Indiana Counties and Historical Facts

Indiana County records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some Indiana records have simply disappeared.

For genealogists doing research in Indiana there is no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records.

Indiana County Records

There are 92 counties that exist in Indiana. Each one holds records that may include: Land, Estates, Taxes, Vital Records, Divorces, Naturalization’s, Voter Registration, Court Records.

Other records may also be included. However, other resources do need to be consulted.

Indiana began microfilming records during the Great Depression. It was one of the first states to do so.

Naturalization records, court records, slave registers, Revolutionary War pension files, wills, vital records, and more were recorded for 16 counties by the WPA around that time.

The Indiana State Library placed several court records and vital records on microfilm during the 1950s and 1960s.

They worked with the Genealogical Society of Utah, Indiana Historical Society, Commission on Public Records, and Indiana Historical Bureau to compile those records.

Unfortunately, there have been fires in 28 of the 92 courthouses in the state of Indiana. Some of them have been damaged or destroyed multiple times.

For example, a fire in 1814 at the Knox county courthouse destroyed all of its records.

The county recorder’s office holds land records, while probate records and other court documents can be find in the circuit court clerk’s office.

Many of the earliest records in counties that were gained as part of purchases from Native Americans can be found in each courthouse in the form of county commissioner’s records.

Those records may include: Names of Road Supervisors, Payments Made to Individuals, Appointments for Tax Collectors, Business Licenses, Naturalization Applications, Early Justice of the Peace Dockets.

Although records may go back quite far, they may be incomplete. Many records may have been lost, damaged, destroyed, or the events may never have been recorded in the first place.

See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.

List of Indiana Extinct Counties

Indiana has counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county.

A lot of these counties were established and disbanded within the 19th century; county borders have changed very little since 1900.

These are important for genealogy research purposes. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or joined with some other county.

See the History of Indiana Counties for more details.

List of Indiana Counties with Burned Courthouses

Indiana burned county courthouse
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The damage to courthouses greatly has a bearing on genealogists in every way.

Not only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the records they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others.

Once destroyed they’re lost forever. Although they have been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too.

However, not all records were damaged or lost in some counties.

  • Boone County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Oct. 1856, Practically all records lost
  • Brown County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire, All records lost, except some clerk’s files
  • Clay County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Nov. 1851, All records lost except Recorder’s records
  • Daviess County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in 1879, Marriage records and index to probate and deed records were not destroyed
  • Dearborn County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Mar. 1826, Most records lost–some early marriage and will records exist
  • DeKalb County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in 1913, Probate records before 1860 were the worst loss
  • Dubois County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Aug. 1839, All records destroyed, except the WPA found 10 boxes of deeds from 1812
  • Franklin County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Feb. 1852, No records lost
  • Gibson County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in 1935, No records harmed
  • Henry County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Feb. 1864, Clerk, recorded, auditor and treasurer’s records were saved
  • Jackson County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in 1872? and 1881?, No records lost
  • Jasper County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in 1864, Clerk’s records were lost–deeds and deed indexes escaped damage
  • Johnson County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in May 1849 and Dec. 1874, Records that survived: marriages from 1830, “complete” court records from 1823; recorder’s entry book from 1822 and deeds and deed indexes from 1824
  • Knox County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Jan. 1814, Records that survived: marriages from 1807; order book from 1811; minutes book 1816-1818; orphan’s court minutes 1796-1805; minutes of common pleas court 1790-1810; general indexes to administrations from 1795-1886; deeds from 1814 and wills from 1806
  • Madison County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Dec. 1880, Lost: marriage, circuit court and common pleas court records
    Saved: wills from 1879, deeds from 1825, and general index to deeds from 1829
  • Martin County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Apr. 1876, Saved: all records of genealogical interest
  • Miami County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Mar. 1843, All records destroyed–deeds from 1828 survived
  • Morgan County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Mar. 1876, Some records destroyed. Saved: marriage and deed records from 1822, probate order books 1822-1836
  • Noble County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in 1843 and 1859, Most of clerk’s records were lost. Saved: marriages from 1859, deeds and deed indexes from 1836
  • Parke County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Oct. 1833, Saved: marriages from 1829; probate, deed and deed indexes from 1833
  • Porter County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Dec. 1934, All records saved
  • Spencer County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Sept. 1833, Saved: marriage and deed records
  • Sullivan County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Feb. 1850, All records destroyed except wills from 1841
  • Tipton County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in 1857, Saved: records of genealogical interest
  • Union County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Feb. 1903, Water damage to records only
  • Vermillion County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Jan. 1844, All records saved
  • Wabash County Courthouse – destroyed by Fire in Apr. 1870, Saved: treasurer’s, auditor’s, recorder’s and clerk’s records.
  • Warren County Courthouse – The Courthouse at Williamsport was destroyed by fire on Sunday, January 20, 1907. All the records but those of the commissioners were saved.

