Winneshiek County, Iowa Genealogy

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

Winneshiek County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Winneshiek 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 February 20, 1847
County Seat Decorah
Iowa, Winneshiek County Courthouse.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for the a chief of the Winnebago tribe. The County has Decorah as its seat and the County was created 1847. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Marriage Court Land Probate Census
1880 1851 1880 1855 1851 1853 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Quick Facts[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1847 Winneshiek County was created 20 February 1847 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Clayton County prior to organization 1 March 1851. County seat:  Decorah [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 website.

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:[4]

Unincorporated communities
  • Kendalville
Census-designated places
  • Military
  • Orleans
  • Pleasant
  • Springfield
  • Sumner
  • Washington
Ghost towns

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Allamakee • Chickasaw • Clayton • Fayette • Howard • Fillmore County, Minnesota • Houston County, Minnesota

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 Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 546
1860 13,942 2453.5%
1870 23,570 69.1%
1880 23,938 1.6%
1890 22,528 −5.9%
1900 23,731 5.3%
1910 21,729 −8.4%
1920 22,091 1.7%
1930 21,630 −2.1%
1940 22,263 2.9%
1950 21,639 −2.8%
1960 21,651 0.1%
1970 21,758 0.5%
1980 21,876 0.5%
1990 20,847 −4.7%
2000 21,310 2.2%
2010 21,056 −1.2%
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

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

First Lutheran Church

  • Records of the First Lutheran Church, Winneshiek County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at

St. Petri Lutheran Church, Decorah

  • Records of the St. Petri Lutheran Church, Decorah, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at

Stavanger Lutheran Church, Ossian

  • Records of the Stavanger Lutheran Church, Ossian, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at

Winneshiek County

  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Winneshiek County, 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.

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Winneshiek 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.

History of Winneshiek and Allamakee Counties, Iowa

Maps[edit | edit source]

Fillmore CountyHouston CountyHoward CountyChickasaw CountyFayette CountyClayton CountyAllamakee CountyIA WINNESHIEK.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

- 1st Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company K
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- 6th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company D
- 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H
- 15th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry, Company K
- 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company F

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

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]
Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Howard-Winneshiek Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 362
Cresco, Iowa 52136

Winneshiek County Historical Society
201 W Main Street
PO Box 63
Decorah, IA 52101

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, "Winneshiek, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Winneshiek 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, "Winneshiek County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 4 November 2019.