Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Mistake You Can Only Make in Indiana

There's a twenty-year blip in Indiana's judicial history, from 1853 to 1873, when there were two courts of original jurisdiction, the Circuit Court and the Court of Common Pleas. The Court of Common Pleas in Indiana lasted only twenty years, during which time it adjudicated many a divorce, probate, and other civil case. But it has been a long time since any living person could recall the existence of that court, and as a result the valuable records it created during those decades often go uninvestigated. (Just last week I sent a puzzled researcher to the records of this court, where he found the information he'd been looking for elsewhere.) There was a lot going on in Indiana during those years, and a good bit of it happened in this court.

This is something Hoosier genealogists just have to know, because few if any employees in the county clerk's office do. For a more detailed breakdown, see John J. Newman's 16-page pamphlet, Research in Indiana Courthouses: Judicial and Other Records.

John J. Newman, Research in Indiana Courthouses: Judicial and Other Records (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1981).

Harold Henderson, "The Mistake You Can Only Make in Indiana," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 13 October 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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