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St. Joseph County, Indiana Genealogy

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

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St. Joseph County, Indiana
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 29, 1830
County Seat South bend
Courthouse
Address St. Joseph County Courthouse
101 S Main Street
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: 219.235.9635
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
1882 1830 1882 1841 1830 1830 1807
Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.
  • Parent Counties: Formed 9 January 1830 from Cass County.
    [2]
  • County Seat: South Bend [3]


Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the St. Joseph River which flows through it toward Lake Michigan. The county seat is South Bend and the county was organized in January 10, 1830. The County is located in the North Central part of the state.[4]

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

La Porte  • Starke  • Marshall  • Elkhart  • Berrien  • Cass

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.

St Joseph County, Indiana Resources[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.

For a list of cemeteries that existed and still exist in St. Joseph County, see the South Bend Area Genealogical Society's webpage for their complete listing!

St Joseph County Cemeteries

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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

Church Records[edit | edit source]

To find more church records try a search in Family Search's Catalog. Enter place: Indiana, St. Joseph. When a list comes up there are several church sources. By putting a comma after St. Joseph, in the place name, a drop down list of each township or subject will appear. Click on the township or subject for links to more 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.


Christian Church, Walkerton[edit | edit source]
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • South Bend
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

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 St. Joseph County, Indiana Genealogy Church Records in online catalogs like:


The South Bend Area Genealogical Society's website has information on these churches:

Holy Trinity Church Records

Roman Catholic Marriages

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Some court records are held in the St. Joseph County Archives Archives and Records:

Indexes

Civil Records 1832-1984

Criminal Indexes: 1850's-1959

Guardians, Wards, & Minors Indexes 1830-1980

Probate Estate Indexes: 1830-1989

Mishawaka Civil Indexes: 1980-1992

Mishawaka Guardians, Wards, & Minors Indexes: 1882-1990

Mishawaka Probate Estate Indexes: 1981-1995

Traffic and Misdemeanor Indexes for South Bend 1980-1992

Traffic and Misdemeanor Indexes for St. Joseph County: 1972-1999

Traffic and Misdemeanor Indexes for Mishawaka: 1972-1999

Court Dockets

St. Joseph County Dockets: 1899-1995

Mishawaka Dockets: 1980-1995

Order Books

Circuit Court: 1832-1997

Circuit Court Probate: 1839-1995

County Court - Juvenile: 1924-1945

Court of Common Pleas: 1853-1873

Court of Common Pleas - Civil: 1853-1873

Court of Common Pleas - Probate: 1853-1873

Criminal Court: 1832-1835

Superior Court: 1910-1997

Superior Court Probate: 1921-1995

Mishawaka Superior Court: 1981-1995

Mishawaka Small Claims: 1985-1987

Mishawaka Traffic and Misdemeanor: 1991-1997

Probate Court- Estate: 1945-1999


The following restrictions are on these records:

Criminal records must be approved by the corresponding court

Inheritance, Guardianship, Juvenile, and Mental Health records are confidential

Adoption/Paternity records are confidential after 1941

Coroner records are confidential for 75 years


Many indexes are available online at the South Bend Area Genealogical Society's website: South Bend Area Genealogical Society

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic and religious Groups[edit | edit source]

South Bend Area Genealogical Society: Polish Immigrants to the Midwest

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

South Bend Area Genealogical Society: Immigrant Family Trees

South Bend Area Genealogical Society: Michiana Genealogical Index

History[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]
  • O'Connor, Cathy L., and Timothy Edward Howard. Every Name Index to A History of St. Joseph County, Indiana, Volumes One & Two, by Timothy Edward Howard, 1907. (Edwardsburg, Mich: Cathy L. O'Connor, 2007), Other Libaries, Vol.1 and Vol.2 (Volume 1 contains index)


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 St. Joseph County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:


Maps[edit | edit source]

Berrien CountyLa Porte CountyStarke CountyMarshall CountyKosciusko CountyElkhart CountyCass CountyIN ST JOSEPH.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records[edit | edit source]

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

Civil War service men from St, Joseph 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 St. Joseph County.

Civil War Books

  • "Military History" Chapter 14, in Timothy Edward Howard, A History of St. Joseph County, Indiana, Volume 2; Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Pub. Co., 1907. 977.289 H2h FHL US/CAN Book, FHL Collection, Internet Archive, Google Books
  • Also see index for above book, O'Connor, Cathy L., and Timothy Edward Howard, Every Name Index to A History of St. Joseph County, Indiana, Volumes One & Two, by Timothy Edward Howard, 1907. (Edwardsburg, Mich: Cathy L. O'Connor, 2007), Other Libaries, Vol.1 and Vol.2 (Volume 1 contains index)
World War I[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Many St. Joseph County newspapers, including the South Bend Tribune, South Bend News Times, St. Joe Valley Register, Mishawaka Enterprise, and others from 1830 to the present are available on microfilm at the St. Joseph County Public Library

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Obituaries from the Wakarusa Tribune 1800's to Present, Courtesy of the Wakarusa Public Library

Obituaries from The Bremen Enquirer 1884 to 2007, Courtesy of the Bremen Public Library

Obituaries from the South Bend Tribune 1913 to Present, Courtesy of the St. Joseph County Public Library

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 county courthouse.


Online Records

Finding More Probate Records[edit source]

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

Public records[edit | edit source]

School Records[edit | edit source]


Repositories[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
St Joseph County Indiana Courthouse.jpg

 St. Joseph County Courthouse
101 S Main Street
South Bend, IN 46601
Phone: 219.235.9635

County Health Department has birth, death and burial records. County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court records. County Assessor has land records. [6]

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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

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

Libraries[edit | edit source]

St. Joseph County Public Library
304 S. Main
South Bend, IN 46601

Hours: M-Th: 10am - 8pm; Fri-Sat 10am - 6pm; Closed Sunday

For help with genealogical queries, contact Local & Family History Services: local.history@sjcpl.org

Digital archive: Michiana Memory

Museums[edit | edit source]

The History Museum
808 W. Washington St.
South Bend, IN 46601-1439
Phone: 574-235-9664
Email: info@historymuseumsb.org
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

South Bend Area Genealogical Society
209 Lincoln Way East
Mishawaka, IN 46544
E-mail: irvm3@juno.com
Website

Historic New Carlisle
PO Box 107
New Carlisle, IN 46552-0107
Telephone Number: 574-654-3897
E-mail: historicnc@townofnewcarlisle.com
Website

Michiana Jewish Historical Society
3202 Shalom Way
South Bend, IN 46615-2955
Telephone Number: 574-233-1164

Osceola Historical Society
PO Box 14
Osceola, IN 46561-0014

Walkerton Area Historical Society
413 Michigan St.
Walkerton, IN 46574-1115
Telephone Number: 574-586-2852
E-mail: janrhodes@embarqmail.com

St. John Historical Society
PO Box 134
St. John, IN 46373

School Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Finding More Tax Records[edit source]

Additional tax records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as St. Joseph 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. 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 St. Joseph County, Indiana Genealogy County Clerk with divorce records located with the St. Joseph County, Indiana Genealogy Clerk of Courts.

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 St. Joseph 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), St. Joseph 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, "St. Joseph County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Joseph _County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "St. Joseph County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Joseph_County,_Indiana accessed 04/03/2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/8/8d/Igiindianah.pdf.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), St Joseph County, Indiana 216 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.