Owen County, Indiana Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Indiana Gotoarrow.png Owen County

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

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Online Records

Owen County, Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Founded December 21, 1818
County Seat Spencer
Address Owen County Courthouse
Main Street PO Box 146
Spencer, IN 47460
Phone: 812.829.5015
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Historical Facts

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


Bible Records



Census Records

For tips on accessing Owen 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.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic and Religious Groups


Genealogies and Biographies


Local Histories

  • Blanchard, Charles, ed. Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. Chicago: F.A. Battey ompany, 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)

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

War of 1812

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.


World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship



Probate Records

  • Wills (Owen County INGenWeb)

Public Records



County Courthouse

Owen County Courthouse
Main Street PO Box 146
Spencer, IN 47460
Phone: 812.829.5015

County Health Department has birth and death records from 1882.
County Clerk has marriage and court records from 1819, divorce records from 1832 and probate records from1833.
County Recorder has land records from 1819.[2]

Family History Centers

Societies and Libraries



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

Births Records

Marriages Records

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).

Deaths Records

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

Voter Registration

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Owen County, Indiana 215 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.