Collections: Vital Records
Marriage and Divorce Records
The Indiana State Archives has partnered with Ancestry.com to bring you Marriage Records from 1958-2005. These records are digital copies of the originals and are available on Ancestry's website. These are for genealogical purposes only. If you require an official certified copy you must obtain it from the Clerk of the Court in the county in which the marriage occurred. If you do not have access to Ancestry, please contact Archives Staff at email@example.com for more information about accessing unofficial copies.
Additionally, digital copies of some Indiana county marriage records are available for the period of 1811 to 2007 at FamilySearch.org. Family Search also offers other searchable indexes for some Indiana marriage records.
There is not one complete statewide comprehensive index for Indiana, so it is important to consult several sources if you cannot locate a digital copy on Ancestry or Family Search. The following indices are still available if one is having difficulty finding marriage records online. Not all indices contain all marriage records and some counties have not participated in all indices for all time periods. It may be necessary to consult original records, which are available from the territorial period to the present at the county level with the Clerks of the Circuit Court.
The statewide marriage index for 1957-1992 is available on microfilm in the State Archives reading room.
The State Library also has other marriage record sources including an Index for marriages from 1958 to 2013. The statewide index is also available in the State Library's Genealogy Division for 1957-1997 as well as a limited collection of various County level indexes and microfilms available in the Genealogy Division. Also visit the VINE project on the Library's website.
An online search for Marion County marriage records from 1925 through the present is available at the Indianapolis/Marion County public web portal. Other counties may offer similar indices.
Divorce records from 1852 to the present are maintained by the clerks of the court at the county level. Previous to the second state constitution in 1852, a divorce could only be granted as an act of the state legislature.
Birth and Death Records
The State of Indiana did not require birth and death records until 1882. For birth records between 1882-1906 researchers must contact the County Health Office where the birth occurred. A list of County Health Officials is available online through the State Board of Health.
Birth records for 1907, or later and Death records for 1900 or later, are available through the State Department of Health and may be ordered online. Unofficial copies of Birth Records may be obtained on Ancestry.com or through the Indiana State Archives for 1907-1940. Unofficial copies of Death records are available for 1900-2011 through either Ancestry.com or the Indiana State Archives. Contact Archives staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Indiana State Library has limited WPA birth and death indexes for about half of Indiana’s 92 counties available in the Genealogy Division.
For Birth and Death information previous to 1882, researchers should look for local newspapers and religious affiliations to which to the family might have belonged. Many historical newspapers are available through the Indiana State Library. Ancestry.com (subscription required) maintains digital collections of several Indiana newspapers.
Probate records are also a good source for proving family relationship, and can be located in the County Clerk's Office where the legal process occurred. Many, but not all, probate records for Indiana Counties can be found on FamilySearch.org by conducting a records search for the particular county.
The Indiana State Archives does not have access to final adoption information. For more information please visit the State Board of Health's website.
Court Records regarding adoptions, previous to 1941, are available in court order books at the County Clerk's Office, and are a matter of public record.
The State Archives has a collection of more than 10,000 files for children who were fostered through the Board of State Charities during the years 1892-1910. Additional resources are available for the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Children’s Home, The Julia Work Center, and The Rose Orphans’ Home, and several Boards of County Children's homes. Visit the Indiana Digital Archives to search several of these indices online.