Buena Vista County, Iowa Genealogy
Guide to Buena Vista County, Iowa ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Buena Vista County, Iowa|
Location in the state of Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
|Founded||November 20, 1851|
|County Seat||Storm Lake|
|Address||Buena Vista County Courthouse|
215 E. 5th St.
P. O. Box 1186
Storm Lake, IA 50588-1186
Phone: (712) 749-2546
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
The County was named for Battle of Buena Vista. The County has Storm Lake as its seat and the County was created 1851. The County is located in the northwest area of the state.
Buena Vista County, Iowa Record Dates
Buena Vista County Courthouse
215 E. 5th St.
P. O. Box 1186
Storm Lake, IA 50588-1186
1851--Buena Vista County was created 15 January 1851 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Woodbury County prior to organization 20 November 1858. County seat: Storm Lake 
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.
1877 Courthouse burned on January 1, 1877 and most 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.
Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog
- Albert City
- Barnes Township
- Brooke Township
- Coon Township
- Elk Township
- Fairfield Township
- Grant Township
- Hayes Township
- Lee Township
- Lincoln Township
- Linn Grove
- Maple Valley
- Newell Township
- Nokomis Township
- Poland Township
- Sioux Rapids
- Storm Lake
- Sulphur Springs
- Washington Township
- 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:
|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.|
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.
- 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
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
Buena Vista County
- Records of the American Lutheran Church, Buena Vista County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
Trinity Lutheran Church, Linn Grove
- Records of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Linn Grove, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).
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 are available for Buena Vista 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.
- Eilers, Tom D. Buena Vista's part in the world war : one Iowa county's record of service and sacrifice. Storm Lake, Iowa : Tom D. Eilers, 1920.
- Online at FamilySearch (Free)
- Wegerslev, C. H. Past and present of Buena Vista County, Iowa. Chicago, Illinois : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1909.
- Past and present of Buena Vista County, Iowa at Ancestry.com ($)
- Buena Vista County history, Iowa at Ancestry.com ($)
- 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
- 1859-1990 - United States, Iowa Naturalization Records, 1859-1990 at FamilySearch — index and images
NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.
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.
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 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.
- 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
- 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 ($) — index and images
- 1850-1990 - Iowa, Deaths and Burials 1850-1990 at FamilySearch - index
- 1880-1992 - Iowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992 at FamilySearch — index
- 1900-1939 Iowa Death Index, 1900-1939 at MyHeritage ($) — 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
Buena Vista County Historical Society
214 West 5th Street
Storm Lake, IA 50588
Family History Centers
- 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
- Buena Vista County, IA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Iowa Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Buena Vista County, Iowa Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Wikipedia contributors, "Buena Vista, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buena_Vista_County,_Iowa.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Buena Vista 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, "Buena Vista County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buena_Vista_County,_Iowa, accessed 24 August 2019.