Fayette County, Iowa Genealogy

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United States
Fayette County

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


Fayette County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Fayette 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 West Union
Address Fayette County Courthouse
114 North Vine Street
P.O. Box 226
West Union, IA 52175 
Phone:(563) 422-3687
Fayette County Website

County Information


The County was named for Marquis de Lafayette. The County has West Union as its seat and the County was created 1837. The County is located in the north east area of the state.[1]

Fayette County, Iowa Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1851 1880 1852 1855 1869 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Quick Reference Facts

Parent County

1837--Fayette County was created 21 December 1837 from Dubuque County. it was attached to Clayton County prior to organiztoin 7 February 1859.  County seat:  West Union [3]

Boundary Changes

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.

Neighboring Counties

Allamakee • Black Hawk • Bremer • Buchanan • Chickasaw • Clayton • Delaware • Winnishiek

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Record Loss

1872 Courthouse was burned.

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



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


State Census

Church Records

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.



  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Clermont, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Hope Lutheran Church, Westgate

  • Records of the Hope Lutheran Church, Westgate, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Richfield, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

West Union

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, West Union, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Court Records

Land and Property

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 Fayette 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.

  • Past and present of Fayette County, Iowa at Ancestry.com ($)
  • Fayette County Historical Society. Heritage of Fayette County, Iowa, 1996. West Union, Iowa] : Fayette County, IA Heritage Book Committee, c1996.
  • Peterman, Thomas Draper. Historical sketches of Fayette County, Iowa, in the 40's and 50's. [S.l. : s.n., 19--?].
  • The History of Fayette County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers, history of the northwest, history of Iowa, map of Fayette County. Chicago : Western Historical Co., 1878.
  • Past and present of Fayette County, Iowa : illustrated. Marceline, Mo. : Walsworth, [197-?].


Chickasaw CountyBremer CountyBlack Hawk CountyWinneshiek CountyAllamakee CountyClayton CountyBuchanan CountyDelaware CountyIA FAYETTE.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Civil War

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

- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 6th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company C
- 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 12th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company C
- 15th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company H
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company D


Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives
  • NewspaperArchive.com ($) has historical newspapers online including Waterloo newspapers that may have included Fayette County residents. This database is free at some libraries.
  • The Oelwein Daily Register. 1841-1848 Oelwein, IA, USA. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)

Probate Records

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 - Adair - Probate records.

Fayette County probate case files are scheduled to become available for free online at FamilySearch as images become available. For more information, click here.

   A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

   Iowa, Fayette County Probate Case Files (FamilySearch Historical 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

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.



See also a List of Iowa Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Archives, Libraries, and Museums


Fayette County Courthouse
114 North Vine Street
P.O. Box 226
West Union, IA 52175 
(563) 422-3687 
  Fayette County 

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.


Fayette County Historical & Genealogical Society
100 North Walnut Street
West Union, Iowa 52175
E-mail: fayettehistorical@gmail.com

Oelwein Area Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 389
Oelwein, IA 50662-0389
E-mail: Oelwein_Area_Genealogical_Society@hotmail.com


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog


Sites with online indexes or images of records
State Historical Society of Iowa Free Select from research collection topics
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
[1] [2][3] FamilySearch Free Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes
FamilySearch Free Iowa, Fayette County Probate Records, 1851-1928; browse images
Sites that search for links pertaining to Fayette 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 ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Fayette 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 Fayette County, Iowa Genealogy
GeneaBloggers enter "Iowa" in search box to see list and links to Iowa blogs
Google+ list of groups from "iowa genealogy" search
Facebook list of groups from "Iowa Genealogy" search
genealogy.com IA Genealogy Forum
ancestry.com Fayette County Message Board


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Fayette, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fayette 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).