Iowa Counties records can vary widely from county to county both in quality and also quantity. Some happen to have been very carefully preserved while some have been much misused and uncared for. A number of Iowa records have purely vanished. For genealogists doing research in Iowa there is no valuable replace for an on-site research of county courthouse records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.
– One of the most significant days in Iowa county history was January 15, 1851, on which 49 counties were created. Iowa county governments recorded few vital statistics earlier than 1880. Marriage record registration began in many areas with the organization of the county. It is estimated that between 1880 and 1921, only about fifty percent of the births and deaths were registered. Birth, marriage, death, and probate records are usually found in the office of the clerk of courts at the county seat. Land transactions are in the county recorder’s office.
The FHL online catalog was used to compile most record state dates. Researchers are encouraged to contact the courthouse or local genealogical society in the county of interest. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.