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Find Military, Pioneer Ancestors with Help from IHS Genealogy Programs

March 1, 2016

Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) announces two genealogy programs geared toward finding those ancestors who settled the country and those who served it. Each event will be held at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

A program on Saturday, March 19, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, is designed to help participants tap into information available on their military ancestors. From 10 a.m. to noon, Paul Brockman, IHS director of manuscript and visual collections, will teach computer techniques aimed at helping participants overcome obstacles related to military research.

Ancestors do not have to be from Indiana, unless they served prior to, or during, the Civil War, as units were divided by state. All participants are asked to bring discharge papers, if available.

On Tuesday, March 22, a separate presentation, The History Behind Your Hoosier Genealogy, offers the chance to learn about pioneer ancestors. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., speaker Andy Olson will explain what led many Hoosiers to settle in Indiana. Olson will use his own family as a case study, while providing useful tips for anyone researching the pioneer era. 

Each genealogy program is eligible for two general library education units (LEUs). Price of admission is $10, $8 for IHS members, and registration is open until the day of each event.

For more information about IHS's genealogy programs and other resources, call (317) 232-1882 or visit IHS online at www.indianahistory.org.

About Paul Brockman

Paul Brockman has been an asset to the Indiana Historical Society for almost four decades and serves as its director of manuscripts and visual collections. He began his career at IHS shortly after graduating with his Master of Arts degree in European History in 1978.  He has published many articles in Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History.  He was the co-author of A Guide to Manuscript Collections in the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana State Library. He was the editor of the Indiana German Heritage Society Newsletter and a member of their board. 

About Andy Olson

Andy Olson, a lawyer by training, spent the bulk of his professional career as an executive search professional with one of the world's largest search firms. While raised in the Chicago area, he regularly returned to his maternal grandparents' farm in east-central Indiana where he heard the stories of his pioneer ancestors who had settled that very land. Once he retired in 2007, Olson was able to begin to dig deeper into the family lore surrounding the prominent early-mid 19th century ancestor who had settled the land and took an active part in setting pioneer Indiana's future direction. As a result of his work, Ball State University has established a research collection from his accumulated research and related working papers. Kent State University Press will publish his book on one of Indiana's earliest railroads in 2016. He currently sits on the board of the Society of Indiana Pioneers and has become active in helping Conner Prairie reinterpret its William Conner House.

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization and an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programming.

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For interview requests contact: Rachel Hill Ponko, IHS director of public relations, at (317) 233-8814 or rhillponko@indianahistory.org