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As the Northwest Territory was opened to settlement in the early 1800's, settlers moved into southern Indiana via two major routes. Those from North Carolina moved westward into Tennessee, northward into Kentucky, then crossed the Ohio River into Indiana. One of the common places for crossing was at the Falls of the Ohio near Louisville, KY. The territory that was to become the state of Indiana was covered with hardwood forests and contained several areas of swamp land. Settlers found that they were not the first to use that crossing. For many years, buffalo had migrated seasonally from central Illinois to Kentucky and had worn a wide path through the forests. Two wagons could travel abreast over much of the trail. This became known as the Old Buffalo Trace. It is estimated that 2/3 of the early settlers of southern Indiana used this path. US Highway 150 from Louisville to Vincennes, IN generally follows the same route as that early buffalo trail. As settlers progressed westward, many stayed at the small settlements that were established along the trail. The area of Washington, Orange, Martin and Lawrence counties are full of the footprints of our early Indiana ancestors. Those coming from the east, used the Ohio River as their highway and entered Indiana from several landing points along the river. Again, Louisville was a major entry point, but many also landed at Fredonia and moved northward along the Blue River Trace to where it intercepted the Old Buffalo Trace.

The above information was extracted from the book "Who's Your Hoosier Ancestor? - Genealogy for Beginners by Mona Robinson, 1992, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis

Genealogy is presently one of the largest "hobbies" in the United States and the records of Indiana have become vital to discovering the movements of our ancestors. The Indiana Room at the Mitchell Community Public Library contains family files, historical books of the area, local newspapers on microfilm and a data base containing Lawrence County cemetery information. There are two significant resources at the library. The first is an Index to Mitchell Obituaries (compiled by Helen Ackerman) dating back to the 1880's. This index (comprised of 3 volumes) is divided into groups of years with an alphabetical listing of the deceased cross-referenced to the newspaper, date of obituary publication and page number. The second is a searchable database of Lawrence County cemeteries. To see what other genealogical information is available at the library and how to submit queries to the library, make sure to visit our Library Page.
The Lawrence County Historical & Genealogical Society in Bedford, Indiana, operates the Lawrence County Museum of History & Edward L. Hutton Research Library on the north side of the Bedford Square at 929 15th Street. Hours are Tuesday Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please call 812-278-8575 or for more information.
A large collection of family information, census records, and books for the entire region are available at the Washington County Historical Society located in the John Hayes Museum in Salem, IN (812) 883-6495. The Genealogy Library is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tue.- Sat.,closed on holidays.
It it not the intent of this site to provide a large spectrum of genealogy information on the area. We are working with the Mitchell Community Public Library to publish an index of recent printed obituaries from the local newspaper, The Mitchell Tribune or other local newspapers. This index will be updated as time is available to do so. At the present time, the index is available for the years 1996-2005. There are over 4,000 obituaries indexed. The pages contain a lot of information, so they will load slowly. Be patient.
Either browse every index or use the search engine to find a surname or full name. The indexes are listed alphabetically by surname so use care when using a first name in your search.

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Last updated Jan 21, 2007. Any corrections or additions should be sent to