News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 6, 2008

GENEALOGY: Online resource great for Clay County inhabitants

TERRE HAUTE — “The Encyclopedic Directory of Clay County, Indiana, for 1896” can be viewed online. This remarkable directory has information on all the inhabitants of Clay County and is extremely helpful in filling in the gaps between the 1880 census and the 1900 census. It is the best chance for locating your Clay County ancestor in the “lost” years of the 1890s.

The page-by-page information can be viewed two ways: as a spread sheet of each page (easier to make out and examine) or as the original scanned page (a must-see after you’ve looked at the spread sheet). In addition, there is an all-name index for finding the surnames you are interested in.

This directory is arranged by town and post office and contains both rural and urban dwellers. The information you can get on your family member is fascinating. For town and village dwellers, you can find the head of household’s name, occupation, place of business, residence, owner of the residence, owner of the business, where born, when born, when came to this city, when came to the U.S., value of assessed land, religion, and political party. For the rural dwellers, you can find name, occupation, nearest post office, number of acres owned, number of acres rented, school district, section, township, number of miles and direction from county seat, number of miles and direction from post office, appraised value of land, political party, religious affiliation, where born, when born, and when came to this county.

If your ancestor is from Clay County, don’t miss looking at this directory. The Web site is hosted by the InGenWeb Project for Clay County, Indiana ( The directory also is available in book form at The Clay County Genealogical Society Library in Center Point, and the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute.


The 4th Annual Central Indiana Family History Conference — “Linking Lives Long Lost” will be conducted 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 in the LDS (Mormon) Church, 900 East Stop 11 Road, in Indianapolis. Classes and workshops will cover the following topics: finding clues, organizing records, computer genealogy, migration and weather, beginning and advanced PAF software, planning family reunions, court records, church records, census research, land records, finding immigrants in Europe, family search indexing, finding women, Hoosier heritage, and Hispanic, Scandinavian, African-American, Southern, British and German research. The keynote address will be “Putting Genes Back into Genealogy,” by Dr. Stephen MacDonald.

The actual conference is free but requires registration. A syllabus can be ordered for $7, a CD for $20, and lunch is $6. These are all optional. You can register or get more information at

Several members of the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society will carpool to this event. If you are interested in riding with them, contact Jennifer Cruse at (812) 877-2940.

The WVGS will start up the Legacy Users Group again on Sept. 18, and it will continue on the third Thursdays of each month. An extra meeting time has been added, however, due to the group’s popularity, and classes now will be offered from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and from 5:30 until 8 p.m. on third Thursdays. These will be conducted in the computer lab in the Vigo County Public Library. Seating is limited to 15 people in each group. The material to be covered will start at the basic level in September and go forward from there. To register, contact Loran Braught at (812) 535-3618 or