Winnebago County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Forest City
Organized: November 1, 1857[1]
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory
Neighboring Counties
Cerro Gordo  • Hancock  • Kossuth  • Worth  • Faribault (MN)  • Freeborn (MN)
See County Maps
Courthouse
Iowa, Winnebago County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Winnebago Map.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Winnebago County was named for the Ho-Chunk or Hoocągra tribe and is located in north-central Iowa.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Winnebago County Courthouse
126 S Clark
Forest City, IA 50436
Phone: 641-585-4520
Winnebago County Website

Winnebago 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[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1865 1880 1865 1873 1865 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:[5]

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 Winnebago County. To find more resources, go to the Iowa Bible Records page.


Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • History of Kossuth, Hancock, and Winnebago Counties, Iowa: Together With Sketches of Their Cities, Villages, and Townships ... Biographies of Representative Citizens. 1884. Springfield, IL: Union Publishing Co. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive.

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Winnebago 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 168
1870 1,562 829.8%
1880 4,917 214.8%
1890 7,325 49.0%
1900 12,725 73.7%
1910 11,914 −6.4%
1920 13,489 13.2%
1930 13,143 −2.6%
1940 13,972 6.3%
1950 13,450 −3.7%
1960 13,099 −2.6%
1970 12,990 −0.8%
1980 13,010 0.2%
1990 12,122 −6.8%
2000 11,723 −3.3%
2010 10,866 −7.3%
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 Winnebago 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 Kossuth, Hancock, and Winnebago Counties, Iowa: Together With Sketches of Their Cities, Villages, and Townships ... Biographies of Representative Citizens. 1884. Springfield, IL: Union Publishing Co. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive.

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.

Faribault CountyFreeborn CountyKossuth CountyHancock CountyCerro Gordo CountyWorth CountyIA WINNEBAGO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

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

Forest City Public Library
115 East L Street
Forest City, IA 50436
641-585-4542
E-mail:library@forestcityia.com
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Heritage Town Center Museum
201 2nd Avenue SW
Buffalo Center, IA 50424
641-562-2505
E-mail:bclib4@wctatel.net
Website
Facebook

Mansion Museum
336 N Clark Street
Forest City, IA 50436
641-585-2584
E-mail: info@mansionmuseumforestcityiowa.org
Website
Facebook

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Winnebago Historical Society
336 N Clark Street
Forest City, IA 50436
641-585-2308
E-mail: info@winnebagohistoricalsocietyiowa.org
Facebook

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
  • Winnebago County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Winnebago County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Winnebago County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Winnebago County at Iowa USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
  • Winnebago 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Winnebago, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnebago_County,_Iowa."
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Winnebago County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnebago_County,_Iowa#Communities, accessed 3 November 2019.