Vigo County Public Library

Some time ago, I was researching ancestors who lived in Vigo County, Indiana. While researching, I found the Public Library there had some excellent genealogical resources. I added their website, http://www.vigo.lib.in.us to my bookmarks and promised myself that I’d return.

Of particular interest to me was that their website has marriage records from 1818 through 1958. They also have a database of obituaries from 1900 to present and an obituary lookup service.

When I research, I usually focus on an ancestor and see what records I can find for that ancestor. In this case, I thought I would work backward from my usual process.  I took the Vigo County Public Library site and their databases, then searched to find various individuals I had in my tree who lived there.

Using Family Tree Maker 2017, I went to the Places tab, then selected Vigo County, Indiana. I immediately saw that my tree had 34 individuals associated with that place.  Most were Roberts and Lister but had several Volkers from two of my grand-daughters’ maternal line.

The Vigo County Marriage Record Database has five searchable fields of which you can use one, two, or three at a time. The process was speedy and easy to use. I was able to discover three new marriage records, and one of them was the marriage of Stewart Volkers and Irene Garver, two of my granddaughters’, 2nd great-grandparents on their mother’s side. A great find.

Next, I used a similar process for the obituaries. The “Wabash Valley Obituary Index: 1900 to Present” includes four fields to search with. I used the minimum I could to see if a record existed. For example, when I searched for “Volkers,” I found 28 records. The first names were presented alphabetically, so it was easy to see how many of my known Volkers were there. On more common names, like “Hart” I added the first name to see if any of my known Harts were in their obituaries. Both of my known Harts were there.  I found many obituaries in the Index that were of interest. At this point, I could have ordered all of them through the library for $5.00 per obituary, but I thought it might be more prudent for me to see what might be available with the newspaper and obituary sources I have access to, first. Having the obituary name and year of death makes searching those other sources quick and easy.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.comNewspapers.Com has several Terre Haute (Vigo County) newspapers from 1900 to 1973. Six of the obituaries of interest were available on Newspapers.Com.

Of particular interest to me is the obituary of Stewart Volkers, the great-grandfather of two of my granddaughters. Altogether, I was able to add 39 new relatives to my tree, thanks to the Vigo County Public Library. That makes for a good day of genealogy.

My foray into the Vigo County Public Library online resources reminded me of the importance to check out the genealogy resources available online at local libraries and local historical societies for places your ancestors lived. They often have a wealth of resources available.



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