Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy

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County Courthouse

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[1]


The territory that eventually became Lawrence County, Indiana was once a part of Washington County and later of Orange County. Lawrence County was formed from Orange County on 1 Mar 1818 as the result of a legislative act of 7 Jan 1818.

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.

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.

Parent County

1818--Lawrence County was organized 1 Mar 1818 as the result of a legislative act of 7 January 1818. The county was formed from Orange County.  County seat: Bedford [2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss



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.

Populated Places

The following incorporated towns are located in Lawrence County:

Neighboring Counties



Specific Cemeteries


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


  • 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)



Genealogies, Biographies, Letters, and Journals


Local Histories



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:






School Records


  • Lee, Barbara. 1907 Lawrence County, Indiana Poll Tax Rolls. Bedford, IN: Lawrence County Historical & Genealogical Society, (2007?). WorldCat

Vital Records

  • Indiana State Digital Achives for Death, E-Publication, Instiution, Military, Misc Historical, Naturalization Records can be searched by person name (accessed 26 May 2011)

Societies and Libraries 

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lawrence County, Indiana 214 {WorldCat|50140092|disp=At various libraries (WorldCat)}}; FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).