Friday, May 21, 2021

Query - Twin Orphans - South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana

 The picture below shows my husband's Michael A. Cardinale uncles, twins born approximately on Jan 24, 1909 and living in South Bend, Indiana when they became orphans. They became orphans in 1913 at the age of 4 1/2. At that time, they disappeared from any and all records.

Their family surname is misspelled on the 1910 census as Connors. Their actual names are Charles and Walter Connars. The father's name is John C. Connars, and the mother is Emma Clifford. I have not been able to find a birth certificate for either one.

This is what I know about the twins:

1. They were born in Kankakee, Illinois around 1-24-1909.

2. They were living in South Bend Indiana in 1913. They were four 1/2 years old when their mother Emma Clifford died around the age of 30 of a heart attack. According to a news article, she was found dead in a rocking chair by one of her four kids.

3. Very few people stepped up to adopt the twins, because they were hyperactive

4. They were taken to Mishawaka orphanage located in South Bend Indiana by Rev. Arthur G. Schafer, pastor of Lowell Heights Methodist church. According to this library website, the church no longer exists and there are no records from that time period. The orphanage is described here and this is where they disappear from any records.

5. The last known home that they had before they were taken to the orphanage was located at: 511 N. Frances St. South Bend, In 46617. You can see the home here:

The following article is about them. Sadly, their last name is misspelled again as Connor. They are probably both dead now since they would be 112 years old. But I would love to find possible offspring that they may have had. Does anyone have any ideas where else I can look? Already found many articles about their dad, their mom and their two sisters. Just cannot find anything else about them.

Published in the South Bend News-Times, November 20, 1913, page 3.

This is the transcription:

Wanted: A Home For Two Bright Boys—-Only trouble is They’re Twins

Where is the couple who will volunteer to be father and mother to two lively, healthy and enterprising twin boys. Just four and one-half years old?

Rev. Arthur G. Schafer, pastor of Lowell Heights Methodist church, is trying to find the answer.

The volunteer parents will need to have a full supply of a real parents' patience, maybe a little more. For the twins are lively, everyone who knows them agrees to that. Things will be "doing" in their household from early morning until night.

A good many people have considered the twins and then reconsidered. They might undertake to bring up one boy, they said, but a pair of them— Well, you know, what one won't think of the other will.

Still, the boys need a home. They are nice little fellows, pretty, and bright as two dollars, and lively. They look alike, but are different enough that you would never mistake them for one individual. There must be somebody somewhere who would want them both, reasoned Mr. Schafer.

As a solution, he thought of publishing a want ad. It appeared in the South Bend News-Times Tuesday evening, Wednesday edition. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Marville, living nine miles from South Bend, across the Michigan line, volunteered to take the twins for a short time on probation.

The twins in question are Charles and Walter Connor, the sons of John C. Connor, living in the vicinity of Lowell Heights church. Their mother died two weeks ago and since that time the boys have been looking for a home. Mr. Schafer Is doing his best to help them.

Their two sisters have been more fortunate in their quest; a baby of nine months old and a little girl of 12 years are both provided for in families in the neighborhood. Their father Is a laborer and has no one to look after his home while he works, so It had to be broken up.

The little boys didn’t give up their old home without a protest. The day their mother died they were taken to the home of a neighbor. They accepted the situation willingly enough until night and then they wanted to go back. They said so very emphatically, but their hosts thought it just a whim. The boys kept on saying it until 11:30 o'clock, when they got their way.

It was their last night there. Since that time there has been no home to go to. Some of the neighbors have had them for two or three days each, but in the end they all agreed that two boys are a good too many.

Finally Mr. Schafer took them to the orphanage at Mishawaka. They are now waiting to begin their probation with Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Marville. The twins' father is employed at the Notre Dame University farm. The family came here from the South a year ago after stops of various lengths along the way. They were never very prosperous and the present unhappy circumstances has left them almost destitute.

The mother was one of the quiet, uncomplaining sort, who carried her burden patiently while she could and then lay down and died. Since her last baby came she could not rally the strength to go on.

Sometimes Went Hungry.

And while their mother failed, the twins took care of themselves. So long as they didn't worry her too much she let them alone. Sometimes they were fed and sometimes they were hungry, but they always kept pretty cheerful.

Now they show a little evidence of the neglect that couldn't be helped. They need a little brushing up and a little toning down. They need someone to take care of them instead of having to take care of themselves. But they are twins, of course, and they would like to go on being twins. They are used to team work and would probably make quite a fuss if they were to be separated. And two boys are a great many.

If you have any information or suggestions please contact Nelly Cardinale at ncardinal@gmail

Monday, April 19, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Virtual Events Can Be Attended From All Over

 3rd Annual Research Your Way to Genealogy Answers Virtual Conference

Saturday,  June 5, 2021

The past virtual conferences were very successful and had great attendance. 

