Background Sources for Indiana

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This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Indiana Family History Research series.
History of Indiana
Indiana Vital Records
Census Records for Indiana
Background Sources for Indiana
Indiana Maps
Indiana Land Records
Indiana Probate Records
Indiana Court Records
Indiana Tax Records
Indiana Cemetery Records
Indiana Church Records
Indiana Military Records
Indiana Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Indiana Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Indiana Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Indiana
Indiana County Resources
Map of Indiana


Sources for an overview of the state include:

  • Beatty, John D. Research In Indiana. Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 1992.
  • Buley, R. Carlye. The Old Northwest: Pioneer Period, 1815–1840. 2 vols. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1951.
  • Carty, Mickey Dimon. Searching in Indiana: A Reference Guide to Public and Private Records. Costa Mesa, Calif.: ISC Publications, 1985.
  • Cockrum, Col. William M. Pioneer History of Indiana; Including Stories, Incidents and Customs of the Early Settlers. Oakland City, Ind.: Press of the Oakland City Journal, 1907.
  • Dorrell, Ruth. Pioneer Ancestors of Members of the Society of Indiana Pioneers. Indianapolis: Family History Section, Indiana Historical Society, 1983.
  • Madison, James H. The Indiana Way: A State History. Indiana University Press and Indiana Historical Society, 1986.
  • Taylor, Robert M. Jr. et al. Indiana: A New Historical Guide. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1989.

An important indexing project, Indexes of Persons and Firms, was begun by the WPA and resumed in 1979 by the Indiana Historical Society. This typescript index includes every name mentioned in biographical entries of each county’s published histories, and copies of the index are available at Indiana State Library, Indiana Historical Society Library, Allen County Public Library, and The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City as well as through local Family History Centers. A later project on microfiche, Indiana Biographical Index (West Bountiful, Utah: Genealogical Indexing Associates, 1983), is a single alphabetical statewide index based on much of the same material as the Indexes of Persons and Firms, but with some additions.

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