Madison County




Welcome to Madison County IAGenWeb

Madison County is located in the south central part of Iowa. It was established in 1846 and organized in 1849 from a territory within Mahaska County. Madison County has many covered bridges made famous in the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. It is also the birthplace of John Wayne and the home of the tree that produced the first "Delicious" apple.  

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

The SITE MENU to the left will lead you to an abundance of genealogical records.  The most popular links are BIRTH RECORDS, CEMETERIES (over 30,200 burials), MARRIAGE RECORDS, and OBITUARY INDEX (over 37,000 entries).  

Also spend time in CENSUS RECORDS, starting with the extremely helpful Composite Census Index.  It is the key to transcriptions of the Federal Census from 1850 through 1930 and the Iowa State Census from 1849 through 1895, plus the informative 1925 census.

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 yellow SEARCH THIS SITE box in the upper right to find references to a name, surname, place, etc. located anywhere across this website
 - Click on MADISON COUNTY FAMILY TREE icon in the upper left where 99,400+ individuals are grouped with their Madison County families. 



Daily Updates:  The County Coordinator, along with several members of the Madison County Genealogical Society, is working daily on obituaries, cemetery records, marriage records, birth records, gravestone photos, newspaper gleanings, the Madison County Family Tree, and other research pertaining to Madison County. If you visited this website before and didn't find your relative's information, we urge you to look each time you visit here.  In the period from Apr 2022 thru Sep 2022, here is a sample of what has been added:

  • Obituaries - 333 new/alternate, both recent and those found from previous years.
  • Births - 360 births took place in Madison County in 1921.
  • Marriages - 87 marriages took place in Madison County in 1921.
  • Cemetery burials -  Reflecting the most recent interments. 
  • Family Tree - Constant growth with new leaves and whole branches

Below is detailed information on additions between October 2021 and September 2022.

1922 Madison County Births: The complete set of Madison County births for calendar year 1922, comprised of 291 records, have been posted to our birth pages as of Jan 3, 2023. To see the list of 1922 births, click here. To see them integrated with all births, select BIRTH RECORDS on the left.  (Posted 03 Jan 2023) 

Civil War Gravestone Project: The Madison County IAGenWeb team and Madison County Genealogy Society volunteers have initiated a project to procure Veterans Administration issued gravestones for Civil War soldiers currently lying in unmarked graves in Madison County cemeteries. Kent Transier initiated the project and researched the 1930+ soldiers who had lived in Madison County to yield a list of 35 potential candidates. Colleen Peterson volunteered to do detailed research of the candidates, generate and submit the VA gravestone applications, and communicate with cemetery boards and township trustees for permission to place the stones. Colleen also coordinated the volunteers to install the stones and invited descendants, if known. Photographs of the gravestones already placed can be seen here. (Posted 07 Oct 2022)

1950 Census Tools: To take advantage of the April 1, 2022 release of the 1950 census, we have added National Archive maps of the enumeration districts for the county and Winterset, our county seat.  Until searchable indexes have been created, these maps will help narrow your browsing. (Posted 01 Mar 2022)

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 2022 have been integrated into our Birth records and also posted here as a separate list. (Posted 30 Sep  2022).

1921 Madison County Marriages: The complete set of Madison County marriages for calendar year 1921, comprised of 181 records, have been posted to our MARRIAGE RECORDS as of September 30, 2022. To see the list of 1921 marriages, click here.  To see them integrated with all marriages, select MARRIAGE RECORDS on the left. (Posted 30 Sep  2022)

Madison County Hall of Fame: This is a new web page listing people who were either born in Madison County and/or lived there during their formative years and went on to achieve national significance. This is a work in progress and more names will be added. You can access it at the Hall of Fame link on the left or here. (Posted 01 Oct  2022)

Winterset News Obituaries: Most of the older 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 (1873-1945) 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 are being appended to the existing obituaries. As of Dec 26, 2022, forty-eight years of The Winterset News have been gleaned from 1886 thru 1933. In the 6 months ending on 30 Sep 2022, 154 new obituaries have been posted from this project. (Posted 26 Dec  2022)

Obituary Photos: We were fortunate to receive a collection of 1200 obituary photos from the Ochiltree Funeral Home (now Caldwell Parrish) in Winterset. On November 29, 2022, we completed appending these photos to our obituary postings which included years 1997 through 2019. (Posted 29 Nov  2022)

Gravestone Photos: Nearly 30,400 gravestones in Madison County's 55 cemeteries have been photographed and posted at the Iowa Gravestones Project. This is a continuous effort as there are new burials, repaired gravestones, or stones placed on existing graves. In the period 01 Apr 2022 to 30 Sep 2022, 263 gravestones have been photographed  and posted with attention particularly given to Ebenezer, Farris, Moon, Pleasant View, St. Patrick's, Union Chapel South, and St. Charles cemeteries. A list of the new postings can be seen in a separately compiled list of new Gravestone Photo postings.   (Posted 30 Sep  2022)

Madison County Family Tree:  Our online tree holds over 99,400 individuals who have a direct connection to Madison County (without ancestors and descendants who do not). Continual updates are made from various sources, such as additions to this website, vital records encountered in our research, and incoming obituaries.  When first generated, the tree had few sources. For the past five years, we have been entering sources for all new entries and as we have occasion to work with older entries, adding sources for them as well.   (Posted 30 Sep  2022)

Current Contributors:  Maintenance and improvement of this website would be impossible without the continued support of volunteer contributors. 

  • Special thanks go to Pat Hochstetler and Shirley Keating who have worked tirelessly in transcribing new obituaries weekly along with older obituaries as they are found. 

  • During 2022, a variety of local genealogists, led by Pat Hochstetler, volunteered their time in cemeteries to gather data and to add photos for the Iowa Gravestones Project for Madison County.  Pat then updates both row-by-row and alphabetical listing documents, which are available at the Winterset Public Library. 

  • Kent Transier, although retired from active County Coordinator duties, continues to contribute to the website in various ways that add additional information in several categories or connect information within the website.



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