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July 22, 2012

GENEALOGY: Indiana surnames on 1940 census now searchable

TERRE HAUTE — The search engine for Indiana surnames on the 1940 census is now completed and online. This means you can search for any individual who was living in the state of Indiana in 1940 just by entering the person’s name. (Prior to this, you had to look through the census sections of each county page by page). To search for a person, go to and click on the image of Indiana on the large map. On the next screen you will find Indiana’s search engine. Enter the surname, and other information if you have it. You will be taken to a list of hits on the name which you can look over. Click on the name of interest, and then “view image” on the next screen to see the actual census page with the listing. It’s all free.

Back on the first screen, the map of the United States will tell you which states are 100 percent indexed and therefore searchable by name. They are colored orange. Illinois is currently 91 percent complete, so it won’t be long.

“Researching Your Home’s History” is the title of the next program to be presented by the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society. The speaker will be Tina Coplan and the program will be from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Vigo County Public Library.

The Society also announces that it is offering a free course for beginning users of the Legacy Family Tree Computer application. The course will meet 6:30–8:30 p.m. in the Vigo County Main Library computer classroom No. 2 every Tuesday of August for those pre-registered at Registration is limited to the first 12 applicants submitting (required) name, home phone, email address, and home address. Participants will be expected to complete all four meetings with 2-4 hours of homework before each meeting, some requiring internet connections.


• Ira Melvin Cheek was the son of James Crawford Cheek (b. c. 1850 Ohio) and Alice Deets (b. New York). Ira was born Oct. 22, 1874, in Jasper County, Indiana, where his father had a meat market in Remington in the 1880s. Ira Melvin Cheek married Cecil Newhouse in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana on Dec. 1, 1920. Their son was named Robert Cheek, born at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Terre Haute in 1925. Ira the father died in 1926 when the son Robert was just a baby. I am trying to find information on Ira’s death and where his grave may have been located. I have been told that he also went by the name “Charles Cheek.” Please contact Charles Cheek at email or by telephone at (407) 426-2345 if you have any information about Ira Melvin Cheek.  

• Old National Road. I’m looking for names and locations of way houses or inns on the old National Road that were in business around 1880. I hope to find guest registers that may include my ancestors the John Robert Ohnsat family, who traveled the National Road by Conestoga wagon from Pennsylvania to Kansas around 1877. (Parts of my research are documented in my blog, I know that travel by highway was eclipsed by the railway system, beginning as early as the 1860s. I welcome replies that include information about still-extant remnants of the National Road, way houses or inns in any county, rail development in any county, and county historical societies or museums that may hold such information. Thanks, Thomas Kohn email

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