I first want to give Randy Klemme a shout out, as they say these days. Randy was Franklin County Coordinator for 11 years, from 1997 through July of 2008. THANK YOU, RANDY for all your hard work and for the wonderful resource you left for us! We hope to carry on your tradition of excellence.

The Indiana GenWeb

In June, 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Indiana Comprehensive Genealogy Database, which eventually became known as the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb.) Their idea was to provide a single entry point for all counties in Indiana, where collected databases would be stored. In addition, the databases would be indexed and cross-linked, so that even if an individual were found in more than one county, they could be located in the index. At the same time, volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate the collection of databases and generally oversee the contents of the web page.
 
Betty Sellers was the first State Coordinator of the Indiana GenWeb, beginning on Day One, and was assisted for many years by Fred Finkbiner. The following article in Betty's own words will give you some insight into the process of creating the INGenWeb. The article was originally released on 25 Apr 1997 titled "One Year" and was edited by Sam Cline in 1997 and Karen Creamer in 2012.


TALES OF A MODERN DAY (20th CENTURY) MID-WIFE
OR
HOW TO ASSIST IN 92 BIRTHS IN 12 MONTHS
AND
ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT!
(WELL, ALMOST EVERY MINUTE OF IT)


On the 15th day of April 1996, my poor little overloaded and overtaxed computer, named Jezebel, finally groaned and accepted an internet server and I was on-line! I was amazed and my eyes blinked as the screen scrolled in front of me "verifying your password" and everything changed to a bold color of blue.

I connected with an old friend of Prodigy days and she gave me the URL of a KyGenWeb site of Webster County which she had begun to host with "blood, sweat, and tears".

She patted me on the shoulder and told me what a great girl I was and that I was the "ideal person" to take Henderson County, Kentucky. I totally disagreed and laughed it off but began surfing the net and looking at the few Kentucky pages on line at that time. Well 'heck' I posted Jeff Murphy and volunteered and waited for his answer and to ask me where to send the SOFTWARE. To my amazement the next morning I received a nice little thank you - with an attachment of sample files. His information was to place the files into my web editor and edit to fit my county. I looked all the way thru that attachment and I didn't find any software programs. My friend told me about HotDog and I downloaded the editor and began stomping my feet, pulling my hair, biting my nails and by May 21, 1996, the Henderson County Page was on line.

On the 14th of June 1996, with one month of HTML knowledge and my Henderson County Kentucky KyGenWeb page on line I volunteered as the Indiana InGenWeb state coordinator.

At that time Jeff Murphy was in charge of th USGenWeb with the help of John Rigdon.

By the 16th of June John had sent me a sample page for Indiana with all 92 counties on it. This was a great help as I was knee keep in books trying to get all counties listed, when they were formed and other information. So I was off to prepare the Indiana HTML.

The USGenWeb-l list was formed and Doc Schneider was another kind person who stepped forward and volunteered to set up a list-serv for the States. I jumped at the chance and Indiana had its list-serv Ingen-L.

On Sunday June 16th I received the following message: "Hi Betty, -I see that you are starting an Indiana Gen Web site. I am in Clay County and would like to help. I should be able to host the Clay County site if you need me to. I am new at genealogy but I have a couple of woodworking pages up at this time. If you would like me to help let me know what I can do. -Thanks Fred" (Fred has helped me from "day 1" and is the Indiana Asst. State Coordiantor and many times moves into the roll as State Coordinator. He has tutored many a new volunteer and nudged them until their page was on line. He also is the Indiana Archives Coordinator... Thanks Fred -- Happy Birthday!)

Not far behind him the same day: "Hello Betty,- I live in Madison, In & just learned about IN GenWeb being in the process of forming. I have been trying to bring southeastern IN researchers together at my site located at: http://www.seidata.com/~bhoggatt/ruth/sein/sein.thml. (Ed.-sic.) The counties covered are: Jefferson, Switzerland, Ohio, Dearborn, Decatur, Jennings, and Scott counties. If I can be of any service to you, please let me know. - Sincerely, Ruth Hoggatt"

On the 19th day of June: "Betty, - I would be interested in doing the Washington County, Indiana, page, please send sample page to me. Thanks. -Jerry Morris Mounts"

June 21-"I would like to volunteer to take on the Hendricks County page. I have a good friend who is the genealogical librarian for the Danville Library and she can help supply information. - Morris Plummer"

AND-- on the 21st day of June 1996, the InGenWeb was on line and the first county on line was Clay County.

