Wednesday, September 20, 2017

State Archives Debuts First Online Catalog

State Archivist Jim Corridon announced on Tuesday that the first ever online Catalog for the Indiana State Archives is now live and ready for use.

Go to and take a look. There is also a short video on how to use the new catalog.

Genealogists should find the new tool of great use in their work. Congrats to Mr. Corridon and IARA!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Research Tip: Indiana's Courts of Conciliation

If you've done research in Indiana's Court of Common Pleas records, you may have come across a reference to another court in the county: the Court of Conciliation.

The Indiana legislature passed "An act to establish Courts of Conciliation" on June 11, 1852, to go into effect on January 1, 1853. It called for the judge of each county's Court of Common Pleas to preside over a Court of Conciliation, to be held concurrently with the Court of Common Pleas. These courts of conciliation could hear cases about libel, slander, malicious persecution, assault & battery, or false imprisonment.

Unlike the Circuit Court and the Court of Common Pleas, the two parties who came before the Court of Conciliation could not be represented by an attorney. Parties were to appear on their own behalf. The only exceptions to this rule were if a party was under the age of 21 (in which case they had to be represented by their guardian) or was a woman (in which case she had to be represented by her husband or male friend). And in contrast to the other county courts, the decision of the Court of Conciliation could not be appealed – it was final.

The focus of the Court of Conciliation was also different from the Circuit Court and Court of Common Pleas. Rather than determining fault, the purpose was to get the two parties to reconcile their differences or effect a compromise. If the judge was successful in this, he would receive a $5 fee, which was to be paid equally by the two parties.

One example of a Court of Conciliation case occurred in Dearborn County in 1854, when Nancy Woolford sued Milton Beach for slander for words said by his wife. The compromise was that the wife denied saying the words, but her husband agreed to pay Woolford $75.80 in damages and court costs. Beach later unsuccessfully appealed to the state Supreme Court to void this agreement.

Courts of Conciliation existed in Indiana counties from January 1, 1853 until November 30, 1865, when the law was repealed.

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of "Indiana News," IGS' free monthly email newsletter. Click here to subscribe and stay up-to-date with Indiana genealogy research tips and news.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Archivist of the United States to Lecture At Purdue

David S. Ferriero,
Archivist of the United States
On Thursday, September 28, 2017, David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, will present "Preserving the Past to Inform the Future: The View From the National Archives." 

This program is presented by the Purdue University Libraries. It is free and open to the public.

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Hiler Theater, Wilmeth Active Learning Center
Purdue University Campus, West Lafayette

Questions: or (765) 494-2849 

About David S. Ferriero
David S. Ferriero was confirmed as the 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009. Created in 1934, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible for preserving and providing access to the records of the U.S. Government. NARA has 43 facilities across the country, including 14 Presidential Libraries, containing approximately 13 billion pages of textual records; 42 million photographs; miles and miles of film and video; and an ever increasing number of electronic records.

Previously Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries and held top library positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University. 

Mr. Perriero earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from Northeastern University and a master's degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science. Mr. Ferriero served as a Navy hospital corpsman in Vietnam.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

New on the IGS Website: 31 Free Databases from Across the State

The Indiana Genealogy Digitization Project continues to generate more materials for Indiana genealogy research! Check out the latest databases, all available for FREE on the Indiana Genealogical Society website.

Bartholomew County:

Contributed by the Yellow Trail Research Center, Hope, Indiana:
See all Bartholomew County databases here.

Greene County:

Contributed by the Bloomfield-Eastern Greene County Public Library:
See all Greene County databases here.

Henry County:

Contributed by the East Central Indiana Genealogy Alliance:
See all Henry County databases here.

Marion County:

Contributed by the Samuel Bryan Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Beech Grove, Indiana:
See all Marion County databases here.

Parke County:

Contributed by the Parke County Historical Society:
See all Parke County databases here.

Sullivan County:

Contributed by the Sullivan County Public Library:
See all Sullivan County databases here.

College Records:

See all college databases here.

Does your organization have Indiana genealogy materials that need digitized? Apply for an IGS Indiana Genealogy Digitization Project grant, for a new scanner, computer, and related materials.

Photo of men from History of Farmersburg, Sullivan County, Indiana.