Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy
Guide to Decatur County, Iowa ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
|Decatur County, Iowa|
Location in the state of Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
|Founded||January 13, 1846|
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Places/Localities
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 Cemeteries
- 5.2 Census
- 5.3 Church
- 5.4 Court
- 5.5 Land
- 5.6 Local Histories
- 5.7 Maps
- 5.8 Migration
- 5.9 Military
- 5.10 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 5.11 Newspapers
- 5.12 Probate
- 5.13 Taxation
- 5.14 Vital Records
- 5.15 Societies and Libraries
- 5.16 References
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
The County was named for Stephen Decatur Jr. The County has Leon as its seat and the County was created 1846. The County is located in the south central area of the state.
Decatur County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Decatur County Courthouse
207 Main Street
Leon, IA 50144-1647
History[edit | edit source]
Parent County[edit | edit source]
1846--Decatur County was created 13 January 1846 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Davis County prior to organization 6 March 1850.
County seat: Leon 
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]
1874 Courthouse was destroyed by fire on March 31 and most records were lost.
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.
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:
Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]
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 Archives||FamilySearch Places|
|See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.|
Census[edit | edit 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
- 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
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
LDS Ward and Branch Records
- Garden Grove
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 Decatur 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.
- Howell, J. M. History of Decatur County, Iowa, and its people. Chicago : S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1915.
- History of Decatur County, Iowa, and its people at Ancestry.com ($)
Maps[edit | edit source]
Migration[edit | edit source]
Early migration routes to and from Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy for European settlers included:
Military[edit | edit source]
- 1835-1998 - Iowa, Armed Forces Grave Registrations, ca. 1835-1998 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1949 - Iowa, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1949 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1862-1910 - Iowa, Records of Persons Subject to Military Duty, 1862-1910 at FamilySearch — index
Civil War[edit | edit source]
Regiments. Service men in Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Decatur County, Iowa Genealogy:
- - 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
- - 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company A
- - 48th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C
- - 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company A
:- 48th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company C
:- 4th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company D
Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]
- 1859-1990 - United States, Iowa Naturalization Records, 1859-1990 at FamilySearch — index and images
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.
- Leon Journal Record. 1938 Leon, IA, USA. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
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]
- 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
Marriages[edit | edit source]
- 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 ($) — index and images
Deaths[edit | edit source]
- 1850-1990 - Iowa, Deaths and Burials 1850-1990 at FamilySearch - index
- 1880-1992 - Iowa, County Death Records, 1880-1992 at FamilySearch — index
- 1900-1939 Iowa Death Index, 1900-1939 at MyHeritage ($) — index
- 1904-1951 - Iowa, Death Records, 1904-1951 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1920-1967 Iowa, Death Records, 1920-1967 at Ancestry.com ($) — index and images
Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]
Decatur County Genealogical Society
Lamoni Public Library
301 West Main
Lamoni, IA 50140
Decatur County Historical Society
100 block of North Main
Leon, Iowa 50140
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries
- Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
- FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries
Websites[edit | edit source]
| Check back often with these websites. Internet offerings are growing at record rates.
Local societies and libraries may know of other websites.
|State Historical Society of Iowa||Free||Select from research collection topics|
|The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection||Free||digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural institutions - results of "decatur county" in the search box|
|State Library of Iowa||Free||electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies - results of "decatur county" in the search box|
|IAGenWeb Project||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions|
|USGenWeb Archives||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions|
|  FamilySearch||Free||Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes|
|RootsWeb Resources||Free||Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions|
|Linkpendium||Free||Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)|
|CyndisList||Free||Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)|
|StateofUS.com||Free||family history resources and government records|
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.|
|GeneaBloggers||enter "Iowa" in search box to see list and links to Iowa blogs|
|list of groups from "Iowa Genealogy" search|
|genealogy.com||IA Genealogy Forum|
|ancestry.com||Decatur County Message Board|
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Decatur, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decatur_County,_Iowa.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Decatur 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.
- "List of counties in Tennessee", Wikipedia.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Decatur County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decatur_County,_Iowa, accessed 2 September 2019.
- National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/mopi/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).