January 24, 2024 at 9:15 a.m.

Public Invited to First Families of Hope Talks Beginning 02/03

By JENN GUTHRIE | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

The Bartholomew County Genealogical Society is inviting the public to the first session of its First Families of Hope Talks at 10 a.m. Saturday, February 3, at the Yellow Trail Research Center, located in the Yellow Trail Museum at 644 Main St. in downtown Hope. 

The two-hour discussion sessions are an information gathering phase that is essential to the success of the First Families of Hope Project intended to be gifted to the Yellow Trail Museum in recognition of its 50th anniversary in 2025, says Kim Ray, board member of the Bartholomew County Genealogical Society and a volunteer with the Yellow Trail Research Center. 

"We thought we would start by gathering information," Ray says. "We want to see what information the public may have to offer." 

The leads generated from this fact-finding mission will be critical to the project's success in determining Hope's first families, Ray adds. 

Saturday's meeting will be the first of seven scheduled from February 2024 to August 2025, Ray says. 

"It isn't going to be just the Moravians," she says. "There were other pioneers who purchased land at that time."

The way the meetings will work is each month a family will be featured as a jumping off point for discussion. Area residents with information about the featured family are encouraged to attend and assist with building a detailed archive. 

"The second year is going to be for the other pioneers who we don't have defined yet," Ray says. "We are hoping with these talks the public will help us to pick the names. If there is a group of people who are local and would like to talk about their family who purchased land in the area at that time, they are more than welcome to attend and share their story."

The inaugural meeting will feature the Chitty Family – one of the initial groups of families who attended the first Hope Moravian Service in 1830.

Project presentations will be offered to the public in two groups: 1) Families who attended the first Moravian Church Service on June 17, 1830 and 2) Early Landowners of Hawcreek/Flatrock Townships.

During this initial phase, the society encourages attendees to bring photos, genealogy, stories, documents or other relevant information or artifacts to the meeting sessions. Society members will scan copies of the documentation during the meeting. Attendees will keep originals. Copies of the material will be available for all attendees (so bring a flash drive!), as well as the Yellow Trail Research Center.

The schedule for the round of meetings for Group 1 is as follows:
Feb 3 – Chitty Family (Matthew, Margaret – siblings of Susannah Hauser)

Mar 2 – Hauser Family (Martin & Susannah)

Apr 6 – Ziegler Family (Daniel & Mary)

May 4 – Spaugh Family (Joseph & Elizabeth)

Jun 1 – Clayton Family (Henry & Mary)

Jul 6 – Snyder Family (Nathaniel)

Aug 3 – Essex Family (John Essex, Jr.)

Subsequent featured first families for Group 2 are yet to be determined and will be chosen from the more than 120 early landowners who settled on land purchased by 1830 in the Hawcreek/Flatrock townships.

** For more information, contact Kim Ray of the Research Center at 812-344-2920 or reach out to the Yellow Trail Museum directly at 812-546-8020. Keep up on the latest at the museum by following the Yellow Trail HERE.