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Iowa Trails
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Iowa Research Aides

Birth and Death Records

Some counties began keeping birth and death records as early as 1870, although it was not required until 1880. General compliance did not happen until 1924. Delayed registration of births also took place by 1940. These files are kept by the clerk of the district court.

Vital Records

The Division of Vital Records, Iowa State Department of Health, Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines, IA 50319 has birth, marriage and death records where taken after 1 Jul 1880. Copies of records are available only to immediate family members, so relationship and reason for seeking information must be stated when writing. Statewide indexes by year are available. The birth index begins 1 Jul 1880, the marriage index begining 1 Jul 1916, and the death index, January 1891. Parentage is not listed on any death records until Jul 1904. Call 515-281-5871 to verify current fees.

Marriage Records

Early marriage records, some as early as 1850, may be obtained from county clerks. Many of these records have also been trascribed and published.


Territorial censuses were taken in 1836, 1838, 1844, and 1848, however copies exist for only a few counties.
State censuses were taken in 1847, 1849, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1925.

Iowa Genealogical Societies


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