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
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) *Cass188018541880185418571887
C6 Adams David and 9th, Corning 50841 1851 (1853) Pottawattomie188018551880185318681857
H1 Allamakee 110 Allamakee St., Waukon 52172 1847 (1849) unorganized (Clayton)188018491880185118541849
F7 Appanoose 201 N. 12th St., Centerville 52544 1843 (1846) unorganized (VanBuren)/ *Davis188018421880185018461851
C5 Audubon 318 Leroy, Ste. 4, Audubon 50025 1851 (1855)Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/Mahaska/Monroe/Polk) *Cass188018561880185318711855
Bancroft 1851 (abolished 1855) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Boone
G4 Benton P.O. Box 549, Vinton 52349 1837 (1846) Dubuque/ *Jackson/ *Linn188018521880184718561860
G3 Black Hawk 316 E. 5th St., Waterloo 50703 1843 (1847; 1853) Buchanan/ *Delaware/ *Benton188018531880185318531853
E4 Boone201 State St., Boone 50036 1846 (1849) unorganized (Linn)/ *Polk188018481880184918651867
G2 Bremer415. E. Bremer Ave., Waverly 506771851 (1853) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Buchanan188018531880185218521853
H3 Buchanan210 5th Ave. NE , P.O. Box 317, Independence 50644 1837Dubuque/ *Delaware1880184818801846?18511852
C2 Buena VistaP.O. Box 220, Storm Lake 50588 1851 (1858)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Woodbury188018771880186918711877
Buncombe 1851 (changed to Lyon, 1861) *Woodbury
F3 ButlerP.O. Box 325, Allison 50602 1851 (1854)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Buchanen/ *Blackhawkca. 18741854188018541864?
D3 Calhoun416 4th St., Rockwell City 50579 1851 (1855)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Greene188018571880185518731860?
C4 CarrollP.O. Box 867, Carroll 51401 1851 (1855)Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/ Mahaska/ Monroe/ Polk)/ *Shelby/ *Guthrie188018551880185518561855?
C5 Cass5th W. 7th St., Atlantic 50022 1851 (1853)Pottawattomie188018531880185318641873?
J4 Cedar400 Cedar St., Tipton 52772 1837Dubuque188018401880183818391839
F2 Cerro Gordo220 N. Washington, Mason City 50401 1851 (1855) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Floyd188018551880185518571880
B2 Cherokee520 W. Main St., Cherokee 51012 1851 (1858) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ Woodbury188018661880185618591872
G2 ChickasawProspect St., New Hampton 50659 1851 (1853) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Fayette188018531880185118541853
E6 Clarke100 S. Main St., Osceola 50213 1846 (1851) unorganized (Kishkekosh)188018521880184918531854
C2 Clay215 W. 4th, Spencer 51301 1851 (1858) unorganized (Deleware/ Polk) *Woodbury188018661880185818701880?
H2 Clayton111 High St., Elkader 52042 1837 Dubuque188018651880183918401850
K4 Clinton1900 N. 3rd, Clinton 52732 1837 (1841)Dubuque/ *Scott188018401880184018511859
Cook 1836 (eliminated 1838) Des Moines/ *Muscatine
B4 Crawford1202 Broadway, Denison 51442 1851 (1855)Pottawattomie Unorganized (Dallas/ Mahaska/ Monroe/ Polk)/ *Shelby188018531880185518671868
Crocker 1870 (abolished 1871) Kossuth
D5 Dallas801 Court St., Adel 50003 1846 (1847)unorganized (Mahashka)/ *Polk188018471880185018511855
G6 DavisBloomfield 52537 1843 (1844)unorganized (Van Buren)188018441880184718441844
E6 Decatur207 N. Main St., Leon 50144 1846 (1850)unorganized (Appanoose)/ *Davis188018551880185518551855?
H3 Deleware301 E. Main/ P.O. Box 527, Manchester 52037 1837 (1841)Dubuque188018741880185118711871
J6 Des Moines 513 N. Main St., Burlington 1834 (Michigan Territory) unorganized188018351880184718531857
C1 Dickinson1802 Hill Ave., Spirit Lake 51360 1851 (1857) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk) *Woodbury188018711880186118611880?
J3 Dubuque720 Central Ave., Dubuque 52001 1834 (Michigan Territory) unorganized188018351880183418351834
No death records 1917-41; no birth record June 1940- September 1941.
D1 Emmet609 1st Ave. N., Estherville 51334 1851 (1859) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster188018761880187618771859
H2 FayetteVine Street, West Union 52175 1837 (1850) Dubuque/ *Clayton18801876ca 1860185118591859
F2 Floyd101 S. Main St., Charles City 50616 1851 (1854) unorganized (Deleware/ Polk)/ *Fayette/ *Chickasaw18801880ca 1860185518551880?
