One Hour of Hoosier Heaven

The Army and Navy monument, Indianapolis, Ind.

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, 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.

Got Irish ancestors? The April 2 session of our Irish 201 course is half-price thanks to our sponsor, Genealogy Bank. That’s a $50 savings!

2 thoughts on “One Hour of Hoosier Heaven

  1. It is actually called “Soldiers and Sailors Monument.” Indianapolis is a great place!

  2. I had always called it that too, so you can imagine my confusion when the Library of Congress had it labled “Army Navy.”

    When I was little I remember going ice skating on the monument. I have been told they don’t do that anymore, but it was a winter treat for me. If I was good while my parents did whatever they did in Indy, they would take me to buy my new ice skates for the season and we would go try them out in the rink. After I had my first child I wanted to do that so badly with him too.

Leave a Reply