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Indiana Commission on Public Records

ICPR > State Archives > Collections > Posey County Circuit Court Historical Records at the Indiana State Archives > An introduction to Posey County, its history and its court records > Description and Examples Description and Examples

The front of a typical subpoena, 1841The front of a typical subpoena, 1841

The back of the subpoena stating formal charges The back of the subpoena stating formal charges

The Indiana State Archives holds the earliest records of the Posey County Circuit Court. The collection includes such documents as writs, summons and subpoenas, transcripts, declarations, depositions, deposition notices, certificates, cost bills, statements, affidavits, and verdicts which pertain to the litigation between early Posey County residents. The bulk of the collection dates from 1815 to 1855, with the majority of the documents created between the early 1820's and the late 1840's. There are approximately 1200 individual court cases represented in the collection, with anywhere from one to twenty-one documents in each file.

The Indiana Supreme Court judgment in the case above, 1844 The Indiana Supreme Court judgement in the case above, 1844

The Posey County Circuit Court records are indexed in a searchable database. The database is composed of 16 data fields: three (BOX, FOLDER and LOCATION) identify where the file can be found; the rest ( YEAR, TERM, PLAINTIFF, DEFENDANT, CAUSE, NAME1, NAME2, NAME3, NAME4, SUBJECT1, SUBJECT2 , SUBJECT3 and REMARKS) were abstracted from the records themselves. Certain fields (YEAR, TERM, PLAINTIFF, DEFENDANT and CAUSE) were entered exactly as described in the records; the others were selected following basic criteria (e.g., looking particularly for both names and subjects related to the Harmony and New Harmony communities).

An example of another Posey County Circuit Court record An example of other kinds of Posey County Circuit Court records

The Posey County Circuit Court records can be used to fill a number of research needs. Some examples of possible uses are: identifying types of and causes for early nineteenth-century southern Indiana litigation; determining dollar amounts for damage and debt claims; and discovering which Indiana residents were involved in a particular crime. Individual research needs and requirements will, of course, vary, so come visit the Indiana State Archives to learn more about it.

An example of a graph showing claims for  from 1815 to 1850.

An example of a graph showing claims for An example of a graph showing claims for debt from 1815 to 1850.

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