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

Union County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Union County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded January 15, 1851
County Seat Creston
Iowa, Union County Courthouse.png

County Information


The County was named for the Union that people wanted to preserve. The County has Creston as its seat and the County was created 1853. The County is located in the southwest area of the state. [1]

Union County, Iowa Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1856 1880 1880 1854 1880 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse


Parent County

1851--Union County was created 15 January 1851 from Pottawattamie County and from non-county area which, in 1846, was in Clarke County until that county's boundaries changed in 1847 (shrinking along with neighboring Lucas County).[3] County seat:  Creston [4]

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

1893 Fire destroyed the courthouse.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:


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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
  • Dodge
  • Douglas
  • Grant
  • Highland
  • Jones
  • Lincoln
  • New Hope
  • Platte
  • Pleasant
  • Sand Creek
  • Spaulding
  • Union

Neighboring Counties

Adair • Adams • Clarke • Decatur • Madison • Ringgold • Taylor



Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
IAGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
Iowa Gravestones FamilySearch Places
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.
  • Inscriptions Found on Tombstones and Monuments in Early Latter-day Saint Burial Grounds (Free)


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 2,012
1870 5,986 197.5%
1880 14,980 150.3%
1890 16,900 12.8%
1900 19,928 17.9%
1910 16,616 −16.6%
1920 17,268 3.9%
1930 17,435 1.0%
1940 16,280 −6.6%
1950 15,651 −3.9%
1960 13,712 −12.4%
1970 13,557 −1.1%
1980 13,858 2.2%
1990 12,750 −8.0%
2000 12,309 −3.5%
2010 12,534 1.8%
Source: "".

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




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 Union 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.

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

  • Mount Pisgah: history of a temporary settlement of the "Mormons" while on their westward journey. By Andrew Jenson. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.


Adair CountyMadison CountyClarke CountyDecatur CountyRinggold CountyTaylor CountyAdams CountyIA UNION.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Early migration routes to and from Union 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 Union 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 Union County, Iowa Genealogy:

- 29th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company H

Naturalization and Citizenship


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.


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

Union County Genealogical Society
Matilda Gibson Memorial Library
200 W. Howard Street
Creston, IA 50801

Union County Historical Society
c/o Marcella Howe
1101 N. Vine
Creston, IA 50801
Museum Location: McKinley Park, Creston, Iowa

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



  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Union, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Union 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. "Iowa County Formation Maps"; interactive map of county formation and organization. Online at
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Union County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa, accessed 31 October 2019.
  6. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).