Iowa Societies

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There are many societies which may help family historians. Genealogical, historical, lineage, veterans, and ethnic societies are especially helpful because of the records and resources they collect, transcribe, and publish. Often their records contain birth, marriage, death, and biographical information. See "Societies

Genealogical and historical societies often maintain a genealogical file for families in the area and may sponsor publications, some of which are cited in the "Genealogy" section of this outline. Many counties have their own Society.

Historical Societies

  • Iowa State Historical Department
    402 Iowa Ave.
    Iowa City, IA 52240-1806
    Phone:(319) 335-3916
    Fax: (319) 335-3924
    Internet: Iowa City SHSI Location

Lineage Societies

Lineage societies, such as the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Colonial Dames, General Society of Colonial Wars, the Sons of the American Revolution, and many others, require members to prove they are descended from certain people, such as colonists or soldiers. The applications for membership in these societies are preserved, and many are on microfilm at the Family History Library. See the Register of U. S. Lineage Societies (mentioned in the "Societies" for addresses, lists of microfilmed records, and publications.

One important society in Iowa is the Iowa Genealogical Society (see the "Archives and Libraries" section of this outline). The Iowa Genealogical Society has a number of chapters throughout the state. Many chapters actively extract and index original records, which the society publishes. For a list of the society chapters, see:

Mary Keysor Meyer’s directory lists ethnic genealogical groups and societies. [1]

Old Settlers’ Associations existed in many Iowa counties. Some of these records, with obituaries, are available on microfilm, such as: Old Settlers’ Association (Cedar County, Iowa). Annual Meeting Minutes and Obituaries of Settlers, 1917–1934.[2]

See also the "Archives and Libraries" section of this outline for other organizations with family history sources.


Family History Library Helps

  • Society records are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under: IOWA - SOCIETIES
  • See the "Author/Title Search" of the Family History Library Catalog for many sources published by the Iowa Genealogical Society. There are, for example, birth, marriage, death and cemetery records; censuses (state and federal); newspaper obituaries; probates; city directories; adoption records; county assessors’ books; indexes to scrapbooks; and church records.
  1. Meyer’s Directory of Genealogical Societies in the U.S.A. and Canada. (Cited fully in the "Societies" section.)
  2. Old Settlers’ Association (Cedar County, Iowa). Annual Meeting Minutes and Obituaries of Settlers, 1917–1934. Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976. (Family History Library film 987411 or 281275)