Iowa, County Births (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935 .
- 1 Collection Time Period
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Record History
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to this Article
- 8 Citation for This Collection
- 9 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Collection Time Period
This collection includes births for the years 1880 to 1935.
The records are either handwritten or typed on pre-printed forms.
Birth records usually contain the following information:
- Name of child
- Birth date
- Father's name
- Mother's maiden name
Birth records may also contain the following information, depending on the time period:
- Sex of the child
- Number of child born to this mother
- Color or race
- Legitimate or illegitimate
- Father’s birthplace
- Father’s age
- Father’s occupation
- Mother’s birthplace
- Mother’s age
- Mother’s residence
- Name and address of medical attendant
- County of birth return
- Residence of medical attendant
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the birth records. Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- 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 employment records or other types of records such as 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.
Keep in mind:
- 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.
Most counties in Iowa began recording births and deaths in 1880 due to state law. This law was generally complied with by 1924. The Iowa GenWeb page offers a chart of each Iowa county, and the dates that they began keeping birth, marriage and death records.
Why the Record Was Created
Births were recorded for public health purposes. Birth certificates were also issued to individuals as legal documents. In cases where an individual’s birth had not been recorded, it was not uncommon for that individual to apply for a delayed birth registration since the certificate was needed to receive government benefits.
The information in birth entries is generally reliable, although there is always a chance for error.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to this Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Iowa. Iowa County Births, 1880-1935. Iowa County Clerks. Digital images of originals housed at various county courthouses in the State of Iowa. Birth records. FHL microfilm, 338 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for Records Found in This Collection
"Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935" database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 7 October 2011), Claire Donald Clark, born 25 December 1929; citing County Records, FHL microfilm 1,521,274; Clayton County Courthouse, Elkader, Iowa, United States.