Iowa County Resources

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This entry was originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Iowa Family History Research series.
History of Iowa
Iowa Vital Records
Census Records for Iowa
Background Sources for Iowa
Iowa Maps
Iowa Land Records
Iowa Probate Records
Iowa Court Records
Iowa Tax Records
Iowa Cemetery Records
Iowa Church Records
Iowa Military Records
Iowa Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Iowa Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Ethnic Groups of Iowa
Iowa County Resources
Map of Iowa
County Map of Iowa

For some counties there are two “Date Formed” years listed. The first is the year the county was created; the second is the year it was fully organized if the date differs from the year of creation.

Under the heading “Parent County/ies,” the name/s listed may be the county or counties from which the respective county was formed or it may be names by which the county was originally known. “Unorganized” in this same column denotes that the county was formed from non-county lands. The county name in parentheses is the county to which the unorganized land may have been attached at that time. Counties listed with an asterisk (*) are those in which you may also find records concerning the county listed. It may have been “attached” to those county/ies for some period of time.

Iowa county governments recorded few vital statistics earlier than 1880. Marriage record registration began in many areas with the organization of the county. It is estimated that between 1880 and 1921, only about fifty percent of the births and deaths were registered. Birth, marriage, death, and probate records are usually found in the office of the clerk of courts at the county seat. Land transactions are in the county recorder’s office.

The FHL online catalog was used to compile most record state dates. Researchers are encouraged to contact the courthouse or local genealogical society in the county of interest.


Map County County Address Date Formed Parent County(ies) Birth Marriage Death Land Probate Court
C5 Adair 400 Public Sq., Greenfield 50849 1851 (1854) Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/Mahaska/Monroe/Polk) *Cass 1880 1854 1880 1854 1857 1887
C6 Adams David and 9th, Corning 50841 1851 (1853) Pottawattomie 1880 1855 1880 1853 1868 1857
H1 Allamakee 110 Allamakee St., Waukon 52172 1847 (1849) unorganized (Clayton) 1880 1849 1880 1851 1854 1849
F7 Appanoose 201 N. 12th St., Centerville 52544 1843 (1846) unorganized (VanBuren)/ *Davis 1880 1842 1880 1850 1846 1851
C5 Audubon 318 Leroy, Ste. 4, Audubon 50025 1851 (1855) Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/Mahaska/Monroe/Polk) *Cass 1880 1856 1880 1853 1871 1855
Bancroft 1851 (abolished 1855) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Boone
G4 Benton P.O. Box 549, Vinton 52349 1837 (1846) Dubuque/ *Jackson/ *Linn 1880 1852 1880 1847 1856 1860
G3 Black Hawk 316 E. 5th St., Waterloo 50703 1843 (1847; 1853) Buchanan/ *Delaware/ *Benton 1880 1853 1880 1853 1853 1853
E4 Boone 201 State St., Boone 50036 1846 (1849) unorganized (Linn)/ *Polk 1880 1848 1880 1849 1865 1867
G2 Bremer 415. E. Bremer Ave., Waverly 50677 1851 (1853) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Buchanan 1880 1853 1880 1852 1852 1853
H3 Buchanan 210 5th Ave. NE , P.O. Box 317, Independence 50644 1837 Dubuque/ *Delaware 1880 1848 1880 1846? 1851 1852
C2 Buena Vista P.O. Box 220, Storm Lake 50588 1851 (1858) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Woodbury 1880 1877 1880 1869 1871 1877
Buncombe 1851 (changed to Lyon, 1861) *Woodbury
F3 Butler P.O. Box 325, Allison 50602 1851 (1854) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Buchanen/ *Blackhawk ca. 1874 1854 1880 1854 1864 ?
D3 Calhoun 416 4th St., Rockwell City 50579 1851 (1855) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Greene 1880 1857 1880 1855 1873 1860?
C4 Carroll P.O. Box 867, Carroll 51401 1851 (1855) Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/ Mahaska/ Monroe/ Polk)/ *Shelby/ *Guthrie 1880 1855 1880 1855 1856 1855?
C5 Cass 5th W. 7th St., Atlantic 50022 1851 (1853) Pottawattomie 1880 1853 1880 1853 1864 1873?
