Tama County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Tama County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Tama County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded February 17, 1843
County Seat Toledo
Iowa, Tama County Courthouse.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Taimah, a leader of the Meskwaki Indians. The County has Toledo as its seat and the County was created 1843. The County is located in the central area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1853 1880 1859 1853 1895 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1843--Tama County was created 17 February 1843 from Benton County. It was attached to Benton and Linn Counties prior to organization 4 July 1853. County seat:  Toledo [3]

Tama is pronounced 'Tay-ma' (first 'a' rhymes with 'a' as in day).

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]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

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
Native American communities

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Benton • Black Hawk • Grundy • Iowa • Jasper • Marshall • Poweshiek

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 8
1860 5,285 65962.5%
1870 16,131 205.2%
1880 21,585 33.8%
1890 22,052 2.2%
1900 24,585 11.5%
1910 22,156 −9.9%
1920 21,861 −1.3%
1930 21,987 0.6%
1940 22,428 2.0%
1950 21,688 −3.3%
1960 21,413 −1.3%
1970 20,147 −5.9%
1980 19,533 −3.0%
1990 17,419 −10.8%
2000 18,103 3.9%
2010 17,767 −1.9%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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. List of Churches and Church Parishes

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

St. Paul's Lutheran Church

  • Records of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Tama County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).


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

Court[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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Tama 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.

  • Hurrah for bonnie Iowa: an authentic story of two families from Scotland who pioneered in Iowa. By Janette Stevenson Murray and Janet Murray Fiske. Lake Mills, Iowa : Graphic Pub. Co., c1963. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Grundy CountyBlack Hawk CountyBenton CountyIowa CountyPoweshiek CountyJasper CountyMarshall CountyIA TAMA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

- 10th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company C
- 14th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company G
- 24th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 28th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F

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 Tama County residents. This database is free at some libraries.

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]
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Tama County Tracers Genealogical Society and Historical Society
200 N. Broadway
Toledo 52342-0084

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]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Tama, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tama_County,_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Tama 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, "Tama County, Iowa Genealogy," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Tama_County,_Iowa_Genealogy#Places.2FLocalities, accessed 24 October 2019.