Union County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Creston
Organized: January 15, 1851[1]
Parent County(s): Pottawattamie and Unorganized Territory[2]
Neighboring Counties
Adair  • Adams  • Clarke  • Decatur  • Madison  • Ringgold  • Taylor
See County Maps
Iowa, Union County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Union Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Union County was named for the "Union" of states that the people wanted to preserve and is located in southwestern Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Union County Courthouse
300 North Pine, Suite 6
Creston, IA 50801
Phone: 641-782-7315
Union County Website

Union 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 1856 1880 1880 1854 1880 1847
* Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths January 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1893 Fire destroyed the courthouse.

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]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
  • Dodge
  • Douglas
  • Grant
  • Highland
  • Jones
  • Lincoln
  • New Hope
  • Platte
  • Pleasant
  • Sand Creek
  • Spaulding
  • Union

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Listed below are resources for Bible records specific to Union 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 Union 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 2,012
1870 5,986 197.5%
1880 14,980 150.3%
1890 16,900 12.8%
1900 19,928 17.9%
1910 16,616 −16.6%
1920 17,268 3.9%
1930 17,435 1.0%
1940 16,280 −6.6%
1950 15,651 −3.9%
1960 13,712 −12.4%
1970 13,557 −1.1%
1980 13,858 2.2%
1990 12,750 −8.0%
2000 12,309 −3.5%
2010 12,534 1.8%
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]

  • 1909-1990 {{FHL|489037|item|disp=Change of Name Records, 1909-1990}(*); Clerk of the District Court at FamilySearch Catalog — images

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

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

  • History of Union County, Iowa From the Earliest Historic Times to 1908. 1908. by George A. Ide. Chicago, IL: S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. Online at: Google Books,
  • Mount Pisgah: History of a Temporary Settlement of the "Mormons" While on Their Westward Journey. 1916. By Andrew Jenson. Salt Lake City, UT: The Deseret News Press. 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.

Adair CountyMadison CountyClarke CountyDecatur CountyRinggold CountyTaylor CountyAdams CountyIA UNION.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Early migration routes to and from Union County for European settlers included:

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Civil War service men in Union 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:

- 29th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H

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

Gibson Memorial Library
200 West Howard Street
Creston, Iowa 50801

Union Public Library
406 Commercial Street
P.O. Box 146
Union, IA 50258

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Union County Genealogical Society
Matilda Gibson Memorial Library
200 W. Howard Street
Creston, IA 50801

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • 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
  • Union County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Union County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Union County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Union County at Iowa USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
  • Union County at Linkpendium - genealogy and family history
  • 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 July 29, 2021.
  2. Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed July 29, 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Union, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_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. 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. 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, "Union County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_County,_Iowa, accessed 31 October 2019.
  8. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/mopi/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).