Van Buren County, Iowa Genealogy

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United States
Van Buren County

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


Van Buren County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Van Buren County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded December 7, 1836
County Seat Keosaugua

County Information

Van Buren County, Iowa Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1880 1837 1880 1840 1837 1841

County Courthouse


Martin Van Buren.JPG

The county is named after President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) who served as United States Vice President at the time of the county's formation.[2]

Parent County

1836--Van Buren County was created 7 December 1836 from Des Moines County. County seat:  Keosauqua [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 website.


Record Loss

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


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Davis • Henry • Lee • Jefferson • Wapello • Clark County, Missouri • Scotland County, Missouri

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


State Census


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

  • Keosauqua
  • Van Buren
  • Records of the Zion Lutheran Church, Douds, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).



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

Local histories are available for Van Buren 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.

  • Van Buren county By American Legion. Van Buren County Post (Iowa). Farmington, Ia. : T. L. Keith, 1940. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online.
  • Van Buren County inventory of historical places. By Van Buren County Bicentennial Committee. [Keosauqua, Iowa?] : Van Buren County Bicentennial Committee, 1977. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online.



Early migration routes to and from Van Buren County, Iowa Genealogy for European settlers included:


Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Van Buren 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 Van Buren County, Iowa Genealogy:

- 2nd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company B
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company D
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company G
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company H
- 5th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 14th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company K
- 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 19th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 19th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company I
- 30th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D


Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.


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 - Van Buren - 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

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.


Societies and Libraries

Van Buren County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 160
Keosauqua, IA 52565

Van Buren County Historical Society
PO Box 236
Keosauqua, IA 52565

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.



  1. 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
  2. "Martin Van Buren," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).