Despite all of the records available on the Internet, sometimes it is necessary and even desirable to visit a court house and do personal hands-on research. There are records you many find at a courthouse that have not been digitized. Some of these records you may have never heard of until you see the book on the county clerk’s shelves. Each record book is packed with potential discoveries.

On Monday, the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society will host its monthly meeting featuring Donna Adams, who heads the Genealogy and Local History departments at the Sullivan County Public Library and is also the Southwest District Director on the Indiana Genealogical Society Board. She will speak on “Tips and Tidbits For Your Trip to the Courthouse.” The program will take place in the Vigo County Public Library from 6:30 p.m. to about 8:30 p.m. 


The German Emigrants Database can be found online at the Bremerhaven History Museum website. It was compiled from data gathered on German and other European emigrants who embarked from German ports to the United States between the years 1820 and 1897 and between 1904 and 1907. At present, this amounts to five million names.

To visit the site and access the search feature, go to It is in German, but click on the little British flag in the upper right for the English translation.

You may want to read about the project and the source material, which was taken primarily from ships’ manifests. There are several interesting pages about this on the menu at the left. To search directly for your ancestor, click on “search online.” You need only enter a surname in the search bar. The results list the surname, first name or initial, age, and year emigrated. To order the full record, you would have to send 15 euros to the museum. However, most of these manifest records are also in the National Archives. You can use the preliminary information you get from this search to look further for the record in various other places.

Also of interest is the gallery section. This includes pictures of the types of ships for each emigration period, cutaways showing interior ship views, and dock scenes.

The focus is on emigration from the port of Bremerhaven, located in the German town of Bremen. From 1832 to 1974, seven million people departed from this port, and 90% of them came to the United States, primarily docking in New York.


Beginning Sept. 3 and running for six consecutive Tuesdays, the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society will be offering a free beginners’ class on how to utilize Legacy Family Tree, a free genealogy software program. This class will involve six two-hour sessions – on Sept. 3, 10, 17 and 24, and Oct. 1 and 8. Participants can choose to attend an afternoon class (from 2 to 4 p.m.) or evening session (from 6 to 8 p.m.). The classes will be held in the Haute Create Room, at the Vigo County Public Library.

Individuals interested in participating can register online at or via e-mail by submitting their name, address, phone number, and e-mail contact to Joy McPheeters at Class size will be limited.

After registration, participants will be given additional instructions on how to prepare for the first class session. While the classes and software are free, participants will need a USB drive to use in class. Call 812-230-0631 for any further questions.