You know that I hail from Indiana by now, which means I signed up for the Indiana Genealogy Crash Course webinar as soon as I saw the announcement from Family Tree University. My boys even cooperated by going to bed 15 minutes early that night so I could get my paper and pens ready, sit down with a cup of tea, and plug my headphones in. It was well worth all the anticipation.
It did go very fast, and there was a lot of information to cover. I gave up taking a lot of notes; my hand couldn’t go that fast! The webinar has been downloaded, and now I can go through it all again and catch what I missed the first time around at my leisure. In addition, I have three new books to add to my wish list over on Amazon.com, as well as a plethora of sites to explore on-line and in person the next time I go home.
The afternoon after the webinar I spent a couple of hours doing some online searches. You see, not only am I predominantly from Indiana (150+ years), but both sides of my husband’s family were in Indiana at one point too. This makes my pleas for a trip home to do research a little bit easier as I can do research on both our families!
I researched for an hour (all the time I had, and I set a timer too) in the Indiana State Digital Archives. The first database I consulted was the Naturalization Records for Dubois County . Not all the counties are on there, but I lucked out since my German immigrant families settled in Dubois. I have six possible John Millers to look through, and almost the same number for the spelling of Muller, but the great find was for my 3rd great-grandfather Hubert Negle. Thankfully, I looked at all the ways I have seen this name spelled: Negle/Nagley/Nageli. It appeared under Hubert Nageli, and it gave me information I never had before, including his place of departure (Le Havre, France) and arrival (New York, New York), his immigration date (Oct. 16, 1853) and his naturalization date (July 19, 1856). Now, this is just an index, but luckily there is a reference number on where the originals are. The next step is to see those records for myself if possible.
Next, I looked at land records. I found my Combs ancestors there, with information on where their patents were, dates, land descriptions, and more. Curiosity got me; so I went over to the Bureau of Land Management and looked them up there too. Seeing the actual land patents with Martin Van Buren’s signature on them was very cool; I will have to order them in the near future. Here’s one of the land purchases for Charles Combs.
Taking a stab at my husband’s family, I did find his third-great-grandfather Button mistyped in the database as Britton G. Cody. C’est-la-vie. Thankfully, I knew who I was looking for and could verify it was Button through the Civil War records I possessed already. I didn’t find Button, but in a surprise turn of luck I did find the Mexican American War enlistment for Button’s father, David Cody. I am still researching the family story that David chased after Button, who ran away to join the army, and instead ended up enlisting himself.
All that in one hour of work; imagine what I can find when I can carve out an afternoon!
Photo from the Library of Congress
Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Shannon Bennett of Locust Grove, Va.