|Although official death records
began in 1880, keeping accurate death records was not taken
seriously until after the turn of the century. Before
1900, deaths reported in the various county newspapers were a
hit or miss proposition. In looking at all available data
sources, and in particular the cemeteries and censuses, it is obvious that many
deaths went unreported, especially young children.
Madison County Courthouse holds official death records from 1880
through 1904, the month of January 1907, and 1909 through
present. Certain restrictions on release of data apply to the
county registrars. For more information on these restrictions,
The years 1905, 1906, 1907 (except January) and 1908
are held by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
To request a death certificate from the IDPH, click here.
Ordering Death Certificates
from Madison County
There are four books before 1941
that have entry records of deaths in Madison County
Commencing in early 1880, if the
death was registered with the county, the death record usually
gave only the name, age and cause of death of the deceased.
These early records are a one line entry. More useful
information such as the parent's names and the date of birth
were not recorded in the early books.
About mid 1941 is when the more
complete record of death is available and this record as we know
it now can be certified. Applications must be in writing
identifying the record and establishing entitlement to the
record by the person making the request such as family.
These forms are available
at the office or on line @ www.madisoncoia.us.
Please follow the
instructions on the front and back of the form and return it o
the Madison County Recorder, P.O. Box 152, Winterset, Iowa
50273, with a fee of $15.00.
Searching Records in Person at
the Recorder's Office
These records are open for the
public to search. If you go there in person and find a death
record of interest, the office will make a copy of the entry
information for $5.00. They can certify to the fact that this is
a copy of a document in their office for another $5.00. Many of
the early deaths are on a card file in the County Recorder's