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Indiana Commission on Public Records

ICPR > State Archives > Collections > Posey County Circuit Court Historical Records at the Indiana State Archives > How to use the Posey County court records database How to use the Posey County court records database

The Posey County court records database was compiled primarily by Helen Morrison, with the aid of an Indiana Heritage Research Grant, and Alan Burns, during an internship sponsored by the Public History program at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). They worked from the original court case files at the Indiana State Archives, abstracting certain basic information on content and location for inclusion in a database.

The complete database includes 16 fields. Only those dealing with the content of the case are online; the location fields were omitted. The available fields are:

  • Year (the year in which the case came to court - e.g., 1816)
  • Term (the term in which the case came to court - e.g, May)
  • Plaintiff
  • Defendant
  • Name (there are fields for four additional names)
  • Subject(there are fields for three subjects)
  • Cause (the cause named in the case. NB: in some cases, no cause was named, so only the type of document is listed in this field.)

On the search form page, patrons can enter one or more terms in the available fields; each additional term will make the search more specific and limit the number of responses. For example, entering only the year (1825), will produce records for all the cases brought to court that year. Entering the year and a name (Owen) will limit the results to only the cases involving an Owen during 1825. This is the rough equivalent of a Boolean search, save that terms apply only to the specified fields.

Please note that for ease of use, the plaintiff, defendant and name fields have been conflated; one entry will search all fields. As well, list of the subject terms used in the database is available.

A full introduction to the collected records is available.

Patrons interested in learning more about a case can contact the Indiana State Archives for further information. Depending on the condition of the material in a particular case, it may be possible to order photocopies of the records. Upon request, the Archives staff can inform patrons of the possibility of ordering copies and of their cost.

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