Clarke County, Iowa Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Iowa Gotoarrow.png Clarke County

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

Hand and keyboard.jpg Iowa
Online Records

Clarke County, Iowa
Map of Iowa highlighting Clarke County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Founded January 14, 1846
County Seat Osceola

County Courthouse

Clarke County Courthouse
100 S. Main
Osceola, IA 50213

(641) 342-3313

Clarke County


Parent County

1846--Clarke County was created 13 January 1846 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Lucas Kishkekosh Counties prior to organization 21 August 1851. County seat:  Osceola [1]

Boundary Changes

Clarke County, like its neighbor Lucas County, spanned five townships from east to west in 1846. Both counties shrank to four townships across in 1847, requiring Clarke County's eastern border to shift six miles east while its western border shifted twelve miles east.[2]  The area vacated by Clarke County, including Mt. Pisgah and its cemetery, was non-county area until it became part of Union County in 1851. 

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Decatur | Lucas | Madison | Ringgold | Union | Warren | Wayne




Iowa recorded not only the federal census but state census through out the years too. The state census contains very valuable genealogical information. Where the census information can be found, what years it was taken, mortality schedules, census substitutions and much more is discussed in the very informative Iowa Census article.


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.



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 Clarke 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.



Early migration routes to and from Clarke County, Iowa Genealogy for European settlers included:



Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.


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 - Clarke - 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

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. "Iowa County Formation Maps"; interactive map of county formation and organization. Online at
  3. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).