Van Buren County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Van Buren County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Van Buren County
Location in the state of Iowa, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded December 7, 1836
County Seat Keosaugua
Iowa, Van Buren County Courthouse Hill.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Martin Van Buren. The County has Keosauqua as its seat and the County was created December 7, 1836. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.[1]

Van Buren County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Marriage Court Land Probate Census
1880 1837 1880 1837 1837 1837 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]

Martin Van Buren

The county is named after President Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) who served as United States Vice President at the time of the county's formation.[3]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1836--Van Buren County was created 7 December 1836 from Des Moines County. County seat:  Keosauqua [4]

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 website.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Davis • Henry • Lee • Jefferson • Wapello • Clark County, Missouri • Scotland County, Missouri

Resources[edit | edit source]

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 FamilySearch Places
Tombstone Project
Iowa Gravestone Photo Project
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 12,270
1860 17,081 39.2%
1870 17,672 3.5%
1880 17,043 −3.6%
1890 16,253 −4.6%
1900 17,354 6.8%
1910 15,020 −13.4%
1920 14,060 −6.4%
1930 12,603 −10.4%
1940 12,053 −4.4%
1950 11,007 −8.7%
1960 9,778 −11.2%
1970 8,643 −11.6%
1980 8,626 −0.2%
1990 7,676 −11.0%
2000 7,809 1.7%
2010 7,570 −3.1%
Source: "".

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

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]

Ward(s) and Branch(s) Records

  • Keosauqua
  • Van Buren
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
  • Records of the Zion Lutheran Church, Douds, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

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 Van Buren 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.

  • Van Buren county By American Legion. Van Buren County Post (Iowa). Farmington, Ia. : T. L. Keith, 1940. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Van Buren County inventory of historical places. By Van Buren County Bicentennial Committee. [Keosauqua, Iowa?]: Van Buren County Bicentennial Committee, 1977. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Wapello CountyJefferson CountyHenry CountyDavis CountyLee CountyClark CountyScotland CountyIA VAN BUREN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Van Buren 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]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Van Buren 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 Van Buren County, Iowa Genealogy:

- 2nd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company B
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company D
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company G
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company H
- 5th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 14th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company K
- 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 19th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 19th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company I
- 30th 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 ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

IAGenWeb, Van Buren County Obituaries

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]

Van Buren County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 160
Keosauqua, IA 52565

Van Buren County Historical Society
PO Box 236
Keosauqua, IA 52565

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, "Van Buren, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Van Buren 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. "Martin Van Buren," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Van Buren County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa, accessed 1 Noverber 2019.
  6. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).