Indiana Biography

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A biography is a history of a person’s life. In a biography you may find the individual’s birth, marriage, and death information, and the names of his parents, children, or other family members. Biographies often include photographs, family traditions and stories, clues about an ancestor’s place of origin, places where he lived, his church affiliation, military service, and activities within the community. The information must be used carefully, however, because there may be inaccuracies.

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

The Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library, the Indiana Historical Society, the Allen County Public Library, and the Family History Library have major collections of biographical sources of some of the residents of Indiana. Most town and county histories have separately published indexes.

The Indiana State Library card file for its Indiana Biography Index is online.  There are approximately 250,000 names in the index, each with a minimum of one citation to a book, magazine, or other printed source. The cards are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person. Birth and death dates are included, whenever possible. Abbreviated citations to books and periodicals with biographical information about that person are listed on the card, with page numbers. Sometimes call numbers for the item are included as well. The list of sources contains complete titles and call numbers for the abbreviated citations found on the card file images.  Copies can be requested.

The following website is an index to biographical sketches and portraits from selected books and periodicals  with information about people with "strong connections to Indiana.

For Indiana Resources for History and Biography from the Indiana University at Bloomington: Click here.

FamilySearch Catalog

De Platt, Lyman and Jimmy Parker Indiana Biographical Index (16 microfiche) FHL fiche 6331353

External Links[edit | edit source]