Pottawattamie County, Iowa Genealogy
Guide to Pottawattamie County, Iowa ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Pottawattamie County, Iowa|
Location in the state of Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
|Founded||September 21, 1848|
|County Seat||Council Bluffs|
- 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
- 6 Societies and Libraries
The County was named for Potawatomi tribe. The County has Council Bluffs as its seat and the County was created September 21, 1848. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.
Pottawattamie County, Iowa Record Dates
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.
Apparently the new county, covering over 5,000 sq. miles, once included nearly all of Iowa's Missouri River drainage between the southern halves of what are now Monona and Crawford Counties and the northern edge of Fremont, Page, Taylor, and Ringgold Counties. The following counties were completely formed from within this expanse: Harrison, Shelby, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, and Adams; most of Audubon, along with portions of Union, Adair, Guthrie, Carroll, Crawford, and Monona Counties were also part of Pottawattamie County until 1851. However, the area near Mt. Pisgah was never in Pottawattamie County. Iowa's legislature gave the eastern half of today's Union County to Clarke County in 1846, then shrank both Clarke and neighboring Lucas County in 1847 (before either county became functional). As a result, the Mt. Pisgah community and cemetery were in a non-county area until Union County was formed in 1851 and organized in 1853.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
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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.|
Cemeteries, grouped by search site. Information on search sites may vary from site to site, but usually at least has the name, most will have dates, and some will include epitaphs and other information. Some include photos, some do not. Indexing of headstone data and locations will also vary, completeness of coverage of any particular cemetery may also vary.
- Bikhor Cholim (cemetery), Kane, Iowa
- Cedar Lawn Cemetery, Garner, Iowa
- Crescent Cemetery, Crescent
- Fairview Cemetery, Council Bluffs
- Fisher Cemetery, Underwood
- Flint Cemetery, Griswold
- Grange Cemetery, Honey Creek
- Green Valley Cemetery, Countil Bluffs
- Hardin Township Cemetery, McLelland, Iowa
- Memorial Park Cemetery, Council Bluffs
- Ridgewood Cemetery, Council Bluffs
- Silver Valley Cemetery, Hancock, Iowa
- St. Joseph Cemetery, Council Bluffs, Iowa
- St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery, Neola, Iowa
- Treynor Zion Congregational Cemetery, Treynor, Iowa
- Walnut Hill Cenetery, Council Bluffs, Iowa
- Weston Saint Columbanus Catholic Cemetery, Underwood
- Wheeler Grove Cemetery, Carson Iowa
- Iowa, Pottawattamie County, Annotated Record of US Census, 1850 at Ancestry.com ($)
- 1895 - Iowa State Census, 1895 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1905 - Iowa State Census, 1905 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1915 - Iowa State Census, 1915 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1925 - Iowa State Census. 1925 at FamilySearch — index and images
Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Iowa Church Records.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
LDS Ward and Branch Records
- Council Bluffs
- Council Bluffs Dist
- Council Point
- Records of the American Lutheran Church, Council Bluffs, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Neola
- Records of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Neola, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
- Records of the American Lutheran Church, Underwood, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
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 Pottawattamie 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 Pottawattami County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907. By Homer H. Field and Joseph R. Reed. Chicago : S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1907. Online at: Vol. 1 FamilySearch Books Online, Google Books, Vol. 2 FamilySearch Books Online, Interner Archive; At various libraries (WorldCat).
- History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa : containing a history from the earliest settlement to the present time... biographical sketches. Chicago : O. L. Baskin, 1883. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online, Internet Archive, Google Books; At various libraries (WorldCat).
- Mormons at the Missouri, 1846-1852 : "And should we die. . .". By Richard E. Bennett. Norman, Oklahoma : University of Oklahoma Press, c1987. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat).
Early migration routes to and from Pottawattamie County, Iowa Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:
- Missouri River
- Oregon Trail 1830s to 1890s from western Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon
- California Trail 1846 to 1869 from western Missouri to northern California
- Mormon Trail 1846 to 1869 from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah
- Mormon Pioneer Trail - Council Bluffs
- Individuals in Mormon pioneer Overland travel
- 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 Pottawattamie 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 Pottawattamie County, Iowa Genealogy:
- - 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company B
- - 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- - 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- - 23rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- - 29th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company A
Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Pottawattamie County, Iowa Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:
- Council Bluffs Nonpareil. 1936, 1943-50, and 1952-56. Council Bluffs, 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 - Pottawattamie - 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
- 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
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.
- Cedar Rapids Iowa Family History Center3008 Pleasant Dr Cedar Falls IA 50613 United States Location Map
| 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 "pottawattamie 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 "pottawattamie 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|
|genealogytrails.com||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or 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 ($)|
|CyndisList||Free||Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)|
|Pottawattamie County IA at LDS Genealogy||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||Pottawattamie County Message Board|
- Wikipedia contributors, "Potawatomi, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottawattamie_County,_Iowa."
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Pottawattamie 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.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society files: "Important Dates in Council Bluffs History" (transcribed by Rootsweb). Online at http://sites.rootsweb.com/~iapcgs/CBimportantdates.html
- Geology.com: "Iowa State Map Collection" (includes rivers map with current county lines overlaid). Online at http://geology.com/state-map/iowa.shtml
- MapofUS.org: "Iowa County Formation Maps"; interactive map of county formation and organization (select 1851). Online at http://www.mapofus.org/iowa/
- Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map I" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at http://www.oregonpioneers.com/OTMap1.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).
- "Oregon California Trails Association" at http://octatrails.micromaps.com/ (accessed 18 July 2011).
- "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at http://lds.org/gospellibrary/pioneer/pioneerstory.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).