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Rush County, Indiana Genealogy

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

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Rush County, Indiana
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded December 31, 1821
County Seat Rushville
Courthouse
Address Rush County Courthouse
PO Box 429
Rushville, IN 46173-0429
Phone: 765.932.2086
County Website
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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 1822 1882 1822 1822 1822 1807
Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.
  • Parent Counties: Formed from the Delaware New Purchase December 31, 1821 [2]
  • County Seat: Rushville [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Dr. Benjamin Rush, who signed the Declaration of Independence. The county seat is Rushville and the county was organized in 1822. The County is located in the East-Central part of the state.[4]

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Hancock  • Henry  • Fayette  • Franklin  • Decatur  • Shelby

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]

Before the city hall was built in 1881, records were not carefully protected. At one point they were kept in the office of the Justice of the Peace. Persons desiring to destroy criminal records broke in and stole the town records by mistake, and burned them.

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

In 1800, the Indiana Territory was organized. At that time, today's Rush County, Indiana, was part of the Indian Lands that made up most of the current state of Indiana. Statehood was granted in 1816. The Federal Census of 1820 found today's Rush County a part of the huge, unorganized, and sparsely populated area called Delaware County. Rush County, as it is known today, was organized 31 December 1821 from a portion of that unorganized territory. It was named for Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia.

Driven from their homes in the East, the Delaware Indian tribe resettled in western Pennsylvania, then in eastern and central Indiana. As a consequence of treaties, the final one written in 1819, their lands in Indiana were ceded to the federal government, and they moved beyond the Mississippi River.In October 1820 the newly surveyed land was offered to purchasers. In 1821 278 persons made land entries.

Within five years of the organization of the state of Indiana, many prosperous settlements had sprung up in what is now Rush County. With the organization of the county,it was divided into six townships: Union, Ripley, Noble, Washington, Richland, and Orange. Further division established Green, Rushville, Walker, Center, Jackson, Anderson, and Posey townships.

The first settlers were hunters and trappers, some of whom became permanent settlers. Timber was cleared and cabins built, usually about sixteen by twenty feet, constructed of logs with fireplaces and chimneys, furnished with rough, home-made furniture. Wild game was plentiful. Wool and flax were spun and textiles woven. Stumps were pulled and land was cleared and planted. Domestic animals foraged in the abundant wild foliage.Much feared were panthers and wolves, which threatened the livestock.Large families were typical. Hospitality was generous.

Early industries included grist mills, saw mills, and a distillery. Public schools were establishes in 1837. Early churches, in order of membership numbers, were: Church of Christ, Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Quaker, Catholic, Christian Union, Wesleyan, and Adventist.

Rushville, the county seat, was founded in 1823 and the first courthouse was contracted for that year. The growth of the community was steady. Railroads helped develop business, and trade flourished, especially in grain. The first Rush County newspaper, Dog Fennel Gazette, was published in 1823, followed by the Herald. The east Hill Cemetery was established. In 1857 the first bank opened. Mills and elevators followed, as well as carriage builders, machine works, a cigar factory, a furniture factory, a pump factory, and other enterprises. However, it has remained a small city in productive rural surroundings.

Rush County supported the election of Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 election. As the South seceded, Indiana responded to the call for volunteers. Ultimately 2,483 men served with the Union forces in the Civil War, some of them reenlistment.

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
Billion Graves
See Indiana Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Rush 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 Rush County, Indiana Genealogy Church Records in online catalogs like:


Court Records[edit | edit source]

The county clerk has probate and court records from 1820 to the present.

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]
  • History of Rush County, Indiana: from the earliest time to the present, with biographical sketches, notes, etc., together with a short history of the northwest, the Indiana territory, and the state of Indiana. (2003. Kokomo, IN: Selby Pub.), FHL US/CAN Film 934918 Item 2, FHL Collection, Other Libraries, Internet Archive

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.


Land records are held by the county recorder. Records from 1789-1837 are published and indexed. Early records, prior to 1807, were handled in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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


Maps[edit | edit source]

Hancock CountyHenry CountyFayette CountyFranklin CountyDecatur CountyShelby CountyIN RUSH.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Rush 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 Rush County.

Civil War Books

  • "Military History" Chapter 6 in History of Rush County, Indiana: from the earliest time to the present, with biographical sketches, notes, etc., together with a short history of the northwest, the Indiana territory, and the state of Indiana. (2003. Kokomo, IN: Selby Pub.), (page 447-477, Regiment, Companies; Roll of Honor, 470-477), FHL US/CAN Film 934918 Item 2, FHL Collection, Other Libraries, Internet Archive
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Occupations[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 county courthouse.


Online Records


Found in the office of the county clerk beginning in 1822.

Finding More Probate Records[edit source]

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

Public Records[edit | edit source]

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

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Rush County Courthouse
PO Box 429
Rushville, IN 46173-0429
Phone: 765.932.2086

County Health Department has birth, death, and burial from 1882. County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court records from 1822. County Recorder has land records. [5]

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.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Rushville Public Library
130 W. 3rd Street
Rushville, IN
Website

Henry Henley Public Library
102 N. Main Street
Carthage, IN

Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]

Rush County Genealogical Society
PO Box 293
Milroy, IN 46156
Facebook

Rush County Historical Society and Museum
619 N. Perkins St.
PO Box 302
Rushville, IN 46173
Telephone Number: 765-932-2492
E-mail: rchs1@frontier.com
Website

Whitewater Valley Genealogical Association
PO Box 941
Connersville, IN 47331

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 Rush County, Indiana Genealogy Tax Records in online catalogs like:


Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Birth records prior to 1907 are in the County Health Department. After that date they are found at the State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Indianapolis.Indiana death records from 1920 are found In the State Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, and prior to that date in the County Health Department.

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

The County Clerk's office has marriage records

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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



Websites[edit | edit source]

Places[edit | edit source]

  • Rushville, the county seat, was founded in 1823. It was incorporated in 1845. The town was laid out in 1822, with a central square and 151 lots.The first house in Rushville was erected in December 1820. The first railroad came to Rushville in 1850.
  • Carthage is located on the bank of Big Blue River, in Ripley Township. It was laid out in 1834. Quakers were instrumental in its establishment.
  • Milroy was founded in Anderson Township, in a particularly fertile farming district.Lots were first offered for sale in 1830.
  • Manilla, was out in 1836 in Walker Township. The town was originally named Wilmington.
  • Arlington, formerly Burlington, was laid out in 1832.
  • New Salem was platted by its first inhabitants in 1831.
  • Glenwood, laid out in 1882, was first named Vienna, and then briefly called Steels.
  • Falmouth was business location of considerable trade before it was platted in 1832.The original town, laid out about 1824, was mostly in Fayette County.
  • Raleigh, located in the center of Washington Township, was called Newburn originally. The name was changed when it was platted in 1847. The postoffice, however, was called McCan's.
  • Other small villages: Hamilton Station, Mays, Moscow, Gings, Homer, Richland.
  • Abandoned: Williamsport, Marcellus, Mt. Etna, Carmel, Ashland, Savannah, Earl City, Smith.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Rush 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, "Rush County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Rush County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rush_County,_Indiana accessed 04/03/2017.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Rush County, Indiana 216 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.

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