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Genealogy group to present underground railroad program

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

TERRE HAUTE -- The Wabash Valley Genealogy Society (WVGS) will present a program in January titled, "Flight to Freedom, The Underground Railroad in Indiana."

The presentation will be given by Marlene Moilanen Lu, Regional Coordinator, Indiana Freedom Trails-West Central Region.

Although being born in Detroit and spending most of her childhood and teen years in southern Florida, Marlene has family ties to Terre Haute, western Indiana and Illinois dating back to the early 1800s.

Marlene has been involved with several non-profit organizations, including the restoration of Historic Allen Chapel AME Church.

In researching the historic church's role in the Underground Railroad movement in the Wabash Valley, she volunteered to take on the role of regional coordinator of Indiana Freedom Trails (IFT), then an initiative of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology and the National Park Services' Network to the Freedom Program.

During her research, she found that not only Allen Chapel, but her own and other churches in the downtown area, were very intertwined with activities relating to the Underground Railroad.

The program will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, in the main branch of the Vigo County Public Library, lower level and will be open to the public at no charge.

Plan to arrive at 6 p.m., in order to register and find seating. Refreshments will be available.

Some of the other programs scheduled throughout the year include: "Adoption and Orphanage Records, Part II," by Jennifer Krockenberger, "Where Did I Find That Record," by Betty Warren, "Spanish-American War Records," by Ron Darrah, and "Valley Coal Mines and Miners Records," by Bob Fox.

Additional workshops and event will take place monthly and may be accessed on the WVGS website at www.inwvgs.org.

The next Genealogy Beginners Class will take place in March, every Tuesday from 6-8 p.m., in the Vigo County Public Library, Computer Lab.

The class is limited to the first 14 people who register. Cost is $5 for all four classes, which covers supplies and the classes are also open to the public.

Anyone having questions about the January program or other upcoming events may contact Jennifer Cruse at 812-877-2940 or Tom Isbell at 812-894-2404.

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