Howard County, Iowa Genealogy

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Guide to Howard County, Iowa ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Cresco
Organized: September 15, 1855[1]
Parent County(s): Unorganized territory[2]
Neighboring Counties
Chickasaw  • Floyd  • Mitchell  • Winneshiek  • Fillmore (MN)  • Mower (MN)
See County Maps
Courthouse
Iowa, Howard County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Howard Map.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Howard County was named for Tilghman Ashurst Howard and is located in northeastern Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Howard County Courthouse
137 N Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136
Phone: 563-547-9203
Howard County Iowa

Howard County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1880 1880 1876 1855 1877 1847
* Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths January 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1876 The courthouse was destroyed by fire on December 1. Most county records were lost.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

  • There have been two Howard counties in Iowa.
    1816-- The first Howard County was established. It became part of the Missouri Territory.
    1851--Howard County was created 15 January 1851 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Floyd County prior to organization 15 September 1855.[5]
  • County seat: Cresco[6]
  • Interactive Map of Iowa County Formation History (1790-1897) - animated maps illustrating Iowa county boundary changes
  • Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[7]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
  • Bonaire
  • Schley
Townships


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Listed below are resources for Bible records specific to Howard County. To find more resources, go to the Iowa Bible Records page.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Howard County, Iowa online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Iowa recorded not only federal, but state censuses for several in-between years as well. For more information, see the very informative Iowa Census article.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 3,168
1870 6,282 98.3%
1880 10,837 72.5%
1890 11,182 3.2%
1900 14,512 29.8%
1910 12,920 −11.0%
1920 13,705 6.1%
1930 13,082 −4.5%
1940 13,531 3.4%
1950 13,105 −3.1%
1960 12,734 −2.8%
1970 11,442 −10.1%
1980 11,114 −2.9%
1990 9,809 −11.7%
2000 9,932 1.3%
2010 9,566 −3.7%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

State Census

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Iowa Church Records.

Lutheran

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. They include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Iowa Land and Property for information about early Iowa land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, transactions were usually recorded and housed at the county courthouse.

Online Land and Property Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Howard County, which may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see Iowa Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

County and state maps, historical and more current, are valuable research tools. For online maps and collections in libraries and societies, see Iowa Maps. Historical maps may be especially useful.

Mower CountyFillmore CountyMitchell CountyFloyd CountyChickasaw CountyFayette CountyWinneshiek CountyIA HOWARD.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Civil War service men in Howard County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed here:

- 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company I
- 12th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company G

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Iowa tax records complement land records and can supplement the years between censuses. Iowa's unique Old Age Assistance tax gives names, addresses and birth years. There may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Iowa Taxation.

Online Tax Indexes and Records

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded by civil officials on registers, certificates, and other documents. Copies or extracts may be purchased from the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Clerk's office. See also Iowa Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Howard County. For state-wide library facilities, see Iowa Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

To locate the closest family history center or affiliate library, use the link listed above.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Howard County. For state-wide library facilities, see Iowa Archives and Libraries.

Cresco Public Library
320 North Elm
Cresco, IA 52136
563-547-2540
E-mail: webmaster@cresco.lib.ia.us
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Howard County Historical Preservation & Education Center
P.O. Box 83
Cresco, IA 52136
563-547-3875
E-mail: barb.prochaska@gmail.comfair.com
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Howard County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Iowa Societies.

Howard-Winneshiek Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 362
Cresco, IA 52136
563-547-2540
E-mail: webmaster@cresco.lib.ia.us
Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • State Historical Society of Iowa — Select from research collection topics
  • The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection — digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural institutions
  • State Library of Iowa — electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies
  • IAGenWeb — Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
  • USGenWeb Archives — Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
  • genealogytrails.com — Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 6 Aug 2021.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Howard, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_County,_Iowa."
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Howard County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_County%2C_Iowa, accessed 10 September 2019.