Indiana Vital Records

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[[United States Vital Records|Vital Records]] consist of [[United States Birth Records|births]], adoptions, [[United States Marriage Records|marriages]], divorces, and [[United States Death Records|deaths]] recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. [[Locating United States Vital Records|United States Vital Records]]&nbsp;has&nbsp;additional research guidance&nbsp;on researching and using vital records. The best place to obtain a copy or an extract of an original record of a birth or death&nbsp;is from the [http://www.in.gov/isdh/20422.htm County Health Department]&nbsp;of the county where the event occurred. Copies can also be obtained from&nbsp;the [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/Indiana.htm Indiana Vital Records State Department of Health]. Original marriage records can be obtained from the [http://www.indgensoc.org/counties.php county courthouse] in the county the marriage took place.&nbsp; <br>  
 
[[United States Vital Records|Vital Records]] consist of [[United States Birth Records|births]], adoptions, [[United States Marriage Records|marriages]], divorces, and [[United States Death Records|deaths]] recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. [[Locating United States Vital Records|United States Vital Records]]&nbsp;has&nbsp;additional research guidance&nbsp;on researching and using vital records. The best place to obtain a copy or an extract of an original record of a birth or death&nbsp;is from the [http://www.in.gov/isdh/20422.htm County Health Department]&nbsp;of the county where the event occurred. Copies can also be obtained from&nbsp;the [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/Indiana.htm Indiana Vital Records State Department of Health]. Original marriage records can be obtained from the [http://www.indgensoc.org/counties.php county courthouse] in the county the marriage took place.&nbsp; <br>  
  
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Indiana's vital records start the following years:  
 
Indiana's vital records start the following years:  
 
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Permission is only required of those still living. If the individual (adoptee or birth parents) is deceased, information can be released, although proof of death is required.  
 
Permission is only required of those still living. If the individual (adoptee or birth parents) is deceased, information can be released, although proof of death is required.  
  
Form for [http://www.state.in.us/icpr/webfile/formsdiv/47896.pdf Identifying Information Consent Form (47896)]  
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Form for [https://forms.in.gov/Download.aspx?id=5405 Identifying Information Consent Form (47896)]  
  
Non-Identifying Information can also be provided: [http://www.state.in.us/icpr/webfile/formsdiv/47897.pdf Non-identifying Information Consent Form (47897)]  
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Non-Identifying Information can also be provided: [https://forms.in.gov/Download.aspx?id=5406 Non-identifying Information Consent Form (47897)]  
  
 
For more information: [http://www.in.gov/isdh/20371.htm Indiana State Department of Health].  
 
For more information: [http://www.in.gov/isdh/20371.htm Indiana State Department of Health].  

Revision as of 02:54, 13 March 2014

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Indiana  Gotoarrow.png  Vital Records

Introduction to Vital Records 

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Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. United States Vital Records has additional research guidance on researching and using vital records. The best place to obtain a copy or an extract of an original record of a birth or death is from the County Health Department of the county where the event occurred. Copies can also be obtained from the Indiana Vital Records State Department of Health. Original marriage records can be obtained from the county courthouse in the county the marriage took place. 

Contents

 
Vital Records Collage.JPG
  


Vital Records Reference Dates

Indiana's vital records start the following years:


Births Marriages Deaths
Earliest 1882* County Formation 1882*
Statewide Registration 1907 1800 1900
General Compliance 1920 1800 1920

* A few Indiana cities kept birth and death records before this date.

Indiana Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes and Records Online

The following is a list of online resources useful for locating Indiana Vital Records which consist of birthsmarriages, divorces, and deaths. Most online resources for Indiana Vital Records are indexes. After locating a person in an index always consult the original record to confirm the information in the index.

Births:


Marriages:

Deaths:

Order a copy of the certificate:

More Online Indiana Vital Records Links

Indiana Vital Records Indexes (genealogybranches.com)

Birth Records

Indiana law required the recording of births beginning in 1882, although a few larger Indiana cities began recording births earlier. Early compliance with the 1882 law varied and many births that occurred in Indiana between 1882 and 1900 were not recorded. Most birth record ledgers are in the courthouse or another government facility in the county in which the event took place.

In 1907, the state of Indiana passed a law requiring all counties to register their births with the Indiana State Board of Health. Compliance was not complete until after 1920.

