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:  Welcome! 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 (28,500+), CEMETERIES (30,600+ burials), MARRIAGE RECORDS (13,000+), and OBITUARY INDEX (37,300+).  

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 100,000+ individuals are grouped in 32,000+ 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 October 2022 thru March 2023, here is a sample of what has been added through daily updates:

  • Obituaries - 288 new/alternates, both recent and found from previous years
  • Births - 291 births took place in Madison County in 1922
  • Marriages - 99 marriages took place in Madison County in 1922
  • Church Histories - 85 known Madison County churches established since 1846
  • Cemetery Burials -  Reflecting the most recent interments
  • Family Tree - Constant growth with new leaves and whole branches


New Data Sets and Major Additions to Ongoing Projects: Several sets of additional information have been added to this site over the last year along with major updates to ongoing projects. Below is detailed information of this work, done between April 2022 and March 2023.

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) 

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 31 Mar 2023 have been integrated into our Birth records and also posted here as a separate list. (Posted 30 Mar 2023).

1922 Madison County Marriages: The complete set of Madison County marriages for calendar year 1922, comprised of 198 records, have been posted to our MARRIAGE RECORDS as of September 30, 2023. To see the list of 1922 marriages, click here.  To see them integrated with all marriages, select MARRIAGE RECORDS on the left. (Posted 30 Sep  2023)

Census Supplements: Look for census supplements placed on the CENSUS RECORDS page.  Though not a complete list of all those who were living here, they provide a snapshot of specific individuals that may help you place your family in Madison County.  The first one available is 1878 Madison County Farmers by Post Office. (Posted 01 Jan  2023)

Madison County Hall of Fame: This is a listing people who were either born in Madison County and/or lived here 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.  (Posted 01 Oct  2022)

Madison County Church Histories: Extensive work was done to create a complete list of 85 known churches since the settlement of Madison County, with historical information found for all but five. The project included determining their locations, summarizing their histories, and digging for photos.  If possible, names of early members are included for genealogical purposes. Each church has one or more sources for further research. You can access the histories at the CHURCHES in the menu to the left. (Posted 30 March 2023)

Winterset News Obituaries: Most of the older obituaries 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 initiated a project in April 2022 to glean the Winterset News (1873-1945) of obituaries not found in the Madisonian as well as obituaries with significantly new information. The former were posted as new obituaries and the latter were appended to the existing obituaries. This project was completed on 25 Aug 2023. A total of 431 new obituaries were posted and 907 were appended to existing obituaries. (Posted 25 Aug  2023)

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: Over 30,600 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 2022 to 31 Mar 2023, 117 gravestones have been photographed  and posted. A list of the new postings can be seen in a separately compiled list of new Gravestone Photo postings(Posted 31 Mar 2023)

Civil War Gravestone Project: With collaboration among the Madison County IAGenWeb team and the, Madison County Genealogy Society, volunteers are researching and procuring Veterans Administration (VA) issued gravestones for Civil War soldiers currently lying in unmarked graves in Madison County cemeteries. Photographs of the gravestones already placed can be seen here. Veterans of other pre-WWI conflicts have now been added to the project. (Posted 30 Mar 2023)

Enhanced Gravestone Information:  Volunteers are working on several improvements to the Madison County gravestones pages within the Iowa Gravestone Project. First, all new gravestone photos now contain the GPS coordinates. Second, in the transcription area, a link between the gravestone page and that person's obituary is being added. And last, to find the actual grave within the cemetery, the starting direction (ex. west) and row number are being added to each gravestone, one cemetery at a time.  See a sample here. (Posted 30 Mar 2023)

Iowa Veterans Cemetery Thanks to the ongoing generosity of a volunteer within the IAGenWeb community, the CEMETERIES page now contains a link to Madison County individuals buried in the Iowa Veterans Cemetery just outside of Van Meter. (Posted 30 Mar 2023)

Madison County Family Tree:  Our online tree holds over 100,000 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 Mar 2023)

Current Contributors:  Maintenance and improvement of this website would be impossible without the continued support of volunteer contributors. They have our deep appreciation.

  • 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. 

  • Colleen Peterson has put much energy into the Civil War Gravestone Project, researching candidates, creating VA applications, communicating with cemetery trustees, coordinating installations, and inviting descendants, if known.

  • Kent Transier, although retired from active County Coordinator duties, continues to expand the website with new/additional information in many categories or to connect information within the website.  Recent examples include the Civil War Gravestone Project and the extensive Church History information.



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Maintained by the County Coordinator

Last Updated March 30, 2023



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