Madison County









The Annals of Iowa
Iowa Archives
Iowa County Histories
Iowa Heritage DC
Iowa Gen. Society
Iowa Vital Records
State Hist. Soc. of Iowa


Linda Griffith Smith



Welcome to the Madison County IAGenWeb site.

Madison County is located in the south central part of Iowa. It was created in 1846 and organized in 1849 from unorganized territory (Mahaska). Madison County has many covered bridges made famous in the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. It is also the home of the "Delicious" apple and the birthplace of John Wayne. The county seat is Winterset.

New Visitors...Read This First:  This website is unusual in that all of the official county records directly related to genealogy (births, marriages, deaths and burials) are posted here. The only exception is that we are preserving privacy by not posting births and marriages newer than 100 years old. The only "sets" of data related to official records left to post are yearly updates of the county births and marriages to accommodate the privacy issue. In that regard, 1916 marriages have recently been posted (see What's New).

In addition to the county records, we have transcribed and posted every Federal Census from 1850 through 1930 and every Iowa State Census from 1849 through 1895. Every gravestone has been photographed and posted. We have attempted to post every obituary (over 31,000 on line) and have a continuing project to make the collection complete.

As you peruse the "What's New" section below, keep in mind that with the exception of the marriage and birth records we post each year the data we are adding is based on research by the Madison County team aimed at enhancing the official county, state and federal data already on line.


What's New

Daily Updates:  The County Coordinators, along with several members of the Madison County Genealogical Society are working daily on obituaries, cemetery records, marriage records, birth records, headstone photos, newspaper gleanings, the Madison County Family Tree, and other research pertaining to Madison County. This results in 50 to 100 daily updates of this website. If we were to list each change we have made over the past six months, you would have to plow through well over 100 pages of change documentation. If you visited this website before and didn't find your relative's information, we urge you to look again and to look each time you visit here. In the period from Apr 2017 thru Sep 2017, we have posted 401 new obituaries and added alternate obituaries to about 150 already on line. New birth records added in this period through research number 1362. Updating in the Madison County Family Tree resulted in 2479 additional people listed.  Finally, cemetery records were updated to reflect burials within the past 6 months. Listed below are some of the highlights of What's New in the past year.

Recommended ReadingRecently added to our County History page is a link to the November 01, 1906 edition of The Winterset Madisonian which was their semi-centennial edition including an extensive history of the early years of Madison County and its people.

1916 Marriages On Line - Madison County Marriage Records for calendar year 1916 were posted as of 01 Oct 2017. The data consists of 219 new records. Click on "MARRIAGE RECORDS" on the left to access the data.

New Birth Record Project - In starting to incorporate recently released Iowa State Birth Records (ISBR) (1904-06) into our Birth List, it was discovered that Iowa Delayed Certificates of Birth (IDCB) have been released. The IDCB records cover from inception through 1939. The earliest Madison County, IDCB is for someone born in 1860. For Madison County, the ISBR is comprised of 430 records and the IDCB 4308. With 4738 records to process and post as well as the corresponding effort to verify and update the Madison County Family Tree, this has become a major project. To better manage the project, the records have been broken down into sets by surname first letter. Progress will be posted here under What's New and you can also review what's happening globally and view the actual changes here.

ISBR & IDCB Birth List Record Set Integration Posted
"A" - 148 records: 68 new & 80 amended 06 Jun 2017
"B" - 461 records: 272 new & 189 amended 16 Jun 2017
"C" - 419 records: 176 new & 243 amended 27 Jun 2017
"D" - 218 records: 85 new & 133 amended 17 Jul 2017
"E" - 131 records: 54 new & 77 amended 25 Jul 2017
"F" - 182 records: 84 new & 98 amended 06 Aug 2017
"G" - 277 records: 129 new & 148 amended 18 Aug 2017
"H" - 476 records: 191 new & 285 amended 14 Sep 2017
"I" - 40 records: 22 new & 18 amended 19 Sep 2017
"J" - 143 records: 57 new & 86 amended 30 Sep 2017
"K" - 203 records: 65 new & 138 amended 11 Oct 2017
"L" - 273 records: 118 new & 155 amended 06 Nov 2017
"M" - 676 records: 241 new & 435 amended 14 Nov 2017
"N" - 173 records: 42 new & 131 amended 30 Nov 2017
"O" - 141 records: 41 new & 100 amended 12 Dec 2017
"P" - 560 records: 119 new & 441 amended 20 Jan 2018
"Q" - 23 records: 2 new & 21 amended 20 Jan 2018
"R" - 691 records: 125 new & 566 amended 14 Feb 2018

