11 December 2014

Indiana celebrates its statehood today

On this day in 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. The Paleo-Indians are believed to be the first people to inhabit what is now Indiana. The name Indiana simply means the land of Indians.

The first European to cross into Indiana was the French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1679. Soon after, French Canadian traders arrived in the area. They set up trade with the Native Americans. Various forts were built with the intention of controlling trade. The British soon learned of this lucrative trading and tried to lay claim. Fighting between the British and the French Canadians continued throughout the 1750s. The Native Americans sided with the French Canadians in the French and Indian War but the British claimed victory in 1763, forcing the French to surrender their lands.

Indiana became part of the Northwest Territory for the United States in 1787. In 1800 Ohio was separated from the Territory which now became known as simply the Indiana Territory. Later land would be separated for Michigan and Illinois, leaving Indiana as it is today.

It was under President James Madison that Indiana applied for and was granted statehood. Since then many immigrants traveled west to Indiana, especially during the early 19th century.

While Indiana sent many a man to fight in the Civil War, only one battle – the Battle of Corydon – actually occurred in the state.

The state flourished with industrialization during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It, like everyone, suffered the hardships of the Great Depression in the 1930s.  The economy picked up with the Second World War but balanced back off again after the War.

Indiana today is home to several major sports teams.

The state, which was once home to Native Americans, now boasts a large German background. Almost a quarter of the population reported being of German descent, including several Eckmans. Eckmans were in Indiana as early as 1895 when Marion Eckman and his wife Sadie Souerz had a daughter in Huntington County.

Ancestry.com has many great resources for every state, including Indiana. One database, Select Marriages, 1780-1992, reveals 26 year old Frances Adessa Eckman marrying Max Chapman in Indiana. The marriage occurred on 29 February 1936 in Liberty, Union County. Frances’ parents were Albert and Margaret Scadden Eckman. Frances was born on 12 August 1910 in Dayton, PA.

How can YOU find these records?
Log into Ancestry.com. Click on “Search”. Select “Card Catalog” from the pull down button.  To simply things for the sake of this post, I simply typed in “Indiana” in the keywords field and hit “Search.” Allot yourself a nice block of time. Happy hunting!

Ancestry.com. Indiana Births, 1880-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000.

Ancestry.com. Indiana, Select Marriages, 1780-1992 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2014.

On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events. I will make every effort to keep events localized to that of my research or research I am conducting for others. However, from time to time, it will simply be a subject that captured my attention.
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.