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Public and private organizations, such as societies and churches, often place their old records in archives or libraries for safekeeping. Many archives and libraries have also prepared aids to help researchers find records in their collections. The archives, libraries, and societies listed below have major collections of compiled genealogies or services helpful to genealogical researchers. Compiled records are collections of information about a person, group, or family. You can save a lot of time by seeing what information others have already found about your family. You should use these secondary sources with caution and evaluate them for accuracy.

The following archives, libraries, and societies have collections or services for Indiana genealogical research.


Allen County Public Library.jpg
Allen County Public Library
Genealogy Center
900 Webster Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Telephone: 219-421-1225

The Genealogy Center houses the second largest genealogy research collection in the United States, and the largest in a public library. It is primarily a North American collection, with some complementary resources for the British Isles and other European countries. One of America's best genealogical libraries. They especially shine in genealogical periodicals, printed county histories, and printed family histories.[1] See:

  • Karen B Cavanaugh, A Genealogist’s Guide to the Allen County Public Library, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, 3rd ed. (Fort Wayne, Ind.: Cavanaugh, 1983). WorldCat 10295892; The Family History Library has the original 1980 edition titled A Genealogist's Guide to the Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Public Library, FHL Book 977.274/F1 A3c.
NARA Chicago.jpg
National Archives at Chicago
7358 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629
Telephone: 773-948-9001
Fax: 773-948-9050
Website: Click here

This center has federal censuses, passenger lists, Indian census rolls (1885–1940), records of marine inspection and navigation for Indiana (1865–1968; includes owners, masters, and crew members), naturalization indexes, General Land Office records for Indiana (1808–1876; listed by land office), U.S. District and Circuit Court records for Indiana (1819 –1961), military, and other records. For an online guide to the holdings of the Chicago Branch of the National Archives Click here. For an older print guide the the Archives and its branches, see:
  • Szucs, Loretto Dennis, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking. The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Field Branches. Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1988. FHL book 973 A3sz, 17-19.
Newberry Library
Newberry Library.jpg

60 West Waltron Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Telephone: 312-255-3512
Internet: Newberry Library

A large Chicago repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records some from Indiana, the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.[2] They have over 17,000 printed genealogies. The collection is noteworthy for its colonial America, especially New England holdings. They have church, town, and county histories from all parts of the United States, Canada, and the British Isles. This includes a comprehensive set of New England town histories, and strong collection of county histories from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states. Their Civil War unit histories collection is one of the best.[3] This library has research guides on various subjects related to genealogy and library holdings cataloged from 1978.  See
  • Genealogy Collection Guides and Research Tools for more information about the collections. 
  • A surname index to genealogical periodicals and local history books in the Newberry Library was completed in 1915 and published as The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library[4] Since this index is old, be sure to use the online guide sheet to this collection before using the source.


The Indiana State Archives and the State Library are now located in separate places.

Indiana State Archives
6440 East 30th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46219-1007
Telephone: 317-591-5222
Fax: 317-233-1713
Internet: Indiana Archives and Records Administration

The Indiana State Archives houses census, military, and federal land records. They also have original state and county government records from all Indiana counties.[1] The Archives has a growing online digital collection that contains death records, military records, naturalization records and institutional records.

Indiana State Library
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202

This Library has three significant sections helpful to genealogical researchers:[1]

  • Genealogy Section Telephone: 317-232-6839; Internet: ISL Genealogy Division; Great collection with great indexes.
  • Indiana Section Telephone: 317-232-3670; Internet ISL Indiana Division; Extensive Indiana manuscripts, published histories of counties, towns, churches, and organizations. Also has biographies and image indexes.
  • Newspapers Section
An important guide to the Indiana State Library is:
  • Miller, Carolynne L. Indiana Sources for Genealogical Research in the Indiana State Library. Indianapolis, Indiana: Genealogical Section, Indiana Historical Society, 1984. FHL book 977.2 D23mc.
A listing of family records and other sources at the Indiana State Library is found in:
  • Pumroy, Eric. A Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society, 1986. FHL book 977.2 H23p.

Indiana Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 10507
Fort Wayne, IN 46825-0507

The Indiana Genealogical Society publishes an online newsletter in the Members Only area of the IGS website. The Indiana Genealogist, a quarterly journal, is in its last year as a print publication and will be published online in the future.
The Indiana Genealogical Society website includes numerous databases of interest to those with Hoosier ancestors. Some are available free and others are in the Members Only area of the website.
IGS directs the Society of Civil War Families of Indiana, a membership organization comprised of desendants of soldiers who served in the Civil War in Indiana units.
Applications for the Territorial Guard Society of Indiana, a membership organization of those who can prove direct ancestral residence within the boundaries of the present state of Indiana on or before 11 December 1816 will begin being accepted 1 January 2011, with the first inductees to be installed in April 2012. Watch for more information to appear on the IGS website.

Indiana Historical Society
315 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Telephone: 317-232-1882
Fax: 317-233-3109[1]

This is a private society with a strong collection of original sources, especially for the early 1800s.[1] A guide to family records and other sources at the Indiana Historical Society is in Eric Pumroy’s book cited above.
See also Indiana Genealogy for information about Ruth Dorrel’s book Pioneer Ancestors of Members of the Society of Indiana Pioneers. The records of the Society of Indiana Pioneers are in the basement of the Indiana Historical Society.


