Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. Some give historical background of the area or show migration routes, such as roads, rivers, and railroads. Topographical maps show physical and man-made features, such as creeks, hills, roads, cemeteries, and churches. Plat and land ownership maps and other types of maps are described in the "Maps" section of the United States Research Outline. Many maps are in published atlases. In the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog, atlases are listed under "Maps."
Land Ownership and Plat Maps
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 on microfiche at the Family History Library in: Library of Congress. Geography and Map Division. Land Ownership Maps. (FHL fiche 6079414-48 [Iowa]) See the "Maps" section in the United States Research Outline for publication information.
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. Atlases and maps are both listed in the Family History Library Catalog under "Maps." A few maps of early Mormon and other pioneer trails are available at the Family History Library. The following statewide collections of maps may be helpful to you:
- Andreas, A. T. Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Iowa, 1875. Chicago, Illinois: Lakeside Press, 1875. (FHL film 966235 item 2 or film 980875 item 1)
- Atlas of the State of Iowa. N.p.: Huebinger, 1904. (FHL film 966236) Maps Taken from County Histories, etc. and Filed Separately at the Iowa State Historical Society. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976. (FHL film 989450 item 8)
A valuable finding aid for Iowa maps is:
- Cobb, David A. Guide to U.S. Map Resources. Chicago, Illinois and London, England: American Library Association, 1986. (FHL book 973 E74co)
Also, the University of Iowa and Iowa State University have extensive map collections for the state. Iowa maps and atlases are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under: IOWA - MAPS IOWA, [COUNTY] - MAPS IOWA, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - MAPS
Printable maps are also available from the National Atlas of the United States -- http://nationalatlas.gov/printable.html