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 36,700 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 don't miss the extremely helpful 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 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 98,300+ 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 Oct 2021 thru Mar 2022, here is a sample of what has been added:

  • Obituaries - 325 new/alternate, both recent and those found from previous years.
  • Births - 360 that 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 April 2021 and March 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)

Census Migration Project: All of the census transcriptions for Madison County have been migrated to be resident on this website. For details of this project, click here.

1921 Madison County Births: The complete set of Madison County births for calendar year 1921, comprised of 360 records, have been posted to our birth pages as of April 10, 2021. To see the list of 1921 births, click here. To see them integrated with all births, select BIRTH RECORDS on the left.  (Posted 31 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 2021 have been integrated into our Birth records and also posted here as a separate list. (Posted 30 Sep  2021).

1920 Madison County Marriages: The complete set of Madison County marriages for calendar year 1920, comprised of 262 records, have been posted to our MARRIAGE RECORDS as of September 30, 2021. To see the list of 1920 marriages, click here. To see them integrated with all marriages, select MARRIAGE RECORDS on the left.

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 in our list of Recently Modified Obituaries. As of October 1, 2021, thirty-five years of The Winterset News have been gleaned from 1886 thru 1903 and 1917 through 1933.

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 31 Mar 2022)

Obituary Photos: We were fortunate to receive a collection of obituary photos from Ochiltree Funeral Home (now Caldwell Parrish) in Winterset. We have completed appending photos to our obituary postings for years 2005, 2006, and 2008 through 2013.  (Posted 25 Feb 2022)

Gravestone Photos: Nearly 30,200 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 Oct 2021 to 31 Mar  2022, 65 gravestones have been photographed (not bad for winter) and posted with attention particularly given to Moon, Hamblin, and St. Charles cemeteries. A list of the new postings can be seen in a separately compiled list of new Gravestone Photo postings.   (Update 31 Mar 2022)

Madison County Family Tree:  Our online tree holds 98,300+ 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 01 Mar 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. 

  • From Spring to Fall 2021, a variety of local genealogists, led by Pat Hochstetler, have volunteered their time to walk cemeteries to gather data to add photos for the Iowa Gravestones Project in Madison County.  Pat then updates both row-by-row and alphabetical listings for each Madison County cemetery, 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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since this page was created on 16 Jul 2004. This page was last updated Tuesday, 10-May-2022 11:28:42 CDT.

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