Iowa Search Strategies

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Iowa  Gotoarrow.png  Search Strategies

This set of Wiki pages describes major sources of information about families from Iowa. As you read the Iowa Wiki pages, also study the United States Wiki pages, which will help you understand terminology and the contents and uses of genealogical records.

Helps for Using These Wiki Pages

Before using these Minnesota Wiki pages, you need to decide what you would like to learn about one of your ancestors, such as a birth date or a maiden name.

After you have decided what information you want to find, look at the [[Iowa Record Selection Table|Record Selection Table]. Column 1 lists the kinds of information you may need and columns 2 and 3 suggest the best types of records for finding that information.

There is an Iowa Wiki page for each type of record. These pages give more information about the records and how to find them. The pages are listed in alphabetical order in the Topic area.

References to the Family History Library Catalog

The Family History Library Catalog is a listing of all the records available at the Family History Library. The catalog is available at the Family History Library and at each Family History Centers. Staff there can help you learn to use the catalog.

This set of Wiki pages gives instructions for finding information in the catalog. For example, on the page called “ Iowa Census,” you may find the following statement:

For more information about census records, look in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:

IOWA - CENSUS
IOWA, [COUNTY]- CENSUS
IOWA, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - CENSUS

This statement tells you to look in the catalog under:

  • Iowa, and then the subject CENSUS.
  • A county in Iowa, and then the subject CENSUS.
  • A town in a county in Iowa, and then the subject CENSUS.

These Wiki pages include many references to specific records. The references include call numbers listed in parentheses. The call number is used to find a record in the Family History Library (FHL).

For additional information on using the catalog, see Introduction to the Family History Library Catalog.

WorldCat Links

The WorldCat(alog) is a listing of all the records available at thousands of repositories primarily in the United States and Canada. By clicking a WorldCat link you will open the Internet to the WorldCat description for that particular book. Part of the WorldCat book description includes a list of libraries near your home zip code with a copy of that book.

The WorldCat catalog network was formerly known as OCLC. The Family History Library is not part of the WorldCat network.

References to Wiki Pages

This set of Iowa Wiki pages refers to many other pages that may help you in your research. Their titles are in blue or purple.





Records of the Family History Library

Some of the sources described in the Iowa Wiki pages list the Family History Library’s book, microfilm, microfiche, and compact disc numbers. These are preceded by FHL, the abbreviation for Family History Library. These numbers may be used to locate materials in the Family History Library and to order microfilm and microfiche at Family History Centers.

The computer Internet is growing in importance to genealogists. Sources found on the Internet are cited in these Wiki pages with blue links to each.

FamilySearch™

FamilySearch at Family History Centers. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing millions of names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your family history research. Some of the records come from compiled sources, and some have been extracted from original sources. The Family History Library and many Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch.

Family History Library and Family History Center computers with FamilySearch have access to the Internet, computer on-line services, networks, or bulletin boards. Those services are also available at many public libraries, college libraries, and private locations. Limited access to the Internet is available on a few computers in the Automated Resource Center in the Family History Library.

FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service. The Internet site at www.familysearch.org allows you to preserve your genealogy, order Family History Library publications, learn research strategies, and look for information about your ancestors in the following resources:

  • Ancestral File, a file of over 35 million names organized into families and pedigrees.
  • International Genealogical Index, an index of over 600 million names extracted out of vital records primarily from the British Isles, North America, and northern Europe.
  • Family History Library Catalog, a description and classification of over 2 million microfilm reels, and hundreds of thousands of genealogical books. You can search the catalog by family name, locality, author, or book or film number.
  • FamilySearch Research Wiki, how-to advice by the genealogical community for the community.

Family History Library Catalog

The library’s records are listed in the Family History Library Catalog available at the library and at each Family History Center, and on the Internet at: www.familysearch.org/Search/searchcatalog.asp . To find a record in the Family History Library Catalog, look in the Place Search for:

  • The place where your ancestor lived:
UNITED STATES – CENSUS
Iowa – BIOGRAPHY
Iowa, RAMSEY – VITAL RECORDS
Iowa, HENNEPIN, MINNEAPOLIS – HISTORY
  • The record type you want, such as:
UNITED STATES – CENSUS
Iowa – BIOGRAPHY
Iowa, RAMSEY – VITAL RECORDS
Iowa, HENNEPIN, MINNEAPOLIS – HISTORY

The page titles in these Wiki pages match the names of record types (subject headings) used in the Family History Library Catalog.