Plymouth County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Plymouth County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Plymouth County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded January 15, 1851
County Seat Le Mars
Iowa, Plymouth County Courthouse.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Plymouth, Massachusetts. The County has Le Mars as its seat and the County was created 1851. The County is located in the northeast area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1869 1880 1869 1856 1880 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1851--Plymouth County was created 15 January 1851 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Woodbury County prior to organization 27 October 1858. County seat:  Le Mars [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.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

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]

Unincorporated communities
  • Adaville
  • Brookdale
  • Crathorne
  • James
  • Mammen
  • Milnerville
  • Neptune
  • O'Leary
  • Plymouth
  • Potosia
  • Ruble
  • Seney
  • Union Center (Also known as "The U")
  • West Le Mars
  • Wren
  • Yeomans

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Cherokee • O'Brien • Sioux • Woodbury • Union County, South Dakota

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.
1860 148
1870 2,199 1385.8%
1880 8,566 289.5%
1890 19,568 128.4%
1900 22,209 13.5%
1910 23,129 4.1%
1920 23,584 2.0%
1930 24,159 2.4%
1940 23,502 −2.7%
1950 23,252 −1.1%
1960 23,906 2.8%
1970 24,322 1.7%
1980 24,743 1.7%
1990 23,388 −5.5%
2000 24,849 6.2%
2010 24,986 0.6%
Source: "".

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]

Plymouth County

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Plymouth County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

St. John's Lutheran Church, Craig

  • Records of the St. John's Lutheran Church, Craig, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

Sioux City

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Sioux City, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

Court[edit | edit source]

Directories[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 Plymouth 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.

  • History of the counties of Woodbury and Plymouth, Iowa: includes an extended sketch of Sioux City, their early settlement and progress to the present time; a description of their historic and interesting localities; sketches of the prominent men, and biographies of many of the representative citizens. By Will Leach Clark, J. E. Norris. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive, HathiTrust.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Union CountySouth DakotaSioux CountyO'Brien CountyCherokee CountyIda CountyWoodbury CountyIA PLYMOUTH.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Plymouth County, Iowa Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

  • Le Mars Globe Post. 1953-54, 1956-57, and 1959. Le Mars, IA, USA. Online at: ($)
  • Le Mars Daily Sentinel. 1963 and 1972. Le Mars, IA, USA. Online at: ($)
  • Lemars Semi Weekly Sentinel. 1951-52. Le Mars, IA, USA. Online at: ($)
  • Le Mars Sentinel. 1953-54 and 1957. Le Mars, IA, USA. Online at: ($)
  • Barometern. 1884-86. Sioux City, IA, USA. Online at: ($)
  • The Sioux City Sunday Journal. 1964. Sioux City, IA, USA. Online at: ($)
  • Le Mars Daily News Sentinel. 1958, 1969, and 1977. Le Mars, IA, USA. Online at: ($)

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]

Northwest Iowa Genealogical Society
C/O Le Mars Public Library
46 First Ave. S.W.
Le Mars, IA 51031

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Sites with online indexes or images of records pertaining to Plymouth 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 institutions - results of "plymouth 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 "plymouth county" in the search box
IAGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
[1] [2][3] FamilySearch Free Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes
Sites that search for links pertaining to Plymouth 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 ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
Plymouth County IA at LDS Genealogy 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 Plymouth 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 Plymouth 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 Plymouth County, IA Genealogy Forum Plymouth County Message Board

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Plymouth, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Plymouth 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, "Plymouth County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa, accessed 21 October 2019.