Iowa, County Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935 .
This article describes a collection of records at
Iowa, United States
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Flag of Iowa
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Location of Iowa
Record Description
Record Type Birth Index
Collection years 1880-1935
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index to the birth records created by the counties of Iowa. It should contain records from all 99 counties in the state. The collection includes records from 1880 to 1935. Records where the county could not be identified or where the birth took place out of state and was registered in Iowa are listed as "Other" in the table below.

Collection Content

Coverage Table and Map

As of May 2016 the collection contained the following:

County Records
Adair 18,064
Adams 14,790
Allamakee 15,258
Appanoose 27,198
Audubon 11,782
Benton 30,277
Black Hawk 34,623
Boone 26,880
Bremer 18,896
Buchanan 15,739
Buena Vista 22,369
Butler 13,945
Calhoun 14,232
Carroll 15,931
Cass 28,889
Cedar 20,000
Cerro Gordo 41,984
Cherokee 8,431
Chickasaw 12,547
Clarke 11,451
Clay 16,368
Clayton 23,206
Clinton 35,295
Crawford 18,941
Dallas 16,115
Davis 16,703
Decatur 17,035
Delaware 27,861
Des Moines 57,640
Dickinson 10,300
Dubuque 55,056
Emmet 15,616
Fayette 13,613
Floyd 11,287
Franklin 21,095
Fremont 10,585
Greene 15,663
Grundy 9,087
Guthrie 18,199
Hamilton 13,523
Hancock 24,164
Hardin 1,845
Harrison 29,773
Henry 13,593
Howard 8,768
Humboldt 4,111
Ida 12,042
Iowa 16,481
Jackson 20,135
Jasper 23,069
Jefferson 13,975
Johnson 24,019
Jones 21,880
Keokuk 25,913
Kossuth 24,355
Lee 38,626
Linn 37,366
Louisa 16,916
Lucas 6,941
Lyon 18,667
Madison 15,847
Mahaska 26,083
Marion 30,798
Marshall 22,482
Mills 13,509
Mitchell 15,346
Monona 15,441
Monroe 13,133
Montgomery 14,625
Muscatine 26,791
O'Brien 15,755
Osceola 16,708
Page 12,338
Palo Alto 10,324
Plymouth 24,247
Pocahontas 12,635
Polk 50,882
Pottawattamie 22,260
Poweshiek 12,890
Ringgold 12,028
Sac 14,046
Scott 122,395
Shelby 19,009
Sioux 23,053
Story 20,838
Tama 12,074
Taylor 11,047
Union 48,903
Van Buren 14,339
Wapello 19,321
Warren 24,156
Washington 17,132
Wayne 15,868
Webster 28,292
Winnebago 8,115
Winneshiek 26,811
Woodbury 60,623
Worth 5,854
Wright 20,113
Other 301,858

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Iowa birth records, click here.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The index contains the following information:

  • Name of child
  • Birth date
  • Birthplace
  • Parent's names
  • Film number
  • Digital folder number
  • Image number

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The approximate date of birth.
  • The place of birth.
  • The names of the child's parents.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [FamilySearch Tips and Tricks].

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor in the birth index, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details or lead to other records about your ancestors.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information found in the birth index to find the actual birth record.
  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.
  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for a different index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935." Database. FamilySearch. : accessed 2017. County district courts, Iowa.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935.

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