Clay County, Indiana Genealogy

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Clay County

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


Clay County, Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Founded February 12, 1825
County Seat Brazil
Address Clay County Courthouse
609 E Nation Avenue
Brazil, IN 47834-2797
Phone: 812.448.9024
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
*For earlier dates, 

try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

  • Parent Counties: Formed 12 February 1825 from Adams New Purchase (Tippicanoe) [1]
  • County Seat: Brazil [2]


The county was named in honor of Henry Clay, a famous antebellum American statesman. The county seat is Brazil. Clay County was organized in 1825.[3] The County is located in the West-central part of the state.[4]

Neighboring Counties

Parke  • Putnam  • Owen  • Greene  • Sullivan  • Vigo

The county is named after U.S. Speaker of the House Henry Clay (1777-1852).[5]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Indiana County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Indiana County Boundary Maps" (1790-1873) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss

November 1851 -- Courthouse was destroyed by fire and all records were lost except the Recorder's records.

For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:


Bible Records


Business Records


Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
INGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
INGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Indiana Interment
Billion Graves
See Indiana Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records

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

Church Records

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.

Finding More Church Records

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Church Records in online catalogs like:

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic and Religious Groups




Local Histories

Local histories are available for Clay County, Indiana Genealogy. County histories may include biographies; church, school and government histories; and military information.

For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Indiana Local Histories.

Land and Property

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.

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

See Indiana Land and Property for additional information about early Indiana land grants and patents.

Finding More Land Records

Additional land records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:


Parke CountyPutnam CountyVigo CountyOwen CountyGreene CountySullivan CountyIN CLAY.PNG
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for more resources

Military Records

Revolutionary War, 1775-1783
Civil War, 1861-1865

Clay County Civil War Veterans

Civil War service men from Clay County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment)that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Clay County.

Civil War Book

  • "Military" Chapter 28 in Travis, William. A History of Clay County Indiana: Closing of the First Century's History of the County and Showing the Growth of Its People Institutions Industries and Wealth Vols 1 and 2. (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1981.) page 350-380 Vol.1 (regiment, company, name, also "Burial Places Of Soldiers" page 376) 977.244 H2t FHL US/CAN Book FHL Collection Vol. .1 FamilySearch Books Online  Vol.2 FamilySearch Books Online   other library
Spanish American War, 1898

World War I (The Great War), 1914-1918
World War II, 1941-1945
Korean War, 1950-1923
Vietnam War, 1961-1973

Naturalization and Citizenship


The Brazil Daily Times has obituaries and other archives back to 2003.

Brazil Daily Times


Probate Records

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 county courthouse.

Online Records

Finding More Probate Records

Additional probate records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:

Public Records

School Records
Voter Registration



Clay County Courthouse
609 E Nation Avenue
Brazil, IN 47834-2797
Phone: 812.448.9024

County Health Department has birth and death records.
County Clerk has marriage, divoce, probate and court records from 1851.
County Recorder has land records from 1825,
some naturalization and burial records.
The earliest civil records that were housed in the first county courthouse
were lost when the courthouse burned down in 1851.[6]


Clay County Genealogical Society, Inc.
PO Box 56
309 W. Main Street
Centerpoint, IN 47840-0056
Telephone Number: 812-535-5005

Clay County Historical Society
100 East National
Brazil 47834
Telephone Number: 812 446-4036

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the family history center directory.


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.

Finding More Tax Records

Additional tax records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Tax Records in online catalogs like:

Vital Records

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. See also How to order Indiana Vital Records or order electronically online.

Marriage licenses were required by counties beginning in 1800. Original marriage records are held at the office of the Clay County, Indiana Genealogy County Clerk with divorce records located with the Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Clerk of Courts.

See Vital Records at Linkpendium

Birth Records
Marriage Records
Death Records

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:




  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Clay County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  3. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Clay County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, accessed 3/02/2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Clay County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Indiana accessed 3/02/2017.
  5. "Henry Clay," Wikipedia.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clay County, Indiana 211 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.