Adair County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Adair County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Adair 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 Greenfield
Iowa, Adair County Courthouse.png
Address Adair County Courthouse
P. O. Box L
Greenfield, IA 5089-1290
Phone: (515) 743-2445
Adair County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for John Adair. The County has Greenfield as its seat and the County was created 1851. The County is located in the southwest area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1870 1880 1852 1854 1852 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

History[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Adair County

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1851--Adair County was created in January 15, 1851 from Pottawattamie, Dallas, Mahaska, Monroe, Polk and Cass Counties. County records are housed in Greenfield. County. The county was attached to Pottawattamie and Cass Counties prior to organization 6 May 1854. County seat: Greenfield [3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

1816-1872 - For animated maps illustrating Iowa County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Iowa County Boundary Maps" (1816-1872) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1889 - Courthouse burned and most court records were destroyed.

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

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

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:[4]

Unincorporated communities
  • North Beach
  • Prussia
  • Rosserdale
  • Zion
Ghost towns
  • Stanzel

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Adams  • Audubon  • Cass  • Dallas  • Guthrie  • Madison  • Union  • Clarke County Genealogy

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Rootsweb, Iowa Biographics Project Click titles to see alphabetical list of biographies in that title, some with links.

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
IAGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
IAGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project Iowa WPA Graves
Iowa Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 984
1870 3,982 304.7%
1880 11,667 193.0%
1890 14,534 24.6%
1900 16,192 11.4%
1910 14,420 −10.9%
1920 14,259 −1.1%
1930 13,891 −2.6%
1940 13,196 −5.0%
1950 12,292 −6.9%
1960 10,893 −11.4%
1970 9,487 −12.9%
1980 9,509 0.2%
1990 8,409 −11.6%
2000 8,243 −2.0%
2010 7,682 −6.8%
Source: "".

Iowa recorded not only the federal census but state census through out the years too. The state census contains very valuable genealogical information. Where the census information can be found, what years it was taken, mortality schedules, census substitutions and much more is discussed in the Iowa Census article.

State Census

Church[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[edit | edit source]
  • Records of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fontenelle, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

Court[edit | edit source]

  • 1907-1924 - Affidavit index, 1907-1924. [5]Microfilm of originals housed at the Clerk of the District Court, Adair County, Greenfield, Iowa. Affidavits concerning land transactions.

For more information about the courts in Iowa see the Iowa Court Records page.

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Land[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.

  • 1855-1918 - Town lot deed records 1855-1918,
    • 1855-1920 - Index 1855-1920,
  • 1858-1916 - Land transfer records 1858-1916;
  • 1867-1991 - Town lot transfer records 1867-1991;
    • 1870-1991 - Index 1870-1991 [6]
  • 1873-1954 - Tax deed records 1873-1954,
  • 1878-1972 - Homestead records 1878-1972,
  • 1880-1911 - Miscellaneous records, 1880-1911;
    • 1880-1916 - Index 1880-1916,
  • 1907-1924 - Affidavit index, 1907-1924. [7]Microfilm of originals housed at the Clerk of the District Court, Adair County, Greenfield, Iowa. Affidavits concerning land transactions.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Adair County, Iowa Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Iowa Local Histories.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Guthrie CountyDallas CountyAudubon CountyCass CountyMadison CountyAdams CountyUnion CountyIA ADAIR.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Adair County, Iowa Genealogy for European settlers included:

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Military[edit | edit source]

For more information about the Military in Adair see the Iowa Military Records page.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Adair County, Iowa Genealogy 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 in Adair County, Iowa Genealogy:

- 4th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company I
- 29th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Adair County, Iowa Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Indexes and Records

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.

  • Family History Films contains information about the following:
    • 1858-1902 - Administrator's, executor's, and guardian's bonds, 1858-1902;
    • 1854-1926 - Probate packets, 1854-1926; index, 1854-1926;
    • 1857-1952 - Probate records 1857-1952; index, 1857-1965;
    • 1868-1886 - Probate register, 1868-1886;
    • 1858-1979 - Will records, 1858-1979.

Taxation[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.

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]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Adair County Anquestors Genealogy Society
c/o Greenfield Public Library
P. O. Box 328
Greenfield, IA 50849-0328

See also a List of Iowa Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

Sites with online indexes or images of records pertaining to Adair County, Iowa Genealogy
State Historical Society of Iowa Free Select from research collection topics
The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection Free digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural insitutions - results of "adair county" in the search box
State Library of Iowa Free electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies - results of "adair county" in the search box
IAGenWeb Project Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Birth, Death, and Marriage records on FamilySearch Free Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes
Sites that search for links pertaining to Adair County, Iowa Genealogy
RootsWeb Resources Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
Geneology Inc. Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Adair County, Iowa Genealogy
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch Catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
See also Iowa Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Adair County, Iowa Genealogy
GeneaBloggers enter "Iowa" in search box to see list and links to Iowa blogs
Facebook list of groups from "Iowa Genealogy" search Iowa Genealogy Forum Adair County Message Board

Sources and Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Adair, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Adair County, Iowa. Page 230-238 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 222-225.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Adair County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa, accessed 15 September 2018.
  5. Adair County (Iowa). Clerk of the District Court (Main Author),Affidavit index, 1907-1924 Family History Film FHL US/CAN Film 1787316 Items 2-3.
  6. Family History Library
  7. Adair County (Iowa). Clerk of the District Court (Main Author),Affidavit index, 1907-1924 Family History Film FHL US/CAN Film 1787316 Items 2-3.
  8. Allen, C. R. Map of Adair County, Iowa 1882. Family History Book 977.773 E7
  9. Micro-reproduction of original published: Chicago : Ogle, 1901. 53, 28 p. Standard atlas or Adair County, Iowa : including a plat book of the villages, cities and townships of the county. Family History FHL US/CAN Film 985415 Item 1
  10. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  11. Adair County (Iowa). County Recorder Soldiers discharge record, 1887-1952. Family History Film US/CAN Film 1034838 Item 5
  12. Rivenburgh, Myrtle. Adair County, Iowa obituaries, 1907-1959. FHL US/CAN Film 1845781 Items 8-10