Fayette County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Fayette County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Fayette County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded December 21, 1837
County Seat West Union
Iowa, Fayette County Courthouse.png
Address Fayette County Courthouse
114 North Vine Street
P.O. Box 226
West Union, IA 52175 
Phone:(563) 422-3687
Fayette County Website

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Marquis de Lafayette. The County has West Union as its seat and the County was created 1837. The County is located in the north east area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1851 1880 1852 1855 1869 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Quick Reference Facts[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1837--Fayette County was created 21 December 1837 from Dubuque County. it was attached to Clayton County prior to organiztoin 7 February 1859.  County seat:  West Union [3]

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.

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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Allamakee • Black Hawk • Bremer • Buchanan • Chickasaw • Clayton • Delaware • Winnishiek

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

1872 Courthouse was burned.

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

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 WorldCat Billion Graves
IAGenWeb Archives FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Iowa Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 825
1860 12,073 1363.4%
1870 16,973 40.6%
1880 22,258 31.1%
1890 23,141 4.0%
1900 29,845 29.0%
1910 27,919 −6.5%
1920 29,251 4.8%
1930 29,145 −0.4%
1940 29,151 0.0%
1950 28,294 −2.9%
1960 28,581 1.0%
1970 26,898 −5.9%
1980 25,488 −5.2%
1990 21,843 −14.3%
2000 22,008 0.8%
2010 20,880 −5.1%
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. List of Churches and Church Parishes

Lutheran[edit | edit source]


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Clermont, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Hope Lutheran Church, Westgate

  • Records of the Hope Lutheran Church, Westgate, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Richfield, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

West Union

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, West Union, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Land and Property[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.

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Fayette 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.

  • Past and present of Fayette County, Iowa at Ancestry.com ($)
  • Fayette County Historical Society. Heritage of Fayette County, Iowa, 1996. West Union, Iowa] : Fayette County, IA Heritage Book Committee, c1996.
  • Peterman, Thomas Draper. Historical sketches of Fayette County, Iowa, in the 40's and 50's. [S.l. : s.n., 19--?].
  • The History of Fayette County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, towns, &c., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers, history of the northwest, history of Iowa, map of Fayette County. Chicago : Western Historical Co., 1878.
  • Past and present of Fayette County, Iowa : illustrated. Marceline, Mo. : Walsworth, [197-?].

Maps[edit | edit source]

Chickasaw CountyBremer CountyBlack Hawk CountyWinneshiek CountyAllamakee CountyClayton CountyBuchanan CountyDelaware CountyIA FAYETTE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 6th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company C
- 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 12th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company C
- 15th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company H
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company D

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives
  • NewspaperArchive.com ($) has historical newspapers online including Waterloo newspapers that may have included Fayette County residents. This database is free at some libraries.
  • The Oelwein Daily Register. 1941-1948 Oelwein, IA, USA. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)

Probate Records[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.

Fayette County probate case files are scheduled to become available for free online at FamilySearch as images become available. For more information, click here.

   A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

   Iowa, Fayette County Probate Case Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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]
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Deaths[edit | edit source]

Repositories[edit | edit source]

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

Archives, Libraries, and Museums[edit | edit source]

Courthouses  [edit | edit source]

Fayette County Courthouse
114 North Vine Street
P.O. Box 226
West Union, IA 52175 
(563) 422-3687 
  Fayette County 

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Societies[edit | edit source]

Fayette County Historical & Genealogical Society
100 North Walnut Street
West Union, Iowa 52175
E-mail: fayettehistorical@gmail.com

Oelwein Area Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 389
Oelwein, IA 50662-0389
E-mail: Oelwein_Area_Genealogical_Society@hotmail.com

Places[edit | edit source]

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Websites[edit | edit source]

Sites with online indexes or images of records
State Historical Society of Iowa Free Select from research collection topics
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
[1] [2][3] FamilySearch Free Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes
FamilySearch Free Iowa, Fayette County Probate Records, 1851-1928; browse images
Sites that search for links pertaining to Fayette 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 ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Fayette 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 local libraries and Iowa Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Fayette 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
genealogy.com IA Genealogy Forum
ancestry.com Fayette County Message Board

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Fayette, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Fayette 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, "Fayette County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fayette_County,_Iowa#Communities, accessed 5 September 2019.