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United States Gotoarrow.png Iowa Gotoarrow.png Winnebago County

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


Winnebago County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Winnebago County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded January 15, 1851
County Seat Forest City


County Information

Winnebago County, Iowa Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1880 1890 1880 1840 1873 1900?

County Courthouse


Parent County

1851--Winnebago County was created 15 January 1851 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Boone and Webster Counties prior to organization 1 November 1857.  County seat: Forest City [2]

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 website.

Record Loss

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


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

  • Rake
  • Scarville
  • Thompson
  • Vinje

Neighboring Counties

Cerro Gordo • Hancock • Kossuth • Worth • Faribault County, Minnesota • Freeborn County, Minnesota

Winnebago CountyWorth CountyCerro Gordo CountyHancock CountyKossuth CountyMitchell CountyFloyd CountyButler CountyFranklin CountyWright CountyHumboldt CountyPocahontas CountyPalo Alto CountyEmmet CountyMartin CountyFaribault CountyFreeborn CountyWatonwan CountyBlue Earth CountyWaseca CountySteele CountyDodge CountyMower CountyIAWinnebago.JPG




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 American Lutheran Church, Winnebago County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at



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 Winnebago County, Iowa Genealogy. 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.

  • History of Kossuth, Hancock and Winnebago counties, Iowa : together with sketches of their cities, villages and townships; history of Iowa. Springfield, Illinois : Union Pub. Co., 1884. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online, Internet Archive, HathiTrust.




Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives


Online 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.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Iowa - Winnebago - Probate records.


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

Lime Creek/Winnebago County Genealogical Society
115 East L. Street
Forest City, IA 50436-1630

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Web Sites


  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 225-231. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).


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  • This page was last modified on 24 October 2015, at 04:31.
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