Any Historical Iowa Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time. This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.
Solving Research Problems with a Iowa Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Iowa city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.
Because Iowa historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Iowa map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Iowa.
Iowa Map of Counties
Choosing the Best Iowa Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail. You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city. This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city? A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.
Current county maps for Iowa can be ordered from the Iowa Department of Transportation. The maps are fairly easy to read, divided by townships and sections, and show highways, railroads, cities and towns, and rivers and streams.
Iowa Map of County Formations For The Years 1816-1872
These Iowa maps shows the historical changes to Iowa counties from 1816 to 1872. This Interactive Iowa map is made with the use AniMap Plus 3.0 & with the Permission of the Goldbug Company.
The Iowa Highway Department has prepared a series of county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.
These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download
Iowa Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1884-1885 This database contains the 1884-85 Iowa gazetteer and business directory. The gazetteer covers each city, town, village, and settlement in Iowa and includes a description of each place and a directory of the people engaged in business or the professions located there.
Iowa state gazetteer embracing descriptive and historical sketches of counties, cities, towns and villages, which include much valuable information respecting the agriculture, manufactories, commerce, educational and religious institutions, population and history of the state : to which is added a shippers’ guide and a classified business directory of the manufacturers, merchants, professional and tradesmen of Iowa, together with their business address