Wednesday, January 9, 2013

La Porte County January meeting wrapup

Sixteen members and friends attended the La Porte County Genealogical Society meeting Tuesday, January 8. Pictures, books, artifacts, and stories were shared, including:
* finding relatives through the Find A Grave web site,
* the "dry flood" of the Illinois River in 1943 in Beardstown, and using public events to date undated private letters,
* mementoes of Rolling Prairie and Michigan City,
* several Michigan City families and Civil War veterans,
* an unexpected Irish cousin, and
* the still-unfolding story of the medical school in La Porte in the 1840s (also known as La Porte University), the first in Indiana. Many of its faculty came from western New York and after the school here disbanded, they seeded the first medical schools in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and California.

Future meetings of the group will have the following programs:

February 12 -- an informal auction of everyone's contributed genealogy "trash and treasures," as an aid to housecleaning and to the society's budget.

March 12 -- Harold Henderson will tell how to find your way around the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center's web site and the library itself, in preparation for our annual April bus trip. This is the best place to research genealogy between the East Coast and Salt Lake City -- don't miss out!

April 9 -- Audrey Kinezian will speak on genealogy resources for Starke County.

April 10 -- Annual bus trip to Allen County Public Library. Reservation forms will be available soon, cost is $21 per person.

May 14 -- to be announced.

June 11 -- Gloria Arndt and Dorothy Palmer will guide the annual cemetery tour, this time meeting 6 pm at Low Cemetery on Johnson Road, and sharing a supper afterwards.

Weather permitting, the genealogy society meets at the Swanson Center for Older Adults, 910 State Street, La Porte, on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm. The public is welcome at all meetings. Membership dues are $10 individual, $12 family.

For those who believe they have early La Porte County ancestors (and can prove it!), July 31, 2013 is the deadline to apply for one or more residency certificates. Our web site at has information . There's 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 at

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