Difference between revisions of "Iowa Directories"

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Iowa court records have been kept since 1827. The names of many Iowa residents are listed in civil court records, where information exists about property disputes, divorce, estate settlements and other disputes. These courts also handled criminal matters. Court order books and case files may list a person's age, residence, occupation, and family relationships. Sometimes friends and neighbors gave depositions as witnesses of events that occurred.
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''[[United States|United States]][[Image:Gotoarrow.png]][[United States Directories|United States Directories]][[Image:Gotoarrow.png]][[Iowa|Iowa]][[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'''''Iowa Directories'''  
  
'''Major Iowa courts that kept records of genealogical value were:'''
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Directories have been published for various Iowa cities and counties since the early 1800s, though they may not exist for every year. Some directories focus on the businesses or occupations of an area, while others include heads of households, landowners, and voters.
  
County courts, 1851–1868:  These county–wide courts had jurisdiction over lesser civil and criminal matters, such as probates, marriage licenses, and liquor permits. In 1868 the circuit court took over the duties from the county court. Many of these records are on microfilm at the Family History Library.
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=== City Directories  ===
  
Circuit courts, 1868–1887:  These county–wide courts had jurisdiction over juvenile, criminal, and civil cases. From about 1869 to 1887 this court handled probate cases. Circuit courts were abolished in 1887 and their jurisdiction was given to district courts. Many circuit court records are on microfilm at the Family History Library.
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City and county directories are similar to present-day telephone books and are useful records for locating people. They were often published annually, listing heads of households and employed household members, their occupations, and their addresses. They can be used with census records or as substitutes for them.  
  
District courts, 1836–present:  These courts have district–wide jurisdiction over probate, criminal, and civil cases. The records include chancery, trespass, debt, and assault cases. Many district court records are on microfilm at the Family History Library.
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Directories are particularly helpful for research in large cities, where a high percentage of the people were renters, new arrivals, or temporary residents. In fact, a directory may be the only source to list an ancestor if he or she was not registered to vote and did not own property. Most households were included because the directories were created for salesmen, merchants, and others interested in contacting residents of an area.  
  
Municipal courts, primarily 1900s:  These courts have city–wide jurisdiction, concurrent with district courts, over misdemeanors and minor civil matters. The Family History Library does not have these records.
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Directories have other clues that may require careful study to discover. For example, people in similar or related occupations were often relatives, in-laws, or friends. A year-by-year study of directories may reveal the movements of ancestors and relatives within the city and sometimes to or from other cities.  
  
Justice of the peace courts, 1839-present:  These courts have district–wide jurisdiction over minor misdemeanors, search warrants, and town or city ordinance violations. Some of these records are on microfilm at the Family History Library.
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*City Directories list for the years 1861 to 1960 on [http://www.uscitydirectories.com/ia/desmoines.htm microfilm].
  
Supreme Court, 1838-present:  This is Iowa’s highest court, and is also a court of appeals. The Family History Library does not have these records.
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*Fold3.com ($) has [http://www.fold3.com/title_661/city_directories_des_moines Des Moines City Directories] 1881-1913 (2 yrs. missing) and miscellaneous years going back to 1866 available online.
  
You can also obtain copies of court records by contacting the appropriate clerk’s office.
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*Ancestry.com ($) has Iowa directories available online in its [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1540 U.S. City Directories] collection.
  
To learn more about courts and their records, study one of the Historical Records Survey county courthouse inventories, such as:
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=== State Directories  ===
  
''Inventory of the County Archives of Iowa, No. 18, Cherokee County (Cherokee)''. Des Moines, Iowa: Historical Records Survey, 1939. (FHL book 977.717 A3h; film 897358 item 2)
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Some statewide directories also list names:  
  
Court records can be found in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
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*''Farmers of Iowa: A List of Farmers of Each County with Postoffice'' <ref> 'Farmers of Iowa: A List of Farmers of Each County with Postoffice'' (n.p.:1892; {{FHL|198058|item|disp=FHL film 1024846 item 4}}</ref>
  
IOWA - COURT RECORDS
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The seven metropolitan areas of Iowa published name directories in 1856. An index for them is:
  
IOWA, [COUNTY] - COURT RECORDS
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*Elsie L. Sopp, ''Personal Name Index to the 1856 City Directories of Iowa'' <ref> ''Personal Name Index to the 1856 City Directories of Iowa'' (Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1980; Family History Library {{FHL|222123|item|disp=FHL book 977.7 D42s.}} </ref>
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*''Iowa (state) Directories''  <ref> ''Iowa (state) Directories'' Woodridge, Connecticut&nbsp;: Research Publications, c1980-1984. {{FHL|527427|title-id|disp=Family History Library Film}} </ref>
  