Birth records after 1907 usually give the name and sex of the child; the parents' names, their birthplaces, ages, and the mother's maiden name.

To obtain a copy of the birth record, contact the county health department in the county where the child was born, or from the State Board of Health.

Form for requesting a birth record from the Indiana State Department of Health

When ordering a birth record, request a "copy of the original certificate for genealogical purposes." This ensures an actual copy of the birth record instead of a typed version of the record. You must also show proof of your relationship to the individual.  Requirements for ordering a birth record.

A wiki article discribing an online collection is found at:

Indiana Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Birth Indexes

Online databases:
There are many online marriage indexes available. See the above Indiana Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes and Records Online.

Indexes on Microfilm copy:
During the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Indiana Works Progress Administration (WPA) indexed many counties' birth records for the period of 1882 to 1920. The birth index provides the name of the child, father’s name, mother’s maiden name, gender, color, date of birth, and the book and page number of the courthouse ledger where the original may be found.

Original Typescripts of Indexes:

Another State-wide Indiana Birth Index

Pre-1882 Indiana Births from Secondary Sources, Vols. I and II (Fort Wayne, Ind.: Heritage Pathways, Inc. 1999). Each volume includes approximately 10,000 entries for births that took place in Indiana prior to the advent of civil birth records. This data was taken from a variety of sources, including family Bible records, Civil War pension files, private family files and genealogical periodicals. FHL Collection For a copy nearest you, search WorldCat.org

Delayed Birth Records

Delayed registrations of births are found in the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office in the county where the applicant was living at the time of registration not the county of birth.  Registrations began in July 1941, and although the law is still in effect, most registrations occurred in the 1940s. They may contain information on births that occurred as early as the 1870s. Certificates for births that were originally not recorded were granted after a petition was filed with the court. These registrations may also contain births of people born outside of the county and even those outside of the U.S. Contact the clerk in the county they were living in 1941 for copies.

The Family History Library has microfilms of delayed birth registrations for more then 60 counties which can be loaned to your local Family History Center. Use the Family History Library Catalog to locate the correct microfilm. 
How to locate a microfilm number in the Family History Library Catalog. 
How to locate a Family History Center.

Marriage Records

Marriage records usually date from the formation of each county and are found in the County Clerk's Office in each county. Marriages can exist as early as 1788, as the first law regulating marriages was passed by statutes of the Northwest Territory. The statute required: 1) banns to be read 15 days before the marriage, 2) the male to be 17 years old and 3) the female to be 14. By 1800, marriage licenses were manditory.[1]

Marriage records prior to the late 1800s usually include only the names of the couple, the date of the marriage and sometimes the date of the license, the officiant's name, the county of marriage, and occasionally the names of witnesses. Late in the 19th century, more detailed marriage application forms were being used. Depending on the time period, they may include the names of the parents of the bride and groom, including their mothers' maiden names, occupations and residences for the bridal couple and their parents, whether the bride and/or groom had been married previously and how the previous marriage(s) ended (death or divorce). Often the marriage application also had a section where the parties were asked to attest that they were of legal age, were not insane, whether the groom could support a family, and similar questions.

Many eloping couples went to Crown Point, Lake County, Indiana to be married as there was no waiting period between the time of issuing a license and the performance of the marriage. Eloping couples from Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Ohio were married in Crown Point, Indiana.

Original marriage records can be obtained from the county courthouse in the county the marriage took place.  Marriages after 1958 were also registered with the Indiana State Department of Health.

Form for requesting a marriage record from the Indiana State Department of Health

The Family History Library and the Indiana State Library Genealogy Collection have microfilm copies of many Indiana marriage records. The Genealogy Collection of the Allen County Public Library has microfim copies of marriage records for 31 of the state's 92 counties. Check the ACPL Microfilm Catalog under "States" to determine the collection's holdings for specific counties and years.

Wiki articlse describing online collections are found at:

Marriage Record Indexes

Online Indexes
There are many online marriage indexes available. See the above Indiana Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes and Records Online.

Indexes on Microfilm copy:
Published marriage record indexes are available for most Indiana counties from the earliest marriages to the early or mid-1900s and sometimes beyond. Many of these were compiled by the Works Progress Administration and cover marriages from county formation to 1920. They are arranged alphabetically by the name of the bride or groom and include name of spouse, color, date of marriage and for marriages after 1905, sometimes date of birth. These indexes reference the book and page number of the marriage ledger in the county courthouse where the original record may be found. For some counties, there is an additional supplemental marriage index that includes information from the longer marriage application form that was used toward the end of the 19th century. Besides the individual's name, information in the supplemental index may include father’s given name, mother’s maiden name, gender, color, age at next birthday, date of marriage, and courthouse book and page number. The spouse's name is not listed in these supplemental indexes.

