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Indiana Genealogy & Local History Resources

Indiana Genealogy and Local History

We have many free online books, articles and maps, as well as links to online collections; all of which can be useful to anyone studying Indiana genealogy, family history or local history in Indiana. Scroll down the History of the Great Lakes States Home page to find buttons leading to 15 subject pages with resources for Indiana. Each of those pages may have useful materials. We have highlighted below some materials especially useful.

Here’s our post of a similar guide for Illinois: Illinois Genealogy & Local History Resources.

Indiana Biographies and Memoirs

Eminent and Self-Made Men of the State of Indiana, 2 volumes (1880)

Reed, George Irving, Encyclopedia of Biography of Indiana (1895)

Indiana Documents & Collections

Indiana Memory
Links to Digital Archives Collections around Indiana

Indiana Muster, Pay and Receipt Rolls, War of 1812

Indiana Explorers and Travelers

Lindley, Harlow, Indiana as Seen by Early Travelers; a collection of reprints from books of travel, letters and diaries prior to 1830 (1916)

This page also has several other accounts by visitors to Indiana from the 1810s to the 1850s.

Indiana General History

This page has many histories of the state, varying in size from a 36-page booklet to a 5-volume set (which includes three volumes of biographies). Several other works describe frontier and pioneer life.

See our Encyclopedia Britannica 15th edition pdf

History of Indiana Cities, Counties & Regions

Indiana Memory Collection, Indiana State and County Histories. 78 volumes (all before 1922)

Duay, Debbie, compiler, Online County and Town Histories
Website with links to over 100 histories in Indiana.

Both of the above are websites with collections of links to free online books in the public domain. County histories (which normally include township histories) are helpful for genealogical research because they usually contain a great deal of family information about late-19th century residents as well as early settlers.

The People’s Guide; a Business, Political and Religious Directory of Bartholomew Co., Ind. (1874)
Similar guides from the same publisher for eight other counties are also here.

Henley, Miss, “Bibliography of Indiana Local History Contained in County Histories, Atlases and Collected Biographies” (1910)
About 130 publications are in this list, organized by counties. Many are available in one of the website collections mentioned above. If you need to search for one of these online, you may find Searching for Free eBooks helpful.

Grooms & Smith’s Indianapolis Directory, City Guide and Business Mirror, or Indianapolis as it is in 1855 (1855)

The History of Indiana Cities, Counties & Regions page also has regional histories, as well as guides and histories for Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and Terre Haute.

Indiana Maps & Gazetteers

This page has three sections: Maps, Collections, and Gazetteers.


Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Indiana (1876)
Contains maps of all counties and many towns and villages. After the map section is a section for county histories, also with brief entries for towns and villages.

Map Illustrating the Pioneer Periods in Indiana (1932)
A handy reference tool showing when counties were organized, first date of settlement in each county, etc.


Historic MapWorks, Indiana Historical Maps and Atlases website
Very large collection containing, among other things, 19th century atlases for many counties, with township plat maps showing landowners.


The Indiana Gazetteer or Topographical Dictionary of the State of Indiana (1826 and 1849 versions)
Brief descriptions of every village and town then existing.

Native Americans in Indiana History

McDonald, Daniel, Removal of the Pottawattomie Indians from Northern Indiana (1899)

Royce, C. C. , Cessions of Land by Indian Tribes to the United States: Illustrated by Those in the State of Indiana (1881)

These two works contain information about where Indian tribes were located and when particular areas were acquired from Indian tribes by the government.

Indiana Periodicals

The first section has three historical journals; each with many issues.

Indiana Historical Collections 9 volumes (1916-22)
This was an annual publication, with each volume covering a unique topic. Vol 6 is a record of the Indiana men and women who died in service in WWI, with short biographies and photos for most of them.

Indiana Historical Society Publications 7 volumes (1897-1920)
Use the special link to the table of contents for all 7 volumes, to find articles of interest in local history.

Indiana Magazine of History 109 volumes (1905-2013)
This is a quarterly, so there are over 400 issues and thousands of articles and book reviews here, including many articles for genealogists. It is probably the most comprehensive free online source for Indiana history, containing much more recently published works than most online sources.

In the Newspaper section there are links to nine individual 19th-century Indiana newspapers. To find all available online historical newspapers for your area, visit the two website collections at the bottom of the page; The Ancestor Hunt and Hoosier State Chronicles.

Indiana Social History

This page has a number of books and articles about daily life of pioneers in Indiana, and also works on 19th century migration into Indiana from other states and foreign countries.

Conflict, War and Military History in Indiana

Perry, Oran, compiler, Indiana in the Mexican War
Includes the rolls of Indiana companies and men who served.

Dornbusch, Charles Emil, Regimental Publications & Personal Narratives of the Civil War: A Checklist. Vol. 1, Part 5 – Indiana and Ohio
This bibliography lists known works covering all Civil War military units. If you find a title of interest, you may find Searching for Free eBooks helpful.

Terrell, William Henry Harrison, Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana (1865-1869)
Rosters of Indiana officers and enlisted men in the Civil War, with some useful data.

Indiana Adjutant General, comp., Record of Indiana Volunteers in the Spanish-American War 1898-1899
Rolls of participants, by regiment.

Carlisle, Anne Studebaker, Report of the Woman’s Section of the Indiana State Council of Defense, from October, 1917 to April 11, 1919
Includes the names of women who led the county committees of the Council of Defense, as well as the names of many participants in other voluntary organizations.

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