St. Joseph County, Indiana Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: South Bend
Organized: January 29, 1830
Parent County(s): Cass[1]
Neighboring Counties
La Porte  • Starke  • Marshall  • Elkhart  • Berrien (MI)  • Cass (MI)
See County Maps
Indiana, St Joseph County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Indiana, Saint Joseph County Locator Map.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

St. Joseph County was named for the St. Joseph River which flows through it toward Lake Michigan. The county is located in the north-central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

St. Joseph County Courthouse
101 S Main Street
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: 219-235-9635
County Website

St. Joseph County Health Department
8th Floor, County-City Building, 227 West Jefferson Blvd.
South Bend, IN, 46601
Health Officer: Robert Einertz, MD
Phone Number: 574-235-9750
Fax: 574-235-9960
Health Department

County Health Department has birth, death and burial records.
County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court records.
County Assessor 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.

St. Joseph 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 1830 1882 1841 1830 1830 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
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 St. Joseph 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 St. Joseph County census records online, see: Indiana Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 287
1840 6,425 2138.7%
1850 10,954 70.5%
1860 18,455 68.5%
1870 25,322 37.2%
1880 33,178 31.0%
1890 42,457 28.0%
1900 58,881 38.7%
1910 84,312 43.2%
1920 103,304 22.5%
1930 160,033 54.9%
1940 161,823 1.1%
1950 205,058 26.7%
1960 238,614 16.4%
1970 245,045 2.7%
1980 241,617 −1.4%
1990 247,052 2.2%
2000 265,559 7.5%
2010 266,931 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


Christian Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • South Bend

Holy Trinity Hungarian Church Records at South Bend Area Genealogical Society


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 St. Joseph County courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for St. Joseph 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]

Berrien CountyLa Porte CountyStarke CountyMarshall CountyKosciusko CountyElkhart CountyCass CountyIN ST JOSEPH.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from St, Joseph 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 St. Joseph County.

Civil War Books:

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.

Many St. Joseph County newspapers, including the South Bend Tribune, South Bend News Times, St. Joe Valley Register, Mishawaka Enterprise, and others from 1830 to the present are available on microfilm at the St. Joseph County Public Library

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

St. Joseph County Public Library
Keller Park Branch
737 Beale St.
South Bend, IN 46616

Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library
209 Lincolnway East
Mishawaka, IN 46544
Phone: 574-259-5277, ext. 1300

Museums[edit | edit source]

The History Museum
808 W. Washington St.
South Bend, IN 46601-1439
Phone: 574-235-9664

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

South Bend Area Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 11
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Email: Contact form

Historic New Carlisle, Inc.
P.O. Box 107
304 East Michigan Street
New Carlisle, IN 46552-0107
Phone: 574-654-3897

Michiana Jewish Historical Society
3202 Shalom Way
South Bend, IN 46615-2955
Phone: 574-245-5850

Walkerton Area Historical Society
413 Michigan St.
Walkerton, IN 46574-1115
Phone: 574-586-3868

St. John Historical Society
P.O. Box 134
10955 W 93rd Avenue
St. John, IN 46373

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. FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "St. Joseph 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. FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "St. Joseph County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at _County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "St. Joseph County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 07 January 2020.
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at