J4 Cedar 400 Cedar St., Tipton 52772 1837 Dubuque 1880 1840 1880 1838 1839 1839
F2 Cerro Gordo 220 N. Washington, Mason City 50401 1851 (1855) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Floyd 1880 1855 1880 1855 1857 1880
B2 Cherokee 520 W. Main St., Cherokee 51012 1851 (1858) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ Woodbury 1880 1866 1880 1856 1859 1872
G2 Chickasaw Prospect St., New Hampton 50659 1851 (1853) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Fayette 1880 1853 1880 1851 1854 1853
E6 Clarke 100 S. Main St., Osceola 50213 1846 (1851) unorganized (Kishkekosh) 1880 1852 1880 1849 1853 1854
C2 Clay 215 W. 4th, Spencer 51301 1851 (1858) unorganized (Deleware/ Polk) *Woodbury 1880 1866 1880 1858 1870 1880?
H2 Clayton 111 High St., Elkader 52042 1837 Dubuque 1880 1865 1880 1839 1840 1850
K4 Clinton 1900 N. 3rd, Clinton 52732 1837 (1841) Dubuque/ *Scott 1880 1840 1880 1840 1851 1859
Cook 1836 (eliminated 1838) Des Moines/ *Muscatine
B4 Crawford 1202 Broadway, Denison 51442 1851 (1855) Pottawattomie Unorganized (Dallas/ Mahaska/ Monroe/ Polk)/ *Shelby 1880 1853 1880 1855 1867 1868
Crocker 1870 (abolished 1871) Kossuth
D5 Dallas 801 Court St., Adel 50003 1846 (1847) unorganized (Mahashka)/ *Polk 1880 1847 1880 1850 1851 1855
G6 Davis Bloomfield 52537 1843 (1844) unorganized (Van Buren) 1880 1844 1880 1847 1844 1844
E6 Decatur 207 N. Main St., Leon 50144 1846 (1850) unorganized (Appanoose)/ *Davis 1880 1855 1880 1855 1855 1855?
H3 Deleware 301 E. Main/ P.O. Box 527, Manchester 52037 1837 (1841) Dubuque 1880 1874 1880 1851 1871 1871
J6 Des Moines 513 N. Main St., Burlington 1834 (Michigan Territory) unorganized 1880 1835 1880 1847 1853 1857
C1 Dickinson 1802 Hill Ave., Spirit Lake 51360 1851 (1857) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk) *Woodbury 1880 1871 1880 1861 1861 1880?
J3 Dubuque 720 Central Ave., Dubuque 52001 1834 (Michigan Territory) unorganized 1880 1835 1880 1834 1835 1834
No death records 1917-41; no birth record June 1940- September 1941.
D1 Emmet 609 1st Ave. N., Estherville 51334 1851 (1859) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster 1880 1876 1880 1876 1877 1859
H2 Fayette Vine Street, West Union 52175 1837 (1850) Dubuque/ *Clayton 1880 1876 ca 1860 1851 1859 1859
F2 Floyd 101 S. Main St., Charles City 50616 1851 (1854) unorganized (Deleware/ Polk)/ *Fayette/ *Chickasaw 1880 1880 ca 1860 1855 1855 1880?
Fox 1851 (Changed to Calhoun, 1853) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)
F2 Franklin 12 First Ave. NW, Hampton 50441 1851 (1856) unorganized (Deleware/ Polk)/ *Fayette/ *Chickasaw/ *Hardin 1880 1855 1880 1855 1855 1856
B6 Fremont P.O. Box 610, Sidney 51652 1847 (1849) unorganized (Appanoose) 1880 1848 1880 1849 1880 1850
D4 Greene 114 N., Chestnut, Jefferson 50129 1851 (1854) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Dallas 1880 1854 1880 1854 1854 1889?
F3 Grundy 706 G. Ave., Grundy Center 50638 1851 (1856) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Buchanen/ *Blackhawk 1880 1856 1880 1863 1869 1871
D5 Guthrie 200 N. 5th St., Guthrie Center 50115 1851 (1851) unorganized (Dallas) 1880 1852 1872 1852 1859 1855
Courthouse fire in 1963
E3 Hamilton 5300 Superior St., Webster City 50595 1857 Webster 1880 1857 1880 1854 1865 1868
E2 Hancock 855 State St., Garner 50438 1851 (1858) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster 1880 1873 1880 1857 1876 1858
F3 Hardin 1215 Edgington Ave., Eldora 50627 1851 (1853) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Marshall 1880 1853 1880 1849 1854 1853
B4 Harrison 111 N. 2nd Ave., Logan 51546 1851 (1853) Pottawattomie 1880 1853 1880 1853 1853 1853
H6 Henry 100 E. Washington St., Mt. Pleasant 52641 1836 Des Moines 1880 1836 1880 1837 1837 1837
Howard 1816 (Became Missouri Territory) St. Louis/ Washington/ unorganized (St. Charles)
G1 Howard 137 N. Elm St., Cresco 52136 1851 (1855) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk) *Floyd 1880 1875 1880 1855 1873 1873
Humboldt (old) 1851 (abolished 1855) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk) *Boone
d2 Humboldt (present) 203 Main, P.O.Box 100, Dakota City 50529 1851* unorganized (Delaware/ Polk) *Boone 1880 1858 1880 1855 1859 ?
