The La Porte County Genealogical Society met Tuesday, April 13. St. Joseph County Archives manager Vicky Rydzynski described the resources available in her office in downtown South Bend, dating from 1832 up to 2008. Rule Number One, quoted from former state archivist John Newman: One hour's research ahead of time at home can save you three hours or more at the archives. Researchers should call ahead, and should know as much as possible of the who, what, when, where, and why of the people they want to learn about. Record types available in the archives include marriage records (both licenses and applications), delayed birth records, probate records, and delinquent tax records. Naturalization records are available through 1856; more recent ones were sent to the state archives, which has provided an index with a 10 percent error rate. The archives has benefited greatly from volunteer indexing by genealogists, who are now working on marriage licenses after 1958 and estate records from the 1800s.
Beginning with the June issue, vice-president Lester Chadwick will take over editing the society's quarterly newsletter from retiring Donna Nelson.
Future plans discussed include the annual bus trip to Allen County Public Library April 21, and future programs for May (La Porte courthouse resources), June (Sauktown Cemetery tour), July (researching without Perry Mason), August (how to organize and continue to improve your genealogy after the first steps), and September (Michigan City movie stars).
Indexing and abstracting work continues at the courthouse. Applications for residency societies and genealogist of the year are available; the awards will be made at the December supper meeting. The La Porte County GenWeb site has greatly increased its online listings of Pine Lake Cemetery burials.
The society meets at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of every month at the Swanson Center for Older Adults, 910 State St., La Porte. The public is welcome at all meetings. For a list of upcoming programs and more information about the society's activities in awards, research, publication, and records preservation, visit our web site.