Indianapolis Author Honored with Statewide Award

Oct 24, 2018 886

An accomplished author and presenter credited with inspiring a new generation of people searching for their ancestry is the recipient of the Indiana Historical Society's (IHS's) 2018 Willard C. Heiss Family History/Genealogy Award

Carol Faenzi of Indianapolis will be honored at IHS's annual Founders Day dinner on Monday, Nov. 5, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis. Each year, IHS presents this award to a family historian for his or her distinguished service and career in Indiana family history. 

Faenzi is a third generation Italian-American who has developed a reputation for programs and workshops that inspire others to seek out and preserve their family stories. She is the author of the award-winning book, The Stonecutter's Aria, which chronicles her ancestors' careers in Carrara marble and her great-grandfather's emigration from Italy to Bedford, Indiana, where he worked as a limestone carver.

"She captured in words her family's lives in ways that humanize rather than just chronicle," wrote the late award-winning journalist Donna Mikels Shea in a letter of support for Faenzi's nomination. "Genealogies are skeletons, and family stories such as Carol's add flesh and blood, thereby preserving the memory of people and events otherwise lost to time."

"She has offered a model for how family genealogy could and perhaps ought to be recorded," said Tom Castaldi, Allen County historian. "It is a form that passes on a family's true history, based on hard research and factual data, yet reads as an excellent historical novel."

The popularity of The Stonecutter's Aria led Faenzi to create and lead biannual guided trips to her ancestral homeland in Italy and, locally, to Indiana limestone country, establishing a unique Italy/Indiana connection.

A long-standing board member and past vice president of the Italian Heritage Society of Indiana, Faenzi currently splits her time between Florence, Italy, and Indianapolis. Her latest work, What You Love the Most, is a collection of stories from the Wilson-Shortridge family, whose ancestors built one of the first houses in Indy's Irvington neighborhood. More information on Faenzi's books, programs and tours can be found at

IHS is proud to honor Faenzi and six other Hoosiers at the 2018 Founders Day dinner. The annual event, presented by Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., celebrates the accomplishments of historians, teachers, writers and businesses from around the state, as well as the work of IHS.

For more information on this event and other IHS programs, call (317) 232-1882 or visit

About the Indiana Historical Society

Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation’s premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor experiences called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups; publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; produces and hosts art exhibitions, museum theater and outside performance groups; and provides youth, adult and family programs. IHS is a Smithsonian Affiliate and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

SOURCE: Indiana Historical Society

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