*abolished 1855;recreated 1857 from Kossuth/Webster.
B3 Ida 401 Moorehead St., Ida Grove 51445 1851 (1859) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury 1880 1868 1880 1856 1870 1875
H5 Iowa P.O. Box 126, Marengo 52301 1843 (1845) Keokuk/ *Johnson 1880 1847 1880 1847 1848 1851
K4 Jackson 201 W. Platt, Ste. 1, Maquoketa 52060 1837 Dubuque 1880 1847 1880 1838 1838 1839
F5 Jasper P.O. Box 944, Newton 50208 1846 (1846) unorganized (Mahaska) 1880 1846 1880 1847 1846 1846
H6 Jefferson P.O. Box 984, Fairfield 52556 1839(1839) Henry 1880 1839 1880 1838 1838 1840
H5 Johnson 913 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City 52240 1837(1838) Cook/ Dubuque/ Muscatine/ *Cedar 1880 1839 1880 1839 1839 1839
J4 Jones P.O. Box 109, Anamosa 52205 1837 (1839) Dubuque/ *Jackson 1880 1840 1880 1841 1844 1848
G5 Keokuk 101 S. Main, Sigourney 52591 1837 (1844) Dubuque/ unorganized/ *Cedar/ *Johnson/ *Washington 1880 1844 1880 1844 1844 1844
Kishkekush 1843 (1845; changed to Monroe, 1846) unorganized (Henry)/ *Jefferson/ *Wapello
D1 Kossuth 114 W. State St., Algona 50511 1851 (1856) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster 1880 1857 1880 1856 1856 1869?
H7 Lee 933 Ave. H, Ft. Madison 52627, and, Koekuk 52632 1836 Des Moines 1880 1837 1880 1830 1841 1849
County has two courthouses. Call for their respective holdings.
H4 Linn 930 1st St. SW, Cedar Rapids 52401 1837 (1839) Dubuque/ *Jackson 1880 1840 1880 1841 1840 1840
J6 Louisa 117 S. Main St., Wapello 52653 1856 Des Moines 1880 1842 1880 1839 1838 1839
F6 Lucas 916 Braden Ave., Chariton 50049 1846 (1849) unorganized (Kishkekosh) 1880 1849 1880 1849 1850 1854
A1 Lyon 206 S. 2nd Ave., Rock Rapids 51246 1851 (1872) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury 1880 1872 1880 1862 1885 1874
E5 Madison P.O. Box 152, Winterset 50273 1845 (1849) unorganized (Mahaska) 1880 1849 1880 1850 1852 1852
G5 Mahaska 106 S. 1st St., Oskaloosa 52577 1843 (1844) unorganized (Washington) 1880 1844 1880 1845 1844 1844
F5 Marion P.O. Box 497, Knoxville 50138 1845 unorganized 1880 1845 1880 1846 1845 1854
F4 Marshall 1 E. Main St., Marshalltown 50158 1846 (1849) unorganized (Linn)/ *Jasper 1880 1850 1880 1850 1851 1854
B6 Mills 418 Sharp St., Glenwood 51534 1851 Pottawattomie 1880 1880 1880 1853 1852 1888
F1 Mitchell 508 State St., Osage 50461 1851 (1854) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Fayette/ *Chicksaw 1880 1855 1880 1854 1855? 1855?
B4 Monona 610 Iowa Ave., Onawa 51040 1851 (1854) Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/ Mahaska/ Monroe/ Polk) *Harrison 1880 1856 1880 1858 1860 1861?
F6 Monrow 10 Benton Ave. E., Albia 52531 1843 (1845) unorganized (Henry)/ *Jefferson/ *Wapello 1880 1845 1880 1847 1848 1847
C6 Montgomery 105 Coolbaugh St., Red Oak 51545 1851 (1853) Pottawattomie/ *Adams 1880 1855 1880 1854 1868 1890?
J5 Muscatine 401 E. 3rd St., Muscatine 52761 1836 Des Moines 1880 1837 1880 1838 1838 1839
B2 O'Brian 115 S. Hayes, Primghar 51245 1851 (1860) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury 1880 1860 1880 1857 1880? 1870
B1 Osceola 300 7th St., Sibley 51249 1851 (1872) unorganized (Deleware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury 1880 1872 1880 1869 1872 1873
C6 Page 112 E. Main St., Clarinda 51632 1847(1852) unorganized (Appanoose) 1880 1852 1880 1854 1857 ?
