Indiana Archives and Libraries

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These repositories preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in Indiana.

Wiki Articles on Major Repositories in Indiana[edit | edit source]

Indiana Genealogical Society · Willard Library · Allen County Public Library · National Archives at Chicago · Newberry Library

Online Records of Indiana[edit | edit source]

Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.

National Repositories[edit | edit source]

NARA Chicago.jpg
National Archives at Chicago
7358 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629
Telephone: 773-948-9001
Fax: 773-948-9050

This center has federal censuses, passenger lists, Indian census rolls (1885–1940), records of marine inspection and navigation for Indiana (1865–1968; includes owners, masters, and crew members), naturalization indexes, General Land Office records for Indiana (1808–1876; listed by land office), U.S. District and Circuit Court records for Indiana (1819 –1961), military, and other records. For an online guide to the holdings of the Chicago Branch of the National Archives Click here. For an older print guide the the Archives and its branches, see:
  • Szucs, Loretto Dennis, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1988. FHL book 973 A3sz, 17-19.

Statewide Repositories[edit | edit source]

Allen County Public Library.jpg

Allen County Public Library
Genealogy Center
900 Webster Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Telephone: 219-421-1225

The Genealogy Center houses the second largest genealogy research collection in the United States, and the largest in a public library. It is primarily a North American collection, with some complementary resources for the British Isles and other European countries. One of America's best genealogical libraries. They especially shine in genealogical periodicals, printed county histories, and printed family histories.[1] See:

  • Karen B Cavanaugh, A Genealogist’s Guide to the Allen County Public Library, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, 3rd ed. (Fort Wayne, Ind.: Cavanaugh, 1983). WorldCat 10295892; The Family History Library has the original 1980 edition titled A Genealogist's Guide to the Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Public Library, FHL Book 977.274/F1 A3c.

Indiana State Archives
6440 East 30th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219-1007
Telephone: 317-591-5222
Fax: 317-233-1713

The Indiana State Archives houses census, military, and federal land records. They also have original state and county government records from all Indiana counties.[1] The Archives has a growing online digital collection that contains death records, military records, naturalization records and institutional records.

Indiana State Library
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
TollFree 1-866-683-0008

This Library has three significant sections helpful to genealogical researchers:[1]

  • Genealogy Section Telephone: 317-232-6839;
    Internet: ISL Genealogy Division; Great collection with great indexes.
  • Indiana Section Telephone: 317-232-3670; Internet ISL Indiana Division; Extensive Indiana manuscripts, published histories of counties, towns, churches, and organizations. Also has biographies and image indexes.
  • Newspapers Section
  • Indiana State Library, In the site index at the left, click on Databases and Indexes and scroll down to Resources Provided by the Indiana State Library. There, search indexes to marriages (1811-2013), commercial newspaper death listings, biographies and newspapers. Indiana Memory has digitized images of many resources, including county histories, oral histories, plat books, city directories, photos, newspapers, yearbooks and more. The VINE database has local history and vital records from libraries, historical societies and genealogical societies.
An important guide to the Indiana State Library is:
  • Miller, Carolynne L. Indiana Sources for Genealogical Research in the Indiana State Library. Indianapolis, Indiana: Genealogical Section, Indiana Historical Society, 1984. FHL book 977.2 D23mc.
A listing of family records and other sources at the Indiana State Library is found in:
  • Pumroy, Eric. A Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society, 1986. FHL book 977.2 H23p.

Indiana Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 10507
Fort Wayne, IN 46825-0507

The Indiana Genealogical Society publishes an online newsletter in the Members Only area of the IGS website. The Indiana Genealogist, a quarterly journal, is in its last year as a print publication and will be published online in the future.
The Indiana Genealogical Society website includes numerous databases of interest to those with Hoosier ancestors. Some are available free and others are in the Members Only area of the website.
IGS directs the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana, a membership organization comprised of desendants of soldiers who served in the Civil War in Indiana units.
Applications for the Territorial Guard Society of Indiana, a membership organization of those who can prove direct ancestral residence within the boundaries of the present state of Indiana on or before 11 December 1816 will begin being accepted 1 January 2011, with the first inductees to be installed in April 2012. Watch for more information to appear on the IGS website.

Indiana Historical Society
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Telephone: 317-232-1882
Fax: 317-233-3109

This is a private society with a strong collection of original sources, especially for the early 1800s.[1] A guide to family records and other sources at the Indiana Historical Society is in Eric Pumroy’s book cited above.,
Indiana Digital Archives, search the digital archives.
See also Indiana, United States Genealogy for information about Ruth Dorrel’s book Pioneer Ancestors of Members of the Society of Indiana Pioneers. The records of the Society of Indiana Pioneers are in the basement of the Indiana Historical Society.

Regional Repositories[edit | edit source]

Anderson Public Library

111 East 12th Street
Anderson, IN 46016
Phone:(765) 641-2456

Their Indiana Room is dedicated to the genealogy and local history of Anderson, Lapel, and Madison counties: census indexes, newspapers on microfilm, 13,800 books, together with other counties, states and countries, and online databases. Houses the large library of Willard Heiss, an Indiana and Quaker genealogy researcher.[1]

Hancock County Public Library

900 W McKenzie Rd, Greenfield, IN  

Phone: (317) 462-5141

Hancock County Public Library - Sugar Creek Branch

5087 West US 52. New Palestine, IN 46163.

Phone: (317) 861-6618

Lake County Public Library Merrillville Branch

1919 W 81st Ave
Merrillville, IN 46410
Phone: 219.769.3541

Good collection about settlers moving across the northern United States from New England to Indiana. Includes a large book collection, microfilms, and surname folders.[1]

Northern Indiana Historical Society and Center for History

808 West Washington Street
South Bend, IN 46601

They have very large collections of military records, newspapers, and special indexes. They also have many books, periodicals, and maps.[1]

Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library: Indiana Room

1120 Stafford Rd, Plainfield, IN 46168
(317) 839-6602

The Indiana Room genealogy collection includes extensive records for Hendricks County, Indiana. Included are databases for obituaries, cemeteries and photographs; book resources for marriage, birth and death records; cemetery records; wills, probate, deeds, tax lists, Hendricks County newspapers (1847-present), online indexes and microfilm. The collection includes resources for all 92 Indiana counties.

