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Porter County, Indiana Genealogy

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

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Porter County, Indiana
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Indiana
Location of Indiana in the U.S.
Facts
Founded February 7, 1835
County Seat Valparaiso
Courthouse
Address Porter County Courthouse
16 E Lincolnway #209
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219.465.3450
Website
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Historical FactsEdit

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1884 1836 1884 1836 1833 1836 1807
Statewide registration for births in 1907 and deaths in Oct 1899. General compliance by 1917.
  • Parent Counties: Formed 7 February 1835 from La Porte and Newton Counties.[2]
  • County Seat: Valparaiso [3]

DescriptionEdit

The county was named for David Porter. The County Seat is Valparaiso and was founded 1836. It is located in the North West area of the state.[4]

Populated PlacesEdit

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit https://indiana.hometownlocator.com/counties/cities,cfips,127,c,porter.cfm HomeTown Locator]. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Cities
Towns
Census-designated places
Townships


Neighboring CountiesEdit

Lake  • Jasper  • Starke  • La Porte

Boundary ChangesEdit

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 LossEdit

Dec. 1934 Courthouse destroyed by fire; all records saved.

Porter County, Indiana ResourcesEdit

Bible RecordsEdit

BiographiesEdit

Business RecordsEdit

CemeteriesEdit

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

Census RecordsEdit

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

Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System:

Church RecordsEdit

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 RecordsEdit

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


Court RecordsEdit

DirectoriesEdit

Emigration and ImmigrationEdit

Ethnic and religious GroupsEdit

Land and PropertyEdit

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 RecordsEdit

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


GazetteersEdit

GenealogiesEdit

HistoriesEdit

Local HistoriesEdit
  • Goodspeed, Weston Arthur, and Charles Blanchard. Counties of Porter and Lake, Indiana: Historical and Biographical.(Chicago: F.A. Battey, 1882.)FHL US/CAN Film 934917 Item 1, FHL Collection, Other Libraries, Internet Archive
  • Lewis Publishing Company. cn. 1911. History of Porter County, Indiana : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests FHL book 977.298 H2h FHL US/CAN Book, FHL Collection,Internet Archive

MapsEdit

Lake CountyLa Porte CountyStarke CountyJasper CountyIN PORTER.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


MigrationEdit

Military RecordsEdit

War of 1812Edit
Civil WarEdit

Civil War service men from Porter 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 Porter County.

Civil War Books

  • "Military History", Chapter 6 in Lewis Publishing Company. cn. 1911. History of Porter County, Indiana: a narrative account of its historical progress, its people and its principal interests 977.298 H2h FHL US/CAN Book, FHL Collection, Internet Archive
World War IEdit
World War IIEdit

Naturalization and CitizenshipEdit

NewspapersEdit

Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System:

ObituariesEdit

OccupationsEdit

PeriodicalsEdit

Probate RecordsEdit

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


Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System:

Finding More Probate RecordsEdit

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


Public RecordsEdit

School RecordsEdit


Voter RegistrationEdit

RepositoriesEdit

ArchivesEdit
County CourthouseEdit

Porter County Courthouse
16 E Lincolnway #209
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219.465.3450

Attached to St. Joseph County prior to organization 6 Feb 1836. County Health Department has birth and death records. County Clerk has marriage, divorce, probate and court records from 1836. County Auditor has land records. [6]

Family History CentersEdit

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.

Societies and LibrariesEdit

Historical Society of Porter County
153 Franklin Street
Valparaiso, IN 46385
Telephone Number: 219-465-3595
Website

Beverly Shores Historical Society
PO Box 242
Beverly Shores, IN 46301-0242
Telephone Number: 219-874-8000
E-mail: bevshrshist@bevshrshistsoc.org

Duneland Historical Society
PO Box 2034
Chesterton, IN 46304
Telephone Number: 219-921-0963
E-mail: dunelandhistoricalsociety@gmail.com
Website

Hebron Historical Society
PO Box 679
Hebron, IN 46341-0679
Telephone Number: 219-996-3192

Historical Society of Ogden Dunes
115 Hillcrest Road, Suite 101
Portage, IN 46368-8503
Telephone Number: 219-764-7526
E-mail: martinken@att.net
Website

Kankakee Valley Historical Society
22 W. 1050 S.
Kouts, IN 46347
E-mail: jophod@gmail.com
Website

Portage Community Historical Society
Alton Goin Museum
5250 U.S. Highway 6
Portage, IN 46368
Telephone Number: 219-762-8349
E-mail: pchs.1@frontier.com
Website

Westchester Township History Museum
700 W. Porter Avenue
Chesterton, IN 46304
Telephone Number: 219-983-9715
E-mail: serena@wpl.lib.in.us
Website

Porter County Library
Valparaiso Branch
103 Jefferson Street
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Website

TaxationEdit

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.

{{IN Tax Records Repositories|Porter|1260551}

Vital RecordsEdit

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 Porter County, Indiana Genealogy County Clerk with divorce records located with the Porter County, Indiana Genealogy Clerk of Courts.

Birth RecordsEdit
Marriage RecordsEdit
Death RecordsEdit

Courtesy of the Porter County Public Library System

Finding Vital Records at Other Repositories

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



WebsitesEdit

PlacesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Porter 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, "Porter County, Indiana" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County,_Indiana (accessed 10 May 2012).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Porter County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County,_Indiana 3/30/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Porter County, Indiana," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_County%2C_Indiana, accessed 01 January 2020.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Porter County, Indiana 215 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.