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Clay County, Indiana Genealogy

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

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Clay County, Indiana
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 12, 1825
County Seat Brazil
Courthouse
Address Clay County Courthouse
609 E Nation Avenue
Brazil, IN 47834-2797
Phone: 812.448.9024
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Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1881 1851 1882 1851 1825 1851 1807
Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.
  • Parent Counties: Formed 12 February 1825 from Adams New Purchase (Tippicanoe) [2]
  • County Seat: Brazil [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named in honor of Henry Clay, a famous antebellum American statesman. The county seat is Brazil. Clay County was organized in 1825.[4] The County is located in the West-central part of the state.[5] 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:[6]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Townships


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Parke  • Putnam  • Owen  • Greene  • Sullivan  • Vigo

The county is named after U.S. Speaker of the House Henry Clay (1777-1852).[7]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Indiana County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Indiana County Boundary Maps" (1790-1873) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

November 1851 -- Courthouse was destroyed by fire and all records were lost except the Recorder's records.

For further information on researching in burned counties, see the following:

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business Records[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
INGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
INGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Indiana Interment
Billion Graves
See Indiana Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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

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.


Finding More Church Records[edit source]

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Church Records in online catalogs like:


Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Histories[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Clay County, Indiana Genealogy. County histories may include biographies; church, school and government histories; and military information.

Online County Histories

For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Indiana Local Histories.

Land and Property[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.

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


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


Finding More Land Records[edit source]

Additional land records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:


Maps[edit | edit source]

Parke CountyPutnam CountyVigo CountyOwen CountyGreene CountySullivan CountyIN CLAY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War, 1775-1783[edit | edit source]
Civil War, 1861-1865[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Clay County served in various regiments. Men often joined a regiment or a company (within a regiment)that originated in their county. Listed below are the military units that were formed in or had many men from Clay County.

Civil War Book

  • "Military" Chapter 28 in Travis, William. A History of Clay County Indiana: Closing of the First Century's History of the County and Showing the Growth of Its People Institutions Industries and Wealth Vols 1 and 2. (New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1981.) page 350-380 Vol.1 (regiment, company, name, also "Burial Places Of Soldiers" page 376) 977.244 H2t FHL US/CAN Book FHL Collection Vol. .1 FamilySearch Digital Library  Vol.2 FamilySearch Digital Library   other library
World War I (The Great War), 1914-1918[edit | edit source]
World War II, 1941-1945[edit | edit source]
Korean War, 1950-1923[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The Brazil Daily Times has obituaries and other archives back to 2003.

Obituaries[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 county courthouse.


Online Records

Finding More Probate Records[edit source]

Additional probate records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:

Public Records[edit | edit source]

School Records[edit | edit source]
Voter Registration[edit | edit source]

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clay County Courthouse
609 E Nation Avenue
Brazil, IN 47834-2797
Phone: 812.448.9024

County Health Department has birth and death records.
County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court records from 1851.
County Recorder has land records from 1825, some naturalization and burial records.
The earliest civil records that were housed in the first county courthouse were lost when the courthouse burned down in 1851.[8]

Archives[edit | edit source]
Libraries[edit | edit source]
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
  • Clay County Genealogical Society, Inc.
    PO Box 56
    309 W. Main Street
    Centerpoint, IN 47840-0056
    Phone: 812-535-5005
    Email: research@ccgsilib.org
    Website
  • Clay County Historical Society
    100 East National
    Brazil, IN 47834
    Phone: 812 446-4036
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Taxation[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.

Finding More Tax Records[edit source]

Additional tax records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Tax Records in online catalogs like:


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. See also How to order Indiana Vital Records or order electronically online.

Marriage licenses were required by counties beginning in 1800. Original marriage records are held at the office of the Clay County, Indiana Genealogy County Clerk with divorce records located with the Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Clerk of Courts. See Vital Records at Linkpendium

Birth Records[edit | edit source]
Marriage Records[edit | edit source]
Death Records[edit | edit source]

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Indiana Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:


Websites[edit | edit source]

Places[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clay County, Indiana. Page 211-218 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 208-211.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Clay County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Clay County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ind/clay/ accessed 3/02/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Clay County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_County,_Indiana accessed 3/02/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Clay County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_County,_Indiana, accessed 02 December 2019.
  7. "Henry Clay," Wikipedia.
  8. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clay County, Indiana 211 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.