Fox 1851 (Changed to Calhoun, 1853) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)
F2 Franklin12 First Ave. NW, Hampton 50441 1851 (1856) unorganized (Deleware/ Polk)/ *Fayette/ *Chickasaw/ *Hardin188018551880185518551856
B6 FremontP.O. Box 610, Sidney 51652 1847 (1849) unorganized (Appanoose)188018481880184918801850
D4 Greene114 N., Chestnut, Jefferson 50129 1851 (1854) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Dallas188018541880185418541889?
F3 Grundy706 G. Ave., Grundy Center 50638 1851 (1856) unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Buchanen/ *Blackhawk188018561880186318691871
D5 Guthrie200 N. 5th St., Guthrie Center 50115 1851 (1851) unorganized (Dallas)188018521872185218591855
Courthouse fire in 1963
E3 Hamilton5300 Superior St., Webster City 50595 1857 Webster188018571880185418651868
E2 Hancock855 State St., Garner 50438 1851 (1858)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster188018731880185718761858
F3 Hardin1215 Edgington Ave., Eldora 50627 1851 (1853)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Marshall188018531880184918541853
B4 Harrison111 N. 2nd Ave., Logan 51546 1851 (1853)Pottawattomie188018531880185318531853
H6 Henry100 E. Washington St., Mt. Pleasant 52641 1836Des Moines188018361880183718371837
Howard 1816 (Became Missouri Territory) St. Louis/ Washington/ unorganized (St. Charles)
G1 Howard137 N. Elm St., Cresco 52136 1851 (1855)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk) *Floyd188018751880185518731873
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) *Boone18801858188018551859?
*abolished 1855;recreated 1857 from Kossuth/Webster.
B3 Ida401 Moorehead St., Ida Grove 51445 1851 (1859)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury188018681880185618701875
H5 IowaP.O. Box 126, Marengo 52301 1843 (1845)Keokuk/ *Johnson188018471880184718481851
K4 Jackson201 W. Platt, Ste. 1, Maquoketa 52060 1837Dubuque188018471880183818381839
F5 JasperP.O. Box 944, Newton 50208 1846 (1846)unorganized (Mahaska)188018461880184718461846
H6 JeffersonP.O. Box 984, Fairfield 52556 1839(1839)Henry188018391880183818381840
H5 Johnson913 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City 52240 1837(1838)Cook/ Dubuque/ Muscatine/ *Cedar188018391880183918391839
J4 JonesP.O. Box 109, Anamosa 52205 1837 (1839)Dubuque/ *Jackson188018401880184118441848
G5 Keokuk101 S. Main, Sigourney 52591 1837 (1844)Dubuque/ unorganized/ *Cedar/ *Johnson/ *Washington188018441880184418441844
Kishkekush 1843 (1845; changed to Monroe, 1846) unorganized (Henry)/ *Jefferson/ *Wapello
D1 Kossuth114 W. State St., Algona 50511 1851 (1856)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster188018571880185618561869?
H7 Lee933 Ave. H, Ft. Madison 52627, and, Koekuk 52632 1836Des Moines188018371880183018411849
County has two courthouses. Call for their respective holdings.
H4 Linn930 1st St. SW, Cedar Rapids 52401 1837 (1839)Dubuque/ *Jackson188018401880184118401840
J6 Louisa117 S. Main St., Wapello 52653 1856Des Moines188018421880183918381839
F6 Lucas916 Braden Ave., Chariton 50049 1846 (1849)unorganized (Kishkekosh)188018491880184918501854
A1 Lyon206 S. 2nd Ave., Rock Rapids 51246 1851 (1872)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury188018721880186218851874
E5 MadisonP.O. Box 152, Winterset 50273 1845 (1849)unorganized (Mahaska)188018491880185018521852
G5 Mahaska106 S. 1st St., Oskaloosa 52577 1843 (1844)unorganized (Washington)188018441880184518441844
F5 MarionP.O. Box 497, Knoxville 50138 1845unorganized 188018451880184618451854
F4 Marshall1 E. Main St., Marshalltown 50158 1846 (1849)unorganized (Linn)/ *Jasper188018501880185018511854
B6 Mills418 Sharp St., Glenwood 51534 1851Pottawattomie188018801880185318521888
F1 Mitchell508 State St., Osage 50461 1851 (1854)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Fayette/ *Chicksaw18801855188018541855?1855?
B4 Monona610 Iowa Ave., Onawa 51040 1851 (1854)Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/ Mahaska/ Monroe/ Polk) *Harrison188018561880185818601861?
