Indiana Court Records
This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Indiana settlers wanted a government that was simple, democratic, and located close to the people. The county courthouse became the axis of politics and government that included a sheriff, coroner, circuit court clerk, recorder, and three county commissioners. The legal system was made up of a state supreme court, numerous circuit courts, and township justices of the peace who had jurisdiction for petty crimes and civil cases involving less than $50.
For additional information on local courts and the types of material they hold, see 'Courthouse Research in Indiana' in Genealogy (July 1974): 1-13; 'Using County Records in Writing Your Community's History' by John Newman, in Local History Today... (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1979); and 'Managing Your Research in Indiana Court Records' by John Newman, in Genealogy 62 (July 1981): 1-9. An important genealogical tool pertaining to immigrants in Indiana is An Index to Indiana Naturalization Records Found in Various Order Books of the Ninety-Two Local Courts Prior to 1907, published in Indianapolis by the Indiana Historical Society in 1981.