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 Visitor Information:  You are on the path to discovering ALL available Madison County official records directly related to genealogy - births, marriages, deaths and burials. The one exception, due to a concern for privacy, is that only births and marriages older than 100 years old are included, but are updated annually.

The menu to the left will lead you to an abundance of genealogical records.  The most popular links are BIRTH RECORDS, CEMETERIES (over 30,000 burials), MARRIAGE RECORDS, and OBITUARY INDEX (over 35,000 entries).  Also spend time in CENSUS RECORDS for transcriptions of the Federal Census from 1850 through 1930, the Iowa State Census from 1849 through 1895 plus the informative 1925 census, and the Composite Census Index there.  Then check out all the other links in the menu and throughout this page to round out your family’s Madison County history.

Here are two other helpful hints. Use the SEARCH box to the right to find references to a name, surname, place, etc. across all the information entered on this website.  And don’t miss the MADISON COUNTY FAMILY TREE in the lower left, where 90,000+ individuals are connected with their Madison County families.

What's New

Daily Updates:  The County Coordinator, 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 many 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. However, we have elected to post complete data sets for your perusal as they are generated. See "1919 Madison County Marriages" and "1919 Madison County Births" below to access new data sets.

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 2020 thru Sep 2020, we have posted 475 new obituaries and added alternate obituaries to 255 already on line. Finally, cemetery records are regularly updated to reflect the most recent burials. Listed below are some of the highlights of What's New in the 12 months between October 01, 2019 and September 30, 2020.

And one more thing...2020 has seen the website achieve two milestones, 35,000 obituaries on line and over a half million website visitors from 56 countries.

1860 Federal Census: A complete transcription of the 1860 Federal Census for Madison County, including an every name index has been posted on this website as of October 22, 2020.

1870 Federal Census: A complete transcription of the 1870 Federal Census for Madison County, including an every name index has been posted on this website as of October 29, 2020.

Modified Obituaries - The posting of ”Alternate” obituaries (a new obituary different from one already posted) has been dropped in favor of immediately appending the new obituary to the existing one and providing a link in a list titled "Recently Modified Obituaries". The combined obituaries will also be available through the Obituaries Index. Recently Modified Obituaries are accessible through the “Obits” link on the right and will remain on that list for one year. (Posted 12 Apr  2020)

1919 Madison County Marriages - The complete set of Madison County marriages for calendar year 1919, comprised of 166 records, have been posted to our Marriage List as of September 30, 2020. To see the list of 1919 marriages, click here. To see them integrated with all marriages, select "Marriage Records" on the left.

1919 Madison County Births - The complete set of Madison County births for calendar year 1919, comprised of 293 records, have been posted to our birth pages as of March 31, 2020. To see the list of 1919 births, click here. To see them integrated with all births, select "Birth Records" on the left.

Winterset News Obituaries: Most of the obituaries currently on line came from a collection of clippings from the Winterset Madisonian held by the Winterset Library. With the recent availability of all Madison County newspapers on line, we have initiated a project to glean the Winterset News of obituaries not found in the Madisonian as well as obituaries with significantly new information. The former are being posted as new obituaries and the latter in our list of Recently Modified Obituaries. As of September 31, 2020, fourteen sets of The Winterset News have been gleaned comprising calendar years 1919 through 1932.

Obituary Photos: Recently we were fortunate to receive a collection of obituary photos from Ochiltree Funeral Home (now Caldwell Parrish). We received photos for calendar years 2005 through 2013 and have completed appending photos to our obituary postings for years 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Vigilantes - If you thought that vigilantes died out with the old west, not so. In the early 1920s, Iowa bankers, tired of numerous armed robberies, organized Vigilante Committees in all 99 counties, mostly to have readily accessible trained posse members. An article regarding Madison County's vigilantes appeared in the Winterset News which has been posted under documents. There is also a link there that provides more information about the statewide program. (Posted 08 Apr  2020)

Random Birth Records - As a part of routine maintenance of the website as well as special projects, we may run across Madison County births not found in the official birth records that either haven't been included or for which additional information has been uncovered. They may come from other county's state census records, marriage records, obituaries, death records, Social Security Applications or Draft Registrations. These random records or record changes are accumulated and posted to the website every 6 months. Birth records accumulated in the 6 months ending 30 Sep 2020 have been integrated into our Birth records and also posted here as a separate list. (Posted 30 Sep  2020)

1925 Iowa State Census:  As you may know, the 1925 Iowa State Census is the Holy Grail of censuses because it contains not only the names of all the county’s citizens but also their parent’s names, places of birth, and place of marriage. Although the census is accessible on line, there is presently no index and finding your relative is dependent on how well the enumerator spelled their name and how well the transcriber deciphered it for the transcription. And, if you want to find them on the actual census images, there is virtually no guidance to doing so. A project to provide the 1925 Madison County Census, fully indexed, on this website, has been initiated. As of 12 Dec 2019, the entire transcription has been posted although half of Webster Township and all of Winterset are still subject to proofreading. Based on proofreading completed to date (80% of the full census), it is unlikely that the remaining proofreading  will materially change the data. The index has been completed and can be accessed here.

Madison County Family Tree UpdateThe Madison County Family Tree is now hosted by RootsMagic Online and will be updated weekly.  It holds the same information as the previous Family Tree although the format is new and different.  Please take time to visit the Help screen to become familiar with the site.  The previous family tree was hosted by RootsWeb which was taken over by Ancestry a few years ago. Since that time, our weekly updates have not been shown. This new Family Tree hosted by RootsMagic contains 18+ months of updates, so you may find some helpful family information. (Posted 08 Apr  2019)

Gravestone Photos: All gravestones in Madison County have been photographed and posted at the Iowa Gravestones Project. Fifty-eight newly placed gravestones in the period 01 Apr 2020 to 30 Sep 2020 have been photographed and posted. A list of the new postings can be seen in a separately compiled list of new Gravestone Photo postings.

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 transcribing older obituaries along with new obituaries as well as photographing gravestones. Over the past year, Eileen Reed has submitted many obituaries and family photos which are greatly appreciated. And finally, thanks go to Shirley Keating who works on current obituaries and Ida Morse who works on gravestone photos.



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since this page was created on 16 Jul 2004. This page was last updated Thursday, 29-Oct-2020 12:34:11 EDT.

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