Porter County, Indiana Genealogy

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United States
Indiana
Porter County

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

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Porter County, Indiana
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 7, 1835
County Seat Valparaiso
Courthouse
Address Porter County Courthouse
16 E Lincolnway #209
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219.465.3450
Website
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Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Land
Probate
1884*
1835*
1884*
1833
1839
*For earlier dates,

try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries

  • Parent Counties: Formed 7 February 1835 from La Porte and Newton Counties.[1]
  • County Seat: Valparaiso [2]

Description

The county was named for David Porter. The County Seat is Valparaiso and was founded 1836. It is located in the North West area of the state.[3]

Neighboring Counties

Lake  • Jasper  • Starke  • La Porte


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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

Dec. 1934 Courthouse destroyed by fire; all records saved.

Porter County, Indiana Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business Records

Cemeteries

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
Tombstone Project
Indiana Interment
Billion Graves
See Indiana Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records

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

Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System:

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


Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic and religious Groups

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


Gazetteers

Genealogies

Histories

Local Histories
  • Goodspeed, Weston Arthur, and Charles Blanchard. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical.(Chicago: F.A. Battey, 1882.)FHL US/CAN Film 934917 Item 1, FHL Collection, Other Libraries, Internet Archive
  • Lewis Publishing Company. cn. 1911. History of Porter County, Indiana : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests FHL book 977.298 H2h FHL US/CAN Book, FHL Collection,Internet Archive

Maps

Migration

Military Records

War of 1812

Civil War

Civil War service men from Porter 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 Porter County.

Civil War Books

  • "Military History", Chapter 6 in Lewis Publishing Company. cn. 1911. History of Porter County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests 977.298 H2h FHL US/CAN Book, FHL Collection, Internet Archive

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System:

Obituaries

Occupations

Periodicals

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


Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System:

Finding More Probate Records

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

Public Records

School Records


Voter Registration

Repositories

Archives
County Courthouse

Porter County Courthouse
16 E Lincolnway #209
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219.465.3450

Attached to St. Joseph County prior to organization 6 Feb 1836. County Health Department has birth and death records. County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court records from 1836. County Auditor has land records. [4]

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

Historical Society of Porter County
153 Franklin Street
Valparaiso, IN 46385
Telephone Number: 219-465-3595
Website

Beverly Shores Historical Society
PO Box 242
Beverly Shores, IN 46301-0242
Telephone Number: 219-874-8000
E-mail: bevshrshist@bevshrshistsoc.org

Duneland Historical Society
PO Box 2034
Chesterton, IN 46304
Telephone Number: 219-921-0963
E-mail: dunelandhistoricalsociety@gmail.com
Website

Hebron Historical Society
PO Box 679
Hebron, IN 46341-0679
Telephone Number: 219-996-3192

Historical Society of Ogden Dunes
115 Hillcrest Road, Suite 101
Portage, IN 46368-8503
Telephone Number: 219-764-7526
E-mail: martinken@att.net
Website

Kankakee Valley Historical Society
22 W. 1050 S.
Kouts, IN 46347
E-mail: jophod@gmail.com
Website

Portage Community Historical Society
Alton Goin Museum
5250 U.S. Highway 6
Portage, IN 46368
Telephone Number: 219-762-8349
E-mail: pchs.1@frontier.com
Website

Westchester Township History Museum
700 W. Porter Avenue
Chesterton, IN 46304
Telephone Number: 219-983-9715
E-mail: serena@wpl.lib.in.us
Website

Porter County Library
Valparaiso Branch
103 Jefferson Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Website

Taxation

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.

{{IN Tax Records Repositories|Porter|1260551}

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

Birth Records
Marriage Records
Death Records

Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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



Websites

Places

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Porter County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Porter County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County,_Indiana 3/30/2017.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Porter County, Indiana 215 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.