Jay County, Indiana Genealogy

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

Jay County, Indiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Founded February 7, 1835
County Seat Portland
Address Jay County Courthouse
Main and Walnut
Portland, IN 47371
Ph. 219.726.4951
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Historical Facts[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1882 1843 1882 1837 1836 1836 1807
Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Adams New Purchase (Delaware/Randolph) in 1835[2]
  • County Seat: Portland [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for John Jay, co-author of the Federalist Papers, Secretary of Foreign Affairs under the Articles of Confederation, and first Chief Justice of the United State. It's county seat is Portland and was founded 1836.[4] It is located in the Northwest area of the state.[5]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

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]

Unincorporated communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Adams  • Wells  • Blackford  • Delaware  • Randolph  • Darke  • Mercer

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.

Records Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

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]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 3,863
1850 7,047 82.4%
1860 11,399 61.8%
1870 15,000 31.6%
1880 19,282 28.5%
1890 23,478 21.8%
1900 26,818 14.2%
1910 24,961 −6.9%
1920 23,318 −6.6%
1930 20,846 −10.6%
1940 22,601 8.4%
1950 23,157 2.5%
1960 22,572 −2.5%
1970 23,575 4.4%
1980 23,239 −1.4%
1990 21,512 −7.4%
2000 21,806 1.4%
2010 21,253 −2.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

For tips on accessing Jay 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.

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 Jay 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]

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 Jay County, Indiana Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:

Maps[edit | edit source]

Wells CountyAdams CountyBlackford CountyDelaware CountyRandolph CountyDarke CountyMercer CountyIN JAY.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Jay County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Jay County.

  • Civil War Records, INGenWeb, Indiana Soldiers in the Civil War; Discharges, Pensions, Reunions and Soldiers in the News; Medal of Honor Recipient

Civil War Books

  • "Jay County And The War" Chapter 17 in Montgomery, M.W., History of Jay County, Indiana,  (Chicago, Illinois : Church, Goodman & Cushing, 1864), (page 220-288, Regiment, Companies, Name's),  977.267 H2m FHL US/CAN Book FHL Collection  INTERNET ARCHIVE
  • "Civil War" Part 2, Chapter 7 in Biographical and historical record of Jay and Blackford Counties, Indiana: containing portraits of all the presidents of the United States from Washington to Cleveland, with accompanying biographies of each ; a condensed history of the state of Indiana ; portraits and biographies of some of the prominent men of the state ; engravings of prominent citizens in Jay and Blackford Counties, with personal histories of many of the leading families, and a concise history of Jay and Blackford Counties and their cities and villages. (1978. Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co.), (page 227-234, Regiment, some Companies),  FHL Collection  other libraries; Digital at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
Korean Conflict[edit | edit source]
Vietnam[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

  • Jay Co. Newspaper 1871-1889 (index)  -INGenWeb

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[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 Jay County courthouse. For more information, see Indiana Probate Records. Online Records

Finding More Probate Records[edit source]

Additional probate records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Jay 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]

Jay County Courthouse
Main and Walnut
Portland, IN 47371
Phone 219-726-4951
County Health Dept has b and d rec from 1882; County Clk has m rec from 1843, div rec from 1882, pro rec from 1836 and court rec from 1837; County Auditor has land rec from 1836

Archives[edit | edit source]
Libraries[edit | edit source]
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
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.

For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the family history center directory.

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.

For more information see the wiki page Indiana Taxation.

Finding More Tax Records

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

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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 Jay County, Indiana Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Jay 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, "Adams County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adams_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Jay County, Indiana Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ind/jay/ accessed 3/29/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Jay County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_County,_Indiana 3/29/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Jay County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_County%2C_Indiana, accessed 16 December 2019.