Wapello County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Wapello County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Wapello County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded February 17, 1843
County Seat Ottumwa
Iowa, Wapello County Courthouse.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Wapello, a Meskwaki chief. The County has Ottumwa as its seat and the County was created December 7, 1843. The County is located in the southeast area of the state. [1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1844 1880 1844 1844 1844 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1843 Wapello County was created 17 February 1843 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Jefferson County prior to organization 1 March 1844.  County seat: Ottumwa [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 MapofUS.org 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
  • Pickwick
  • Ottumwa Junction
  • Rutledge

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Appanoose • Davis • Jefferson • Keokuk • Mahaska • Monroe • Van Buren

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[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 FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Iowa Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 8,471
1860 14,518 71.4%
1870 22,346 53.9%
1880 25,285 13.2%
1890 30,426 20.3%
1900 35,426 16.4%
1910 37,743 6.5%
1920 37,937 0.5%
1930 40,480 6.7%
1940 44,280 9.4%
1950 47,397 7.0%
1960 46,126 −2.7%
1970 42,149 −8.6%
1980 40,241 −4.5%
1990 35,696 −11.3%
2000 36,051 1.0%
2010 35,625 −1.2%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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]
  • Records of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Ottumwa, 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. 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 Wapello 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]

Mahaska CountyKeokuk CountyMonroe CountyAppanoose CountyJefferson CountyVan Buren CountyDavis CountyIA WAPELLO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

- 2nd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company K
- 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company I
- 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company K
- 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company K
- 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 22nd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 36th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company B
- 36th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 36th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 36th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company K
- 1st Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

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]
Death[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Wapello County Genealogical Society
PO Box 163
210 West Main Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501
E-mail: info@wapellocountygs.com

Wapello County Historical Museum
210 West Main St
Ottumwa, Iowa

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Wapello, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wapello_County,_Iowa#cite_note-3."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wapello 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, "Wapello County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wapello_County,_Iowa, accessed 1 November 2019.