Lawrence County, Indiana Genealogy

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Lawrence County, Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Founded March 1, 1818
County Seat Bedford
Address Lawrence County Courthouse
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812.275.7543 
Lawrence County Website

Historical Facts

The territory that eventually became Lawrence County, Indiana was once a part of Washington County and later of Orange County. Lawrence County was formed from Orange County on 1 Mar 1818 as the result of a legislative act of 7 Jan 1818.

The county was named after James Lawrence. He is best remembered as having been responsible for his words "Don't give up the ship" during the War of 1812.

The original county seat of Lawrence County was Palestine, located on the White River. Lawrence County's first circuit court was held 4 Jun 1818 in the home of James Gregory at Leatherwood, east of the present-day location of Bedford.

The first courthouse was built in the spring of 1818 at Palestine. A new courthouse was constructed in Palestine in 1822.

The county seat was moved and renamed Bedford as the result of an 1825 legislative act. A temporary log courthouse was erected in Bedford in early 1825. The first court term in Bedford opened 6 Feb 1826. A new courthouse was completed in May of 1834. An 1869 move for a new courthouse resulted in construction of a new building in 1872.

Populated Places

Lawrence County currently consists of nine townships:

  • Bono
  • Guthrie
  • Indian Creek
  • Marion 
  • Marshall
  • Perry
  • Pleasant Run
  • Shawswick
  • Spice Valley

Another township, Flinn Township, has been incorporated into Guthrie, Pleasant Run, and Shawswick Townships.

The following incorporated towns are located in Lawrence County:

Boundary Changes

1818--Lawrence County was organized 1 Mar 1818 as the result of a legislative act of 7 January 1818. The county was formed from Orange County.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Record Loss


Bible Records


Business Records


Census Records

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

Church Records

  • Lawless, Elaine J. God's Peculiar People: Women's Voices & Folk Tradition in a Pentecostal Church. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1988, 2005. (Discusses "Oneness" Pentecostals of Lawrence and Monroe Cos., IN.) Google Books (limited preview)

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic and Religious Groups




Local Histories

Land and Property


Military Records

Civil War

Civil War service men from Lawrence 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 Lawrence County:


Naturalization and Citizenship




Probate Records

Public Records



Lawrence County Courthouse
Bedford, IN 47421
Phone: 812.275.7543 

County Clerk has marriage, probate, divorce and court records from 1818.
County Health Department has birth and death records.
County Recorder has land records from 1818 and military records.[2]

  • Bedford Public Library, 1323 K St., Bedford, IN 47421
  • Mitchell Community Public LIbrary, 804 Main St., Mitchell, IN 47446
  • Daniel Guthrie Chapter, Indiana Sons of the American Revolution
  • Jim Guthrie Chapter, Lawrence County Historical Society, 1617 M St., Befford, IN 47421
Family History Centers

School Records


  • Lee, Barbara. 1907 Lawrence County, Indiana Poll Tax Rolls. Bedford, IN: Lawrence County Historical & Genealogical Society, (2007?). WorldCat
  • A list of Lawrence County Poll Tax Payers for 1822 is available on the internet at this link.

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)
Birth Records
Marriage Records
Death Records


  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), Lawrence County, Indiana 214 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.