Owen County, Indiana Genealogy

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United States
Owen County

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


Owen County, Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Founded December 21, 1818
County Seat Spencer
Address Owen County Courthouse
Main Street PO Box 146
Spencer, IN 47460
Phone: 812.829.5015
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
*For earlier dates,

try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries


The county was named after Abraham Owen, a colonel who died at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1920. The County Seat is Spencer and was founded 1819.[3] It is located in the Southwest area of the state.[4]

Neighboring Counties

Clay  • Putnam  • Morgan  • Monroe  • Greene

The first county seat was to be on land owned by John Dunn on the bend of White River, but this was quickly relocated to a new location across the river from the land of John Bartholemew. This new site, which became known as Spencer, was approved by the county commissioners at a meeting at John Dunn's house on 12 Feb 1820.

Owen County was named for Abraham Owen, a Kentucky officer who was killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Some sources refer to him as a colonel, but Blanchard's 1884 county history refers to him as Major Abraham Owen.

The county seat, Spencer, derives its name from a Captain Spencer, a Kentucky soldier who was also killed in the same battle.

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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

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


Bible Records



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

Census Records

For tips on accessing Owen 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 Owen County, Indiana Genealogy Church Records in online catalogs like:

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic and Religious Groups


Genealogies and Biographies


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


Putnam CountyMorgan CountyMonroe CountyGreene CountyClay CountyIN OWEN.PNG
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Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

War of 1812

Civil War

Civil War servicemen from Owen 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 Owen County.


World War I

World War II

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

Public Records

School Records

Voter Registration



County Courthouse

Owen County Courthouse
Main Street PO Box 146
Spencer, IN 47460
Phone: 812.829.5015

County Health Department has birth and death records from 1882. County Clerk has marriage and court records from 1819, divorce records from 1832 and probate records from 1833. County Recorder has land records from 1819.[5]

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.

Societies and Libraries

Owen County Genealogical Society
110 East Market Street
Spencer, IN 47460

Owen County Historical and Genealogical Society
PO Box 569
Spencer, IN 47460
Telephone Number: 812-829-4466

Ten O'clock Line Treaty Museum at Gosport
PO Box 50
Gosport, IN 474333-7000
Telephone Number: 812-879-4050
E-mail: gosportmuseumdirector@gmail.com



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 Owen 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 Owen County, Indiana Genealogy County Clerk with divorce records located with the Owen County, Indiana Genealogy Clerk of Courts.

Births Records

Marriage Records

Blanchard's 1884 county history mentions that the first wedding in the county was a double wedding that predates the recording of marriages in the county record books. This was the marriage of two daughters of Philip Hart to James Bigger and Thomas Allen. The date of this marriage is unknown. The first recorded marriage is dated 4 Oct 1819.

  • Franklin, Charles M. Owen County, Indiana Marriages, 1819-1844. Indianapolis: Ye Olde Genealogie Shoppe, 1979. Digital copy at Internet Archive (can be read online or downloaded in several formats).
  • 1819-1849 Owen County, Indiana Marriage Record 1819-1849. (No further information). Digital copy in Internet Archive (can be read online or downloaded in several formats).

Death Records

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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




The county's original townships were Washington, Franklin, and Montgomery. Various changes were made to townships and township boundaries over the years. Owen County's current townships are as follows:

See also:

Populated Places


  • Coal City
  • Freedom
  • Patricksburg
  • Quincy


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Owen County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  3. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Owen County, Indiana Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ind/owen/ 3/30/2017.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Owen County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_County,_Indiana 3/30/2017.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Owen County, Indiana 215 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.