Friday, January 17, 2014

January genealogy meeting wrapup by Alan Zeller

Tuesday, January 14, the La Porte County Indiana Genealogical Society honored a person who has unselfishly given help and encouragement to everyone around her. An award was created in 2010, entitled the “Genealogist of the Year”. Each year a committee examines the nominations and selects an outstanding contributor to genealogy in La Porte County. Due to the inclement weather, the award was not presented as scheduled, at the December dinner meeting. More moderate conditions for the January meeting permitted the delayed award to be presented. Gloria Arndt was presented with the award by committee members Dorothy Palmer and Joan McCoy

La Porte County Genealogical Society members enjoyed an exchange of experiences and discoveries. An evening of sharing let us join in newly uncovered insights into the lives our ancestors. From the unexpected visit to a cemetery which ignited one man’s interest in his family history, to sharing the inhumanity that ethnic hatred can encourage, each speaker had something of value to offer. One showed us the tiny shoes and garment worn by her ancestor in the 1850’s. Another told of the newspaper articles which ignited his interest in his immigrant great-uncles. Tales of veterans of the War of 1812 and the Civil War vied with tales of the unimagined troubles that filled the life of a beloved grandparent. One family moved from Kentucky to Indiana because of lingering animosity after the Civil War. A member reported the results that patience can bring when a query posted long ago finally attracts the eye of a distant cousin. Another found the missing facts about her grandfather once she ignored family tradition and found he had lived almost eleven years longer than tradition claimed.

Next month’s meeting, on February 11, will feature local videographer Pam Pulice. She will present Family History Through the Eyes of a Videographer.

The society meets at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of each month, weather permitting, at the La Porte City Parks and Recreation Department building at 250 Pine Lake Avenue. The public is welcome at all meetings. For more information about the society's activities in awards, research, abstracting, transcribing, indexing, publishing, and records preservation, visit our web site at

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). Completed 2014 applications may be submitted between July 1 and July 31. The next awards will be made at the September 9, 2014 meeting.

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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