[[Category:Iowa]]
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==== Heads of Households  ====
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Directories of heads of households have been published for major cities in [[Iowa]]. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of Des Moines City direcotries for:
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*1866 to 1901 <ref> 1866 to 1901 (Family History Library {{FHL|1376808|film|disp=films 1,376,808-817}}) </ref>
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*1942, 1960, 1965, etc. <ref> 1942, 1960, 1965, etc (Family History Library {{FHL|977.758 E4pd|disp=book 977.758 E4pd}}) </ref>
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Many groups have created directories of their organizational structure and members or personnel. Companies may create directories of their subscribers. The directories that were published for public distribution are the ones most likely to find their way into libraries and archives. Typical examples of directories that may be found in an archive are city directories, telephone directories, church directories, occupational directories, farmers directories, or rosters of society members. These directories may range in scope from local to international. Often the most recent edition of a directory is the only one an archive will have available.
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Current telephone directories can also be found on the Internet and may help you find living relatives. The Family History Library has compact discs that incorporate telephone directories for most of the United States. See the "[[United States Directories|Directories]]" page for more detailed information on these directories.
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=== Family History Library  ===
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To find directories, consult the Keyword Search feature on catalog drop down menu of the [https://familysearch.org/#form=catalog%7C Family History Library Catalog] to find more records under:
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::*IOWA- DIRECTORIES
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::*IOWA, [COUNTY]- DIRECTORIES
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::*IOWA, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- DIRECTORIES
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=== Web Sites  ===
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*[http://distantcousin.com/Directories/IA/ Distantcousin Iowa Cities]
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*[http://www.uscitydirectories.com/ia.htm US City Directories] This web site identifies printed, microfilmed, and online directories and their repositories.
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=== Sources and Footnotes  ===
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<references />
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{{Iowa|Iowa}} {{U.S. Directories}}
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[[Category:Iowa|Directories]] [[Category:Record_Types_of_the_United_States]]

Revision as of 19:50, 11 July 2012

United StatesGotoarrow.pngUnited States DirectoriesGotoarrow.pngIowaGotoarrow.pngIowa Directories

Directories have been published for various Iowa cities and counties since the early 1800s, though they may not exist for every year. Some directories focus on the businesses or occupations of an area, while others include heads of households, landowners, and voters.

City Directories

City and county directories are similar to present-day telephone books and are useful records for locating people. They were often published annually, listing heads of households and employed household members, their occupations, and their addresses. They can be used with census records or as substitutes for them.

Directories are particularly helpful for research in large cities, where a high percentage of the people were renters, new arrivals, or temporary residents. In fact, a directory may be the only source to list an ancestor if he or she was not registered to vote and did not own property. Most households were included because the directories were created for salesmen, merchants, and others interested in contacting residents of an area.

Directories have other clues that may require careful study to discover. For example, people in similar or related occupations were often relatives, in-laws, or friends. A year-by-year study of directories may reveal the movements of ancestors and relatives within the city and sometimes to or from other cities.

  • City Directories list for the years 1861 to 1960 on microfilm.

State Directories

Some statewide directories also list names:

  • Farmers of Iowa: A List of Farmers of Each County with Postoffice [1]

The seven metropolitan areas of Iowa published name directories in 1856. An index for them is:

  • Elsie L. Sopp, Personal Name Index to the 1856 City Directories of Iowa [2]
  • Iowa (state) Directories [3]

Heads of Households

Directories of heads of households have been published for major cities in Iowa. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of Des Moines City direcotries for:

  • 1866 to 1901 [4]
  • 1942, 1960, 1965, etc. [5]

Many groups have created directories of their organizational structure and members or personnel. Companies may create directories of their subscribers. The directories that were published for public distribution are the ones most likely to find their way into libraries and archives. Typical examples of directories that may be found in an archive are city directories, telephone directories, church directories, occupational directories, farmers directories, or rosters of society members. These directories may range in scope from local to international. Often the most recent edition of a directory is the only one an archive will have available.

Current telephone directories can also be found on the Internet and may help you find living relatives. The Family History Library has compact discs that incorporate telephone directories for most of the United States. See the "Directories" page for more detailed information on these directories.

Family History Library

To find directories, consult the Keyword Search feature on catalog drop down menu of the Family History Library Catalog to find more records under:

  • IOWA- DIRECTORIES
  • IOWA, [COUNTY]- DIRECTORIES
  • IOWA, [COUNTY], [TOWN]- DIRECTORIES

Web Sites

Sources and Footnotes

  1. 'Farmers of Iowa: A List of Farmers of Each County with Postoffice (n.p.:1892; FHL film 1024846 item 4
  2. Personal Name Index to the 1856 City Directories of Iowa (Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1980; Family History Library FHL book 977.7 D42s.
  3. Iowa (state) Directories Woodridge, Connecticut : Research Publications, c1980-1984. Family History Library Film
  4. 1866 to 1901 (Family History Library films 1,376,808-817)
  5. 1942, 1960, 1965, etc (Family History Library book 977.758 E4pd)