Wapello County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Ottumwa
Organized: March 1, 1844[1]
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory[2]
Neighboring Counties
Appanoose  • Davis  • Jefferson  • Keokuk  • Mahaska  • Monroe  • Van Buren
See County Maps
Courthouse
Iowa, Wapello County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Wapello Map.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Wapello County was named for Chief Wapello of the Musquakee tribe and is located in southeastern Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Wapello County Courthouse
101 West 4th Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501
Phone: 641-683-0060
Wapello County Website

Wapello 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 1844 1880 1844 1844 1844 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:[6]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
  • Pickwick
  • Ottumwa Junction
  • Rutledge
Townships


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

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


Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • A History of Wapello County, Iowa Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c., Including a Biographical Directory. 1878. Chicago, IL: Western Historical Publishing. Online at: Internet Archive, HathiTrust — index & images, Google Books
  • Portrait and Biographical Album of Wapello County, Iowa: Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent 1887. Chicago, IL: Chapman Brothers. Online at: Internet Archive, HathiTrust — index & images, Ancestry — index & images ($)

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Wapello 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 8,471
1860 14,518 71.4%
1870 22,346 53.9%
1880 25,285 13.2%
1890 30,426 20.3%
1900 35,426 16.4%
1910 37,743 6.5%
1920 37,937 0.5%
1930 40,480 6.7%
1940 44,280 9.4%
1950 47,397 7.0%
1960 46,126 −2.7%
1970 42,149 −8.6%
1980 40,241 −4.5%
1990 35,696 −11.3%
2000 36,051 1.0%
2010 35,625 −1.2%
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.

Lutheran

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

  • A History of Wapello County, Iowa Containing a History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c., Including a Biographical Directory. 1878. Chicago, IL: Western Historical Publishing. Online at: Internet Archive, HathiTrust — index & images, Google Books
  • Portrait and Biographical Album of Wapello County, Iowa: Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of Prominent 1887. Chicago, IL: Chapman Brothers. Online at: Internet Archive, HathiTrust — index & images, Ancestry — index & images ($)

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.

Mahaska CountyKeokuk CountyMonroe CountyAppanoose CountyJefferson CountyVan Buren CountyDavis CountyIA WAPELLO.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 Wapello 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 Infantry, Company K
- 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F, I, and K
- 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D and K
- 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D and E
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 22nd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 36th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company B, D, E, and H
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C and K
- 1st Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company I

World War 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 Wapello 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 Wapello County. For state-wide library facilities, see Iowa Archives and Libraries.

Blakesburg Public Library
407 S Wilson Street
PO Box 87
Blakesburg, IA 52536-0087
641-938-2834 or 641-777-0048
E-mail: library@blakesburg.lib.ia.us
Website
Facebook

Eddyville Public Library
202 S 2nd Street
PO Box 399
Eddyville, IA 52553-0399
641-969-4815
Email: friendsoftheddyvilleelibrary@gmail.com
Website
Facebook

Keck Memorial Library
119 N 2nd Street
Wapello, IA 52653
319-523-5261
Email:webmaster@wapello.lib.ia.us
Website
Facebook

Ottumwa Public Library
102 W 4th Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501
641-682-7563
E-mail:ref@ottumwapubliclibrary.org
Website
Facebook

Museums[edit | edit source]

Iowa Heartland History Connection
700 Farm Credit Drive
Ottumwa, IA 52501
641-682-8676
Email:director@iaheartland.org
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Wapello County Genealogical Society
102 E Main Street
PO Box 163
Ottumwa, IA 52501-0163
E-mail: info@wapellocountygs.com
Website

Wapello County Historical Society
Iowa Heartland History Connection
700 Farm Credit Drive
Ottumwa, IA 52501
641-682-8676
Email:research@iaheartland.org
Website

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
  • Wapello County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Wapello County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Wapello County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Wapello County at Iowa USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
  • Wapello 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 30, 2021.
  2. Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed July 30, 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Wapello, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wapello_County,_Iowa#cite_note-3."
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Wapello County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wapello_County,_Iowa, accessed 1 November 2019.