Winneshiek County, Iowa Genealogy

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United States
Winneshiek County

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


Winneshiek County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Winneshiek County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded February 20, 1847
County Seat Decorah

County Information


The County was named for the a chief of the Winnebago tribe. The County has Decorah as its seat and the County was created 1847. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

Winneshiek County, Iowa Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1880 1851 1880 1840 1851 1852

County Courthouse

Quick Facts

Parent County

1847 Winneshiek County was created 20 February 1847 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Clayton County prior to organization 1 March 1851. County seat:  Decorah [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

Allamakee • Chickasaw • Clayton • Fayette • Howard • Fillmore County, Minnesota • Houston County, Minnesota

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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.


First Lutheran Church

  • Records of the First Lutheran Church, Winneshiek County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at

St. Petri Lutheran Church, Decorah

  • Records of the St. Petri Lutheran Church, Decorah, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at

Stavanger Lutheran Church, Ossian

  • Records of the Stavanger Lutheran Church, Ossian, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at

Winneshiek County

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Winneshiek County, 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 are available for Winneshiek 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 Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties, Iowa


Fillmore CountyHouston CountyHoward CountyChickasaw CountyFayette CountyClayton CountyAllamakee CountyIA WINNESHIEK.PNG
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Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Civil War

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

- 1st Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company K
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 6th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company D
- 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 15th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company K
- 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company F


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


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 - Winneshiek - 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

Howard-Winneshiek Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 362
Cresco, Iowa 52136

Winneshiek County Historical Society
201 W Main Street
PO Box 63
Decorah, IA 52101

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. Wikipedia contributors, "Winneshiek, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa."
  2. 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
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).