            Speakers will be talking about the following:

Research Over My Shoulder: A Practical Guide to Researching Your Ancestors (Devon Noel Lee) How To Effectively Research Newspapers For Your Ancestors (Lisa Lisson) How to Research German Ancestors from the US to their Hometown (Miles Meyer) Dissecting a Civil War Pension Record-Union & Confederate (Jill Morelli)

            The online sessions will begin at 10am Eastern Time on Saturday, 5th June 2021. Some answers to common questions that people have asked us:

1. Yes, the sessions are live. These are not pre-recorded, so if you have questions, then please ask them in the chat during any of the sessions and we'll get them answered.

2. Yes there are door prizes. 

3. No, you don't have to be watching the live presentations to win (although we hope you do), everyone who is registered will be eligible to win the door prizes.

4. Yes, recordings of the sessions will be available for 30 days after the virtual conference so even if you can't make the live session, register so that you can watch the recordings.

5. Yes we use our webcams. You don't have to watch slides all the time. You also get to see people. 

6. Yes, this event is open to anyone who wants to register.  No need to travel or even change out of your pajamas if you don't want to.

            As with past events there will be a 5th hour panel discussion where you can ask questions about any of the topics or even anything else related to genealogy and research.       Early bird registration is only $19.99 until May 22nd. The regular registration price is $24.99. Learn more at the website ( and register today.


Thanks, Andrew & Devon Noel Lee
Family History Fanatics Humble, TX | 346-704-1433

(Thanks to IGS Corresponding Secretary Janet Mobley for this item.)

Monday, April 12, 2021

Fort Wayne ANG Project Moving Right Along

Two years ago IGS loaned out one of our large scanner/laptop units to the 122nd Fighter Wing retirees to scan their old records and artifacts. We just received the following update on that project--

Hi Ron and Curt,  The Air National Guard project is coming along nicely.  So far we've digitized about 23,000 images. It's been a stop and start kind of project since the pandemic hit, but I took boxes and boxes of negatives home with me before everything closed down in March 2020, so as time has allowed I've been busy scanning and digitizing the pictures and records.

            Hopefully once we get all of our volunteers back at The Genealogy Center we will wrap up the project sometime here in the next year. I attached a short article from the Journal Gazette that ran the other month. Thanks for asking!  Michael Vorndran

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

State Archives WW1 Project Moving Along

This group transcription project of the Indiana State Archives is moving along nicely. If you are interested in participating, go to and sign up. Should be a major resource for Indiana researchers.


Monday, February 8, 2021

Query: Joseph Frank Newbill, Harrison County

             I am the great grandson of Private Joseph Frank Newbill of Harrison County, Indiana. He enlisted January 28, 1863, in Company D, 13th Indiana Cavalry, at Corydon, Harrison County, Indiana.     

            He lived In Mississippi and Texas after the war. He died in Jones County, Texas, and is buried at Fort Phantom Hill. His monument lists his initials and last name and is marked that he was a Civil War veteran. Family oral tradition was that he was underage, lied about his age, and was a substitute for another man.

            I have not been able to confirm that he was a substitute. Several rosters also have an incorrect spelling showing Newbell instead of Newbill.

            Anyone researching the Joseph Frank Newbill family, or Company D, 13th Indiana Cavalry, I would welcome contact, to share what little information that I have.

            My email is

 Jay Brent Tipton


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Free Digital Presentation: Googling For Primary Sources

 Free Midwest Archives Conference Presentation:

How to Google for Primary Sources: Teaching users/students

to find and evaluate archives remotely.

Presenter: Robin M. Katz

Date and Time: Tuesday, February 2, 1-2:30 Central

Register here:


            Don’t just give the same old demos on your repository’s discovery tools or digital collections. Instead, think beyond your own archive and learn to expertly teach your key audiences to find and evaluate primary sources on the open web! All they’ll need is an internet connection.

                Teach researchers to identify useful and credible materials on any topic (even ones you are not familiar with!). You’ll leave better able to frame primary sources on the internet, and more confident in designing and leading hands-on activities over Zoom.

            Robin M. Katz is a librarian, archivist, and educator who works to connect people to primary sources in meaningful and innovative ways. She is currently the Primary Source Literacy Teaching Librarian at the University of California, Riverside, a position she crafted after serving on the joint task force that authored the new Primary Source Literacy Guidelines. She co-created based on a groundbreaking US Department of Education grant she led at Brooklyn Historical Society. She has spent over a decade in museums, academic libraries, and special collections after receiving her MLIS from Kent State University and her BA from Brandeis University. 

Questions: please contact Amy Bishop, Education Committee Co-chair, at

 Carrie Schwier (she/her/hers)

Outreach and Public Services Archivist

Indiana University Archives

1320 E. 10th Street

Herman B Wells Library E460

Bloomington, IN 47405



Tuesday, January 5, 2021