Dickinson County, Iowa Genealogy
Guide to Dickinson County, Iowa ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Dickinson County, Iowa|
Location in the state of Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
|Founded||January 15, 1851|
|County Seat||Spirit Lake|
|Address||Dickinson County Courthouse|
1802 Hill Ave
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Cemeteries
- 5.2 Census
- 5.3 Church
- 5.4 Court
- 5.5 Directories
- 5.6 Land
- 5.7 Local Histories
- 5.8 Maps
- 5.9 Military
- 5.10 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 5.11 Newspapers
- 5.12 Probate
- 5.13 Taxation
- 5.14 Vital Records
- 5.15 Societies and Libraries
- 5.16 Family History Centers
- 5.17 Websites
- 6 References
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
The County was named for the Daniel S Dickinson. The County has Spirit Lake as its seat and the County was created 1857. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.
Dickinson County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Dickinson County Courthouse
1802 Hill Ave
Spirit Lake, IA 51360
History[edit | edit source]
Parent County[edit | edit source]
1851--Dickinson County was created 15 January 1851 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Woodbury County prior to organization 3 August 1857. County seat: Spirit Lake 
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
For animated maps illustrating Iowa County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Iowa County Boundary Maps" (1816-1872) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
1871 Courthouse burned in November and some county records were destroyed.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties. By Michael John Neill at 24-7 Family History Circle.
- When the Records are Gone. By Arlene Eakle at Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Blog.
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
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:
Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|IAGenWeb Archives||FamilySearch Places|
|See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.|
The Spirit Lake Public Library website has very through listings of cemetery burials in Dickinson county. On the main page of their website you can click the Do Research tab, and then select Local Cemetery Listings.
The direct link to that is www.spiritlake.lib.ia.us/do-research/cemeteryrecords
Census[edit | edit 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 very informative Iowa Census article. State Census
- 1895 - Iowa State Census, 1895 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1905 - Iowa State Census, 1905 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1915 - Iowa State Census, 1915 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1925 - Iowa State Census. 1925 at FamilySearch — index and images
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.
List of Churches and Church Parishes
Court[edit | edit source]
Directories[edit | edit source]
- The lake region blue book and club directory of Spirit Lake and vicinity. By Henrietta Comstock Wright. Spirit Lake, Iowa?: unknown, 1906. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
Land[edit | edit source]
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. They include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Iowa Land and Property for information about early Iowa land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, transactions were usually recorded and housed at the county courthouse.
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
Local histories are available for Dickinson County, Iowa Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Iowa Local Histories.
- Smith, R. A. A history of Dickinson County, Iowa : together with an account of the Spirit Lake massacre, and the indian troubles on the northwestern frontier. Des Moines [Iowa] : Kenyon Print. & Mfg., 1902.
- Online at FamilySearch (Free)
- Wright, Henrietta Comstock. The lake region blue book and club directory of Spirit Lake and vicinity. [Spirit Lake? La. : s.n.], 1906.
- Online at FamilySearch (Free)
- Minnewaukon (Spirit Lake) and its legend : or an illustrated story of Okoboji and Spirit Lakes. [Des Moines : The Kenyon Company, 1910].
- Online at FamilySearch (Free)
- Green, H. O. Terrace Park [on Lake Okoboji]. [S.l. : s.n,] 1905.
- Online at FamilySearch (Free)
- History of Emmet County and Dickinson County, Iowa : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement.. Chicago, Ill.: Pioneer Pub. Co., 1917. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
Maps[edit | edit source]
Military[edit | edit source]
- 1835-1998 - Iowa, Armed Forces Grave Registrations, ca. 1835-1998 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1949 - Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1949 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1862-1910 - Iowa, Records of Persons Subject to Military Duty, 1862-1910 at FamilySearch — index
Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]
- 1859-1990 - United States, Iowa Naturalization Records, 1859-1990 at FamilySearch — index and images
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.
Ancestry.com has most of the Spirit Lake Beacon from 1870 to 1977 in searchable form. From ancestry's home page, select Card Catalog under the Search tab. Search for Spirit Lake and select the Spirit Lake Beacon on the right. If the name you are searching for is common, use the keyword field and type the name in quotation marks like this: "John Sears." You will have to do an additional search for names with initials such as "John C. Sears" but that's still easier than reading all the ads for Sears stores, or whatever your name might be confused with.
- Spirit Lake Beacon. 1870- 1889 Spirit Lake, Iowa, United States Of America. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
- Milford Mail. 1937-1941, 1943-1957 Milford, Iowa, United States Of America. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
- Lake Park News. 1958-1977 Lake Park, Iowa, United States Of America. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
- Terril Record. 1935-1956 Terril, Iowa, United States Of America. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
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.
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.
Births[edit | edit source]
- 1850-1939 - Iowa, Delayed Birth Records, 1850-1939 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1921-1942 - Iowa, Birth Records, 1921-1942 at FamilySearch — index and images
Iowa began keeping vital records in 1880. Look in the Library catalog to find what is available for Dickinson county.
Marriages[edit | edit source]
- 1518-1996 - Iowa, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1809-1992 Iowa, Marriages, 1809-1992 at MyHeritage ($) — index
- 1836-1926 Iowa, Marriages, 1836 - 1926 at MyHeritage ($) — index
- 1838-1934 - Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1880-1951 Iowa, Marriage Records, 1880-1951 at Ancestry.com ($) — index and images
Deaths[edit | edit source]
- 1850-1990 - Iowa, Deaths and Burials 1850-1990 at FamilySearch - index
- 1880-1992 - Iowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992 at FamilySearch — index
- 1900-1939 Iowa Death Index, 1900-1939 at MyHeritage ($) — index
- 1904-1951 - Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1920-1967 Iowa, Death Records, 1920-1967 at Ancestry.com ($) — index and images
Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]
Dickinson County Historical Society
1708 Keokuk Street
Spirit Lake IA 51360-1020
Spirit Lake Public Library
702 16th Street
Spirit Lake IA 51360
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries
- Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
- FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries
Websites[edit | edit source]
| Check back often with these websites. Internet offerings are growing at record rates.
Local societies and libraries may know of other websites.
|State Historical Society of Iowa||Free||Select from research collection topics|
|The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection||Free||digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural institutions - results of "dickinson county" in the search box|
|State Library of Iowa||Free||electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies - results of "dickinson county" in the search box|
|IAGenWeb Project||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions|
|USGenWeb Archives||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions|
|genealogytrails.com -Dickinson County page||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions|
|  FamilySearch||Free||Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes|
|RootsWeb Resources||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions|
|Linkpendium||Free||Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)|
|CyndisList||Free||Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)|
|Dickinson County IA at LDS Genealogy||Free||Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)|
|StateofUS.com||Free||family history resources and government records|
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.|
|GeneaBloggers||enter "Iowa" in search box to see list and links to Iowa blogs|
|list of groups from "Iowa Genealogy" search|
|genealogy.com||IA Genealogy Forum|
|ancestry.com||Dickinson County Message Board|
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Dickinson, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickinson_County,_Iowa.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Dickinson 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.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Dickinson County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickinson_County,_Iowa, accessed 3 September 2019.