Wapello County, IowaEdit This Page

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United States Gotoarrow.png Iowa Gotoarrow.png Wapello County

Guide to Wapello County Iowa genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Online Records

Wapello County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Wapello County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded February 17, 1843
County Seat Ottumwa


County Courthouse

Quick Facts

Parent County

1843 Wapello County was created 17 February 1843 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Jefferson County prior to organization 1 March 1844.  County seat: Ottumwa [1]

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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in Iowa Counties see: Iowa Counties with Burned Courthouses


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Appanoose | Davis | Jefferson | Keokuk | Mahaska | Monroe | Van Buren




Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Iowa Church Records.

  • Records of the St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Ottumwa, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).



Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Iowa Land and Property for additional information about early Iowa land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Local Histories 

Local histories are available for Wapello County, Iowa. 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.




Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Wapello County, Iowa 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 Wapello County, Iowa:

- 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies F, I and K
- 15th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies D and K
- 17th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies D and E
- 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company F
- 22nd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E
- 36th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Companies B, D, E and H
- 47th Regiment, Iowa Infantry (100 days, 1864), Companies C and K


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Wapello County, Iowa newspapers in online catalogs like:


Iowa tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Tax lists were usually made every year, however, there may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Iowa Taxation.

Vital Records 

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also How to order Iowa Vital Records or order electronically online..

Societies and Libraries

See also a List of Iowa Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Family History Centers