Madison County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Winterset
Organized: 19 February 1949[1]
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory[2]
Neighboring Counties
Adair  • Clarke  • Dallas  • Guthrie  • Polk  • Union  • Warren
See County Maps
Courthouse
Iowa, Madison County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Madison Map.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Madison County was named for James Madison and is located in southwestern Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Madison County Courthouse
112 N John Wayne Dr
Winterset, Iowa 50273
Phone: 515-462-4451
Madison County Website

Madison 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 1855 1880 1861 1850 1852 1847
* Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths January 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1875 Courthouse was destroyed by fire.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

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]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
Townships

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

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

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The History of Madison County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, its Cities, Towns, &c., a Biographical Directory of its Citizens, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men. 1879. Des Moines, IA: Union Historical Company. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, HathiTrust — index & images.

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Madison 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 1,179
1860 7,339 522.5%
1870 13,884 89.2%
1880 17,224 24.1%
1890 15,977 −7.2%
1900 17,710 10.8%
1910 15,621 −11.8%
1920 15,020 −3.8%
1930 14,331 −4.6%
1940 14,525 1.4%
1950 13,131 −9.6%
1960 12,295 −6.4%
1970 11,558 −6.0%
1980 12,597 9.0%
1990 12,483 −0.9%
2000 14,019 12.3%
2010 15,679 11.8%
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.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

  • Madison city directory, a city and business directory for 1866. 1866 by B. W. Suckow, John Y Smith. Madison, WI:B. W. Suckow. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • History and business directory of Madison County, Iowa - Containing a Complete History of the County.... 1869 By J. J Davies. Des Moines, IA: Mills and Company Printers and Publishers. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Gazetteer and business directory of Madison County, N.Y. for 1868-9. 1869. By Hamilton Child. Syracuse, NY: Hamilton Child. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library
  • Wm. N. Seymour's Madison directory and Business Advertiser. 1855. Madison, IA: Atwood and Rublee Publishers. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.

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

  • History and Business Directory of Madison County, Iowa: Containing a Complete History of the County, Voter List, etc. 1869. J.J. Davies. Des Moines, IA: Mills & Co. Printers and Publishers. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive, HathiTrust — index & images..
  • The History of Madison County, Iowa: Containing a History of the County, its Cities, Towns, &c., a Biographical Directory of its Citizens, Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men. 1879. Des Moines, IA: Union Historical Company. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, HathiTrust — index & images.
  • Scenic Madison County, Iowa: Historic Significance. 1961 Lloyd H. Smith. Winterset, IA: Joe Graham and Company. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.

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.

Guthrie CountyDallas CountyPolk CountyAdair CountyWarren CountyClarke CountyUnion CountyIA MADISON.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 Madison 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 D
- 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 10th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company K
- 23rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company E

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

The Earlham Public Library
120 S Chestnut
PO Box 310
Earlham, IA 50072
515-758-2121
E-Mail: library@earlham.lib.ia.us
Website

Winterset Public Library
123 N. 2nd Street
Winterset, IA 50273
515-462-1731
E-mail: library@winterset.lib.ia.us
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

History on the Hill
815 South 2nd Avenue
Winterset, IA 50273
515-462-2134
E-mail: mchistory@historyonthehill.com
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Madison County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 26
Winterset IA 50273-0026
Website

Madison County Historical Society
815 South Second Ave
Winterset, IA 50273
515-462-2134
Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Madison County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Madison County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Madison County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Madison 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. Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 31 Aug 2021.
  2. Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 31 Aug 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Madison, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_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 31 Aug 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Madison County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madison_County%2C_Iowa#Communities, accessed 14 October 2019.