Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884
Ringgold County Courthouse built in 1884

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Ringgold County Resources


Middle names were first used as a status symbol by German nobility during the 15th Century. The use of a middle name was not common in the United States until after the Revolutionary War when it was considered fashionable to use the mother's maiden names as the child's middle name.

Local Vital Records:

Ringgold County Court House
Recorder's Office
109 W. Madison, P. O. Box 523
Mount Ayr, Iowa 50854-1651
Recorder Office Phone: (641) 464-3231
Recorder Office Fax: (641) 464-2568
E-mail: kmartin@ringgoldcounty.us
Vital Records and Military Records



Ringgold County's Golden Nuggets

Where to find Ringgold County's town centennial books that are still in print, Ringgold County books, town museums and contact information, local history books, genealogical materials, school yearbooks, and other such nuggets of information, materials, and resources.

Images of America: Ringgold County, pictorial history book about Ringgold County by Mike Avitt and Sharon R. Becker, Arcadia Publications, 2011.

Bonnie and Clyde, the book by Sharon R. Becker, Paragon Press, 2011

Local Newspaper Office

Mount Ayr Record-News
122 W. Madison St.
Mount Ayr, IA 50854
(641) 464-2440
(641) 464-2229 (fax)
Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

The Mount Ayr Record-News is available on-line.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Local Libriaries

Mount Ayr Public Library
121 W. Monroe St.
Mount Ayr, IA 50854
(641) 464-2159

NOTE: Photocopies are 25-cents/page. Donations are welcome

Mount Ayr Public Library Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
1:30 p.m.   -   5:30 p.m.

10:00 a.m.   -   5:30 p.m.

9:30 a.m.   -   12:00 p.m.

Closed on Sundays

    Collections and Resources at the Mount Ayr Public Library
  • Local, county & other county histories
  • BANNER, Raymond V.  Cemetery Gravestone Recordings of Ringgold County, Iowa A project of and published by Ringgold County Historical Society, 2003
  • LESAN, Mrs. B. M. Early History of Ringgold County: Cetennial History of Mount Ayr, Iowa 1875-1975
  • KNUDSON, Ruth BLANCHARD. American Pilgrimage for LESANS, BLANCHADS, and SWEARINGEN, 1974
  • CORBIN, Bernard & HARDY, Joseph. Across Iowa on the Keokuk & Western and the Humeston & Shenandoah Railroads
        not available for check out but available for reference at the library
  • Family histories
  • Ringgold county atlas, plat maps & plat maps of other counties
  • Ringgold Co. federal census 1860-1920
  • Oral history collections
  • Various county church records (1800-1924)
  • Bohemian settlers, 1856-1900
  • Zaruba family records 1864-1900
  • Ringgold Co. BEALL directories 1896 & 1899
  • Misc. cassette tapes of old-timer interviews
    Newspapers (microfilm):
  • Ringgold Record (1872-1908)
  • Twice-a-Week News (1892-1907)
  • Mount Ayr Journal (1893-1920)
  • Kellerton Globe (1894-1907)
  • Mount Ayr Record News (1908-1989)
  • Redding Herald (1915-1919; 1926-1947) Redding Rustler & Redding Register (1901 and 1906)
  • Shannon City Messenger (1915-1918)
  • Diagonal Reporter (1918-1972)
  • Tingley Vindicator (1903-1948)
  • Ringgold County "Old Timers" Bulletin (1930-1946)
    Vital statistics resources at Mount Ayr Public Library:
  • Register of marriages 1855-1912
  • Birth records for Ringgold co. (index 1880-1897)
  • County death records (index 1880-1897)
  • Marriage records for county (index 1880-1913)
  • Index to wills (1858-1880)
  • Gravestone records (1800-1930)
  • Cemetery records for county
  • Obituary collection for county

~ ~ ~ ~

Mount Ayr Record-News
Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa
Thursday, November 01, 2007, Pages 1 and 4

New book lines out land owner history of first county settlers

A new book that maps out the original homesteads settle in Ringgold county is now available.

"Family Maps of Ringgold County, iowa: Deluxe Edition," by Gregory A. BOYD has recently been published by Arphax Publishing Co. of Norman. OK.

This title is a new addition to the historic family maps book series where original land-owners in counties throughout the south, midwest and far western United States are being mapped.

For the first time, historians and genealogists can quickly determine not only where early settlers lived, but who their neighbors were.

So far, over 200 counties around the country and 12 counties in Iowa, including Ringgold county, have received treatment from Gregory A. BOYD, an attorney, genealogist and software engineer.

BOYD spent two years developing the software that allows him to map these pioneers' land-purchases. Arphax Publishing, a Norman, Oklahoma-based company, which BOYD co-founded with wife Vicki, is putting these first-owner maps into book form.

The books that make up the "family maps" series are bing published at a rate of about three new books each week. The project was first announced at the National Genealogical Society's "Conference in the States" in June of 2005.

The real value to these maps for counties in Iowa, is that people can find their ancestors' neighbors and therefore can figure out what families they most likely have married into.

The other value is that users can also easilty go and find the land. These maps make sense of townships and ranges and meridans, and all the things that make up a legal description. Now users can cut through all that and actually go and find ancestral land.

The book is 208 pages in length, and includes 53 total maps, including three maps for each of the 16 Congressional townships that make up Ringgold County. Each township has a patent map (land of first-owners), a patent index, [Page 4] a road map, and a historical map which includes waterways, water bodies and railroads. The road and historical maps also include the numerous city-centers and cemeteries.

There is also a separate surname/patent index and a surname township indix to help readers find the right area of the book for details.