List of Indiana Counties

CountyDate FormedParent CountyCounty Seat
Adams1836Adams New PurchaseDecatur
Allen1823Delaware New PurchaseFort Wayne
Bartholomew1821Jackson County and Delaware New PurchasesColumbus
Benton1840Jasper CountyFowler
Blackford1838Jay CountyHartford City
Boone1830Adams and Wabash New PurchasesLebanon
Brown1836Bartholomew, Jackson and Monroe countiesNashville
Carroll1828Adams and Wabash New PurchasesDelphi
Cass1828Non-county AreaLogansport
Clinton1801Knox CountyFrankfort
Clark1825Owen, Putnam, Sullivan and Vigo countiesJeffersonville
Clay1830Adams and Wabash New PurchasesBrazil
Crawford1818Orange, Harrison and Perry countiesEnglish
Daviess1818Knox CountyWashington
Dearborn1803Clark County, IN; Hamilton County, OHLawrenceburg
Decatur1821Delaware New PurchaseGreensburg
Delaware1835Non-county AreaMuncie
De Kalb1827Delaware New PurchaseAuburn
Dubois1817Perry and Pike countiesJasper
Elkhart1830Non-county AreaGoshen
Fayette1818Franklin Wayne County and Non-county AreaConnersville
Floyd1819Clark and Harrison CountiesNew Albany
Fountain1825Montgomery County and Wabash New PurchaseCovington
Franklin1811Clark, Dearborn and Knox countiesBrookville
Fulton1836Non-county AreaRochester
Gibson1813Knox CountyPrinceton
Grant1831Madison County, Adams New Purchase and unorganized landsMarion
Greene1821Sullivan County and Non-county AreaBloomfield
Hamilton1823Delaware New PurchaseNoblesville
Hancock1828Madison CountyGreenfield
Harrison1808Clark and Knox CountyCorydon
Hendricks1824Delaware and Wabash New PurchaseDanville
Howard1821Delaware New PurchaseKokomo
Henry1844unorganized landsNew Castle
Huntington1832Adams New Purchase and unorganized landsHuntington
Jackson1816Clark, Jefferson and WashingtonBrownstown
Jasper1835Wabash New PurchaseRensselaer
Jay1835Adams New PurchasePortland
Jefferson1810Clark, Dearborn and Knox CountyMadison
Jennings1816Jackson and Jefferson CountiesVernon
Johnson1823Delaware New PurchaseFranklin
Knox1790Original CountyVincennes
Kosciusko1835unorganized landsWarsaw
Lake1832unorganized landsCrown Point
Lawrence1837Newton and Porter CountiesBedford
La Grange1832St. Joseph and unorganized landsLaGrange
La Porte1818OrangeLaPorte
Madison1823Delaware New PurchaseAnderson
Morgan1821Delaware New PurchaseMartinsville
Miami1835St. Joseph CountyPeru
Marion1820Daviess and Dubois CountiesIndianapolis
Monroe1833Cass County and unorganized landsBloomington
Marshall1818Orange CountyPlymouth
Martin1822Wabash New PurchaseShoals
Montgomery1822Delaware and Wabash New PurchaseCrawfordsville
Newton1859Jasper CountyKentland
Noble1835unorganized landsAlbion
Ohio1844Dearborn CountyRising Sun
Orange1816Gibson, Knox and WashingtonPaoli
Owen1818Daviess and Sullivan CountySpencer
Parke1821Vigo CountyRockville
Perry1814Gibson and Warrick CountiesTell City
Pike1816Gibson and Perry CountyPetersburg
Porter1835unorganized landsValparaiso
Posey1814Warrick CountyMount Vernon
Pulaski1835unorganized landsWinamac
Putnam1822Owen County and Wabash New PurchaseGreencastle
Randolph1818Wayne CountyWinchester
Ripley1816Dearborn and Jefferson CountyVersailles
Rush1821Delaware New PurchaseRushville
Scott1830unorganized landsScottsburg
Shelby1820Clark, Jefferson, Jennings and Washington CountiesShelbyville
St. Joseph1821Delaware New PurchaseSouth Bend
Spencer1818Perry and Warrick CountiesRockport
Starke1835St. Joseph County and unorganized landsKnox
Steuben1837unorganized landsAngola
Sullivan1816Knox CountySullivan
Switzerland1814Dearborn and Jefferson CountyVevay
Tippecanoe1826Wabash New Purchase and unorganized landsLafayette
Tipton1844Adams New Purchase and unorganized landsTipton
Union1821Parts of Fayette, Franklin and Wayne countiesLiberty
Vanderburgh1818Gibson, Posey and
Warrick counties
Vermillion1824Parke County and Wasbash New PurchaseNewport
Vigo1818Sullivan CountyTerre Haute
Wabash1833Adams New Purchase and unorganized landsWabash
Washington1827Wabash New Purchase and unorganized landsWilliamsport
Wayne1813Knox CountyBoonville
Wells1813Clark, Harrison and Knox CountiesSalem
Warrick1810Clark, Dearborn and KnoxRichmond
Warren1837Adams New PurchaseBluffton
White1834Wabash New Purchase and unorganized landsMonticello
Whitley1835unorganized landsColumbia City
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