Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Guide to Lawrence County, Indiana ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Bedford
Organized: March 1, 1818
Parent County(s): Orange[1]
Neighboring Counties
Monroe  • Jackson  • Washington  • Orange  • Martin  • Greene
See County Maps
Indiana, Lawrence County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Indiana, Lawrence County Locator Map.png
Adopt-a-wiki page
Indiana Genealogical Society.JPG This page adopted by:
Indiana Genealogical Society
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Lawrence County was named for Captain James Lawrence, who uttered the famous words "Don't give up the ship" after being mortally wounded during the War of 1812.[2] It is located in the south-central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Lawrence County Courthouse
916 15th Street
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812-275-7543
County Website

Lawrence County Health Department
2419 Mitchell Road
Bedford, IN, 47421
Health Officer: Alan Smith, MD
Phone Number: 812-275-3234
Fax: 812-275-1094
Health Department

County Clerk has marriage, probate, divorce and court records from 1818.
County Health Department has birth and death records.
County Recorder has land records from 1818 and military records.[4]
Health Department has birth records and death records.
Copies may be obtained from the county health department or the Indiana State Division of Vital Records.

Lawrence County, Indiana Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1882 1818 1882 1818 1818 1818 1807
*Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[8]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

The original county seat of Lawrence County was Palestine, located on the White River. Lawrence County's first circuit court was held 4 Jun 1818 in the home of James Gregory at Leatherwood, east of the present-day location of Bedford.

The first courthouse was built in the spring of 1818 at Palestine. A new courthouse was constructed in Palestine in 1822.

The county seat was moved and renamed Bedford as the result of an 1825 legislative act. A temporary log courthouse was erected in Bedford in early 1825. The first court term in Bedford opened 6 Feb 1826. A new courthouse was completed in May of 1834. An 1869 move for a new courthouse resulted in construction of a new building in 1872.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Lawrence County, Indiana online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Indiana Cemeteries for more information.


  • Guthrie Creek Cemetery: Jarvis, Carolyn, et al. Guthrie Creek Cemetery, Pleasant Run Township, Lawrence County, Indiana. Bedford, IN: Lawrence Historical & Genealogical Society, 2007. WorldCat

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Lawrence County census records online, see: Indiana Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 4,116
1830 9,234 124.3%
1840 11,782 27.6%
1850 12,097 2.7%
1860 13,692 13.2%
1870 14,628 6.8%
1880 18,543 26.8%
1890 19,792 6.7%
1900 25,729 30.0%
1910 30,625 19.0%
1920 28,228 −7.8%
1930 35,583 26.1%
1940 35,045 −1.5%
1950 34,346 −2.0%
1960 36,564 6.5%
1970 38,038 4.0%
1980 42,472 11.7%
1990 42,836 0.9%
2000 45,922 7.2%
2010 46,134 0.5%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Indiana Church Records.
List of Churches and Church Parishes


  • Lawless, Elaine J. God's Peculiar People: Women's Voices & Folk Tradition in a Pentecostal Church. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1988, 2005. (Discusses "Oneness" Pentecostals of Lawrence and Monroe Cos., IN.) Google Books (limited preview)


Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents. See Indiana Land and Property for additional information about early Indiana land grants and patents.

After land was transferred from the government to private ownership, subsequent transactions were recorded at the Lawrence County courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Lawrence County. County histories may include biographies; church, school and government histories; and military information. For more information about local histories, see Indiana Local Histories.

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Greene CountyMonroe CountyJackson CountyWashington CountyOrange CountyMartin CountyIN LAWRENCE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from Lawrence County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Lawrence County:

Civil War Books:

  • "Military History," Chapter 7 in History of Washington County Indiana: A Re-Production of the Original "History of Lawrence, Orange and Washington Counties" 1884. Salem, IN: Washington County Historical Society, 1999. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; Internet Archive

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Indiana newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

For more Indiana newspaper information see the wiki page Indiana Newspapers.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Public Records

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in Indiana, probate records have been kept by the county clerk of the circuit court. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the Lawrence County courthouse. For more information, see Indiana Probate Records.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Indiana tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. For more information see the wiki page Indiana Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Indiana law in 1882 required registration of births and deaths in counties. The Indiana Department of Health has birth records filed after October 1907 and death records filed after January 1900 for deaths. Copies may be obtained from the county health department or the Indiana State Division of Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Lawrence County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Indiana Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Lawrence County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Indiana Archives and Libraries.

Bedford Public Library
1323 K Street
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812-275-4471

Mitchell Community Public Library
804 Main Street
Mitchell, IN 47446
Phone: 812-849-2412

Museums[edit | edit source]

Lawrence County Museum of History &
Edward L. Hutton Research Library

929 15th Street
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812-278-8575

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Lawrence County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Indiana Societies.

Lawrence County Historical and Genealogical Society
Lawrence County Museum of History &
Edward L. Hutton Research Library
929 15th Street
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812-278-8575

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy and History”, 3/29/2017.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Lawrence County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Indiana 3/29/2017.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Lawrence County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Lawrence County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 20 December 2019.