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Family History and Genealogy Programs

Connect with your family tree at your pace. The Indiana Historical Society offers educational opportunities throughout the year, from basic genealogy workshops to lectures featuring regional and national family history experts.


Whether you're a genealogy novice or more advanced, this series of programs will take you through along the path to discover your family's history. All programs, from 101 for beginners to 401 for masters, offer hands-on sessions to guide you through sources available.

Genealogy 201: Rebuild Your Ancestor's Neighborhood
July 22 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join Sunny Morton for three hands-on sessions using city sources to explore your ancestor's everyday life. Using local history sources, you'll leave this workshop with an idea of what your ancestor's urban landscape may have looked like. Sessions include:

  • Five Powerful Local History Sources and Where to Find Them
  • Widening Your View of Hometown History
  • Put It All Together: Using Local History Discoveries to Reconstruct Ancestral Stories

Bring some information about an ancestor, including name, dates and location in mind to dive into your research.
Sunny Morton is contributing columnist to Family Tree Magazine as well as editor and book club guru at Lisa Louise Cook's "Genealogy Gems."

$55; $45 members – box lunch is included | Register

Genealogy 101: Jumpstarting Effective Genealogy Research
Sept. 9 | 10 a.m. to Noon

Don't let the number of subscription services and tools overwhelm you. Genealogy and Family History Programs coordinator, Lauren Peightel, will help you choose the best tools for you, put together a research plan, get organized and jump into finding your family's past.

$20; $15 members | Register 

Genealogy 301: Adding DNA Testing to Your Genealogy Toolkit
Sept. 30 | 10 a.m. to Noon

Uncover your ethnic background and find ways to break through your most difficult unsolved genealogical mystery. The Central Indiana DNA Interest Group will be here to discuss what DNA testing is, how it can help you discover your family's history, and what to do with your DNA results.

$20; $15 members | Register

Featured Programs

Family History Research Trip to Allen County Public Library
Nov. 4 | 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Departs from Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center

Check an item off your family history research wish list! Join us for a research trip to The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne - the largest public genealogy library in the world!
Upon arrival, we'll tour The Genealogy Center and listen to a short talk about accessing The Center's collection from home. Throughout the day, genealogy librarians will help you with your questions, get you started and help you locate the best sources.

$125 (includes one-year IHS membership); $75 members
Cost includes bus transportation and boxed lunch. | Register

Family History for Kids

Indiana's French Heritage
July 8 | 1 to 3 p.m.

Ma patrie, Indiana. Did you know that some of Indiana's earliest settlers came from France? Bring your family to examine maps and documents that serve as a testament to Indiana's French influences. Learn about French culture and language with crafts and coloring.

Growing Little Leaves - family history for kids - is presented in partnership with Emily Kowalski Schroeder, author of the Growing Little Leaves blog at www.growinglittleleaves.com.

Free with admission to the Indiana Experience. No registration required.

Gravestone Secrets: A Cemetery Hunt for Kids
Oct. 14 | 1 to 3 p.m. | Rain Date Oct. 21
Crown Hill Cemetery | 700 W. 38th St., Indianapolis

Uncover the hidden secrets of Indianapolis' largest cemetery, discover hidden messages in gravestones and learn about the famous Hoosiers buried there.

Free. Email lpeightel@indianahistory.org or call 317-234-1595 with questions.

Holiday Handmades

Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 | Noon to 4 p.m.

Get in the holiday spirit with a stroll through Festival of Trees. While you're here, create a festive craft to take home with you and learn a little about Hoosier holiday traditions. 

Free with admission to the Indiana Experience. No registration required.