Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Oskaloosa
Organized: March 1, 1844[1]
Parent County(s): Keokuk and Non-county area 3[2]
Neighboring Counties
Jasper  • Keokuk  • Marion  • Monroe  • Poweshiek  • Wapello
See County Maps
Courthouse
Iowa, Mahaska County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Mahaska Map.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Mahaska County was named for Chief Mahaska of the Iowa tribe and is located in south-central Iowa.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]


Mahaska County Courthouse
106 S 1st St
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
Phone: 641-673-4940
Mahaska County Website

Mahaska 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 1844 1880 1844 1845 1844 1847
* Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths January 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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:[8]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
  • Lacey
Townships


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The history of Mahaska County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the Northwest, history of Iowa, map of Mahaska County, constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, &c.. 1878 Des Moines, IA: Union Historical Company. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Ancestry.com ($)
  • Past and present of Mahaska County, Iowa : together with biographical sketches of many of its prominent and leading citizens and illustrious dead. 1906. By Manoah Hedge. Chicago, IL: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Portrait and biographical album of Mahaska County, Iowa : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the Governors of Iowa, and of the Presidents of the United States. 1887. Chicago, IL: Chapman Brothers. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Ancestry.com ($)
  • Proud Mahaska : 1843-1900. 1900 By Semira A. Phillips. Oskaloosa, IA: Herald Print. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library
  • Mahaska County, Iowa Biographies Project at RootsWeb — links to biographies and local histories

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Mahaska 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.
1850 5,989
1860 14,816 147.4%
1870 22,508 51.9%
1880 25,202 12.0%
1890 28,805 14.3%
1900 34,273 19.0%
1910 29,860 −12.9%
1920 26,270 −12.0%
1930 25,804 −1.8%
1940 26,485 2.6%
1950 24,672 −6.8%
1960 23,602 −4.3%
1970 22,177 −6.0%
1980 22,867 3.1%
1990 21,532 −5.8%
2000 22,335 3.7%
2010 22,381 0.2%
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.

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

  • Roustabout's history of Mahaska County. 1916 By Roustabout. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Beforetime.net
  • Proud Mahaska, 1843-1900. By Semira A. Phillips. Oskaloosa, Iowa: Herald Print, 1900. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive.
  • History of Mahaska, County (Iowa). By Manoah Hedge. Oskaloosa, Iowa, [1905?]. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Beforetime.net.
  • History of Scott Township, Mahaska County, Iowa; War reminiscences; Did the buffalo ever inhibit Iowa? 1907. By Robert I. Garden. Oskaloosa, IA: Globe Press. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Beforetime.net
  • The Oskaloosa Times souvenir of Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa. 1896. Detroit, MI: H. Kirk Watkins Company. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • The history of Mahaska County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion, general and local statistics, portraits of early settlers and prominent men, history of the Northwest, history of Iowa, map of Mahaska County, constitution of the United States, miscellaneous matters, &c.. 1878 Des Moines, IA: Union Historical Company. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive, Ancestry.com ($), Beforetime.net
  • Past and present of Mahaska County, Iowa : together with biographical sketches of many of its prominent and leading citizens and illustrious dead. 1906. By Manoah Hedge. Chicago, IL: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Ancestry.com ($)
  • Portrait and biographical album of Mahaska County, Iowa : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the Governors of Iowa, and of the Presidents of the United States. 1887. Chicago, IL: Chapman Brothers. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Ancestry.com ($), Beforetime.net
  • Iowa Indexes at EveryNameIndex.com — Select the county.

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.

Jasper CountyPoweshiek CountyIowa CountyMarion CountyKeokuk CountyMonroe CountyWapello CountyIA MAHASKA.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 Mahaska 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:

- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company C
- 8th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company C
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D and K
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company I

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 Mahaska 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

Libraries[edit | edit source]

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

Oskaloosa Public Library
301 South Market Street
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
641-673-0441
Email: opl@oskaloosalibrary.org
Website

Wilcox Library
William Penn University
201 Trueblood Avenue
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
641-673-1096
Text 641-569-6745
Website

Museums[edit | edit source]

Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum
2211 Nelson Lane
P.O. Box 578
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
641-672-2989
E-mail: curator@nelsonpioneer.org
Website

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

KEO-MAH Genealogical Society
209 A Ave East
Oskaloosa, IA 52577-2807
641-673-9373
E-mail: keomahgenealogy@mahaska.org
Website

Mahaska County Historical Society
2211 Nelson Lane
P.O. Box 578
Oskaloosa, IA 52577
641-672-2989
E-mail: curator@nelsonpioneer.org
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. Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed July 23, 2021.
  2. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 1 September 2021
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Mahaska, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahaska_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. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 1 September 2021
  6. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 1 September 2021
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Mahaska County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahaska_County%2C_Iowa, accessed 15 October 2019.