Shelby County, Indiana Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Shelbyville
Organized: December 31, 1821
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory.[1]
Neighboring Counties
Marion  • Hancock  • Rush  • Decatur  • Bartholomew  • Johnson
See County Maps
Indiana, Shelby Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Indiana, Shelby County Locator Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Shelby County was named for Gen. Isaac Shelby, who defeated the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain in the Revolutionary War. Shelby then became the first Governor of Kentucky. During the War of 1812, he led the army of Kentucky into Canada, and defeated the British at the decisive Battle of the Thames in 1813. The county is located in the central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Shelby County Courthouse
407 S Harrison Street
P.O. Box 198
Shelbyville, IN 46176-2161
Phone: 317-392-6320
County Website

Shelby County Health Department
1600 East State Road 44, Suite B
Shelbyville, IN, 46176
Health Officer: Chris Loman, MD
Phone: 317-392-6470
Fax: 317-392-6472
Health Department

County Health Department had birth, death and burial records.
County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court record.
County Auditor has land records. [3]
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.

Shelby 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[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1882 1822 1882 1822 1822 1822 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:[7]

Unincorporated communities

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 Shelby 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 Shelby County census records online, see: Indiana Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 6,295
1840 12,005 90.7%
1850 15,502 29.1%
1860 19,569 26.2%
1870 21,892 11.9%
1880 25,257 15.4%
1890 25,454 0.8%
1900 26,491 4.1%
1910 26,802 1.2%
1920 25,982 −3.1%
1930 26,552 2.2%
1940 25,953 −2.3%
1950 28,026 8.0%
1960 34,093 21.6%
1970 37,797 10.9%
1980 39,887 5.5%
1990 40,307 1.1%
2000 43,445 7.8%
2010 44,436 2.3%
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

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 Shelby County courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Shelby 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]

Marion CountyHancock CountyRush CountyDecatur CountyBartholomew CountyJohnson CountyIN SHELBY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from Shelby 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 Shelby County.

Civil War Books:

  • Military History Chapter 5 in History of Shelby County, Indiana: from the earliest time to the present, with biographical sketches, notes, etc., together with a short history of the Northwest, the Indiana Territory, and the State of Indiana. (1974. Tucson, Arizona: Americana Unlimited.) Available online at: FamilySearch Digital Library and Internet Archive
  • Military History Chapter 10 in Chadwick, Edward H. Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana. 1908. (Indiana. Evansville, Ind: Unigraphic, 1977) Available online at: FamilySearch Digital Library

World War I

World War II, 1941-1945

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Grover Museum, the Museum of the Shelby County Historical Society
52 West Broadway
Shelbyville, IN 46176
Phone: 317-392-4634

The History Museum
808 West Washington Street
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: 574-235-9664

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Shelby County Historical Society
52 West Broadway
Shelbyville, IN 46176
Phone: 317-392-4634

Shelby County Indiana Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 43
33 W Washington St
Shelbyville, IN 46176
Phone: 317-746-4615

South Bend Area Genealogical Society
209 Lincoln Way East
Mishawaka, IN 46544
Phone: 574-707-2688

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Shelby County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Indiana accessed 04/03/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Shelby County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Shelby County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Indiana, accessed 05 January 2020.