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

County Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Adams 1836 Adams New Purchase Decatur
Allen 1823 Delaware New Purchase Fort Wayne
Bartholomew 1821 Jackson County and Delaware New Purchases Columbus
Benton 1840 Jasper County Fowler
Blackford 1838 Jay County Hartford City
Boone 1830 Adams and Wabash New Purchases Lebanon
Brown 1836 Bartholomew, Jackson and Monroe counties Nashville
Carroll 1828 Adams and Wabash New Purchases Delphi
Cass 1828 Non-county Area Logansport
Clinton 1801 Knox County Frankfort
Clark 1825 Owen, Putnam, Sullivan and Vigo counties Jeffersonville
Clay 1830 Adams and Wabash New Purchases Brazil
Crawford 1818 Orange, Harrison and Perry counties English
Daviess 1818 Knox County Washington
Dearborn 1803 Clark County, IN; Hamilton County, OH Lawrenceburg
Decatur 1821 Delaware New Purchase Greensburg
Delaware 1835 Non-county Area Muncie
De Kalb 1827 Delaware New Purchase Auburn
Dubois 1817 Perry and Pike counties Jasper
Elkhart 1830 Non-county Area Goshen
Fayette 1818 Franklin Wayne County and Non-county Area Connersville
Floyd 1819 Clark and Harrison Counties New Albany
Fountain 1825 Montgomery County and Wabash New Purchase Covington
Franklin 1811 Clark, Dearborn and Knox counties Brookville
Fulton 1836 Non-county Area Rochester
Gibson 1813 Knox County Princeton
Grant 1831 Madison County, Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands Marion
Greene 1821 Sullivan County and Non-county Area Bloomfield
Hamilton 1823 Delaware New Purchase Noblesville
Hancock 1828 Madison County Greenfield
Harrison 1808 Clark and Knox County Corydon
Hendricks 1824 Delaware and Wabash New Purchase Danville
Howard 1821 Delaware New Purchase Kokomo
Henry 1844 unorganized lands New Castle
Huntington 1832 Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands Huntington
Jackson 1816 Clark, Jefferson and Washington Brownstown
Jasper 1835 Wabash New Purchase Rensselaer
Jay 1835 Adams New Purchase Portland
Jefferson 1810 Clark, Dearborn and Knox County Madison
Jennings 1816 Jackson and Jefferson Counties Vernon
Johnson 1823 Delaware New Purchase Franklin
Knox 1790 Original County Vincennes
Kosciusko 1835 unorganized lands Warsaw
Lake 1832 unorganized lands Crown Point
Lawrence 1837 Newton and Porter Counties Bedford
La Grange 1832 St. Joseph and unorganized lands LaGrange
La Porte 1818 Orange LaPorte
Madison 1823 Delaware New Purchase Anderson
Morgan 1821 Delaware New Purchase Martinsville
Miami 1835 St. Joseph County Peru
Marion 1820 Daviess and Dubois Counties Indianapolis
Monroe 1833 Cass County and unorganized lands Bloomington
Marshall 1818 Orange County Plymouth
Martin 1822 Wabash New Purchase Shoals
Montgomery 1822 Delaware and Wabash New Purchase Crawfordsville
Newton 1859 Jasper County Kentland
Noble 1835 unorganized lands Albion
Ohio 1844 Dearborn County Rising Sun
Orange 1816 Gibson, Knox and Washington Paoli
Owen 1818 Daviess and Sullivan County Spencer
Parke 1821 Vigo County Rockville
Perry 1814 Gibson and Warrick Counties Tell City
Pike 1816 Gibson and Perry County Petersburg
Porter 1835 unorganized lands Valparaiso
Posey 1814 Warrick County Mount Vernon
Pulaski 1835 unorganized lands Winamac
Putnam 1822 Owen County and Wabash New Purchase Greencastle
Randolph 1818 Wayne County Winchester
Ripley 1816 Dearborn and Jefferson County Versailles
Rush 1821 Delaware New Purchase Rushville
Scott 1830 unorganized lands Scottsburg
Shelby 1820 Clark, Jefferson, Jennings and Washington Counties Shelbyville
St. Joseph 1821 Delaware New Purchase South Bend
Spencer 1818 Perry and Warrick Counties Rockport
Starke 1835 St. Joseph County and unorganized lands Knox
Steuben 1837 unorganized lands Angola
Sullivan 1816 Knox County Sullivan
Switzerland 1814 Dearborn and Jefferson County Vevay
Tippecanoe 1826 Wabash New Purchase and unorganized lands Lafayette
Tipton 1844 Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands Tipton
Union 1821 Parts of Fayette, Franklin and Wayne counties Liberty
Vanderburgh 1818 Gibson, Posey and
Warrick counties
Evansville
Vermillion 1824 Parke County and Wasbash New Purchase Newport
Vigo 1818 Sullivan County Terre Haute
Wabash 1833 Adams New Purchase and unorganized lands Wabash
Washington 1827 Wabash New Purchase and unorganized lands Williamsport
Wayne 1813 Knox County Boonville
Wells 1813 Clark, Harrison and Knox Counties Salem
Warrick 1810 Clark, Dearborn and Knox Richmond
Warren 1837 Adams New Purchase Bluffton
White 1834 Wabash New Purchase and unorganized lands Monticello
Whitley 1835 unorganized lands Columbia City
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