BRVGS is now…

East Central Indiana Genealogy Alliance! Or ECIGA.  Check out our website here.  Follow us on Twitter.  Follow the Facebook link on our website to like the page.  So very much has been happening with this project.  We serve five east-central Indiana counties: Delaware, Hancock, Henry, Madison, and Randolph.  Right now, we are planning for meetings to begin in January 2016.  We have the first four planned.  We have a membership application that we’ll be rolling out on December 1, 2015.  The major thing I need to do right now is set up a checking account so we can connect PayPal and Square to that.  Before I do a checking account, though, the bylaws must be approved.  I have been working like crazy on those, getting the wording just right, etc.  We’ve been trying a free platform for project management type things, Wiggio.  Technology is still scary to a lot of folks though so we just keep practicing.  I’m kind of afraid to bring up Trello!  We finally settled on a logo; now, I’m focused on newsletter type things.  I lost track of how many hats I’m wearing!

I have had such a wonderful reception from folks regarding this group.  Their knowledge and experience they bring to the table is phenomenal, and I am so thankful to have them on-board.

ECIGA logo 3

This project, plus my new appointment to the board of the Henry County Historical Society, has kept me insanely busy.  I made up 35 DAR Yearbooks, 15 for state officers and 20 for our chapter; created a notebook for ECIGA hard copy documents; and got a binder together for historical society business (not only did the gutters have to be replaced but the boiler went out…eek!).  I’ve had one contact since being named Henry County Genealogist so I helped out there, and I’ve been contacted to run over to Rush County to try to find some probate records.  No downtime for me! I’m helping plan the annual family Halloween party so that’s next on my agenda.  And, I still have to put in 40 hours at the day job.  Bear with me folks…I haven’t forgotten you!



I had to share!! My local newspaper did an entire article about BRVGS in a recent edition!!  I’m beyond excited!  I’ve got a few things to do before the actual meeting but can’t get to those until the weekend before the 1st.  In the next few days, I’m off to Indy to get an old marriage record from the Archives, I need to finish up the report for my friend’s research, send out Save The Date’s for my family reunion, and do some printing for lineage apps. Whew!

Webinar~How to Keep Your Volunteers Happy, Helpful, and Engaged

Offered through FGS, presented by Amy Johnson Crow, CG

I sat in on this webinar since I’m starting a genealogical society for my area of Indiana (BRVGS).  I wanted to learn more about volunteers of a group.  I have volunteered myself and could relate to a lot of what Ms. Crow discussed.

I hope to meet new interested people for our new local society.  People who have special skills to put to use, people who want to volunteer a little time to support their community, people who want to learn more about their family history and how to document what they find for future generations.

I’ll definitely be reviewing my notes as the first meetings of BRVGS commence!

FFF~Week #24

My most sincere apologies for being absent lately.  I’ve been working hard on laying the groundwork for the new society (writing bylaws! creating a newsletter! planning a year’s worth of meetings!) and also I’ve begun writing some of my BCG Certification reports (not officially “on-the-clock” yet).  Plus, doing research for First Families of Ohio since learning my 4th-great-grandparents were in Ohio prior to 1820 (James A. Fowler and Elizabeth Devore in Butler County, OH) and doing research on my 4th-great-grandmother Ailesann (Dyer) McGuire, born in Indiana in 1811.

This week marks the change from paternal 2nd-greats to maternal 2nd-greats!

Ancestor: My maternal 2nd-great-grandfather (Amos Benton Ballard)


  1. Born on 24 February 1840 in Henry County, Indiana, on the Aaron Ballard farm in Jefferson Township.
  2. Was exempt from the 1862 Civil War draft due to a “heart condition.”
  3. Was a teacher, preacher, doctor, and dentist.
  4. Was married 3 times: Hester Ann Cripe, Olive Carver, and Hannah Katherine “Kate” Hanby.
  5. Graduated in 1873 from the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery.

amoskate Amos Benton Ballard and Hannah Katherine Hanby, taken possibly around the time they married

Indexing Project Finished!

I’ve indexed names, places, and things from newsletters going back to 1973.

16,132 entries.

Now to focus on my genealogy society plans.  Thus far, I’ve created a name and ideas for meetings, reserved meeting space, came up with ideas for a motto and mission statement, etc. Since I’m hoping to group together my county and 4 counties next to us who don’t have gen societies, I would like to create a Board of Directors with one person from each county. I’ve contacted the local newspapers of each of the 5 counties to find out about posting an announcement in their community section. I’ve created a website, email, and Twitter (still working on a Facebook page though). Next step: Contacting the local library and historical society about this newly forming society and leaving fliers. Then, contacting the libraries and historical societies of the other 4 counties and leaving fliers. I hope at least a couple people show up.



I know I’ve been super quiet here lately.  What have I been doing?

Getting things lined up to start a local genealogy society


Indexing the local museum’s newsletters…that started in the 1970s.  I’m almost done with that task…closing in on 10,000 names!

So far, with the new gen society, I’ve booked a room at the library, created a website and Twitter, have been working on a mission statement, created a motto and logo, and created a list of nearly 40 topics for meetings! Whew! Not to mention looking up what I need to do to make this a tax-exempt nonprofit organization!

Lots going on here!  If you’re from around East-Central Indiana, be sure to check out the website…new stuff added:

A huge thank-you to the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society for their well wishes and invaluable information at the recent IGS Conference!

Blue River Valley Genealogy Society

Deep breaths…

Deep breaths….

I’ve never done anything like this before but was inspired by the Wabash Valley Genealogy Society at the IGS Conference, so…

I hope there are a few kindred souls in my neck of the woods who would enjoy doing something like this…I hope I’m not the only one.

I’m going to contact the WVGS and see if they will be our mentors…a model…our guides.


Now, back to indexing…

UPDATE: As it turns out, you can be a society of one! Gotta get this ball rolling!