Porter County, Indiana Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Valparaiso
Organized: January 28, 1836 [1]
Parent County(s): La Porte, Newton[2]
Neighboring Counties
Lake  • Jasper  • Starke  • La Porte
See County Maps
Indiana, Porter County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Indiana, Porter County Locator Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Porter County was named for David Porter. The county is located in the northwestern area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Porter County Courthouse
16 E Lincolnway #209
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219-465-3450
County Website

Porter County Health Department
155 Indiana Avenue, Suite 104
Valparaiso, IN, 46383
Health Officer: Maria Stamp, MD
Phone Number: 219-465-3525
Fax: 219-465-3531
Email: Letty.Zepeda@porterco.org
Health Department

Attached to St. Joseph County prior to organization 6 Feb 1836.
County Health Department has birth and death records.
County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court records from 1836.
County Auditor has land 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.

Porter 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
1884 1836 1884 1836 1833 1836 1807
*Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Dec. 1934 Courthouse destroyed by fire; all records saved.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

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]

Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

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 Porter 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.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 2,162
1850 5,234 142.1%
1860 10,313 97.0%
1870 13,942 35.2%
1880 17,227 23.6%
1890 18,052 4.8%
1900 19,175 6.2%
1910 20,540 7.1%
1920 20,256 −1.4%
1930 22,821 12.7%
1940 27,836 22.0%
1950 40,076 44.0%
1960 60,279 50.4%
1970 87,114 44.5%
1980 119,816 37.5%
1990 128,932 7.6%
2000 146,798 13.9%
2010 164,343 12.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System:

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

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 Porter County courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

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

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Lake CountyLa Porte CountyStarke CountyJasper CountyIN PORTER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from Porter 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 Porter County.

Civil War Books:

  • "Military History", Chapter 6 in Lewis Publishing Company. cn. 1911. History of Porter County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests 977.298 H2h FHL US/CAN Book, FHL Collection, Internet Archive

World War I

World War II

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]

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 Porter 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 Porter 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 Porter County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Indiana Archives and Libraries.

Porter County Library
Valparaiso Branch
103 Jefferson Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219-462-0524
Email: info@pcpls.org

Museums[edit | edit source]

Alton Goin Museum
Portage Community Historical Society
5250 U.S. Highway 6
Portage, IN 46368
Phone: 219-762-8349
Email: pchs.1@frontier.com

Westchester Township History Museum
700 W. Porter Avenue
Chesterton, IN 46304
Phone: 219-983-9715
Email: serena@wpl.lib.in.us

Porter County Museum
153 South Franklin Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219-465-3595

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Historical Society of Porter County
153 Franklin Street
Valparaiso, IN 46385
Phone: 219-465-3595

Beverly Shores Historical Society
P.O. Box 305
The Depot - 525 Broadway
Beverly Shores, IN 46301-0242
Phone: 219-874-8000
Email: bevshrshist@bevshrshistsoc.org

Duneland Historical Society
P.O. Box 2034
Chesterton, IN 46304
Phone: 219-983-9715
Email: dunelandhistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Hebron Historical Society
P.O. Box 679
Hebron, IN 46341-0679
Phone: 219-996-3192

Historical Society of Ogden Dunes
115 Hillcrest Road, Suite 101
Portage, IN 46368-8503
Phone: 219-764-7526
Email: martinken@att.net
The "Hour Glass", a historic house at 8 Lupine Lane, houses the Society's collections of books, papers, & records; artifacts; and paintings & sculpture.

Kankakee Valley Historical Society
22 W. 1050 S.
Kouts, IN 46347
Phone: 219-766-2302
Email: president@kankakeevalleyhistoricalsociety.org

Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 595
Griffith, IN 46319
Email: nwigsweb@gmail.com

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. InGenWeb, and INPorterCounty
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana. FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Porter County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County,_Indiana 3/30/2017.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana. FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana. FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Porter County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Porter County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County%2C_Indiana, accessed 01 January 2020.