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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


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

County Courthouse

Appanoose County Courthouse
201 North 12th Street
Centerville, IA 52544
Phone: 641-437-7178
Appanoose County Website

Appanoose County, Iowa Record Dates

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

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

Boundary Changes

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:[8]

Unincorporated communities
  • Jerome
  • Walnut City

History Timeline

  • 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.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations

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


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

Iowa recorded not only federal, but state censuses for several in-between years as well. For more information, see the very informative Iowa Census article.

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

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


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

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.

Online Land Indexes and Records

Local Histories

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

Maps and Gazetteers

County and state maps, historical and more current, are valuable research tools. For online maps and collections in libraries and societies, see Iowa Maps. Historical maps may be especially useful.

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


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

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 here:

- 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

Online Naturalizations Indexes and Records



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

Other Records


Probate 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.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records

Social Security Records

Tax Records

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.





Research Facilities


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


Drake Public Library
115 Drake Ave
Centerville, IA 52544

Garrett Memorial Library
123 S Main St
Moulton, IA 52572


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


Appanoose County Genealogical Society
PO Box 684
Centerville, IA 52544-0684

The Appanoose County Historical Society
100 W Maple
Centerville, IA 52544


Research Guides


  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.