Iowa Maps

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United States Gotoarrow.png Iowa Gotoarrow.png Iowa Maps

Iowa Maps

Several types of maps are useful for genealogists as they search information in Iowa. Some maps give historical background of the area or show migration routes, such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical, Plat, Land ownership maps plus many others are described in the Maps for the United States. Many maps are in published atlases. 

  • Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources [1] Contains bibliographies and background information on history and ethnic groups. Also contains maps and tables showing when each county was created.


Atlases for most Iowa counties begin about 1870 and may contain some biographical information about families in that county. Sometimes they include pictures of individuals and their homes and farms.

  • Atlas of the State of Iowa. N.p.: Huebinger, 1904. FHL film 966236 item 1
  • The University of Iowa and Iowa State University have wide ranging map collections for the state. Iowa maps and atlases are listed in the Locality.

City Ward Maps

County Maps

  • There are maps that have been taken from County Histories. [2]

GPS Coordinates

Historical Maps and Atlases

  • The David Rumsey Map Collection contains an extensive collection of historical atlases, maps, and other antique cartographic treasures.
  • Fire Insurance Maps provide a wonderful view of your ancestor's life. The Library of Congress has Sanborn Maps.Iowa Sanborn maps for over 1,000 cities and towns are available online to University of Iowa students and State Library card holdres.  A list of the maps is available to download through the State Historical Society of Iowa.
  • The Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa is available on microfilm. [3]
  • A few maps of early Mormon and other pioneer trails are available at the Family History Library.
  • 1875 Historical Maps this collection contains plat maps for the Counties of Delaware, Jefferson, Marion, Page, Poweshiek and Taylor.
  • 1894 Historical Maps showing counties in the East half of Iowa.
  • 1895 Historical Maps a colorful map shows the entire state of Iowa with the option of viewing each individual state. 

Land Ownership Maps

Locating township

  • Land ownership maps exist for certain Iowa counties from 1858 to 1900. These maps provide the name of the landowner and the names of the owners of adjacent land. There are 35 Iowa land ownership maps published from 1858 to 1900[4]

County Boundaries

  • County boundaries changed often over the years, these maps show the county boundaries for each of thecensus years.

Plat Maps

Plat and land ownership maps and other types of maps are described in the section of the United States Maps.

  • 1875 Historical Maps this collection contains plat maps for the Counties of Delaware, Jefferson, Marion, Page, Poweshiek and Taylor.


Topographical maps show physical and man-made features, such as creeks, hills, roads, cemeteries, and churches.

Research helps

Family History Library Catalog, atlases and maps are both listed under Maps.

  • A valuable finding aid for Iowa maps is on microfilm [5]


  1. Eichholz, Alice, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992. (FHL book 973 D27rb 1992; computer number 594021.)
  2. Maps Taken from County Histories, etc. and Filed Separately at the Iowa State Historical Society. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976. (Family History Library film 989450 item 8)
  3. Andreas, A. T. Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa, 1875. Chicago, Illinois: Lakeside Press, 1875. (Family History Library film 966235 item 2 or film 980875 item 1)
  4. On microfiche at the Family History Library in: Library of Congress. Geography and Map Division. Land Ownership Maps. (Family History Library fiche 6079414-48)
  5. Cobb, David A. Guide to U.S. Map Resources. Chicago, Illinois and London, England: American Library Association, 1986. (Family History Library book 973 E74co)