Category Archives: Family History

Are We Related?: Hutchinson

Some surnames are common while others are rarer or nonexistent within our collections. When looking into names for my colleague Regan, I had four last names to search. One was very common, one was almost impossible to locate (due to similarities with standard words), and one was not found in our collection. The last, Hutchinson, […]

Are We Related? Gilliom

Depending on the size and age of one’s family, you may personally know everyone within the most recent two or three generations, or you may only know a select number of those relatives. The latter is more likely if within a generation or two there were many progenies for one couple – think eight or […]

Are We Related?: Nation

Some surnames are more difficult to find in our collection than others. There are many reasons this may be the case, but in this instance, it is the fact that the surname is also a commonplace word: Nation. Not only is it a word in its own right, but it is also a common word […]

Are We Related?: Stanfield

I’ve decided to expand my surname list by reaching out to my colleagues. Luckily, we’re all a curious sort, so a long list of new surnames and connections to research suddenly appeared. This month’s article features my long-time coworker and friend Susan’s family, the Stanfields. For more than 40 years IHS has had a collection […]

The Legacy of Figueroa Printers, Indiana’s First Spanish Language Newspaper

The early Mexican communities of the 1920s in Indiana Harbor (East Chicago) and Gary were socially active and culturally vibrant. Early laborers came to Northwest Indiana and Chicago around 1918, recruited as foreign laborers to work in war-relief-related industries during World War I via Departmental Order No. 52461/202. The 1920s saw an increase in arrivals […]

Pistol Packin’ Pastor: Part 2

This is Part 2 of the story of Wilbur Gibbons. To read part 1, click here. On Wilbur Gibbons’ 1918 draft registration card, he listed himself as a minister. Although he had been ordained in the Presbyterian church under the pretense that he would be working among the Apache in Arizona, he and his family […]

Pistol Packin’ Pastor: Part I

Figuratively speaking, the landscape of historical collections is strewn with Rabbit-Holes. Like Alice in Wonderland, if you choose one and jump down it, you never know when or where you’ll end up. Or who you’ll meet. As a processing archivist, I’m often the first to discover a particular hole and begin to map it out. […]

Are We Related?: Belcher

Welcome to the second installment of my Are We Related series. You can view the first blog about the Herndon family here. In this series, I am looking at surnames in the IHS collection and determining if a shared surname in my own line has any known ties. When I began working at the Indiana […]

Are We Related? – Herndon

As a librarian and historian, I explore various aspects of history and have become more and more fascinated by family history over the years. While perusing various collection materials, I see many different surnames, some of which are familiar to me as family names I have researched. One such name is Herndon. It is most […]

The Largest Syrian Colony Outside of New York

Below is an excerpt from a recent article in the IHS publication, Traces. By 1900 there were vibrant Arabic-speaking communities across Indiana, including in Indianapolis, Terre Haute, and Michigan City. But Fort Wayne was special, at least according to its Syrian residents. Alixa Naff, who developed the Smithsonian Institution’s collection on Arab American history, wrote […]