Wilkinson Reminisces  - William S. Wilkinson arrived in Madison County as an 11 year old, just two years after the first settlers arrived. His account of early Madison County life was presented to the Madison County Historical Society in 1901 and reprinted in the Winterset News in 1906. Thanks go to Pat Hochstetler for transcribing this document which, as of 22 May 2017, appears in our County History pages. See Wilkinson Reminisces.

Special Recognitions:  Mary Welty Hart, former Madison County Recorder, who has been a major contributor to Madison County genealogy for many years, working in support of the Madison County Genealogical Society, the Madison County Historical Society, and this website, resigned from active service in September as she moved to a retirement facility. Her contributions to this website including thousands of obituary transcriptions and thousands of gravestone photos have had a major impact and she will be missed.

Current Contributors:  Maintenance and improvement of this website would be impossible without the continued support of volunteer contributors. Special thanks go to Pat Hochstetler who has worked tirelessly in finding and transcribing older obituaries. Thanks to JoAnne Walker who continues to be the primary force behind finding and documenting Civil War soldiers who lived in Madison County. Over the past year, Eileen Reed has submitted many obituaries and family photos which are greatly appreciated. And finally, thanks go to our team who works on current obituaries and gravestone photos, Ida Morse, and Shirley Keating.

1916 Madison County Births - The complete set of Madison County births for calendar year 1916, comprised of 252 records, have been posted to our birth pages as of April 1, 2017. Select "Birth Records" on the left to access the new data.

Early County Settlement - Read about what the country was like when the first settlers moved to Madison County in 1846. George Guye, among the first four families to move to Madison County from Missouri, gave an interview to The Winterset News in 1915, reminiscing about his earliest days here. The article is located in Documents.

Madison County Newspapers Are Now On Line From 1871 to 2003 - The Winterset Library has announced the availability of a new online historical research tool free for anyone who has access to the Internet. The newspaper digitization project was funded with grants from the Madison County Historical Society, Madison County Genealogical Society, and a family foundation. Click on "NEWSPAPERS" on the left side of this page and you will discover the digitized version of The Winterset Madisonian and all its title variations from 1871-2003, and also the various years of The Winterset News, The Winterset Reporter, The Winterset Review, The Madison County Reporter, and all their title variations. In mid 2017, newspapers from Earlham were put on line and are accessible on our Newspapers page. A number of other Madison County newspapers are in various stages of fund raising to provide on line access.

Civil War Soldiers - In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, an organization (Civil War 150) was formed in Winterset to identify all Civil War soldiers who were born, lived, and/or died in Madison County. The County Coordinators are also uncovering soldiers by way of our research of Madison County marriages and an analysis of county censuses. Through our combined efforts, more than 300 soldiers have been added to our Civil War List since October 2013. Special thanks go to JoAnne Walker who has done much of the research and coordinated between Civil War 150 and our website. The Civil War 150 Project is now complete but we continue to find and add soldiers to our Civil War List. Between Apr 2016 and Sep 2017, 29 new soldiers have been added. As of Oct 1, 2017, 1926 Civil War soldiers have been identified and posted.

Madison County Family Tree: Have you ever wondered how all these people listed in the births, deaths, and marriages are interrelated? To answer that question, the County Coordinator has developed a "Madison County Family Tree", currently including 91,921 names of people who were born, lived, married, and/or died in Madison County. Information is being added to the family tree daily and 2479 names have been added to the tree between Apr 2017 and Oct 2017. Click on the Madison County Family Tree icon to the left.

The Iowa Gravestones Project includes 39,869 headstone photos for Madison County cemeteries as of 01 Oct 2017.  This is an increase of 122 for the past 6 months. This project is now complete except that it is on-going for new burials and will be updated anytime that previously lost/buried gravestones are discovered.




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