Pottawattamie County, Iowa Genealogy

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Template:Iowa-stub  United States  > Iowa > Pottawattamie County

County Courthouse


Parent County

1848--Pottawattamie County was created 21 September 1848 from unorganized territory. County seat: Founded as Kanesville; renamed Council Bluffs 19 January 1953. [1] [2]

Boundary Changes

Apparently the new county, covering over 5,000 sq. miles, once included nearly all of Iowa's Missouri River drainage between the southern halves of what are now Monona and Crawford Counties and the northern edge of Fremont, Page, Taylor, and Ringgold Counties. The following counties were completely formed from within this expanse: Harrison, Shelby, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, and Adams; most of Audubon, along with portions of Union, Adair, Guthrie, Carroll, Crawford, and Monona Counties were also part of Pottawattamie County until 1851.[3][4] However, the area near Mt. Pisgah was never in Pottawattamie County. Iowa's legislature gave the eastern half of today's Union County to Clarke County in 1846, then shrank both Clarke and neighboring Lucas County in 1847 (before either county became functional). As a result, the Mt. Pisgah community and cemetery were in a non-county area until Union County was formed in 1851 and organized in 1853.[5]

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Cass | Harrison | Mills | Montgomery | Shelby | Douglas County, Nebraska | Sarpy County, Nebraska



Cemeteries, with interments, on BillionGraves.com.  Each cemetery has a Google map with satellite image, each pushpin represents a headstone, and there is a search box to find a particular headstone photograph which has theheadstone with inscription which includes names, dates, and sometimes epitaphs and related information. 

Findagrave: Photos of headstones, and other information, which often varies.  Photographs include the headstone with its inscription, including any epitaphs or other information. 

Interment.net: Listings, usually alphabetical, of interments in a particular cemetery.  Often does not include information like inscriptions, epitaphs, etc., or some data other than names.  Amount of information may vary.


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Council Bluffs
  • Council Bluffs Dist
  • Council Point
  • Lake
  • Pottawatomie
  • Shirtses
  • Union



Local Histories 



Early migration routes to and from Pottawattamie County, Iowa Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:





Vital Records 

Societies and Libraries

  • Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society Library: This Library is down the street from the Council Bluffs Public Library. Among other things, they have an obituary index for the local papers. You can contact them via their Email address which is given on their webpage.

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society files: "Important Dates in Council Bluffs History" (transcribed by Rootsweb). Online at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~iapcgs/CBimportantdates.html
  3. FamilyHistory101.com: "Iowa County Formation Maps"; interactive map of county formation and organization (select 1848). Online at http://www.familyhistory101.com/maps/ia_cf.html
  4. Geology.com: "Iowa State Map Collection" (includes rivers map with current county lines overlaid). Online at http://geology.com/state-map/iowa.shtml
  5. FamilyHistory101.com: "Iowa County Formation Maps"; interactive map of county formation and organization (select 1851). Online at http://www.familyhistory101.com/maps/ia_cf.html
  6. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map I" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at http://www.oregonpioneers.com/OTMap1.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. "Oregon California Trails Association" at http://octatrails.micromaps.com/ (accessed 18 July 2011).
  8. "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at http://lds.org/gospellibrary/pioneer/pioneerstory.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).