Buchanan County, Iowa Genealogy

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Guide to Buchanan County, Iowa ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Independence
Organized: October 4, 1847[1]
Parent County(s): Dubuque [2]
Neighboring Counties
Benton  • Black Hawk  • Bremer  • Clayton  • Delaware  • Fayette  • Linn
See County Maps
Iowa, Buchanan County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Buchanan Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Buchanan County was named for James Buchanan and is located in northeastern Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Buchanan County Courthouse
210 5th Avenue NE, Suite B
Independence, IA 50644
Phone: 319-334-2196
Buchanan County Website

Clerk of the District Court has birth and death Records from 1880; marriage records from 1848; divorce, probate, and clerk records from 1845.

Buchanan County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1848 1880 1845 1846 1845 1847
* Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths January 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[8]

Unincorporated communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Listed below are resources for Bible records specific to Buchanan County. To find more resources, go to the Iowa Bible Records page.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Buchanan County, Iowa online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Iowa recorded not only federal, but state censuses for several in-between years as well. For more information, see the very informative Iowa Census article.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 517
1860 7,906 1429.2%
1870 17,034 115.5%
1880 18,546 8.9%
1890 18,997 2.4%
1900 21,427 12.8%
1910 19,748 −7.8%
1920 19,890 0.7%
1930 19,550 −1.7%
1940 20,991 7.4%
1950 21,927 4.5%
1960 22,293 1.7%
1970 21,746 −2.5%
1980 22,900 5.3%
1990 20,844 −9.0%
2000 21,093 1.2%
2010 20,958 −0.6%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

State Census

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Iowa Church Records.

List of Churches and Church Parishes


Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. They include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Iowa Land and Property for information about early Iowa land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, transactions were usually recorded and housed at the county courthouse.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Buchanan County, which may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see Iowa Local Histories.

  • Brief History of Buchanan County at IAGenWeb
  • History of Buchanan County, Iowa, and its people, Vol. 1 & 2. Harry Church and Katharyn Joella Chappell. 1914. Chicago, IL: S.J. Clarke Pub. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library — Vol. 1; and Vol.2.
  • History of Buchanan County, Iowa : with illustrations and biographical sketches. 1881. Cleveland, OH: William Bro. Pub. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; and Ancestry ($)

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

County and state maps, historical and more current, are valuable research tools. For online maps and collections in libraries and societies, see Iowa Maps. Historical maps may be especially useful.

Bremer CountyFayette CountyClayton CountyDelaware CountyLinn CountyBenton CountyBlack Hawk CountyIA BUCHANAN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Civil War service men in Buchanan County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed here:

- 4th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company B
- 5th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 6th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company G
- 27th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies C and H
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company D

World War I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Please see the Iowa Naturalization and Citizenship page for state-wide information.

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

  • 1947, 1955, 1962, 1966 Bulletin Journal (Independence, Iowa) at Ancestry — index and images ($)
  • 1957 Winthrop News (Winthrop, Iowa) at Ancestry — index and images ($)
  • Historical Iowa Newspapers at NewspaperArchive ($)
  • NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in Iowa, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Iowa tax records complement land records and can supplement the years between censuses. Iowa's unique Old Age Assistance tax gives names, addresses and birth years. There may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Iowa Taxation.

Online Tax Indexes and Records

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded by civil officials on registers, certificates, and other documents. Copies or extracts may be purchased from the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Clerk's office. See also Iowa Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Buchanan County. For state-wide library facilities, see Iowa Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Buchanan County. For state-wide library facilities, see Iowa Archives and Libraries.

Independence Public Library
805 1st Street East
Independence, IA 50644
Email: indylib@indytel.com

Oelwein Public Library
201 E Charles
Oelwein, IA 50662
Email: oelwein@oelwein.lib.ia.us

Museums[edit | edit source]

Buchanan County Historical Society Museums
PO Box 321
Independence, IA 50644
Email: bchs.lkh@gmail.com

Winthrop Historical Center
PO Box 144
Winthrop, IA 50682
Email: history@cityofwinthrop.com

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Buchanan County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Iowa Societies.

Buchanan County Genealogical Society
103 4th Avenue SE
Independence, IA 50644
Email: buchanancoia@yahoo.com

Buchanan County Iowa Historical Society
PO Box 321
Independence, IA 50644
Email: bchs.lkh@gmail.com

Fairbank Historical Society
PO Box 325
Fairbank, IA 50629
Email: Fairbankhs@gmail.com

Littleton and Chatham Historical Society
1503 River Road Blvd
Independence, IA 50644
Email: tonybengston@yahoo.com

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Buchanan County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Buchanan County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Buchanan County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Buchanan County at Iowa USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
  • State Historical Society of Iowa — select from research collection topics
  • State Library of Iowa — electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies
  • The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection — digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural institutions
  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021
  2. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Buchanan, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchanan_County,_Iowa.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Buchanan County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchanan_County,_Iowa, accessed 24 August 2019.