Madison County



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, 1914 births and 1914 & 1915 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 30,000 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 Oct 2015 thru Apr 2016, we have posted 360 new obituaries and added alternate obituaries to about 150 already on line. New birth records added in this period through research number 237. In addition, 561 marriage transcriptions between Nov 1873 and Feb 1876 were reviewed, verified and/or corrected and each married family received extensive updating in the Madison County Family Tree. In the same period, several hundred cemetery records were updated with additional information. Listed below are some of the highlights of What's New in the past year.

31,000 Obituaries:  On 13 Aug 2016, the thirty-one-thousandth obituary was posted to our Obituary Board. Thanks go to Mary Hart, Pat Hochstetler, Shirley Keating and Ida Morse, who were instrumental in achieving this milestone. Special recognition goes to Pat Hochstetler who is our leading contributor, responsible for 10,138 of the postings as well as numerous "alternate obits" that are appended to earlier postings and don't show in the totals.

Worthington Cemetery History - As of 28 Jul 2016, an updated and more complete history of the Worthington Cemetery has been added to our cemetery history pages and can be viewed here. Thanks go to Linda Griffith Smith for transcribing and editing the document.

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.

1914 & 1915 Madison County Marriages - The complete sets of Madison County marriages for calendar years 1914 and 1915 have been posted to our marriage pages as of April 01, 2016. Select "Marriage Records" on the left to access the new data. Thanks go to Judy Wight Branson for transcribing and compiling the data.

1908 - 1910 Winterset Reporter Marriage Articles Posted - As of April 01, 2016, descriptions of marriages as they appeared in The Winterset Reporter have been posted and linked to their respective marriage records. Complete sets of records for calendar years 1908, 1909, and 1910 are now on line. Posted marriage descriptions can be viewed by clicking on the respective marriage date. Special thanks go to Pat Hochstetler for gleaning these records from the newspaper.

Earlham High School Graduates - As of mid-December 2015, graduates of the Earlham High School, previously known as the Earlham Academy, have been added to our Schools page. Included are graduates from inception (1892) through 1932. Thanks go to Pat Hochstetler for compiling the data. Click on "Schools" on the left to see the graduates.

1914 Madison County Births - The complete set of Madison County births for calendar year 1914, comprised of 329 records, have been posted to our birth pages as of October 1, 2015. Select "Birth Records" on the left to access the new data. Thanks go to Judy Wight Branson for transcribing and compiling the data.

Winterset High School Graduation Classes: The Winterset High School classes of 1911 & 1912 were added to our school pages on 12 Jun 2015. Click on "Schools" on the left to access these names. Subsequently, on June 22, 2015, we added all of the early years starting with the first graduating class (1875). The records are now continuous from 1875 through 1949 except for 1888 and 1903 which could not be found.

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. Point your browser to or 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.

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 250 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 15 Project is now complete but we continue to find and add soldiers to our Civil War List. Between Oct 2015 and Apr 2016, about 60 new names have been added. As of Apr 1, 2016, 1801 Civil War soldiers have been identified.

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 Coordinators have developed a "Madison County Family Tree", currently including 86,139 names of people who were born, lived, married, and/or died in Madison County. Information is being added to the family tree daily and 1368 names have been added to the tree between Oct 2015 and Apr 2016. Click on the Madison County Family Tree icon to the left.

The Iowa Gravestones Project includes 39,478 headstone photos for Madison County cemeteries as of 01 Apr 2016.  This is an increase of 121 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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Maintained by County Coordinators 

Judy Wight Branson and  Kent Transier

You are visitor [counter] since this page was created on 16 Jul 2004. This page was last updated Sunday, 04-Sep-2016 08:02:36 CDT.

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