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Shelby County, Iowa Genealogy

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

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Shelby County, Iowa
Map
Map of Iowa highlighting Shelby County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 15, 1851
County Seat Harlan
Courthouse
IowaShelbyCourthouse.jpg


County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Isaac Shelby. The County has Harlan as its seat and the County was created 1851. The County is located in the west central area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1853 1880 1869 1854 1869 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]

Isaac Shelby.JPG

The county is named after Kentucky's First Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826).[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1851--Shelby County was created 15 January 1851 from Pottawattamie County. It was organized 7 March 1853.
County seat:  Harlan [4]

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 MapofUS.org website.

Biography[edit | edit source]

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]

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Audubon • Carroll • Cass • Crawford • Harrison • Pottawattamie

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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.

Census[edit | edit source]

State Census

Church[edit | edit source]

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.


Lutheran[edit | edit source]
  • 1883-1925 - Minutes and Membership Records of the American Lutheran Church, Shelby County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Elk Horn

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

Irwin

  • Records of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Irwin, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

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. 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[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Shelby 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.


Maps[edit | edit source]

Military[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives

NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

Probate[edit | edit source]

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 - Shelby - Probate records.


Taxation[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.

Births[edit | edit source]
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Shelby County Historical Museum
1805 Morse Avenue
Harlan, Iowa 51537
Telephone:712-755-2437
E-mail: shelbyco.museum@gmail.com
Website

Museum of Danish America Genealogy Center
4210 Main Street
PO Box 249
Elk Horn, Iowa 51531-0249
Telephone:712-764-7008
E-mail: genealogy@danishmuseum.org
Website

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Shelby, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelby_County,_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shelby 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. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).