Clayton County, Iowa Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

County Facts
County seat: Elkader
Organized: 28 December 1846[1]
Parent County(s): Dubuque[2]
Neighboring Counties
Allamakee  • Buchanan  • Delaware  • Dubuque  • Fayette  • Winneshiek  • Crawford (WI)  • Grant (WI)
See County Maps
Iowa, Clayton County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Clayton Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Clayton County was named for John Middleton Clayton and is located in northeastern Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Clayton County Courthouse
111 High St NE
Elkader, IA 52043
Phone: 563-245-1106
Clayton County Website

Clayton 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 1840 1839 1840 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 Clayton 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 Clayton 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 3,873
1860 20,728 435.2%
1870 27,771 34.0%
1880 28,829 3.8%
1890 26,733 −7.3%
1900 27,750 3.8%
1910 25,576 −7.8%
1920 25,032 −2.1%
1930 24,559 −1.9%
1940 24,334 −0.9%
1950 22,522 −7.4%
1960 21,962 −2.5%
1970 20,606 −6.2%
1980 21,098 2.4%
1990 19,054 −9.7%
2000 18,678 −2.0%
2010 18,129 −2.9%
Source: "".

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.


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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

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

  • History of Clayton County, Iowa from the earliest historical times down to the present including a genealogical and biographical record of many representative families. 1916. Realto E Price. Chicago, IL: Robert O Law Co. Vol I Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; Hathitrust; Internet Archive Vol II Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; Hathitrust; Internet Archive
  • History of Clayton County, Iowa together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. 1882. Chicago: Inter-state Publishing Co. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Portrait and biographical record of Dubuque, Jones and Clayton counties, Iowa. Containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the counties. Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, IL., 1984. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library; Ancestry ($)
  • Iowa Indexes at — Select the county.

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.

Winneshiek CountyAllamakee CountyFayette CountyBuchanan CountyDelaware CountyDubuque CountyCrawford CountyGrant CountyIA CLAYTON(1).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 Clayton 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:

- 1st Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company K
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company C
- 4th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company B
- 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 20th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies B, D and G
- 27th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies D and E
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company A

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

Garnavillo Public Library
112 S Main Street
PO Box 254
Garnavillo, IA 52049-0254

Guttenberg Public Library
603 S 2nd Street
Guttenberg, IA 52052

Murphy Helwig Library
111 N Page Street
PO Box 942
Monona, IA 52159-0942

Museums[edit | edit source]

McGregor Historical Museum
256 Main Street
McGregor, IA 52157

George Maier Rural Heritage Center and Museum
Elkader City Park
1000 Mascara Road
Elkader, IA 52043

Monona Historical Museum
304 S Egbert Street
PO Box 434
Monona, IA 52159-0434
563-539-8083; 563-539-2640

Wilder Memorial Museum
123 W Mission Street
PO Box 206
Strawberry Point, IA 52076-0206

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Clayton County Genealogical Society, IAGenWeb Project
119 N Main Street
PO Box 846
Elkader, IA 52043-0846

Garnavillo Historical Society
203 N Washington Street
Garnavillo, IA 52049

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Clayton County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Clayton County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Clayton County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Clayton 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 6/14/2021.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Clayton, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 6/14/2021.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Clayton County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa#Communities, accessed 1 September 2019.