Time travel as close as your local cemetery.

Southern Indiana pioneers

February 11, 2015 / by davidwalton

Eli Gilmore

Eli Gilmore

I kicked off 2015 and my passion for genealogy last month by attending a program about the Indiana First Families — a project sponsored by the Southern Indiana Genealogy Society (SIGS).

First Families is intended to honor the memory of the men and women who first settled in the southern Indiana counties of Clark, Floyd and Harrison before Dec. 31, 1840. The project is a great way for new and seasoned genealogists to research their heritage in the tri-county area.

If you are able to provide proof of lineage through birth, death, marriage and the connection between generations, you will be eligible for recognition as a first family. Pedigree charts and family group sheets are not considered unless official documentation can be provided along with them.

Southern Indiana Genealogist Melissa Wisehart holds a map from the early days in Floyd County, Indiana.

Southern Indiana Genealogist Melissa Wiseheart holds a map from the early days in Floyd County, Indiana.

The evening’s presentation at the monthly SIGS meeting was led Melissa Wiseheart who works as a genealogist in the Indiana Room at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library. (Check out her wonderful blog site at www.wiseheartjourney.com)

Wiseheart explained where to go to find evidence of your connection to first families. Suggestions included census records, ancestry.com (accessible for free at the library), death records, newspapers, marriage records, family bibles, maps and atlases, land records, and other official sources.

To participate in the project, you must apply by completing an application form on the SIGS website, http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~insigs/. In order to qualify, applications must be submitted by April 1, 2015. There is a registration and certification fee of $15 for the first ancestor and $5 for ever ancestor thereafter.

If you’ve never done any kind of genealogy research before, don’t worry. SIGS volunteers are always willing to help. To schedule a meeting with a member, email sigsvolunteer@gmail.com or call (812) 949-3527.

I’ve decided to do my Indiana First Families project on my 3rd great-grandfather Eli Gilmore, who was born in Harrison County, Indiana in 1832. While I don’t know much about him, I’m hoping my research will uncover some interesting facts about this blood relative.

Until next time….

3 thoughts on “Southern Indiana pioneers

  1. That is so awesome that your family still lives where it has for nearly 200 years!! My Mom was from Minnesota, my Dad from Ohio and I live in Texas!!

  2. RayJ says:

    Best of luck on the project, David! It is very interesting and it must be exciting to explore the past and bring to life the history of your ancestors.

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