Wells County, Indiana Genealogy

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

Wells County, Indiana
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 7, 1835
County Seat Bluffton
Courthouse
Address Wells County Courthouse
102 W Market Street
Bluffton, IN 46714
Phone: 219.824.6479

County Website
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Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1883 1837 1883 1837 1838 1838 1807
Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Capt. William A. Wells, who was captured by Native Americans as a young boy and adopted by the Miami chief Little Turtle. He eventually became a scout for Gen. "Mad Anthony" Wayne. Capt. Wells was killed by Potawatomi allied with the British at the Fort Dearborn Massacre at the outbreak of the War of 1812. The Potawatomi ate Capt. Wells' heart to gain part of his courage. Wayne is mainly remembered for his service in the 1790s in the Northwest Indian War, which included many actions in Indiana and Ohio.[4] The county seat is Bluffton and the county was organized on 1837. The County is located in the East Central part of the state.[5]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit https://indiana.hometownlocator.com/counties/cities,cfips,179,c,wells.cfm HomeTown Locator]. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Townships


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Allen  • Adams  • Jay  • Blackford  • Grant  • Huntington

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Business Records[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 1,822
1850 6,152 237.7%
1860 10,844 76.3%
1870 13,585 25.3%
1880 18,442 35.8%
1890 21,514 16.7%
1900 23,449 9.0%
1910 22,418 −4.4%
1920 20,509 −8.5%
1930 18,411 −10.2%
1940 19,099 3.7%
1950 19,564 2.4%
1960 21,220 8.5%
1970 23,821 12.3%
1980 25,401 6.6%
1990 25,948 2.2%
2000 27,600 6.4%
2010 27,636 0.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

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.

For more information about these major repositories, see Indiana Church Records.


Finding More Church Records[edit source]

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


Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]
  • Biographical and historical record of Adams and Wells counties, Indiana : Containing portraits of all the Presidents of the United States from Washington to Cleveland, with accompanying biographies of each : a condensed history of the state of Indiana : portraits and biographies of some of the prominent men of the state : engravings of prominent citizens in Adams and Wells counties, with personal histories of many of the leading families, and a concise history of the counties and their cities and villages. (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co.,1887). Internet Archive

Land and Property[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.

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[edit source]

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


Maps[edit | edit source]

Huntington CountyAllen CountyAdams CountyJay CountyBlackford CountyGrant CountyIN WELLS.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Wells 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 Wells County.

World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Occupations[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 Wells County courthouse. For more information, see Indiana Probate Records. Online Records

Finding More Probate Records[edit source]

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


Public Records[edit | edit source]

School Records[edit | edit source]
Voting Registration[edit | edit source]

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Wells County Courthouse
102 W Market Street
Bluffton, IN 46714
Phone: 219.824.6479
Website

County Health Department has birth and death records.County Clerk has marriage, divorce and court records from 1837 and probate records from 1838. County Recorder has land records. [7]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

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

Museums[edit | edit source]
Libraries[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]

Wells County Historical Society
P O Box 143
Bluffton, IN 46714

Wells County Genealogical Society
P O Box 54
Bluffton, IN 46714
Website

Taxation[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.

For more information see the wiki page Indiana Taxation.

Finding More Tax Records[edit source]

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


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 Records[edit | edit source]
Marriage Records[edit | edit source]
Death Records[edit | edit source]

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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


Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wells County, Indiana. Page 211-218 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 208-211.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Wells County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Wells County, Indiana Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ind/wells/ accessed 04/05/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Wells County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_County,_Indiana accessed 04/05/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Wells County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_County%2C_Indiana, accessed 16 January 2020.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wells County, Indiana 217 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.