Benton County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Benton County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Benton County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded December 21, 1837
County Seat Vinton
Iowa, Benton County Courthouse.png
Address Benton County Courthouse
111 E. 4th St.
P. O. Box 719
Vinton, IA 52349-1771
Phone: (319) 833-3012
Benton County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Thomas Hart Benton. The County has Vinton as its seat and the County was created 1837. The County is located in the east central area of the state.[1]

Benton County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1852 1880 1850 1846 1872 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Benton County Courthouse
111 E. 4th St.
P. O. Box 719
Vinton, IA 52349-1771

(319) 833-3012

Benton County

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1837--Benton County was created 21 December 1837 from Dubuque County. Benton County was attached to Jackson and Linn Counties prior to organization 1 March 1846. County seat: Vinton [3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Iowa County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Iowa County Boundary Maps" (1816-1872) may be viewed for free at the website.

Records Loss[edit | edit source]

1853 Courthouse burned but there was no record loss.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

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:[4]

Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Black Hawk • Buchanan • Iowa  • Johnson • Linn • Poweshiek • Tama

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
IAGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
IAGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Iowa Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 672
1860 8,496 1164.3%
1870 22,454 164.3%
1880 24,888 10.8%
1890 24,178 −2.9%
1900 25,177 4.1%
1910 23,156 −8.0%
1920 24,080 4.0%
1930 22,851 −5.1%
1940 22,879 0.1%
1950 22,656 −1.0%
1960 23,422 3.4%
1970 22,885 −2.3%
1980 23,649 3.3%
1990 22,429 −5.2%
2000 25,308 12.8%
2010 26,076 3.0%
Source: "".

Iowa recorded not only the federal census but state census through out the years too. The state census contains very valuable genealogical information. Where the census information can be found, what years it was taken, mortality schedules, census substitutions and much more is discussed in the very informative Iowa Census article.

State Census

Church[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

Lutheran[edit | edit source]
  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, El Dorado, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

Court[edit | edit source]

Land[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 Benton County, Iowa Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Iowa Local Histories.

  • The history of Benton County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the Northwest, history of Iowa, map of Benton County, Constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters &c. Chicago, Illinois : Western Historical Co., 1878.
  • Jones, Tracy. Notes from the 1878 "History of Benton County". Published by the Chicago Western Historical Company.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Black Hawk CountyBuchanan CountyLinn CountyJohnson CountyIowa CountyPoweshiek CountyTama CountyIA BENTON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Benton County, Iowa Genealogy 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 in Benton County, Iowa Genealogy:

- 5th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company G
- 8th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 13th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company G
- 16th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company I
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 28th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies A and D
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives
  • ($) has historical newspapers online including Cedar Rapids newspapers and Waterloo newspapers that may have included Benton County residents. This database is free at some libraries.
  • Digital Archives of The Belle Plaine Community Library's Link website has historical newspapers of Belle Plaine, Benton, Iowa. Publication tiles found: The Belle Plaine Union, Every Other Daily Union, South Benton Star Press, Star Press Union, The Belle Plaine Union and Herald, Lever, Independent, Fontanelie Observer, Preston Times, The Bedford Times Press. Years covered: 1883 - 2012. Link
  • The Benton County Historical Society's Link website has historical newspapers of Venton, Benton, Iowa. Publication tiles found: The Vinton Eagle, Vinton Semi-Weekly Eagle, The Semi-Weekly Vinton Eagle. Years covered: 1855 - 1926. Link
  • Vinton Review Newspaper - Nov 2014 Historical Board have approved to have it scanned and place online. It covers Jan 7, 1898 to Dec 27, 1917. The printing of it is so clear it looks like is ws published yesterday. It should be avilable in a month. Infomation from Matha Long

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

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.

Taxation[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.

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.

Births[edit | edit source]
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Benton County Genealogical Society
1808 9th Avenue
Belle Plaine, IA 52208

Benton County Historical Society
PO Box 22
Vinton, IA 52349
Telephone:319- 472-4325

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

Sites with online indexes or images of records pertaining to Benton County, Iowa Genealogy
State Historical Society of Iowa Free Select from research collection topics
The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection Free digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural insitutions - results of "benton county" in the search box
State Library of Iowa Free electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies - results of "benton county" in the search box
IAGenWeb Project Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935 Iowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934 FamilySearch Free Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes
Sites that search for links pertaining to Benton County, Iowa Genealogy
RootsWeb Resources Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($) Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Benton County, Iowa Genealogy
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch Catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
See also local libraries and Iowa Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Benton County, Iowa Genealogy
GeneaBloggers enter "Iowa" in search box to see list and links to Iowa blogs
Facebook list of groups from "Iowa Genealogy" search Iowa Genealogy Forum Benton County Message Board

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Benton, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Benton County, Iowa. Page 230-238 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 222-225.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Benton County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa, accessed 22 August 2019.