Owen County, Indiana Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Spencer [1]
Organized: December 21, 1818
Parent County(s): Daviess, Sullivan
Neighboring Counties
Clay  • Putnam  • Morgan  • Monroe  • Greene
See County Maps
Indiana, Owen County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Indiana, Owen County Locator Maps.png
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Owen County was named after Abraham Owen, a colonel who died at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.[3] It is located in the southwestern area of the state.[4]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Owen County Courthouse
Main Street PO Box 146
Spencer, IN 47460
Phone: 812-829-5015
County Website

Owen County Health Department
86 E. Market St.
Spencer, IN 47460
Health Officer: Diane Wells, MD
Phone Number: 812-829-5017
Fax: 812-829-5044
Email: sheila.reeves@owencounty.in.go
Health Department

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 from 1833.
County Recorder has land records from 1819.[5]
Health Department has birth records and death records.
Copies may be obtained from the county health department or the Indiana State Division of Vital Records.

Owen County, Indiana Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1882 1819 1882 1819 1819 1833 1807
*Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[9]

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Owen County, Indiana online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Indiana Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 838
1830 4,017 379.4%
1840 8,359 108.1%
1850 12,106 44.8%
1860 14,376 18.8%
1870 16,137 12.2%
1880 15,901 −1.5%
1890 15,040 −5.4%
1900 15,149 0.7%
1910 14,053 −7.2%
1920 12,760 −9.2%
1930 11,351 −11.0%
1940 12,090 6.5%
1950 11,763 −2.7%
1960 11,400 −3.1%
1970 12,163 6.7%
1980 15,841 30.2%
1990 17,281 9.1%
2000 21,786 26.1%
2010 21,575 −1.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".


Church Records[edit | edit source]

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. For more information about these major repositories, see Indiana Church Records.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African American

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[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. See Indiana Land and Property for additional information about early Indiana land grants and patents.

After land was transferred from the government to private ownership, subsequent transactions were recorded at the Owen County courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Owen County. County histories may include biographies; church, school and government histories; and military information. For more information about local histories, see Indiana Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Putnam CountyMorgan CountyMonroe CountyGreene CountyClay CountyIN OWEN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Civil War Books:

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Indiana newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

For more Indiana newspaper information see the wiki page Indiana Newspapers.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[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 Owen County courthouse. For more information, see Indiana Probate Records.

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[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.

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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

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.

Book Abstracts and Indexes

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Owen County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Indiana Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Bloomington Indiana Family History Center
4235 W Third St
Bloomington IN 47403
Phone: 812-332-0560

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Owen County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Indiana Archives and Libraries.

  • Owen County Library
    10 S. Montgomery
    Spencer, IN 47460
    Phone 812-829-3392
    Genealogy Librarian - Laura Wilkerson

Museums[edit | edit source]

Ten O'clock Line Treaty Museum at Gosport
19 North Fourth Street / PO Box 50
Gosport, IN 474333
Phone: 812-879-4050
E-mail: gosportmuseumdirector@gmail.com

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Owen County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Indiana Societies.
Owen County Historical and Genealogical Society
PO Box 569
Spencer, IN 47460
Phone: 812-829-4466

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Owen County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Owen County, Indiana Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ind/owen/ (accessed 30 Mar 2017).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Owen County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_County,_Indiana (accessed 30 Mar 2017).
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Indiana.FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Owen County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Owen County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen_County,_Indiana (accessed 28 December 2019.)