Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy
Guide to Decatur County, Iowa ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Decatur County, Iowa|
Location in the state of Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
|Founded||January 13, 1846|
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Cemeteries
- 5.2 Census
- 5.3 Church
- 5.4 Court
- 5.5 Land
- 5.6 Local Histories
- 5.7 Maps
- 5.8 Migration
- 5.9 Military
- 5.10 Newspapers
- 5.11 Probate
- 5.12 Taxation
- 5.13 Vital Records
- 5.14 Societies and Libraries
- 5.15 References
The County was named for Stephen Decatur Jr. The County has Leon as its seat and the County was created 1846. The County is located in the south central area of the state.
Decatur County, Iowa Record Dates
Decatur County Courthouse
207 Main Street
Leon, IA 50144-1647
1846--Decatur County was created 13 January 1846 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Davis County prior to organization 6 March 1850.
County seat: Leon 
For animated maps illustrating Iowa County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Iowa County Boundary Maps" (1816-1872) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
1874 Courthouse was destroyed by fire on March 31 and most records were lost.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
- Arlene Eakle, When the Records are Gone in the Tennessee Genealogy Blog.
- Michael John Neill, Burned Counties in Family History Circle.
Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog
- Center Township
- Davis City
- Garden Grove
- Garden Grove Township
- Grand River
- High Point
- Terre Haute
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|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.|
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
- 1895 - Iowa State Census, 1895 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1905 - Iowa State Census, 1905 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1915 - Iowa State Census, 1915 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1925 - Iowa State Census. 1925 at FamilySearch — index and images
Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Iowa Church Records.
LDS Ward and Branch Records
- Garden Grove
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Iowa Land and Property for additional information about early Iowa land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.
Local histories are available for Decatur 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.
- Howell, J. M. History of Decatur County, Iowa, and its people. Chicago : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915.
- History of Decatur County, Iowa, and its people at Ancestry.com ($)
Early migration routes to and from Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy for European settlers included:
- 1835-1998 - Iowa, Armed Forces Grave Registrations, ca. 1835-1998 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1949 - Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1949 at FamilySearch — index and images
Regiments. Service men in Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy:
- - 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- - 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company A
- - 48th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C
- - 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company A
:- 48th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C
:- 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.
- Leon Journal Record. 1938 Leon, IA, USA. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
Online Probate 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.
The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Iowa - Decatur - Probate records.
Iowa tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Tax lists were usually made every year, however, there may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Iowa Taxation.
Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also How to order Iowa Vital Records or order electronically online.
- 1850-1939 - Iowa, Delayed Birth Records, 1850-1939 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1921-1942 - Iowa, Birth Records, 1921-1942 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1518-1996 - Iowa, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1838-1934 - Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1850-1990 - Iowa, Deaths and Burials 1850-1990 at FamilySearch - index
- 1880-1992 - Iowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992 at FamilySearch — index
- 1904-1951 - Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951 at FamilySearch — index and images
Societies and Libraries
Decatur County Genealogical Society
Lamoni Public Library
301 West Main
Lamoni, IA 50140
Decatur County Historical Society
100 block of North Main
Leon, Iowa 50140
Family History Centers
Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
| Check back often with these websites. Internet offerings are growing at record rates.
Local societies and libraries may know of other websites.
|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 institutions - results of "decatur 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 "decatur 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|
|  FamilySearch||Free||Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes|
|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 ($)|
|CyndisList||Free||Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)|
|StateofUS.com||Free||family history resources and government records|
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.|
|GeneaBloggers||enter "Iowa" in search box to see list and links to Iowa blogs|
|Google+||list of groups from "iowa genealogy" search|
|list of groups from "Iowa Genealogy" search|
|genealogy.com||IA Genealogy Forum|
|ancestry.com||Decatur County Message Board|
- Wikipedia contributors, "Decatur, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decatur_County,_Iowa.
- Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 225-231. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
- "List of counties in Tennessee", Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- 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).