D2 Palo Alto 1010 Broadway, Emmetsburg 50536 1851 (1858) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster 1880 1860 1880 1858 1864 1870
A2 Plymouth 215 4th Ave. S.E., Le Mars 51031 1851 (1858) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Woodbury 1880 1860 1880 1856 1871 1869
D2 Pocahontas 99 Court Sq., Pocahontas 50574 1851 (1859) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Boone/*Webster 1880 1859 1880 1861 1867 1867
E5 Polk 111 Court Ave., Des Moines 50309 1846 (1846) unorganized (Mahaska) 1880 1846 1880 1846 1846 1846
B5 Pottawattomie 227 S. 6th St., Council Bluffs 51501 and Avoca 51521 1848 unorganized (Dallas/Mahaska/Monroe/Polk) 1880 1848 1880 1849 1846 1876
County has two courthouses. Call for their respective holdings.
G5 Poweshiek 302 E. Main St., Montezuma 50171 1843 (1848) Keokuk/*Iowa/*Johnson/ *Mahaska 1880 1848 1880 1843 1849 1869
D7 Ringgold 109 W. Madison, Mt. Ayr 50854 1847 (1855) unorganized (Appanoose)/ *Taylor 1880 1855 1880 1855 1858 1855
Risley 1851 (abolished 1853) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)
C3 Sac 100 NW State St., Sac City 50583 1851 (1856) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Woodbury/ *Greene 1880 1864 1880 1856 1857 1869
K5 Scott 416 West 4th, Davenport 52801 1837 Cook/Dubuque/Muscatine 1880 1838 1880 1838 1838 1838
C5 Shelby 612 Court St., Harlan 51537 1851 (1853) Pottawattomie 1880 1853 1880 1854 1869 1869
A2 Sioux 210 Central Ave. SW, Orange City 51041 1851 (1860) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Woodbury 1880 1871 1880 1856 1870 1871
Slaughter 1838 (changed to Washington, 1839) Henry/Louisa/Muscatine/unorganized
E4 Story 900 6th St., Nevada 50201 1846 (1853) unorganized (Linn)/ *Polk/*Boone 1880 1854 1880 1853 1855 1865
G4 Tama 100 W. High St., Toledo 52342 1843 (1853) Benton/*Linn 1880 1853 1880 1853 1854 1850
C7 Taylor 405 Jefferson St., Bedford 50833 1847 (1851) unorganized (Appanoose) 1880 1851 1880 1855 1859 1875?
D6 Union 300 N. Pine St., Creston 50801 1851 (1853) Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/Mahaska/Monroe/Polk) 1880 1855 1880 1854 1854 1854
H6 Van Buren P.O. Box 475, Keosauqua 52565 1836 Des Moines 1880 1837 1880 1837 1841 1837
Wahkaw 1851 (changed to Woodbury, 1853) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)
B6 Wapello 101 W. 4th St., Ottumwa 52501 1843 (1844) unorganized (Henry)/ *Jefferson 1880 1844 1880 1844 1844 1844
E5 Warren 301 N. Buxton, Ste. 202, Indianola 50125 1846 (1849) unorganized (Mahaska) 1880 1849 1880 1849 1850 1849
H5 Washington P.O. Box 889, Washington 52353 1838 Henry/Louisa/Muscatine/unorganized 1880 1839 1880 1839 1838 1868
F6 Wayne P.O. Box 435, Corydon 50060 1846 (1851) unorganized (Appannose)/ *Davis 1880 1851 1880 1851 1851 1873
D3 Webster 703 Central Ave., Fort Dodge 50501 1853 (1853) Risley/Yell 1880 1853 1880 1856 1855 1864
E1 Winnebago 126 S. Clark St., Forest City 50436 1851 (1857) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Boone/*Webster 1880 1890 1880 1873 1858 1900?
H1 Winneshiek 201 West Main, Decorah 52101 1847 (1851) unorganized (Clayton) 1880 1851 1880 1851 1852 1851
A3 Woodbury 620 Douglas St., Sioux City 51101 1851 (1853) unorganized (Delaware/Polk) 1880 1854 1880 1855 1856 1900?
F1 Worth 1000 Central Ave., Northwood 50459 1851 (1857) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Fayette/*Chickasaw/*Floyd/*Mitchell 1880 1858 1880 1857 1897 1863
E2 Wright 115 N. Main St., Clarion 50525 1851 (1855) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Boone/*Webster 1880 1855 1880 1855 1855 1857
Yell 1851 (abolished 1853) unorganized (Delaware, Polk)