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. 

The 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, click here. 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.usPlease 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 office.


Maintained by the County Coordinator

This page was created 12 August 2010.
This page was last updated Thursday, 19-Jan-2017 21:38:37 EST .