Cerro Gordo County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Mason City
Organized: 29 December 1855[1]
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory[2]
Neighboring Counties
Butler  • Floyd  • Franklin  • Hancock  • Mitchell  • Winnebago  • Worth  • Wright
See County Maps
Iowa, Cerro Gordo Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Cerro Gordo Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Cerro Gordo County was named for the Battle of Cerro Gordo and is located in northern Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Cerro Gordo County Courthouse
220 N Washington Ave
Mason City, IA 50401
Phone: 641-421-3038
Cerro Gordo County Website

Cerro Gordo 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
1882 1882 1882 1880 1882 1857 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:[7]

Unincorporated communities
  • Emery
  • Freeman
  • Hurley
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Listed below are resources for Bible records specific to Cerro Gordo 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 Cerro Gordo 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.
1860 940
1870 4,722 402.3%
1880 11,461 142.7%
1890 14,864 29.7%
1900 20,672 39.1%
1910 25,011 21.0%
1920 34,675 38.6%
1930 38,476 11.0%
1940 43,845 14.0%
1950 46,053 5.0%
1960 49,894 8.3%
1970 49,223 −1.3%
1980 48,458 −1.6%
1990 46,733 −3.6%
2000 46,447 −0.6%
2010 44,151 −4.9%
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.

Church Records and Indexes


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 and Property Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

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

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.

Winnebago CountyWorth CountyMitchell CountyFloyd CountyButler CountyHancock CountyWright CountyFranklin CountyIA CERRO GORDO.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 Cerro Gordo 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:

- 2nd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company I

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]

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 Cerro Gordo 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 Cerro Gordo County. For state-wide library facilities, see Iowa Archives and Libraries.

Mason City Public Library
225 2nd Street SE
Mason City, IA 50401
Email: mary@mcpl.org

Clear Lake Public Library
200 North 4th Street
Clear Lake, IA 50428
Email: clplib@cltel.net

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

North Central Iowa Genealogical Society
Mason City Public Library
P.O. Box 237225
Second St SE
Mason City, IA 50402-0237
Email: ncigso@gmail.com

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Cerro Gordo County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Cerro Gordo County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Cerro Gordo County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Cerro Gordo 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 6/1/2021.
  2. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 6/1/2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Cerro Gordo, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerro_Gordo_County,_Iowa.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Page 230-238 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 222-225.
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Cerro Gordo County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerro_Gordo_County%2C_Iowa#Communities, accessed 28 August 2019.