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We do not have an Archives Reading Room, but we do have a work station in our Archives set up that you can use to complete your research.
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A certified copy of a marriage license has the courts seal on it certifying that it is a true and legal copy of the marriage license, usually required for legal purposes, like getting your real id. A non-certified copy of a marriage license does not have any seal on it, usually used for personal purposes, like for genealogy.
To obtain a certified copy of your marriage license, please fill out the form Certified Marriage License Clerk's Office and submit.
You can request the document from the Clerk's Office or from the Archives and Records Center.
We have Marriage Licenses from 1832 to 1988 from South Bend, and 9/9/1980 to 2/14/1998 from Mishawaka.
A Marriage License gives you the date when the couple applied to get their marriage license, and the date, place, and who married them. The Marriage Application has the biographical information, date of birth, birthplace, parents information, if they have been married before, etc...
We have Marriage Applications from April 1905 to 1988 from South Bend, and 9/9/1980 to 2/14/1998 from Mishawaka.
A certified copy of a divorce decree has the courts seal on it certifying that it is a true and legal copy of the divorce decree, usually required for legal purposes. A non-certified copy of a divorce decree does not have any seal on it, usually used for personal purposes, like for genealogy.
To obtain a certified copy of your Divorce Decree, please fill out the form Certified Divorce Decree Clerk's office and submit.
We have Divorce Indexes from 1832 to 1984 in South Bend. We have a Divorce Index from 1980-1990 in Mishawaka. If you need Divorce records after 1984 in South Bend or 1990 in Mishawaka, please contact the Clerk's office.
A Will is a detailed list of how you want your assets distributed after death, and the Estate file is a court record that details the persons assets, taxes, debts, and distribution of said assets. In the state of Indiana, the Inheritance tax file is confidential.
We have Estate Indexes from 1832 to 1988 in South Bend. We have Estate Indexes from 1981-1995 in Mishawaka. If you need Probate records after 1988 in South Bend or 1995 in Mishawaka, please contact the Clerk's office.
For land record information you can contact the Assessor's Office or the Recorder's Office.
For Birth Certificates please contact the Health Department at 574-235-9750 x 2, or visit the Health Departments page .
For Death Certificates please contact the Health Department at 574-235-9750 x 2, or visit the Health Departments page .
Please visit the Records Division at the St. Joseph County Jail located at 401 W. Sample St in South Bend between the hours of 8:00 am. and 4:00 pm.
If your company would like to get a pre-employment background check for a prospective employee, please contact the Records Division at 574-245-6535 between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.
We ask that you contact the St Joseph County Clerk's office at 574-235-9635 because we do not release criminal information here.
We are located at 1140 S Lafayette Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601. We are open Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, and we prefer to do research from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. If you are planning a trip to visit and have a lot of research to do please call ahead at 574-235-9091 to make an appointment.
We do allow you to make copies for a fee of five cents per page of records that are open to the public. Since we are a Records Center, we reserve the right to tell you to contact the originating department to get the information that you are looking for because we do not know that departments regulations.
Our cost for copies is $0.05 (five cents) per page. The cost is the same whether you stop in our office, and have us make a copy or if you have us scan and email it to you, or if we mail it to you.
Payments can be made by cash, check, money order, or online for payments more than $2.00.
Genealogy/Research requests are done on a first come first serve basis. The time it takes us to complete your request depends on how much information you provide and how much research we have to do. We try to complete most requests within 7 days, if we can not complete it in that time, we email you and let you know.
At this time you may use your own device, as long as it doesn't damage the original document. At this time there is no fee if you use your own device to capture the image.
At the Archives and Records Center, we are only able to help you with genealogy research. In order for us to research a specific person, please provide as much information as you have on the individual, tell what type of record you are looking for, and provide an approximate time frame to search. I always recommend that you go to the South Bend Area Genealogical Society because there are online indexes that may help you in your research.
At this time, we do not offer this. But, on genealogical websites like Ancestry or Family Search, some of our records are available online.
Not all of our holdings are available to the public. Since we are only the holder of the information, it is the responsibility of the department to release any information that you are looking for. We do have certain records that are available to be used for genealogy that are open to the public that we can assist you with and you can view.
The Archivist/Director is Katerina Carter.
We Service all of the departments of St. Joseph County and the city of South Bend by:
We service citizens by:
You can only use pencils, no food or drink, and clean hands are required when you are working with the original copies of records.
SBAGS is the South Bend Area Genealogical Society, and they have indexes to some of the records used for genealogy on their website.
No, you can not check out records from the Archives, only the agency that creates the records stored at the Archives are allowed to check out the Records.
No you can not hire the Archives staff members to do your research, BUT we will gladly assist you the best that we can.
We have records dating back to 1832.
Yes, we do give tours. All you have to do is ask!
We do have a microfilm reader that can be used by the public if it is not being used by someone else.