June 22 -"While you're at it put me down for Vigo County -Jerry Morris Mounts"

June 24 -"I would be interested in maintaining the web page for Henry County. I live in Marion County, but have many relatives in Henry County."

June 24- "Betty, Okay, I'm going to do it! I'm willing to host the web page for Martin County. I'll take any help that anyone is willing to provide. Fred Finkbiner has already been lots of help. I'm already on ingen-l. What's next? -Lynda Smith"

June 25 -"Betty: FYI I have strong connections to both Posey and Orange Co., In. If I remember correctly you are working on a Posey Co page. If no one has picked up Orange Co by the time I get back from vacation. I'll consider doing it. So, if you get a chance, why don't you send me the same page "starter kit:" -Ray Henderson"

June 26 - "You have me down for Madison County. I took Delaware County. I may take Madison and Henry, but I am afraid I may bite off more than I can chew. I seem to do that a lot.:) thanks,Shawn Gray"

June 30 -"I have quite a few german/dutch families from my mother's side of the family, who settled in western Vand. and Eastern Posey Counties, then spread all throughout Vand Co. in the mid 1800's. I'm from Evansville. I wouldn't mind being a volunteer, how hard would you say it is? -Chris"

July 2 -"Hi Betty! I would like to be considered for hosting a web page. That was the good news: the bad news is I don't know anything about html.-Frank Brooks"

Jul 3 -"I will take Ripley. I am becoming far more interested in genealogy on the web-- I just wish I had more megs so that I could increase the pages. Lori"

July 4 - "Betty I am interested in adopting Gibson County. Would you please send me the sample web page. Ruth Montgomery"

July 8 - "Hello Betty I would like to adopt Dearborn County. I have signed up for the Ingen mailing list and have received my confirmation. I live in Greendale, Indiana. Although I am relatively new at genealogy I have been getting my feet wet.-Cheryl Crowe"

July 9 - "You can put me down for Brown Co., In. As soon as I get the Green Co., Ky. Web page up and running, I will start on Brown County. Do you have a sample page available that follows a specific pattern that the Web project desires to be implemented rather than a home grown item? Henry Hoover"

These are just a few of the first posts and volunteers for Indiana. The posts showed their enthusiasm for genealogy and readiness to step forward for Indiana!

By the 19th day of September 1996, Indiana was fully on line with all counties volunteered and linked to the Indiana State Page. On that day the Indiana Home Page had been visited 8506 times. Today [25 May 1997] the page count is 86,585.

The Indiana birthday page is linked this morning [25 May 1997]. Lori Hoffman created the birthday cake InGenWeb logo and the birthday baby. She also found the clickable map and copied in the counties. Lori is always willing to help with our .gif files. During the past year she also has made our memorial rose when there was a death and decorated our Christmas page.

Doc Schneider stepped in and created the map script. (Thanks Doc).

Gene Andert and Jerry Morris Mounts created new logo's for InGenWeb and just this evening [24 May 1997] Jerry created the Indiana Archive query.

Fred Finkbiner who has helped me from day one coordinated and edited the final pages this week. He did a great job!

A special thank you to everyone that sent their pictures for the birthday wish page.

I have really enjoyed this project!

Most of all - I thank God for creating this land and my quaker ancestor who came by foot and pack mule to search a fruitful beautiful country which later would be called INDIANA.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY INGenWeb!

In 1997, Betty was also County Coordinator for HENDERSON, TRIGG, GRAVES and McCRACKEN Counties for the Kentucky KYGenWeb.

Thank you, Betty! We are all indebted to you for the wonderful resource the INGenWeb has become!
Top of Page


USGenWeb Notice:  In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation without permission of the author. This notice must be included on any reproduction.

Comment or Question?


The Betty Sellers Awards