Ask a Genealogy Question
We are available to answer questions about Switzerland County family and local history.
Before beginning your own research, check the library’s family files and books to find research already done by others, and also check the family files at the Switzerland County Historical Society, which are on an index in our files. The Indiana Historical Society’s Switzerland County, Indiana: Index of Names of Persons and of Firms covers three books: The Swiss Settlement of Switzerland County, Indiana by Perret Dufour, An Atlas of Switzerland and Ohio Counties, Indiana, and History of Dearborn, Ohio, and Switzerland Counties. Other indexes to consult are Switzerland County, Indiana, Will Records: 1825-1893 and Wanda Morford’s Index to Switzerland County Marriages: 1814-1925. The library has wills, marriage records, and naturalizations on microfilm. Though the naturalizations are far from complete, we do have a file containing an index of naturalizations kept in the county recorder’s office.
Early land purchases are indexed in two books, Early Settlers of Indiana’s Gore: 1803-1820, in which the entries refer to book and page numbers in the county recorder’s office, and Early Ohio Settlers, Purchasers of Land in Southwestern Ohio, 1800-1840, which gives the name of the purchaser followed by the year, month, and day of the purchase, then their state or county residence and numbers giving range, congressional township, and section.
If you have the death date for your ancestor, it might be possible to find a death notice or obituary in the local newspapers, which the library has on microfilm from 1831 to present. Morford’s Switzerland County, Indiana Cemetery Inscriptions: 1817-1985 might help if you don’t have a death date, provided there was a tombstone and it was extant and legible when Morford and her team transcribed those inscriptions. If your ancestor was born or died after 1882, the county health department might have those records.
The library has the U.S. Census for Switzerland County from the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 censuses. Wanda Morford indexed the censuses of 1850 and 1860. These are in card files.
If you are researching a Revolutionary War soldier ancestor, you should consult Marlene Jan McDerment’s Revolutionary Soldiers and the Wives of Soldiers with Ties to Switzerland County, Indiana listing records for each soldier listed in the tables of contents. This could save you time and a great deal of work.
-Barry Brown, Local Historian