Iowa Fast Facts and Key Resources

By Dana Schmidt Premium

Statehood: 1846


US territory status: part of Michigan Territory in 1834, Wisconsin Territory in 1836 and Iowa Territory in 1838

First extant federal census: 1850

Available state censuses: 1856,1885, 1895,1905,1915,1925

Statewide birth, death and marriage records begin: 1880

Counties: 99

Contact for vital records:

Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Health Statistics Lucas State Office Building 321 E. 12th St. Des Moines, IA50319 (515) 281-7689


Web Sites

Cyndi’s List: Iowa


Gravestone Photo Project


Iowa: An American History and Genealogy Project


Iowa Biographies Project


Iowa Digital Map Library


Iowa Documents


Iowa GenWeb Project <>

The Iowa Heritage Digital Collections


Iowa Military Records <>

Iowa Old Press


Iowa WPA Graves Survey


Origin and Naming of Iowa Counties

<publications.iowa. gov/archive/00000135/01/history/7-5.pdf>


The Annals of Iowa (SHSI)

Discovering Your Iowa Civil War Ancestry by Steve Meyer (Meyer Publishing, out of print)

The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogists edited by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack and Erin Nevius (Family Tree Books)

From Ackley to Zwingle: The Origins of Iowa Place Names by Harold E. Dilts (Iowa State Press, out of print)

German Settlers of Iowa: Their Descendants and European Ancestors by Margaret Krug Palen (Heritage Books, out of print)

How to Use the 1925 Census of Iowa (Iowa Genealogical Society)

Iowa Atlas of Historical County Boundaries edited by John H. Long (Charles Scribner’s Sons)

Iowa: The Middle Land by Dorothy Schwieder (Iowa State University Press)

Iowa Vital Records: Marriages 1835-1900 CD (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Organizations and Archives

The Danish Immigrant Museum Family History and Genealogy Center

2212 Washington St., Elk Horn, IA51531. (712)764-7001, <>

Iowa Genealogical Society

628 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309, (515)276-0287, <>

Iowa Women’s Archives

University of Iowa Libraries, 100 Main Library, Iowa City, IA 52242, (319)335-5068, <>

NARA Central Plains Region

2312 E. Bannister Road, Kansas City, MO 64131, (816) 268-8012, <>

NARA Great Lakes Region

7358 S. Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60629, (773) 948-9000, <archives. gov/great-lakes/chicago>

National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library

3016th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, (319)362-8500, <>

State Historical Society of Iowa — Des Moines

600 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50319, (515) 281-6200, <>

State Historical Society of Iowa — Iowa City

402 Iowa Ave., Iowa City, IA 52240, (319) 335-3916, <>


From the December 2006 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

Get Your Free Essential Genealogy Research Forms

Sign up for the Family Tree Newsletter and receive 10 research forms as a special thank you!

Get Your Free Genealogy Forms

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Find your American ancestors with State Research Guides for the Entire US!

Instantly download research guides for all 50 U.S. states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., for less than $1 each! Find new ideas and resources to research ancestors in each U.S. state.