to Clara Johnson (born September 28, 1851 in Indiana; died 1914 in Allen County, Indiana). Clara's father was Urion Johnson and her mother was Sarah Houts from Ohio. It appears the Lannings also came from Ohio. I would love to hear from anyone who might have some information that could help me to find out more.

Joseph Costa
1423 Nottingham Circle
Los Banos, CA 93635

Query: Sword/Kelly of Henry and Marion counties

I am trying to trace my great-aunt Elizabeth (Sword) Kelly. She was known as Bess or Bessie, and was born 28 January 1885 in Lyon County, Kansas. She was married circa 1914 in New Castle, Henry County, Indiana to a Mr. Kelly and divorced before 1920. In the 1920 census she was in the 15th ward of Indianapolis, Marion County, working as an attendant at the Central Indiana Hospital for the Insane. She had a sister, Margaret (Sword) Van Nuys, who was married to Dr. Walter C. Van Nuys, the director of Indiana's Epilyptic Village at Hillsboro, Henry County, Indiana. Their son (and therefore Bess Kelly's nephew) was Dr. John Ditmars VanNuys, Dean of Indiana University's College of Medicine until his early death in 1964. Another sister of Bess was my grandmother, Beatrice (Sword) Rhodes of Tampa, Marion County, Kansas.

I'm told Bess Kelly lived an "unhappy" life. I do not think she ever remarried. There is a Bessie Kelly buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis--she was buried in Section 11, Lot 43 on July 5, 1960. Are there records available that might prove if she is the correct Bessie Kelly that I am seeking?

John M. Rhodes
409 Bloor St E., #602
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3T2

Query: Reynolds of Knox County

I am seeking information on William Edward Reynolds who was born 5 March 1881, probably in Knox County, Indiana. His mother's name was Nancy Jane Fields or Amanda Ann W? He married Viola (Louie) Nash on 11 April 1900 and died in 1947. He had 11 children and is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Vincennes, Knox County.

Harolyn Reynolds
125 Culbertson Loop
Livingston, TX 77351

Query: Regener of Marion, Dubois and Vanderburgh counties

I am looking for information on Anthony Regener, who was born in Magdaburg, Germany in 1823. He was a tailor and farmer. His wife was Mary Elizabeth "Anna" Heuring, and they had children: Frank, Andrew, Fred, Henry, Emma and Nancy Regener. Anthony was in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana in 1867, and by the 1870 census he and his family were in Huntingburg, Dubois County, Indiana. When and where did Anthony die? In the 1880 census his wife is listed as widowed and was living with their children in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana.

Anthony's son Frank eventually settled in Michigan and was a teacher at St. Lorenz Lutheran School in Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan. Emma married a Joseph E. Franks in Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, and Nancy married a Mr. Blackwell (place of marriage unknown). I am especially interested in any siblings Anthony may have had, as one of them may have served in the Union army during the Civil War. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Sue Hebbeler
110 W. Maryland St.
Evansville, IN 47710

Query: Hayes of Wabash County

I am researching a Hayes family from Lagro, Wabash County, Indiana. There were two sisters: Ellen Hayes born January 31, 1857 and Katherine Hayes born November 1854. They are in the 1860 census living with a Jerry Hayes who was born in Ireland (most likely their father), and a Margaret Hayes who was born in Ireland (most likely their grandmother). There is also a Hanna Hayes who is in the household but my guess is that she is a second wife for Jerry as she is quite young.

I cannot locate Ellen and Katherine Hayes again until they were married. There is a family rumor that they were orphans for some time. Katherine married a Eugene Thompson on November 20, 1882. Eugene Thompson disappeared around 1910 and Katherine was still alive after 1930 in Marion County, Indiana--I cannot find when they died.

Ellen Hayes married Daniel Haley on August 16, 1886 in Miami County, Indiana. I have records for this family until their deaths. Ellen died August 8, 1921 in Peru, Miami County (her death record lists her mother as being Ellen Mannen?) Daniel Haley died May 28, 1939 in Peru as well.

I am interested in learning about the sisters before they get married. Thank you in advance for any help. It may be the fact that I am in Minnesota that is making researching this line so hard.

Karen Haley
15694 Heywood Ct.
Apple Valley, MN 55124-7149

Query: Brown/Skeels of Noble County

I am seeking information on a land grant made to Henry and Rebecca (Skeels) Brown in Noble County, Indiana. Based on family history, the land grant occurred sometime between 1840 and 1860 (the date could vary one way or the other).

