Indiana Counties records can vary vastly from county to county in either quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been significantly misused and neglected. A number of Indiana records have merely vanished. For genealogists carrying out research in Indiana you will find no valuable replace to have an on-site search of county court house records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.
Indiana Counties – There are 92 counties that exist in Indiana. Each one holds records that may include: Land, Estates, Taxes, Vital Records, Divorces, Naturalizations, 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.