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

County Facts
County seat: Centerville
Organized: August 3, 1846[1]
Parent County(s): Van Buren and non-County area 5.[2]
Neighboring Counties
Davis  • Lucas  • Monroe  • Wapello  • Wayne  • Putnam (MO)  • Schuyler (MO)
See County Maps
Iowa, Appanoose County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Appanoose Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Chief Appanoose. The County is located in the south central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Appanoose County Courthouse
201 North 12th Street
Centerville, IA 52544
Appanoose County Website

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1846 1880 1847 1850 1847 1847
* Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[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:[8]

Unincorporated communities
  • Jerome
  • Walnut City

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • Established in 1843, Appanoose County was named for a chief of the Sac and the Fox Indian tribes that lead the peace party during the Black Hawk War. Appanoose means "A Chief When a Child." [9]
  • During the first part of the 20th century, mining was a major factor in Appanoose.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • The Industrial History of Appanoose County, Iowa. 1935. Des Moines, IA: Iowa State Planning Board, Committee on Business and Industry. Online at Wikipedia

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Appanoose County, Iowa online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.


Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 3,131
1860 11,931 281.1%
1870 16,456 37.9%
1880 16,636 1.1%
1890 18,961 14.0%
1900 25,927 36.7%
1910 28,701 10.7%
1920 30,535 6.4%
1930 24,835 −18.7%
1940 24,245 −2.4%
1950 19,683 −18.8%
1960 16,015 −18.6%
1970 15,007 −6.3%
1980 15,511 3.4%
1990 13,743 −11.4%
2000 13,721 −0.2%
2010 12,884 −6.1%
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

Church Records[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.

Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Camp of Israel at The Joseph Smith Papers — later referred to as Zion's Camp.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[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 Appanoose County, which may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see Iowa Local Histories.

Online Local Histories and indexes

Additional County Histories

  • 100th Anniversary: Iowa Trust and Savings Bank, Centerville, Iowa, 1896-1996. 1996. By Robert Knowlton Beck. Centerville, IA: Iowa Trust and Savings Bank.
  • A Pictorial History of Appanoose County, Iowa. Volume I. 1996. By John Arnold, Compilor. Marceline, MO: D-Books Publishing.
  • The History of Appanoose County, Iowa - 1986. 1986. By the Appanoose County Historical Society. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company.
  • More Shoal Creek Legends. 2007. Seymour, IA: Seymour Community Club.
  • Postoffices and Postmasters of Appanoose County, Iowa, 1846 to 1988. 1988. By M. Ruth Johnson, Compiled and Researched. Centerville, IA: M. Ruth Johnson.
  • Rural School Memories, Appanoose County, Iowa. 19??. By Helen Taylor Johnson. Centerville, IA: Helen Taylor Johnson. — Information, memories and pictures contributed by many volunteers about the 140 schools in Appanoose County in 1912.
  • Shoal Creek Legends. 2007. By Maurice Stamps. Seymour, IA: Seymour Community Club. — The three volumes of Shoal Creek Legends were originally newspaper articles published in The Seymour Herald; printed and sold by the Seymour Community Club as fundraising projects. Maurice Stamps grew up around Shoal Creek in Franklin Township, Appanoose County, and served many years as a teacher and administrator in the Seymour Community Schools.
  • Shoal Creek Legends 3 By Maurice Stamps. 2009. By Maurice Stamps. Seymour, IA: Seymour Community Club.
  • This Day in Iowa History. 1995. By W. M. Heusinkveld. Centerville, IA: Appanoose County Sesquicentennial Commission.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Lucas CountyMonroe CountyWapello CountyWayne CountyDavis CountyPutnam CountySchuyler CountyIA APPANOOSE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Appanoose County for European settlers included:

  • 1846 Mormon Trail, 1846 from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War

Civil War service men in Appanoose county 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

- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Cavalry , Company I
- 6th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies D and F
- 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 8th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Companies F and H
- 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 36th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies C, F, G and I
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Company B

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

  • 1899-1939, 1910-1950 Book of obituaries, Appanoose County, Iowa. By Eva B Singley. Online at: FamilySearch Catalog — images.

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Drake Public Library
115 Drake Avenue
Centerville, Iowa 52544

Garrett Memorial Library
123 S. Main Street
Moulton, IA 52572

Museums[edit | edit source]

The Appanoose County Historical & Coal Mining Museum
100 West Maple
Centerville, IA 52544

Societies[edit | edit source]

Appanoose County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 684
Centerville, Iowa 52544-0684

'The Appanoose County Historical Society
100 West Maple
Centerville, IA 52544

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  2. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Appanoose, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes] - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed on 11 April 2021.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Appanoose County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa, accessed 22 November 2018.
  9. Appanoose County, accessed 19 April 2021.
  10. Early births in Appanoose County, Iowa 1880-1901 FHL 977.789 V2
  11. Birth records, 1880-1935 Films Birth records v. 5 (partial copy) 1909-1914 FHL 1007186 Item 5 Birth records v. 5-6, 1909-1935 FHL 1674113 Items 1 - 2Register of births v. 1-2 1880-1895 FHL 1007185 Register of births v. 3-4, 1895-1908 FHL 1007186 Items 1 - 3
  12. Index to early marriages, Appanoose County, Iowa FHL 977.789 V22i
  13. FHL CD-ROM no. 9 pt. 222
  14. Marriage records, 1842-1928 List of Records found at the Family History Library
  15. Early deaths in Appanoose County, Iowa Book FHL 977.789 V22