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Spring 2002
A Publication of the St. Louis Public Library

Vol. 2   No. 2


The focus of this issue of Gateway Family Historian is Indiana.

As in any genealogical search, understanding a state’s history and settlement patterns can be helpful. Indiana was first discovered by Europeans in the 1670s when French explorers Father Jacques Marquette and Robert La Salle traveled throughout the area and claimed it as part of French Canada. Several French trading settlements sprang up during the early 1700s. The area became British in 1763, but repeated Indian uprisings made settlement difficult until the end of the Revolutionary War.

With the establishment of the Northwest Territory, settlement increased dramatically. The Michigan Territory was created in 1805 and the Illinois Territory in 1809, creating the modern boundaries of Indiana. Statehood followed in 1816. The state was settled in a south to north pattern, with emigrants from Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas moving into the southernmost counties first. Swiss and Germans followed in the 1830s. Another important group was the Quakers, who came to Indiana to avoid slavery. There is still a strong Quaker association within the state. The millions of Europeans who came to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries did not, for the most part, settle in Indiana. However, there was a final population shift in the early 20th century, when steel mills and oil refineries in the northern part of the state attracted African-Americans moving north for jobs in industry.

Indiana also played an important role in the Civil War, furnishing approximately 200,000 Union soldiers. Despite strong Confederate sentiment in the southern part of the state, Indiana remained in the Union throughout the war. Quakers and others in the state provided a strong anti-slavery presence, and Indiana provided an important route for many people on the Underground Railroad. The Indiana State Archives holds numerous types of record of interest to the researcher with an Indiana Civil War soldier ancestor. These records include the following:

  • Enrollments of Soldiers, Their Widows, and Orphans. The state in 1886, 1890, and 1894 compiled lists of soldiers, their widows, and their orphans living in Indiana. The lists, which are filed by county and township and then filed alphabetically by surname, include name, unit and war served in, number of children under 16 years of age, and wounds or illnesses incurred while in service.
  • Applications for Admission to Soldiers’ Home at Knightstown (est. 1867), 1880-1920.
  • • Records of the Indiana State Soldiers’ Home at Lafayette. Records for men, 1871-1980, and women, 1890-1980.

  • Records of the Indiana Legion (Civil War-era militia).
  • 1862 Draft Enrollment Records. These records list both eligibles (men 18-45 not in the army) and those who had already volunteered to serve.
  • State Adjutant’s Muster Rolls for Indiana Volunteer Regiments.
  • Records of the Indiana Sanitary Commission. Hospital registers for regimental and army general hospitals.
  • Records of the Quartermaster-General of Indiana. Reports of the issue of supplies and ordnances to Indiana volunteer and militia regiments.
  • Card File of Graves of Indiana Veterans. Covers 51 (of 92) Indiana counties.
  • Records of Indiana GAR Posts, 1879-1938.
  • Name Index of the Correspondence of the Indiana Adjutant-General, 1864-1914.
  • Card File of Substitutes. List of men hired to take the places of men drafted.
  • Record of the Telegraphic Correspondence of Governor Oliver P. Morton. Gov. Morton’s correspondence during the war with President Lincoln, Secretary of War Stanton, and individual Indiana regimental and brigade commanders.

State Archives Division,

Indiana State Library,
140 N. Senate Avenue,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Information about these and other materials in the collections of the Indiana State Archives may be found on its website at:

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