Cindi Marsh
10601 Oak Chapek Dr.
Ft. Wayne, IN 46845

Query: Robinson of Steuben County

While sight seeing through Angola, Steuben County, Indiana a friend took me to a roadside grave site. It was not in a cemetery, it was just two headstones at the corner of county roads 350 North and 800 West. It was hard to make out much, but on one of the stones we could see: "son of Robinson died Jul 29 1848 & 22 days." I was told the gravesite is always taken care of and flowers are always there. Is there a story behind these headstones?

Shari Gorney
22705 Socia
Saint Clair Shores, MI 48082

Query: Hunter/Welborn

I am seeking information on Sophronia Hunter who was born in 1856 somewhere in Indiana. She was the daughter of Clark Hunter and she married John S. Welborn on September 11, 1873.

Tom Armstrong
9251 George St.
Manassas, VA 20110

Query: Abernathy of Fountain County

I am looking for obituaries for the following people:

--Orville Abernathy died 22 June 1992 in Covington, Fountain County, Indiana
--Elizabeth Abernathy died March 1980 in Indiana
--Homer Abernathy died date unknown in Indiana

Nick DeRose
14205 Gayhead Rd.
Apple Valley, CA 92307-5797

Query: Downey/Price of Howard County

I am looking for information about John Downey and Sarah Price for a family history. The only thing I know about Sarah (Price) Downey is that she died August 11, 1922 in Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana. She had a daughter named Lydia (Downey) Ballew who died in 1900 in Kokomo, and she may have had another daughter named Ida who also lived in Kokomo.

Sharon Roczynski
1424 E. College Ave., Apt. 6
Normal, IL 61761

Query: Kelley of Wabash and Allen counties

I am searching for the burial site of John Bailey Kelley. He was born July 1, 1850 in Lagro, Wabash County, Indiana and died about 1911 in Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana.

George Shaffer
P.O. Box 1068
Capitan, NM 88316

Query: MacDaniel of Wabash County

I'm seeking information on the parents of Mary Martha MacDaniel, who was born 16 September 1868 in Wabash County, Indiana and married Samuel Elmer Dillavou of Illinois. I'm also seeking confirmation of her birthdate.

Anne Prowell
374 Delano Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94112

Query: Reese of Fountain and Allen counties

I'm looking for information on Charles Reese who was part of the 20th Indiana Volunteers during the Civil War. He enrolled in Attica, Fountain County, Indiana and he served from 1861-1865. He was assigned to Kearney's Division 30 Corps. After the war, he relocated to Ft. Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, where he died (date unknown).

Jacklyn Wilson
2000 N. Meridian Rd., Apt. 183
Tallahassee, FL 32303

Query: Friend of Jay County

I am looking for cemetery and death records for other members of the Friend family. Gerald D. Friend was born in 1917 and died in 1996 and is buried in the cemetery in Antioch, Jay County, Indiana. His wife Cornelia is also buried there. I believe that their children and grandchildren may also be buried there. Where could I find that information?

Jena Stinger
RR 2, Box 55D
Pocatello, ID 83202

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Randolph County Courthouse Renovation

The Randolph County Commissioners are proceeding with plans to renovate the courthouse in Winchester, Indiana and also build an annex that would connect to it. The courthouse was built in 1877 and was originally slated to be demolished, but community opposition (including the 2005 publication of a "Courthouse Girls" calendar featuring nude octogenarians) caused the commissioners to reverse their decision in 2006. The construction project is slated to cost the county $10.7 million, and still faces some obstacles, including the granting of a zoning variance.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Survey of IGS Conference Sites

The Indiana Genealogical Society board is conducting a brief survey to see the interest in potential sites for future IGS annual conferences. To take the survey, please visit

If you include your name and e-mail address when you fill out this survey, you will automatically be entered in our drawing for a free registration to the 2009 IGS conference in Indianapolis. Only one entry per person.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bloomington Cemeteries Damaged By Vandals

White Oak Cemetery (located on 7th Street on the west side of Bloomington) was the victim of vandals this past week. Some 44 headstones were knocked over sometime between June 30 and July 1. Cemetery workers were able to reset 15 of those stones, but the other 29 will require the services of an expert restorer, which could cost the cemetery $15,000, according to a report in the Indianapolis media. Some of the graves there date back to the early 1800's.

On July 3, workers at the Dunn Cemetery on the campus of Indiana University discovered that two of the headstones had been damaged and another four headstones appeared to have been removed.

Thanks to IGS President Michael Maben for providing this information.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Flooding Damages Johnson County Cemetery

Workers at Greenlawn Cemetery in Franklin, Indiana are still cleaning up after being hit by the flooding that affected a large portion of the state in early June. The cemetery has over 20,000 graves and the flooding toppled about 80 headstones (though none of the graves were disturbed). The office of the cemetery's sexton was also heavily damaged.