Open main menu

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

Cedar County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Cedar 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 Tipton
Iowa, Cedar County Courthouse.png
Address 400 Cedar Street
Tipton, IA 52772
Phone:(563) 886-2230
Cedar County Website

County Information


The County was named for Cedar River. The County has Tipton as its seat and the County was created 1837. The County is located in the east central area of the state.[1]

Cedar County, Iowa Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1840 1880 1839 1838 1839 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse

Cedar County Courthouse
400 Cedar Street
Tipton, IA 52772
Phone:(563) 886-2230


Formed from sections of Dubuque County on December 21, 1837, Cedar County was named for the Red Cedar River which runs through the county. During the Great Depression, farmers rose in violent protest against state policy. The Cedar County Cow War ensued in 1931.

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Cedar County, Iowa
  • A Topical History of Cedar County, Iowa [3]
  • History of Cedar County, Iowa 1878 [4]

Parent County

1837--Cedar County was created 21 December 1837 from Dubuque County. The County seat is Tipton [5]

Boundary Changes

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

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


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog \

Populated Places

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:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places



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.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 3,941
1860 12,949 228.6%
1870 19,731 52.4%
1880 18,936 −4.0%
1890 18,253 −3.6%
1900 19,371 6.1%
1910 17,765 −8.3%
1920 17,560 −1.2%
1930 16,760 −4.6%
1940 16,884 0.7%
1950 16,910 0.2%
1960 17,791 5.2%
1970 17,655 −0.8%
1980 18,635 5.6%
1990 17,444 −6.4%
2000 18,187 4.3%
2010 18,499 1.7%
Source: "".

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.

State Census


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

  • Records of the St. John's Lutheran Church, Cedar County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).
Methodist Church. West Branch circuit Church Records [7] Contents
Baptisms, 1860-1861, 1866-1878 -- marriages, 1866-1877 -- probationers -- alphabetical list of members. Also contains records for Zion Chapel, Brick Chapel, Zion Church, Brick Church, Morris Schoolhouse, McCormick in Cedar and Johnson Counties.



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

Local histories are available for Cedar 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.

  • Jackson, A. W. An historical sketch of Gower Township, Cedar County, Iowa. [S.l. : s.n.], 1901.
  • The History of Cedar County : with a history of Iowa. Chicago, Illinois : Historical Pub. Co., c1901.
  • The History of Cedar County, Iowa : containing a history of the county, its cities, town, etc., a biographical directory of its citizens, war record of its volunteers in the late rebellion .... Chicago : Western Historical, 1878.
  • Aurner, Clarence Ray. A topical history of Cedar County, Iowa. Chicago, Illinois : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1910.


Linn CountyJones CountyJackson CountyClinton CountyScott CountyMuscatine CountyJohnson CountyIA CEDAR.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Early migration routes to and from Cedar 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.


Civil War

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

- 5th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company A
- 11th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 24th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies B, C and D
- 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company I
- 11th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
:- 24th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company B
:- 24th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company C
:- 24th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
:- 46th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company I
:- 5th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company A

Naturalization and Citizenship


Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives
  • ($) has historical newspapers online including Cedar Rapids newspapers that may have included Cedar County residents. This database is free at some 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

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.


Societies and Libraries

Cedar County Genealogical Society
Box 52
Tipton, IA 52772-0052

Cedar County Historical Society & Museum
1094 Hwy 38
Tipton, IA 52772
Telephone:(563) 886-2899

Lowden Historical Society Museum and Library
503 Main Street
P.O. Box 15
Lowden IA 52255

Family History Centers

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - link to 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


Sites with online indexes or images of records pertaining to Cedar County, Iowa Genealogy
State Historical Society of Iowa Free Select from research collection topics
The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection Free digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural institutions - results of "cedar county" in the search box
State Library of Iowa Free electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies - results of "cedar county" in the search box
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
Sites that search for links pertaining to Cedar 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 ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($) Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Cedar 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 Cedar 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 Forum Cedar County Message Board

Sources and Footnotes

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Cedar River, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cedar 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. A Topical History of Cedar County, Iowa Google Books
  4. History of Cedar County, Iowa 1878
  5. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Cedar County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 26 August 2019.
  7. Methodist Church. West Branch circuit FHL 986174 Item 1
  8. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).