Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Indiana Gotoarrow.png Lawrence County

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

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Online 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

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.

Populated Places

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:

Boundary Changes

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.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Record Loss


Bible Records


Business Records


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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic and Religious Groups




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.


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:


Naturalization and Citizenship




Probate Records

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.[3]

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

FamilySearch Centers are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FamilySearch Center for Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy is the

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.

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)
Birth Records
Marriage Records
Death Records



  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  3. 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.