Elkhart County, Indiana Area Resource Centers For Help In Researching Your Ancestors

 

LIBRARIES

Allen County Public Library, at Wayne and Webster Streets, 900 Webster Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802, (574) 424-7241, second floor. All U.S. census records, state and territorial census records, family histories and genealogies, county histories, church and cemetery records, vital records, complete set of WPA indexes to Indiana vital records, DAR genealogical records collection on microfilm and/or in books, Revolutionary War pension applications on microfilm, military records, passenger records, city directories, nation-wide town/county records collection on microfilm and/or in print. Home of PERSI, the Periodical Source Index, and a large collection of periodicals; LDS Family Search on CD-ROM; many of CD-ROMs; and other sources too numerous to mention.

Family History Center, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, 1976 E. McKinley, Mishawaka, IN 46545, (574) 256-0232. Hours: Tues. and Wed. 9:00 - 9:00 and second and fourth Sat. 10:00 - 2:00. International Genealogical File (IGI), Social Security death records, Family Search. Microfiche and computer access to entire catalog of holdings of the Family History Center, Salt Lake City. For a small fee, records that have been microfilmed can be ordered from Salt Lake City to be viewed at the local center. Many microfilm of area records are housed at the center on permanent loan.

Mennonite Historical Library, third floor of the Harold and Wilma Good Library, Goshen College, Goshen, IN, 574-535-7413. Hours: 8 to 12 and 1-5, Mon. through Fri. and 9 to 12 Sat. Closed holidays and Sat. during college vacation periods. About 3,000 volumes documenting the families of Mennonite and related groups throughout the world. Obituary index to the Herald of Truth (1864-1908) and its successor, the Gospel Herald, and computerized index to approximately 120 Amish genealogies prepared by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Inquiries by mail will be answered as staff time permits.

Elkhart Public Library, 300 S. Second, Elkhart, IN 46515, 574-522-5669, second floor genealogy department. Elkhart County census records through 1920, census indexes to 1860, many genealogical reference books, WPA indexes to Elkhart County vital records through 1920, WPA index to Elkhart County histories, Elkhart newspapers, older version of LDS International Genealogical File on microfiche, and obituary file for 1980’s and 1990’s. Ask for family histories indexed in online catalog at the reference desk. Internet access.

Elkhart County Genealogical Society members volunteer in the genealogy department on the first Wed. of each month from 1:00 to 5:00 and on the third Sat. of each month to help researchers.

Goshen Public Library, 601 S. 5th St., Goshen, 46526, 574-533-9531, first floor Indiana History Room. County census records, WPA indexes to Elkhart County vital records and to Elkhart County histories, county histories and other reference books, Goshen newspapers on microfilm, obituary index for 1900’s, alphabetical newspaper clipping file.

Middlebury Public Library, 101 E. Winslow St., Middlebury, IN 46540, 574-825-5601, has the Middlebury Independent on microfilm beginning with June 1879, but not all issues are available. Middlebury High School yearbooks.

Nappanee Public Library, 157 N. Main St., Nappanee, IN 46550, 574-773-7919. Heritage Center in basement. Complete file of the Nappanee Advance News and its predecessors from 1879 to present, with extensive index file; obituary index containing actual obituaries; indexed picture file from 1874 to date; diaries and recollections of pioneers; local family histories and genealogies; cemetery records; and census records.

Wakarusa Public Library, 123 N. Elkhart St., P.O. Box 485, Wakarusa, IN 46573, 574-862-2465. Historical Room has microfilm of the Wakarusa Tribune and its predecessor from June 1874; good Wakarusa Tribune obit. files; local genealogies. No newspapers exist from 1880-1907 because of a fire at the local newspaper.

St. Joseph County Public Library, 304 S. Main St. South Bend, IN, 574-282-4630. Family history room on second floor. The library has all Indiana census and 1880, 1900, and 1920 Soundex on microfilm; [Elkhart County researchers will find the Soundex (index) for the 1880, 1900, and 1920 Elkhart County census here.]; some Michigan census records for neighboring counties; some Ohio census; CRIMP microfilm of St. Joseph County public records [and CRIMP microfilm of records of St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, Elkhart]; many genealogical reference books, obituary file from 1920’s and 1930’s to present (containing some obituaries of Elkhart County residents); and local newspapers from origin of county to present (See David Eisen’s Vital Statistics Index to St. Joseph County, IN, Newspapers 1831-1912.); an extensive collection of genealogical record books and periodicals.


LOCAL LINEAGE AND HISTORICAL/GENEALOGICAL SOCIETIES

William Tufts Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Elkhart County. Contact Margaret Wiseman Perrin, regent, (574) 533-8389, e-mail: margo perrin@juno.com for information. Members must prove their descent from patriots who served the American cause during the American Revolution.

Pilgrim Edward Fuller Chapter, Colonial Dames XVII Century. Contact Betty Vest Burrell, president, 138 Graywood, Elkhart, IN 46516-5106, or Verna Shupe Lively, 123 Virgil St., Mishawaka, IN 46544-2648, (574) 256-1100, registrar. Members must prove their descent from 17th century ancestors.

Alex Coquillard Chapter, National Society Sons of the American Revolution (South Bend). Contact Robert Wiseman, 22962 Lakeshore Dr., Elkhart, IN 46514, (212) 264-6200. Members must prove their descent from patriots who served the American cause during the American Revolution.

Elkhart County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 1031, Elkhart, IN 46515-1031. Contact Fern Cox, president and queries chair, at the above address. ECGS will answer specific genealogical questions concerning Elkhart County families by mail. Enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope when writing to the society. ECGS meets on the fourth Thurs. of Sept., Oct., Feb., Mar., Apr., and May and the third Thurs. in Nov. at either First Presbyterian Church or Elkhart Public Library (winter months). Contact the society for a schedule and publications list.

The society maintains a small genealogical library in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church, on Beardsley St. in Elkhart, open Thursdays 1:00 - 6:00 P.M. The church is located just west of Ruthmere, the Beardsley mansion. Over 300 reels of CRIMP microfilm of Elkhart County loose probate papers and other documents is available for viewing, along with an index compiled by ECGS member Ned Parcell.

Elkhart County Genealogical Society is the publisher of the Elkhart County Cemeteries books. The original four volumes cover these townships:

Volume 1: Benton, Clinton, Elkhart, Jackson townships

Volume 2: Harrison, Locke, Olive, Union townships

Volume 3: Baugo, Cleveland, Concord, Oslo townships

Volume 4: Jefferson, Middlebury, Washington, and York townships

Elkhart County Historical Society, 304 W. Vistula (State Rd. 120), PO Box 434, Bristol, IN 46507. (574) 848-4322. Hours: Sun., Wed., Thurs., and Fri. 1:00-5:00. Library contains reference books, family histories, quarterlies, county histories, printed census and indexes, obituary file to early issues of the Bristol Banner. WPA indexes for Elkhart Co. births and deaths from 1882-1920 and marriages from 1850-1920, WPA combined index to Elkhart County histories, card index to holdings in the museum archives, and card index to early issues of the Goshen Democrat . The museum archives contains many sources that a research would not find elsewhere in the county. Library and archives staff will answer written requests for information as time permits.

Genealogy Special Interest Group, Elkhart PC Users Group, meets at the Elkhart Public Library, generally on the second Sat. of the month at 10:00 A.M. For information, contact lmorris116@aol.com or budnpato@juno.com.

[Elaine Spires Smith, 5/98]


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