F6 Monrow10 Benton Ave. E., Albia 52531 1843 (1845)unorganized (Henry)/ *Jefferson/ *Wapello188018451880184718481847
C6 Montgomery105 Coolbaugh St., Red Oak 51545 1851 (1853)Pottawattomie/ *Adams188018551880185418681890?
J5 Muscatine401 E. 3rd St., Muscatine 52761 1836Des Moines188018371880183818381839
B2 O'Brian115 S. Hayes, Primghar 51245 1851 (1860)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury18801860188018571880?1870
B1 Osceola300 7th St., Sibley 51249 1851 (1872)unorganized (Deleware/ Polk)/ *Woodbury188018721880186918721873
C6 Page112 E. Main St., Clarinda 51632 1847(1852)unorganized (Appanoose)18801852188018541857?
D2 Palo Alto1010 Broadway, Emmetsburg 50536 1851 (1858)unorganized (Delaware/ Polk)/ *Boone/ *Webster188018601880185818641870
A2 Plymouth215 4th Ave. S.E., Le Mars 51031 1851 (1858)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Woodbury188018601880185618711869
D2 Pocahontas99 Court Sq., Pocahontas 50574 1851 (1859)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Boone/*Webster188018591880186118671867
E5 Polk111 Court Ave., Des Moines 50309 1846 (1846)unorganized (Mahaska)188018461880184618461846
B5 Pottawattomie227 S. 6th St., Council Bluffs 51501 and Avoca 51521 1848unorganized (Dallas/Mahaska/Monroe/Polk)188018481880184918461876
County has two courthouses. Call for their respective holdings.
G5 Poweshiek302 E. Main St., Montezuma 50171 1843 (1848)Keokuk/*Iowa/*Johnson/ *Mahaska188018481880184318491869
D7 Ringgold109 W. Madison, Mt. Ayr 50854 1847 (1855)unorganized (Appanoose)/ *Taylor188018551880185518581855
Risley 1851 (abolished 1853) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)
C3 Sac100 NW State St., Sac City 50583 1851 (1856)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Woodbury/ *Greene188018641880185618571869
K5 Scott416 West 4th, Davenport 52801 1837Cook/Dubuque/Muscatine188018381880183818381838
C5 Shelby612 Court St., Harlan 51537 1851 (1853)Pottawattomie188018531880185418691869
A2 Sioux210 Central Ave. SW, Orange City 51041 1851 (1860)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Woodbury188018711880185618701871
Slaughter 1838 (changed to Washington, 1839) Henry/Louisa/Muscatine/unorganized
E4 Story900 6th St., Nevada 50201 1846 (1853)unorganized (Linn)/ *Polk/*Boone188018541880185318551865
G4 Tama100 W. High St., Toledo 523421843 (1853)Benton/*Linn188018531880185318541850
C7 Taylor405 Jefferson St., Bedford 508331847 (1851)unorganized (Appanoose)188018511880185518591875?
D6 Union300 N. Pine St., Creston 508011851 (1853)Pottawattomie/ unorganized (Dallas/Mahaska/Monroe/Polk) 188018551880185418541854
H6 Van BurenP.O. Box 475, Keosauqua 525651836Des Moines 188018371880183718411837
Wahkaw 1851 (changed to Woodbury, 1853) unorganized (Delaware/Polk)
B6 Wapello101 W. 4th St., Ottumwa 525011843 (1844)unorganized (Henry)/ *Jefferson 188018441880184418441844
E5 Warren301 N. Buxton, Ste. 202, Indianola 501251846 (1849)unorganized (Mahaska)188018491880184918501849
H5 WashingtonP.O. Box 889, Washington 523531838Henry/Louisa/Muscatine/unorganized188018391880183918381868
F6 WayneP.O. Box 435, Corydon 500601846 (1851)unorganized (Appannose)/ *Davis188018511880185118511873
D3 Webster703 Central Ave., Fort Dodge 505011853 (1853)Risley/Yell188018531880185618551864
E1 Winnebago126 S. Clark St., Forest City 504361851 (1857)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/ *Boone/*Webster188018901880187318581900?
H1 Winneshiek201 West Main, Decorah 521011847 (1851)unorganized (Clayton)188018511880185118521851
A3 Woodbury620 Douglas St., Sioux City 511011851 (1853)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)188018541880185518561900?
F1 Worth1000 Central Ave., Northwood 504591851 (1857)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Fayette/*Chickasaw/*Floyd/*Mitchell188018581880185718971863
E2 Wright115 N. Main St., Clarion 505251851 (1855)unorganized (Delaware/Polk)/*Boone/*Webster188018551880185518551857
Yell 1851 (abolished 1853) unorganized (Delaware, Polk)
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