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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

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

The Legal Genealogist
Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20

Conquer your toughest legal terms and documents, learn the historical context behind these forms and discover those genealogy gold mines you've been hunting for with The Legal Genealogist, Judy G. Russell.

Friday, May 19, join The Legal Genealogist at 7 p.m. for the first session, "Blackguards and Black Sheep" – The Lighter Side of the Law, with cocktail reception to follow.

Saturday, May 20, will include four sessions:

  • "Deemed a Runaway" – Black Laws of the North
  • Inventing America – Records of the U.S. Patent Office
  • "No Person Shall ... Gallop Horses in the Streets" – Using Court Records to Tell the Story of Our Ancestors' Lives
  • Through the Golden Door – Immigration Following the Civil War

Friday Only – $30; $20 members
Saturday Only – $45; $35 members
Friday and Saturday – $60; $45 members | Register

Growing Little Leaves: Family History for Kids

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.

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.

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

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.