No research tool more quickly and adeptly places the nation's pioneers into a meaningful context with their neighbors. To a genealogist, that means finding lots of candidates for families which potentially married into families they are researching. These books are often called "brickwall" busters by family historians who had all but given up on finding maiden names for their ancestors.

The web-page can be reached by clicking on the "Book Store" like at www.arphax.com. A copy is also available at the Mount Ayr Public Library.

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, June of 2012


photograph by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2009

Ringgold County Pioneer Library
Ringgold County Pioneer Musuem, Ellston, Iowa

  • "Memories of Ellston" by Mrs. H. H. CORNWALL
  • Twice-A-Week-News
        Story of first Ellston Commencement
  • Catalog of first Annual Tingley Fair, 1908
  • Oldest Ellston Newspaper, 1899
        CORNWALL Collection
  • Tingley Vindicator, 1906
  • "Life of Emeline CORNWALL", Part 1
  • "Life of Emeline CORNWALL", Part 2
  • Post cards sent by Addie CORNWALL from Europe, 1910
        CORNWALL Collection
  • Methodist classmate, 1891, CORNWALL Collection
  • "History of Benton Township and Maloy" by Maxine CARR
  • Historical Articles about Ellston, Iowa
        Written by Clark JENNINGS, Harley WILHELM, Lloyd JONES, and Luci O'GRADY
  • Achievements of Frank JACKSON, Champion Horseshoe pitcher
  • Redding Rustle, 1900, published by Judge Charles LEWIS
  • Souvenir edition of Twice-A-Week News, in 12 parts, June 1896
        donated by Mr. and Mrs. Flavel MALOY
  • Part 1 "Elements of Ringgold County Prosperity" by A. C. TALLEY
  • Part 2 "Prosperity of Kellerton" by Benjamin HARRIMAN
  • Part 3 "Tingley - An Up-To-Date City" by J. L. GALLOWAY
  • Part 4 "Faternal Orders in the County" by W. A. TODD
  • Part 5 "Delphos - A Desirable Place To Live" by Hon. P. L. PRENTIS
  • Part 6 A poem about Ringgold County by Miss Ollie BEARD
  • Part 11 "Extensive Religious Interest" by Rev. W. C. MARTIN
  • Part 12 "The Horticulturial Possibilities of Ringgold County" by Edwin BENNETT
  • Part 13 "Assorted Biographies and Buildings of Ringgold County" 1896
  • Part 14 "For Farmers - Mutual Benefits" by Hon. W. S. SHRIVER
  • Part 15 "The Fine Education and School Facilities of Ringgold County"
        by J. W. WILKERSON
  • Part 16 "Ringgold County - The Home of Improved Livestock"
        by Charles H. ROBINSON
  • Part 17 "The Advantages of the Town of Redding" by J. M. BAIRD
  • Part 18 "Assorted Biographies and Pictures of 1896"
  • Part 19 "Communication and Transportation in Ringgold County"
  • Part 20 "Assorted Pictures - Ringgold County Education"
  • Part 21 "History of Benton and Historic Pictures of Buildings in the County"
  • Part 22 "History of Diagonal and County Directory"
  • United Presbyterian Childrens' Sunday School papers, 1895
        CORNWALL Collection
  • "History of Liberty Township" by Stewart L. THOMPSON, 1914
  • Holland FOSTER diorama of Caledonia, Iowa

    Also on the grounds are the Hazel Glen School and the Pioneer Museum and National Old Thresherman's Hall of Fame, housed in the former Ellston Telephone Manufacturing building.

    Ringgold County Pioneer and Rural Life Museum is open on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. from June through August.
    It is also open by appointment. Phone: (641) 783-2155 Fax: (641) 464-2568.
    There is an admission fee.


    A free genealogy site with many records avaiable


    Ringgold County Vital Records

    transcribed from regional newspaper abstracts

    Marriages, Anniversaries, and Divorces
    Deaths, Surnames A - M
    Deaths, Surnames N - Z


    Death Certificate Index
    Ringgold County, 1923 - 1933


    Surnames Page

    Surnames and contacts with those who are researching those families.


    Don and Scharmal Connley will do look ups from the book Ringgold County, Iowa Marriage Records 1855 - 1900. Please include all known information for Don and Scharmal when requesting a look up. Thank you.


    Ringgold County Look Up Volunteers


      Ia WPA Survey Logo.jpg


    In the 1930ís the WPA canvassed and recorded burials in most Iowa Counties. The link for Ringgold County's Surnames on this database may be found at:

    Ringgold County WPA Surnames



    Ringgold County Chapter Iowa Genealogical Society
    204 W. Jefferson
    Mount Ayr, IA 50854

    Ringgold County Genealogical Society
    Sadly, Betty Ruby has passed away.
    At this time it is unknown if anyone has taken her place.
    Betty will be sorely missed by all of the many people
    she has helped over the years
    and by those at Diagonal Printing Museum,
    where she lovingly and tenderly devoted much of her free time.

    Iowa Genealogical Society

    P.O. Box 7735
    Des Moines, IA 50322-7735
    The IGS publishes an excellent quarterly journal, Hawkeye Heritage.
    Dues are $20 per year per person.



    600 E. Locust, Capitol Complex
    Des Moines, IA 50319
    They charge $5 per one half hour of work.

    Information & Hours, State Historical Society of Iowa


    Ringgold County Historical Society, Inc.
    Mount Ayr, Iowa 50854
    Phone: (515) 464-2615

    Cemetery Gravestone Recordings of Ringgold County, Iowa
    by Raymond V. BANNER
    A project of and published by Ringgold County Historical Society, 2003


    Genealogical Glossary


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    Ringgold Co. IAGenWeb Project
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