Woodbury County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Sioux City
Organized: March 7, 1853[1]
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory
Neighboring Counties
Cherokee  • Crawford  • Ida  • Monona  • Plymouth  • Dakota (NE)  • Thurston (NE)  • Union (SD)
See County Maps
Iowa, Woodbury County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Woodbury Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Woodbury County was named for Levi Woodbury and is located in northwestern Iowa.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Woodbury County Courthouse
620 Douglas Street
Sioux City, IA 51101
Phone: 712-279-6611
Woodbury County Website

Woodbury 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 1880 1880 1850 1855 1868 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]

  • 1851--Woodbury County was created 15 January 1851 from unorganized territory, Non County Area9. It was originally named Wahkaw, but changed to Woodbury 22 January 1853. It was fully organized 7 March 1853.[4]
  • County seat: Sioux City[5]
  • Interactive Map of Iowa County Formation History (1790-1897) - animated maps illustrating Iowa county boundary changes
  • Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library

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
  • Owego
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Listed below are resources for Bible records specific to Woodbury 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 Woodbury 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 1,119
1870 6,172 451.6%
1880 14,996 143.0%
1890 55,632 271.0%
1900 54,610 −1.8%
1910 67,616 23.8%
1920 92,171 36.3%
1930 101,669 10.3%
1940 103,627 1.9%
1950 103,917 0.3%
1960 107,849 3.8%
1970 103,052 −4.4%
1980 100,884 −2.1%
1990 98,276 −2.6%
2000 103,877 5.7%
2010 102,172 −1.6%
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.

List of Churches and Church Parishes


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

  • Woodbury County History. 1942. Iowa Writers Program, Work Projects Administration. Sioux City, IA: Woodbury County Schools. Online at:' FamilySearch Digital Library, 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.

Union CountyDakota CountyThurston CountyNebraskaPlymouth CountyCherokee CountyIda CountyCrawford CountyMonona CountyIA WOODBURY.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]

  • Woodbury County, Iowa Obituary and Death Notice Collection. Genealogy Buff. Obituaries and Death Notices from the Sioux City, Moville, Sloan, Correctionville, and Danbury areas.

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

Hamann Memorial Library
311 E Main
PO Box 293
Anthon, IA 51004-0293

Sioux City Public Libraries
Aalfs Downtown Library
529 Pierce Street
Sioux City, IA 51101
E-mail: questions@siouxcitylibrary.org

Woodbury County Library
825 Main Street
PO Box 625
Moville, IA 51039-0625

Museums[edit | edit source]

Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum
PO Box 203
409 4th Street
Sergeant Bluff, IA 51054-0203
E-mail: sbhmuseum@gmail.com

Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Betty Strong Encounter Center
900 Larsen Park Road
Sioux City, IA 51103

Sioux City Public Museum
607 4th Street
Sioux City, IA 51101

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Woodbury County Genealogical Society
PO Box 624
Sioux City, IA 51102-0624

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
  • Woodbury County at Cyndi's List - a comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online
  • Woodbury County at Genealogy Trails - volunteer transcriptions of genealogical and historical data
  • Woodbury County at Iowa USGenWeb - free online resources for genealogical research
  • Woodbury County at Iowa USGenWeb Archives - free online data for genealogical research
  • Woodbury 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, "Woodbury, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodbury_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. https://digital.newberry.org/ahcb/documents/IA_Individual_County_Chronologies.htm#Individual_County_Chronologies
  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, "Woodbury County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodbury_County%2C_Iowa, accessed 5 November 2019.