Anderson Public Library

Their Indiana Room is dedicated to the genealogy and local history of Anderson, Lapel, and Madison counties: census indexes, newspapers on microfilm, 13,800 books, together with other counties, states and countries, and online databases. Houses the large library of Willard Heiss, an Indiana and Quaker genealogy researcher.[1]

Lake County Public Library Merrillville Branch

Good collection about settlers moving across the northern United States from New England to Indiana. Includes a large book collection, microfilms, and surname folders.[1]

Northern Indiana Historical Society and Center for History

They have very large collections of military records, newspapers, and special indexes. They also have many books, periodicals, and maps.[1]

St. Joseph County Public Library

Comparable to Allen County library as far as statewide Indiana records. This is a good general genealogy library.[1]

Vigo County Public Library

They have extensive published genealogies and county histories for Vigo County and surrounding counties in Indiana and Illinois. They also have local city directories and newspapers.[1]

Vincennes University Lewis Historical Library

They have family folders, cemetery records, early Indiana material, and printed genealogies including many from outside Indianapolis.[1]

Willard Library.jpg
Willard Library
21 First Avenue
Evansville, IN 47710
Telephone: 812-425-4309
Internet: Willard Library
Internet: Genealogy and Local History

A specialized genealogical collection including biographies, genealogies, and family histories.[1]

Loss of Records through Disasters

There have been over 50 courthouse fires and other natural disasters in Indiana that have caused significant losses of records. A list of these lost records was prepared by John J. Newman of the Indiana Supreme Court in 1988. In the list, the date in parentheses following the county name is the year the county was organized. A fire in one parent county might have affected other counties that were later divided off from it.
  • Boone (1830) 1856–loss of deed records (partially re-recorded), tax, and commissioner records
  • Brown (1836) 1873–loss of deed and mortgage records (partially re-recorded)
  • Clark (1801) 1937–flood, loss of original court, marriage, and probate files
  • Clay (1825) 1851–early probate and marriage records were destroyed (all deeds and mortgages survived)
  • Daviess (1817) 1891, 1927, 1985; 1891–fire heavily damaged deeds, mortgages, and commissioner records (fragments were re-recorded from original ledgers)
  • Dearborn (1803) 1826–loss of virtually all courthouse records
  • DeKalb (1837) 1913–loss of Clerk’s records, including naturalization, some marriages, most probate, and nearly all civil records
  • Dubois (1818) 1839–loss of all courthouse records (some court and deed records were re-recorded)
  • Jasper (1838) 1865–loss of all court and marriage records (a few were re-recorded)
  • Jennings (1817) 1859–loss of some records; 1950s– man-made loss of civil complete order books and naturalization records by mold due to poor storage
  • Johnson (1823) 1847 and 1874–loss of original papers; marriage book one begins July 1830, but a few marriage licenses date from 1823.
  • Knox (1790) 1814–loss of all deed and mortgage records
  • Madison (1823) 1880–loss of marriage, court, and probate records; 1950s–disposal of commissioner and tax records
  • Martin (1820) 1876–loss of some tax and commissioner records
  • Miami (1834) 1843–loss of all court and marriage records (deed and commissioner records generally survived)
  • Morgan (1822) 1876–loss of some court, probate, tax, and commissioner records
  • Noble (1836) 1843–loss of all courthouse records; 1859, loss of all court, probate, and marriage records
  • Parke (1821) 1833–loss of all courthouse records (some court and deed records re-recorded)
  • Porter (1836) 1934–loss of original court and probate files, most contemporaneous to the fire, but some earlier files were destroyed
  • Randolph (1818) 1955–disposal of court and probate ledgers, including naturalization records (court order books were not destroyed)
  • Spencer (1818) 1833–loss of most records (some court, probate, marriage and deed records survived)
  • Sullivan (1817) 1850–loss of virtually all courthouse records (some deed and one probate ledger survived)
  • Vermillion (1824) 1923–loss of some commissioner and tax records
  • Warren (1827) 1907–loss of commissioner records (many re-recorded) and tax records

Archives Inventories

Thompson, Donald E. Preliminary Checklist of Archives and Manuscripts in Indiana Repositories. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society, 1980. (Family History Library book 977.2 A3p) This book contains lists of manuscripts, the counties they relate to, and the addresses of the libraries and archives that house them. It is arranged alphabetically by county and archive.

Indiana Online Records

IN ORP.png
Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.

Web Sites

You can find computerized research tips and information about your ancestors from Indiana in a variety of Internet sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost. Addresses on the Internet are subject to frequent changes. The following sites are important gateways that link you to many more sites:


At this site you can access the FamilySearch Catalog, Ancestral File, International Genealogical Index, SourceGuide, lists of Family History Centers, web sites related to family history, and lists of researchers interested in similar genealogical topics. You can also learn about and order Family History Library publications.

Cyndi Howell’s List

This list has more links to other Indiana genealogical sites and describes more resources than any other site on the Internet.


Indiana GenWeb

This is a cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, state, and country.


Roots-L Indiana

This useful list of sites and resources includes a large, regularly updated research coordination list.

Helm’s Genealogy Toolbox: Indiana

Helm's Genealogy Toolbox

This site lists family associations, maps, libraries, and county genealogical societies.

You can find Indiana archive directories, handbooks, and inventories by looking in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:




  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 43. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Book 973 J54d.
  2. Genealogy and Local History in The Newberry (accessed 27 February 2015).
  3. Dollarhide and Bremer, 39.
  4. The Genealogical Index of the Newberry Library. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1960. WorldCat 83367401 FHL films 928135–928137 and FHL book 973 D22n vols. 1–4


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  • This page was last modified on 22 October 2015, at 14:02.
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