The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 8, 2013

Digitized records help researchers immensely

By Frankie Meyer
Globe Columnist

JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri leads the states when it comes to digitization of its archives. Hundreds of thousands of records are available online for free at

Illinois is another state that has developed an exceptional website where digitized records are available to the public free of charge. That site is

For the last 15 years, volunteers from The Friends of the Indiana State Archives have been digitizing records from that state's archives at Indianapolis. Those records are available for free at If your ancestors or their relatives settled in that state, the searchable databases will be very helpful in your search of family history.

One database is from "Book of Merit Awards and Citations" that honors men and women who won decorations and commendations in the state during World War I. The site also provides the Gold Star Honor Roll of men and women who died in World War I.

Another helpful database has the muster rolls of those who served in the Battle of Tippecanoe, War of 1812 and Black Hawk War. The site also lists commissioned officers who served in the Indiana State Militia between 1822-1861.

In addition, volunteers have digitized the muster rolls of the first five Indiana volunteer regiments that served during the Mexican War. Veterans' files from the Spanish War include applications, death notices and details on spouses and widows.

Genealogists can also search the muster rolls of more than 213,000 veterans who applied to receive pensions for their service in infantry, cavalry and battery units.

The National Guard database is another helpful database. Those records include the enlistment papers of 66,682 veterans who served in the Indiana National Guard from 1898-1940. Naturalization records from each county are available at the site, too.

Records from the Indiana Veterans' Home contain over 10,000 files of veterans who lived at the home, which operated between 1896-1964. From the files, genealogists can find info on veterans and their spouses such as burial and death notices, applications and family information.

Suggestions or queries? Contact: Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168 or e-mail