Additional published marriage index collections include:

  • Indiana Marriages, Early to 1825: A Research Tool. This index includes the name of the groom, the bride, marriage date and county and includes more than 26,000 names. FHL Collection
  • Indiana Source Book: Genealogical Material from the Hoosier Genealogist, This source encompasses more than just marriage records. It includes more than 175,000 indexed names. FHL Collection The Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library has microfilm indexes of Indiana marriage records from 1958 to the present. The Allen County Public Library has these microfilm indexes for 1962 to 1992.


The Indiana State Board of Health published abstracts of post-1958 marriage records annually from 1958 to 1965. These published volumes are available at the Indiana State Library and the Allen County Public Library. The Family History Library has them for 1960 and 1964.

Death Records

Death records began in a few Indiana cities as early as the 1870s, but the first law requiring county registration of death was passed in 1882.  In 1900, all deaths were to be registered with the state.  Compliance with the law varied until 1920 and deaths that occurred were now always recorded. To obtain a copy of the death record, contact the county health department where the death took place, or from the Indiana State Board of Health.

Form for requesting a death record from the Indiana State Department of Health

When ordering a death record, request a "copy of the original certificate for genealogical purposes." This ensures an actual copy of the death record instead of a typed version of the record. You must also show proof of your relationship to the individual.  Requirements for ordering a death record.

Death Indexes

Online databases:
There are many online marriage indexes available. See the above Indiana Birth, Marriage, and Death Indexes and Records Online.

Indexes on Microfilm copy:
During the late 1930s and early 1940s, the Indiana Works Progress Administration (WPA) indexed many counties' death records for the period of 1882 to 1920. The death index gives the name of the deceased, gender, color, age at death, date of death, place of death, and book and page number of the courthouse ledger.

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Indiana, Death Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Original Typescripts of Indexes:


Coroner's Records

Coroner's records are another source of death information. The Coroner’s Office was established in 1788 during the Northwest Territory period and continued under Indiana’s 1816 and 1851 Constitutions. The coroner investigated deaths whose causes were unknown or resulted from violence to determine the cause of death. Coroner inquests were published in the local newspaper. Before 1879, few coroner’s records survive. Beginning in 1879, the coroner was required to file a report with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Many of these records survive.  Some Indiana Coroner's records are at the Allen County Public Library and the Family History Library.

Mortality Schedules

Mortality schedules taken in conjunction with the federal census in 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 reported deaths that occurred within the twelve months prior to the recording of the census. These mortality schedules are additional death records for those individuals whose deaths occurred in the narrow time frame of the one-year period before these four census years. A free online source for some of this mortality schedule information is The Indiana Federal and State Census Record Mortality Schedules website hosted by New Horizons Genealogical Services. Ancestry.com has also indexed Indiana Mortality Schedules.

For more information on Mortality Schedules.


Divorce Records

Divorces were first authorized by legislation in the Northwest Territory in 1795. They were granted through the General Court or Circuit Court. Generally this legislation remained in effect through Indiana’s territorial period (1800–1816), and courts having civil jurisdiction also heard divorce cases. In 1807 the territorial General Assembly also had power to grant divorces; in 1811 they passed two acts granting divorces. From 1817 to 1852 the Circuit Court in each county had jurisdiction over divorces, and the Indiana General Assembly could also grant divorces, through special legislation. These early divorces have been abstracted:

Divorces Granted by the Indiana General Assembly Prior to 1852 by M.E.E. Newland. 1981. To locate a copy nearest you, search WorldCat.org

The Court of Common Pleas in each county could grant divorces concurrently with its Circuit Court from 1853 to 1873. As Superior courts were established in various counties, they have had concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court. Divorces were entered in the appropriate court’s Order Book, and these books are being microfilmed through 1920 by the Family History Library. Original pleadings remain as they survive in each county. They may show the date of marriage, children, residencies, and other helpful information.

Contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court for more information, providing names and approximate date of divorce.

