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Last Updated 07/09/2024

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My name is Sheila Kell, and I am the County Coordinator for Jennings County INGenWeb. I work as Local History & Genealogy Consultant with the Jennings County Public Library, I am also the Jennings County Genealogist with the Indiana Genealogical Society, and Jennings County Historian with the Indiana Historical Society. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Jennings County Historical Society. Feel free to email me with questions, comments or contributions to this website.

Jennings County Courthouse
Construction was started in 1858 by Samuel Read, completed in 1860

The USGenWeb Project consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy web sites for genealogical research in each and every County and every State in the United States. This Project is non-commercial and fully committed to providing free genealogy access to all. The project is independent of any genealogical society or other organization. The county sites are as varied as the volunteers responsible for them.

"The Chosen"
    "We are the chosen. In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again. To tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve. Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the story tellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes.
    "Those who have gone before cry out to us: Tell our story. So, we do. In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us.". How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say. It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who I am, and why I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying - I can't let this happen. The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish. How they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family. It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us.
    "It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth, without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach. That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do. With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers. That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those who we had never known before."

"A Busy Day in Old Paris"
Circa 1900


In 2017, we celebrated 200 years since Jennings County became a county.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer County Coordinator
for an Indiana county in the INGenWeb Project, please contact the State Coordinator, Lena Harper, or her Assistant State Coordinator Jim Cox.

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You may use this material for your own personal research, however it may not be used for commercial publications without express written consent of the contributor, INGenWeb, and