News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 24, 2009

GENEALOGY: Web site offers up Indiana records

By Tamie Dehler

TERRE HAUTE — The CompuGen Systems Web site at www.compugensystems.com is a paid site that caters to people searching for Indiana records. The site features Indiana land records, city directories and newspapers. Along with Indiana, there are some Ohio, Illinois, Virginia and West Virginia records on the site.

The newspaper section has scores of Indiana (and some Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia) newspapers, starting from the 1840s to the present for Indiana. It points out that “the date range for each newspaper title varies and changes daily.” When you do a name search in this section, the name may be tied to an article about a milestone in the person’s life, such as: adoption, anniversary, annulment, birth, biography, burial, coroner ruling, death, divorce, funeral, estate, guardianship, marriage, moving permit, name change, naturalization, obituary, probate, resolution of respect, legal separation, several generations, trust and will. This information is indexed according to what is in the particular newspaper, as there have been periods of time when newspapers did not run all of these kinds of announcements.

The following newspapers, encompassing our area, are listed on the site: Terre Haute Evening Gazette, Terre Haute Express, Terre Haute Star, Terre Haute Tribune, Terre Haute Tribune-Star, Wabash Plain Dealer, Wabash Republican, Wabash Star, the Paper (Wabash Edition), Wabash Times, Wabash Weekly Courier, Wabash Weekly Gazette and Wabash Weekly Intelligencer.

The land records section includes more than 50,000 Indiana and Ohio records that have been indexed. This information is from the unindexed original tract books and county recorder land books that were kept at land offices and county courthouses in both states. Doing a surname search can reveal the following information (if it was on the original record): meridian, township, range, section, description of tract, number of acres, land type, whether joint ownership, purchaser’s name, purchaser’s residence, date of transaction, receipt number, land district, township and county.

The site contains land information for the following Indiana counties for the years 1801-1860: Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Blackford, Brown, Clark, Crawford, Dearborn, Decatur, Dekalb, Delaware, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Harrison, Huntington, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Kosciusko, Lawrence, Madison, Monroe, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Ripley, Scott, Steuben, Switzerland, Union, Washington, Wayne, Wells and Whitley.

The city directory section again includes some Ohio records. Directories from cities and towns in 33 Indiana counties are represented: Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Dekalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Fountain, Fulton, Jackson, Jay, Knox, Kosciusko, Noble, Porter, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, Shelby, Wabash, Warren, Wells, and Whitley.

As mentioned above, this site charges a fee for the information. My biggest complaint is that the fees don’t seem to be listed anywhere on the site. I had to “pretend” to order a report or record to see how much it would cost. Surname searches of land records seem to be $10. (But remember that you might be able to get the same thing for free by going to the Bureau of Land Management/General Land Office site at www.glorecords.blm.gov). A surname search of a newspaper is $20 per state or $35 for all states. A surname search of a city directory is $3 for each individual volume.