Genealogy fair returns to state library

On Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the Indiana State Library will host the Indiana Genealogy and Local History Fair in downtown Indianapolis. Admission is free and the event is open to the general public. The library is located at 315 W. Ohio St. 

This year’s theme is “Digging Up the Dead.” Attendees will learn to how to examine, decipher and interpret death records and death research. They’ll also discover other interesting facets of mortality in history.  

Over 30 organizations and exhibitors will be in attendance. Participants are encouraged to visit the tables in the exhibition hall to collect information from genealogical and local history organizations. Commercial vendors will also be available for shopping.  

Highly-acclaimed and internationally-known speakers and genealogy consultants, Lisa Alzo and Amie Bowser Tennant, will present. Alzo, a freelance writer, instructor and internationally-recognized lecturer specializing in Eastern European research, will present “Murder, Mayhem and Town Tragedy” and “Cause of Death: Using Coroner’s Records for Genealogy.” The former demonstrates how to use census records, funeral records, obituaries, cemetery inscriptions, historical newspapers, town histories, court and jail records and many other underused records and sources to find the heroes and villains in family trees. The latter will demonstrate where to find coroners records and how to mine them for genealogy research clues. Tennant, a professional genealogist, nationally-known speaker and internationally-known blogger, will present “Trolling Virtual Cemeteries and Using Cemetery Records,” in which she will talk about the pros and cons of FindAGrave, BillionGraves and DeceasedOnline. Tennant will also be available for a 30-minute question and answer session. 

Additionally, Sarah Halter, executive director of the Indiana Medical History Museum, will give a brown bag lunch lecture titled “What Killed Your Ancestors?”, examining 19th century medicine, the accuracy of information and names of certain diseases and what they mean. 

Library education units (LEUs) are available. Registration is required for LEUs. Register via email. 

The Indiana State Library is dedicated to serving Indiana residents, leading and supporting the library community and preserving Indiana history.