Indiana Vital Records Factsheet

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Birth and death records were begun on a county basis for Indiana in 1882.
State level registration began for births in October, 1907, and in January, 1900 for deaths.
Marriage records have been mandatory on a county level since before 1800.
For birth records before 1907, and death records before 1900, write to the local health department.
For marriage records, write to the local county clerk.
For birth records after 1907 and death records after 1900, write:
Indiana State Department of Health
Vital Records Section
2 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Census Records
Federal censuses for the state of Indiana began in 1820, continue every ten years and are currently available through 1920, the mostly destroyed 1890 census being excluded. It is also noted that if rural residents were missed in the 1850 census, they might appear on the 1850 agricultural enumerations. Few state censuses are available.

Land Records
Indiana is a federal-land state. Lands were generally bought from the government or from other individuals. For government purchases within the state, consult the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office's soon to be produced CD-ROM patent index for the state of Indiana. This CD-ROM will be available through various genealogical vendors and through:
Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
Land-entry case files for these patents are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C..

Early settlers in Indiana received land under the French government. Case files for most private land claims (the settling of property ownership by the government of the United States for lands previously acquired under a different sovereign) are housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C..

For transactions between individuals, consult the local County Recorder.

For further reference:
Ainsworth, Fern. Private Land Claims: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Natchitoches, LA: the author, ca. 1980.
Rohrbough, Malcolm J. "The Land Office Business in Indiana, 1800-1840" This Land of Ours: The Acquisition and Disposition of the Public Domain. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1978. pp. 39-59.
Hone, E. Wade. Land and Property Research in the United States. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, Inc., 1997.

Court Records
Court records entail probate records, guardianship, naturalization, and a wide variety of other sources. To study more about court records in general, see:
"Research in Court Records" by Arlene H. Eakle, found in Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds., The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).

Military Records
The Indiana State Archives holds the following military records of interest to the genealogist:

Indiana State Militia, 1812-1851. Alphabetical index of officers commissioned.

Card file of Indiana Civil War Volunteers. This may include name, rank, company, regiment, period of original enlistment, place and date of enrollment and muster, age, physical description, nativity, occupation, date, place and manner of leaving the service, information on promotions, and wounds.

Card file of Indiana Legion, which was the Civil War State Militia. This may include name, company, dates of active duty, age, and county and town where organized.

Card file of Civil War Substitutes. This includes the names of citizens who hired substitutes, the names of the substitutes, and the unit to which that person was assigned.

Veterans' Grave Registration. Card file of veterans; includes fifty-one counties.

Veterans' Enrollments of 1886, 1890, and 1894. The books are arranged by county and township. They include name, company and regiment, state from which the veteran served, number of children under sixteen, medical problems, and current physical condition.

The archives also has card files on Indiana Militia (1877-96), Mexican War Volunteer Index, Black Hawk War Militia Index, Gold Star Roll of Honor for 1914-18, Indiana Spanish-American War Volunteers microfilmed registration cards, and Registers of Visitors to the National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic at Indianapolis (4-9 September 1893).

For further military information, consult: Neagles, James C. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, Inc., 1994.

Additional Sources
Beatty, John D. "Genealogical Research in Indiana" National Genealogical Society Quarterly 79, no. 2 (June 1991): 100-22.

Cockrum, Col. William M. Pioneer History of Indiana; Including Stories, Incidents and Customs of the Early Settlers. Oakland City, Ind.: Press of the Oakland City Journal, 1907.

Biographical entries
An important indexing project was begun by the WPA and continued in 1979 by the Indiana Historical Society. Copies of this typescript index to every name mentioned in biographical entries of each county's published histories are at Indiana State Library, Indiana Historical Society Library and Allen County Public Library and available through the FHL.

Archives, Libraries and Societies

Indiana State Library
140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Indiana State Archives,
Commission on Public Records
140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Indiana Historical Society
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
"Moving Fall 1998 to Ohio and West Streets"

Genealogy Department
Allen County Public Library
900 Webster Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

Marshall County Home Page