Thursday, August 20, 2020

Ball State Surveys Indianapolis Cemetery

DHPA staff spent last weekend with staff from Ball State University Anthropology and Applied Anthropology Laboratories and from the Indiana Medical History Museum. The Museum is working with Ball State to help better define the boundaries of one of the cemeteries used by the former Central State Hospital. Using ground penetrating radar, the Ball State staff will hopefully be able to identify number of grave shafts, locations of these shafts, and how big of an area the cemetery is.
They will not be able to identify who is buried there by this method. That is being done through archival research by the Museum's staff. This project is part of a greater program of the Museum to offer some social justice to the former patients, return some of their humanity, and provide a better understanding of the history of those institutionalized at the facility.
The building which houses the Indiana Medical History Museum was the pathology lab for the hospital. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has received grant funds from DHPA for restoration.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Two New FamilySearch Resources For Hoosier Researchers

The latest FamilySearch update shows the below two record collections that could be of great use to Indiana family historians. 


Monday, August 17, 2020

Update on the Indiana Marriage Indexing Project

Hi Rhonda,

            We hope all is going well with you! I just learned we published 544,802 names of people who were married in Indiana based on the indexing which has been done by members of your Society and others. As you can see from below, we now have almost four million names of people who are in the marriage records – note the total was updated on Aug 9th .

            Thank you for all you are doing! We are not finished yet, there is more indexing yet to be done.

            We are starting to take pictures in various counties in Indiana using a contractor because we do not want to slow down the effort. While we normally work with volunteers, they are not allowed to serve at this point in time because of COVID.

            We are starting in Miami, Shelby, Howard, Wayne, Switzerland, Sullivan, Clay, Newton, Jasper, Starke, Knox,  and Boone counties. We hope the local county society members will be able to assist in doing the document preparation work in these counties.

            Please let me know if you have any questions.

 Thank you,


 John de Jong, AG®

North America Multi Area Manager, Records Access Division, FamilySearch

Office phone: 801-240-0261


Monday, August 10, 2020

R.I.P. Clay County Genealogist Joyce Oehler

The Indiana Genealogical Society regrets to announce the passing of our Clay County Genealogist Joyce Oehler. She will be missed in our genealogy community.


     Joyce Johnston Oehler, 94, of Brazil and formerly of Terre Haute, passed away Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at Westminster.
Joyce was born April 6, 1926 in Terre Haute to Alfred Thomas and Geneva Carter Thomas. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Brazil and enjoyed family genealogy as well as being a Clay County Genealogist. 

     She was a graduate of Indiana State Teachers College now known at Indiana State University where she was Homecoming Queen in 1946. She was a member P.E.O, Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames and a lifetime member of the Vigo County Historical Society.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Joe Thomas; and husbands, Judge H. Ralph Johnston in 1969 and Robert F. Oehler in 1996. She is survived by daughters, Christina Hann (Lewis) of Torrance, CA, and Cynthia Finley (Steve) of Plano, TX. She is survived by one son, Hal Johnston and his wife Geri of Terre Haute. She is survived by one sister, Jane Gore (Brian Greene) of Valdosta, GA. She is survived by six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

     Private services are planned. Greiner Funeral Home, 2005 North 13th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47804 were entrusted with arrangements. Pastor Gary Scroggins will be officiating. The family has suggested that in lieu of flowers contributions be made to the Vigo County Historical Society. Online condolences may be made at: