Wayne County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Corydon
Organized: January 27, 1851[1]
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory[2]
Neighboring Counties
Appanoose  • Clarke  • Decatur  • Lucas  • Monroe  • Mercer (MO)  • Putnam (MO)
See County Maps
Iowa, Wayne County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Wayne Map.png
Anthony Wayne

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Wayne County was named for Anthony Wayne and is located in south-central Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Wayne County Courthouse
100 N Lafayette Street / P.O. Box 435
Corydon, IA 50060
Phone: 641-872-2264
Wayne County Website

Wayne 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 1851 1880 1875 1851 1891 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]

Unincorporated communities
  • Sewal
Ghost towns

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Listed below are resources for Bible records specific to Wayne 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 Wayne 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 340
1860 6,409 1785.0%
1870 11,287 76.1%
1880 16,127 42.9%
1890 15,670 −2.8%
1900 17,491 11.6%
1910 16,184 −7.5%
1920 15,378 −5.0%
1930 13,787 −10.3%
1940 13,308 −3.5%
1950 11,737 −11.8%
1960 9,800 −16.5%
1970 8,405 −14.2%
1980 8,199 −2.5%
1990 7,067 −13.8%
2000 6,730 −4.8%
2010 6,403 −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.

Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Bethlehem

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 Wayne 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.

Clarke CountyLucas CountyMonroe CountyAppanoose CountyDecatur CountyMercer CountyPutnam CountyIA WAYNE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

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

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

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Civil War service men in Wayne 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:

- 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company I
- 23rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), 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 Wayne 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 Wayne County. For state-wide library facilities, see Iowa Archives and Libraries.

Humeston Public Library
302 Broad Street
Humeston, IA 50123
E-mail: humlib@iowatelecom.net

Lecompte Memorial Library
110 S Franklin Street
Corydon, IA 50060
E-mail: admin@corydon.lib.ia.us

Museums[edit | edit source]

Prairie Trails Museum of Wayne County
515 E Jefferson Street
Corydon, IA 50060

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Wayne County Genealogy Society, IAGenWeb Project
c/o LeCompte Memorial Library
110 S Franklin Street
Corydon, IA 50060

Wayne County Historical Society
PO Box 104
Corydon, IA 50060-0104

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
  • Wayne County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Wayne County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Wayne County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Wayne County at Iowa USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
  • Wayne 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 23, 2021.
  2. Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed July 26, 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Wayne, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_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. Wikipedia contributors, "Wayne County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Iowa, accessed 2 November 2019.
  7. 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).