VERNON — Jennings County historian Sheila Kell has received a prestigious honor from the Indiana Historical Society.
Kell, who officially became county historian earlier this year, received the Willard C. Heiss Family History-Genealogy Award. The award is presented to a family historian for his or her distinguished service and career in Indiana family history, helping genealogists discover connections between themselves and their ancestors through source material, family records and well-documented stories, according to the historical society.
In 2005, Kell became the coordinator for Jennings County and Jefferson County with INGenWeb, an online genealogy database project; she still serves in both positions. She became the local history and genealogy librarian at the Jennings County Public Library in late 2010. Shortly after, Kell became a member of the board of directors of the Jennings County Historical Society and at historic Eleutherian College in Lancaster in Jefferson County.
Kell set up a research center focusing on family history in her home in Vernon, across the street from the Jennings County Historical Society. She remained with the Jennings County Public Library for 10 years and retired in 2021. She still acts as a consultant with the library and with the Historical Society. She was named historian for Jennings County in September.
The namesake of the award Kell received, Willard C. Heiss, was a preeminent authority on Indiana Quaker history and genealogy and is credited with bringing order to the archives of Indianapolis.
For more information about the Indiana Historical Society, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org. For more information about the Jennings County Historical Society, visit jenningscounty.org or call (812) 346-8989.