Owen County, Indiana Genealogy

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County Courthouse

Owen County Indiana Courthouse.jpg
 Owen County; Main St; PO Box 146; Spencer, IN 47460; Ph. 812.829.5015 Details: (Co Hlth Dept has b & d rec from 1882; Co Cl has m & ct rec from 1819, div rec from 1832 & pro rec from 1833; Co redr has land rec from 1819


Owen County, Indiana was formed 1 Jan 1819 from Daviess and Sullivan Counties.

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. 

Parent County

1818--Owen County was created 21 December 1818 from Daviess and Sullivan Counties.
County seat: Spencer [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss



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

See also:

Neighboring Counties




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





Genealogies and Biographies


Local Histories

  • Blanchard, Charles, ed. Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. Chicago: F.A. Battey & Company, 1884. Digital copy in Google Books; may be downloaded in pdf or epub formats. Digital copy in Internet Archive; may be read online or downloaded in several formats.
  • History (Owen County INGenWeb)
  • History of Owen County (Owen County Online)
  • Owen County, Indiana. Town and Country Publishing Company, 1977.
  • Owen County, Indiana: A History. Owen County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1994.
  • Peterson, Roger. "General History of Owen County, Indiana." (OCHGS site)




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.




  • Wills (Owen County INGenWeb)


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)


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 in Internet Archive (can be read online or downloaded in several formats).
  • Index to Owen County, Indiana Marriage Records, 1819-1920. Spencer, Indiana: Owen County Historical & Genealogical Society, [2000?].
  • Owen County, Indiana Marriage Record 1819-1849. (No further information). Digital copy in Internet Archive (can be read online or downloaded in several formats).

Societies and Libraries 

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).