Iowa Public Records

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Many records created by local and state governments do not fit into the topics listed in this outline. These include records of:

  • state licensing and certification bureaus,
  • mayors,
  • commissioners and
  • overseers of the poor.

Some collections that contain a variety of records, such as land, history, tax and court records, may be classified as public records.

Public records kept by the County Board of Supervisors in Iowa began about 1838. These records have been important public records from 1838 to the present. These boards supervise the establishment, drainage, alteration, and vacating of roads; take care of the blind, elderly and poor; levy taxes for county and school purposes; and set salaries for the county clerk and sheriff. The Family History Library has some of these records on microfilm.

Some types of Iowa county public records are described in:

Dolan, John P., and Lisa Lacher. Guide to the Public Records of Iowa Counties. Des Moines, Iowa: Connie Wimer, 1986. (FHL book 977.7 D27d) This guide lists many resources for 20th-century research.

Public records are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

IOWA - PUBLIC RECORDS

IOWA, [COUNTY] - PUBLIC RECORDS

IOWA, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- PUBLIC RECORDS