Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy

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Lawrence County

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


Lawrence County, Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Founded March 1, 1818
County Seat Bedford
Address Lawrence County Courthouse
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812-275-7543
Lawrence County Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
*For earlier dates,

try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

The county was named after James Lawrence. He is best remembered as having been responsible for his words "Don't give up the ship" during the War of 1812.

  • Parent Counties: Formed from Orange county in 1818.[1]
  • County Seat: Bedford[2]


The 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. The County Seat is Bedford and was founded 1818. [3]It is located in the South-central area of the state.[4]

Neighboring Counties

Monroe  • Jackson  • Washington  • Orange  • Martin  • Greene

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

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


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.
  • 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

For tips on accessing Lawrence 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.

  • 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)

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 Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy Church Records in online catalogs like:

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic and Religious Groups




Local Histories
  • History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana: Their People, Industries and Institutions. Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1914. Google Books (complete digital copy) | Lawrence County History & Genealogy (partial transcription)
  • 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. FHL 977.226 H2Lc  FHL Collection, WorldCat
  • Kruse, Maxine. Lawrence County Indiana (Images of America series). Chicago: Arcadia Publishing, 2001. Google Books (limited preview)
  • History of Lawrence County, Indiana (Genealogy Trails)

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 Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:


Greene CountyMonroe CountyJackson CountyWashington CountyOrange CountyMartin CountyIN LAWRENCE.PNG
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for more resources

Military Records

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:


  • Col. Doil R. Bowden (Find A Grave)
  • "Military History," Chapter 7 in History of Washington County Indiana: A Re-Production of the Original "History of Lawrence, Orange and Washington Counties," 1884, reprint edition, Salem, IN: Washington County Historical Society, 1999, pp. 175-200. FHL 977.226 H2Lc  FHL Collection | WorldCat | Internet Archive (digital text)

Naturalization and Citizenship




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 Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:

Public Records



Lawrence County Courthouse
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812-275-7543

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.[6]

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.

  • Bedford Public Library
    1323 K Street
    Bedford, IN 47421
  • Mitchell Community Public Library
    804 Main Street
    Mitchell, IN 47446
  • Daniel Guthrie Chapter
    Indiana Sons of the American Revolution
  • Jim Guthrie Chapter
    Lawrence County Historical Society
    1617 M Street
    Bedford, IN 47421
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.

School Records


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.

  • Lee, Barbara. 1907 Lawrence County, Indiana Poll Tax Rolls. Bedford, IN: Lawrence County Historical & Genealogical Society, (2007?). WorldCat
  • A list of Lawrence County Poll Tax Payers for 1822 is available on the internet at this link.

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 Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy Tax Records in online catalogs like:

Vital Records

Birth Records
Marriage Records
Death Records

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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



Lawrence County currently consists of nine townships:

  • Bono
  • Guthrie
  • Indian Creek
  • Marion 
  • Marshall
  • Perry
  • Pleasant Run
  • Shawswick
  • Spice Valley

Another township, Flinn Township, has been incorporated into Guthrie, Pleasant Run, and Shawswick Townships.

The following incorporated towns are located in Lawrence County:


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Lawrence County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  3. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy and History”, 3/29/2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Lawrence County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Indiana 3/29/2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lawrence County, Indiana 214 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.