St. Joseph County Public Library

304 S Main St
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: (574) 282-4646

Comparable to Allen County library as far as statewide Indiana records. This is a good general genealogy library.[1]

Vigo County Public Library

One Library Square
Terre Haute, IN 47807

They have extensive published genealogies and county histories for Vigo County and surrounding counties in Indiana and Illinois. They also have local city directories and newspapers.[1]

Vincennes University Lewis Historical Library

1002 North First St.
Vincennes, Indiana 47591
Telephone (Administration): 812-888-5160

They have family folders, cemetery records, early Indiana material, and printed genealogies including many from outside Indianapolis.[1]

Willard Library.jpg

Willard Library
21 First Avenue
Evansville, IN 47710
Telephone: 812-425-4309
Genealogy and Local History

A specialized genealogical collection including biographies, genealogies, and family histories.[1]

Outside of Indiana Respoistories[edit | edit source]

Newberry Library

Newberry Library.jpg

60 West Waltron Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Telephone: 312-255-3512
Email: reference@.
Internet: Newberry Library

A large Chicago repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records some from Indiana, the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.[2] They have over 17,000 printed genealogies. The collection is noteworthy for its colonial America, especially New England holdings. They have church, town, and county histories from all parts of the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. This includes a comprehensive set of New England town histories, and strong collection of county histories from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. Their Civil War unit histories collection is one of the best.[3] This library has research guides on various subjects related to genealogy and library holdings cataloged from 1978.  See
  • Genealogy Collection Guides and Research Tools for more information about the collections. 
  • A surname index to genealogical periodicals and local history books in the Newberry Library was completed in 1915 and published as The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library[4] Since this index is old, be sure to use the online guide sheet to this collection before using the source.

Courthouse Record Losses[edit | edit source]


There have been over 50 courthouse fires and other natural disasters in Indiana that have caused significant losses of records. A list of these lost records was prepared by John J. Newman of the Indiana Supreme Court in 1988. In the list, the date in parentheses following the county name is the year the county was organized. A fire in one parent county might have affected other counties that were later divided off from it.

  • Boone (1830) 1856–loss of deed records (partially re-recorded), tax, and commissioner records
  • Brown (1836) 1873–loss of deed and mortgage records (partially re-recorded)
  • Clark (1801) 1937–flood, loss of original court, marriage, and probate files
  • Clay (1825) 1851–early probate and marriage records were destroyed (all deeds and mortgages survived)
  • Daviess (1817) 1891, 1927, 1985; 1891–fire heavily damaged deeds, mortgages, and commissioner records (fragments were re-recorded from original ledgers)
  • Dearborn (1803) 1826–loss of virtually all courthouse records
  • DeKalb (1837) 1913–loss of Clerk’s records, including naturalization, some marriages, most probate, and nearly all civil records
  • Dubois (1818) 1839–loss of all courthouse records (some court and deed records were re-recorded)
  • Jasper (1838) 1865–loss of all court and marriage records (a few were re-recorded)
  • Jennings (1817) 1859–loss of some records; 1950s– man-made loss of civil complete order books and naturalization records by mold due to poor storage
  • Johnson (1823) 1847 and 1874–loss of original papers; marriage book one begins July 1830, but a few marriage licenses date from 1823.
  • Knox (1790) 1814–loss of all deed and mortgage records
  • Madison (1823) 1880–loss of marriage, court, and probate records; 1950s–disposal of commissioner and tax records
  • Martin (1820) 1876–loss of some tax and commissioner records
  • Miami (1834) 1843–loss of all court and marriage records (deed and commissioner records generally survived)
  • Morgan (1822) 1876–loss of some court, probate, tax, and commissioner records
  • Noble (1836) 1843–loss of all courthouse records; 1859, loss of all court, probate, and marriage records
  • Parke (1821) 1833–loss of all courthouse records (some court and deed records re-recorded)
  • Porter (1836) 1934–loss of original court and probate files, most contemporaneous to the fire, but some earlier files were destroyed
  • Randolph (1818) 1955–disposal of court and probate ledgers, including naturalization records (court order books were not destroyed)
  • Spencer (1818) 1833–loss of most records (some court, probate, marriage and deed records survived)
  • Sullivan (1817) 1850–loss of virtually all courthouse records (some deed and one probate ledger survived)
  • Vermillion (1824) 1923–loss of some commissioner and tax records
  • Warren (1827) 1907–loss of commissioner records (many re-recorded) and tax records

Guidebook[edit | edit source]

  • Thompson, Donald E. Preliminary Checklist of Archives and Manuscripts in Indiana Repositories. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society, 1980. (Family History Library book 977.2 A3p) This book contains lists of manuscripts, the counties they relate to, and the addresses of the libraries and archives that house them. It is arranged alphabetically by county and archive.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 43. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Book 973 J54d.
  2. Genealogy and Local History in The Newberry (accessed 27 February 2015).
  3. Dollarhide and Bremer, 39.
  4. The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1960. WorldCat 83367401 FHL films 928135–928137 and FHL book 973 D22n vols. 1–4