The Family History Library has some divorce records for Indiana. If they are on microfilm/fiche, they can be loaned to your local Family History Center. Using the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog, type in the county, then click on the topic: Divorce Records.

How to locate a microfilm number in the Family History Library Catalog. 
How to locate a Family History Center.

Adoption Records

There are two different laws for an adult adoptee obtaining information about their birth parents.

For Adoptions Finalized prior to January 1, 1994
Indiana law states that if both adult adoptee (age 21 and over) and a birth parents (if named on the original birth record) file a written consent form with the office of the Indiana State Registrar, all agencies involved with the adoption must release identifying information. This includes the following agencies: Indiana State Registrar, the Family Social Services Administration (FSSA), county divisions of family and children, child placement agencies, health care providers, and associated courts.

Permission is only required of those still living. If the individual (adoptee or birth parents) is deceased, information can be released, although proof of death is required.

Form for Identifying Information Consent Form (47896)

Non-Identifying Information can also be provided: Non-identifying Information Consent Form (47897)

For more information: Indiana State Department of Health.

For Adoptions Finalized after December 31, 1993

To obtain identifying information, including location of any pre-adoptive siblings of adoptee, from the Indiana State Register at the Indiana State Department of Health, the adult adoptee (age 21 or over) or the adoptive parents of an adoptee who is under age 21 must send in a written request, along with signature identification.  The following agencies must release information unless a birth parents has filed a written non-release form with the State Registrar: Indiana State Registrar at the Indiana State Department of Health. The Indiana State Registrar, the FSSA, county division of family and children, child placement agencies, health care providers, adoption attorneys, and associated courts.

An adult pre-adoptive sibling (age 21 or over) or the adoptive parents of an adoptee may also request information.

The Office of the State Registrar can conduct a search for medical information for the adoptee: State form SF47261.

Mail a copy of signature identification and this completed form to the address below:
Indiana State Department of Health
Indiana Adoption Medical History Registry P.O. BOX 7125
INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46206-7125
Allow 4 to 6 weeks for processing of your request.

Additional Helps

Tips

  • Information listed on vital records is given by an informant.  Learn the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) of the record.  The closer the relationship of the informant to the subject(s) and whether or not the informant was present at the time of the event can help determine the accuracy of the information found on the record.
  • If you are unable to locate vital records recorded by governments, search for church records of christening, marriage, death or burial.  A family Bible may have been used to record births, marriages and deaths. Other substitute records.
  • Privacy laws may restrict your access to some vital records.  Copies of some vital records recorded in the last 100 years may be unavailable to anyone except a direct relative.

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Burned, Lost, or Missing Records

For a list of record loss in Indiana counties see the following:

Substitute Records

These links will take you to wiki pages describing alternate sources for birth, marriage and death records.

  • Church Records: Depending on the denomination, church records may contain information about birth, marriage and death.
  • Cemetery Records: Cemetery records are a rich source of birth and death information.  These records may also reveal family relationships.
  • Census Records: Census records are a valuable source for birth and marriage information. You may also determine approximate time of death when the individual disappear from the census. This is a good place to begin a search.
  • Newspapers: Besides obituaries, local newspapers may contain birth and marriage announcements and death notices.  Also check newspaper social columns for additional information. 
  • Periodicals: Local genealogical and historical societies often publish periodicals which may contain abstracted early birth, marriage and death information.
  • Military Records:  Military pension records can give birth, marriage and death information,  In addtion, soldiers' homes records can include this same information.
  • Probate Records: If no death record exists, probate records may be helpful in estimating when an individual has died. Probate records in the 20th Century often contain the exact death date.
  • History:  Local histories, family histories and biographies can all be sources of birth, marriage and death information. Often this information is found in county-level records or in surname searches of the Family History Library catalog.

More Online Indiana Vital Records Links 

Wiki articles describing onlinecollections are found at:

References:

  1. Eichholz, Alice, Red Book: American State, County, and Towns Sources (Provo, UT: Ancestry, 2004), page 199.

You can learn more about the history, contents, and availability of Indiana state and county birth, marriage, and death records in:

  • Finding Indiana Ancestors: A Guide to Historical Research by M. Teresa Baer and Geneil Breeze. 2007. FHL Collection To locate a copy nearest you, search WorldCat
  • Indiana Genealogical Research by George K. Schweitzer. 1996. FHL Collection To locate a copy nearest you, search WorldCat