Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July genealogy meeting

As our intended speaker for the July 12 meeting, Mattie Dunlap, was indisposed, her friend Chuck West (who is not 101 yet!) filled in and relayed some of what she would have told us about the experience of black people who migrated north in the mid-20th century. Her family moved from Itta Bena, Mississippi, to Kingsford Heights in 1953 and then to Michigan City in 1963. Chuck told many wonderful stories, but the short version is that the family's high hopes for life in the North were not always fulfilled; not everyone made the move, but when someone wanted to come up they waited until there was a job lined up; and nowadays they are comfortable to go back south and visit, which was not always the case. After moving to Indiana, they still faced prejudice and discrimination (including the death of a daughter for lack of medical treatment), but unlike in the South in the 1950s they could vote and own property, and didn't have to ask permission for every little thing.

The business meeting followed the program and was brief. Nominations are still open for Genealogist of the Year, and applications are still available for residency certificates. Two new La Porte County books are just out from the abstracters and indexers. One abstracts guardianships and commitments 1848-1920, and the other is an every-name index of court records from the 1830s. More information on these later.

The society meets at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of each month at the Swanson Center, weather permitting. The public is welcome at all meetings.

Also at our web site, those who believe they have La Porte County ancestors (and can prove it!) can find information on how to apply for First Families of La Porte (before December 1840), Pioneer Families (1841-1860), Settler Families (1861-1880), and Civil War Families (1861-1865). You can also read or search back issues of the society's newsletter, December 2005 through December 2009, including genealogical and historical information from members' research and abstracting work in local records, on our blog.


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