Shelby County, Iowa Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Iowa Gotoarrow.png Shelby County

Guide to Shelby County Iowa genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Iowa
Online Records

Shelby County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Shelby County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded January 15, 1851
County Seat Harlan

County Courthouse


Isaac Shelby.JPG

The county is named after Kentucky's First Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826).[1]

Parent County

1851--Shelby County was created 15 January 1851 from Pottawattamie County. It was organized 7 March 1853.
County seat:  Harlan [2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Audubon | Carroll | Cass | Crawford | Harrison | Pottawattamie




  • 1883-1925 - Minutes and Membership Records of the American Lutheran Church, Shelby County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

Elk Horn

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Elk Horn, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).


  • Records of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Irwin, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).



Local Histories 




Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.


In most counties in Iowa, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Iowa - Shelby - Probate records.


Vital Records 

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also How to order Iowa Vital Records or order electronically online.

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).