Madison County



Welcome to the Madison County IAGenWeb site.

Madison County is located in the south central part of Iowa. It was created in 1846 and organized in 1849 from unorganized territory (Mahaska). Madison County has many covered bridges made famous in the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. It is also the home of the "Delicious" apple and the birthplace of John Wayne. The county seat is Winterset.

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

The menu to the left will lead you to an abundance of genealogical records.  The most popular links are BIRTH RECORDS, CEMETERIES (over 30,000 burials), MARRIAGE RECORDS, and OBITUARY INDEX (over 35,000 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 the 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 box to the right to find references to a name, surname, place, etc. across all the information entered on this website.
 - Don’t miss the MADISON COUNTY FAMILY TREE where 97,000+ individuals are grouped with their Madison County families.  The tree icon is on the lower left of this page.


This website achieved two significant milestones in 2020: 
35,000 obituaries on line and 
500,000+ visitors from 57 countries.

Daily Updates:  The County Coordinators, along with several members of the Madison County Genealogical Society are 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. This results in many daily updates of this website. If we were to list each change we have made over the past six months, you would have to plow through well over 100 pages of change documentation. However, we have elected to post complete data sets for your perusal as they are generated. See "1920 Madison County Marriages" and "1920 Madison County Births" below to access new 2021 data sets.

If you visited this website before and didn't find your relative's information, we urge you to look again and to look each time you visit here. In the period from Apr 2021 thru Sep 2021, we have posted 300 new obituaries and added alternate obituaries to 200 already on line. Finally, cemetery records are regularly updated to reflect the most recent burials. 

Listed below are some of the highlights of WHAT'S NEW in the 12 months between Oct 2020 to 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.

1920 Madison County Births: The complete set of Madison County births for calendar year 1920, comprised of 372 records, have been posted to our birth pages as of March 31, 2021. To see the list of 1920 births, click here. To see them integrated with all births, select BIRTH RECORDS on the left.  (Posted 31 Mar  2021) 

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) 

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.

1925 Iowa State Census:  As you may know, the 1925 Iowa State Census is the Holy Grail of censuses because it contains not only the names of all the county’s citizens but also their parent’s names, places of birth, and place of marriage. Although the census is accessible on line, there is presently no index and finding your relative is dependent on how well the enumerator spelled their name and how well the transcriber deciphered it for the transcription. And, if you want to find them on the actual census images, there is virtually no guidance to doing so. A project to provide the 1925 Madison County Census, fully indexed, on this website, has been completed. As of 05 Dec 2020, the entire transcription has been proofread and posted. The index can be accessed here.

Winterset News Obituaries: Most of the 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 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 two years of The Winterset News have been gleaned from 1886 thru 1900 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 14 Apr  2021)

Obituary Photos: We were fortunate to receive a collection of obituary photos from Ochiltree Funeral Home (now Caldwell Parrish). We received photos for calendar years 2005 through 2013 and have completed appending photos to our obituary postings for years 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Gravestone Photos: Nearly 30,000 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 2021 to 30 Sep 2021, 250 gravestones have been photographed and posted with attention particularly given to McGinnis, Peru, and St. Charles cemeteries. A list of the new postings can be seen in a separately compiled list of new Gravestone Photo postings. 

Madison County Family Tree:  As of 01 Oct 2021, this tree holds 97,398 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.

Current Contributors:  Maintenance and improvement of this website would be impossible without the continued support of volunteer contributors. Special thanks go to Pat Hochstetler who has worked tirelessly in transcribing older obituaries along with new obituaries as well as photographing gravestones. From Spring to Fall 2021, a variety of local genealogists have volunteered their time to walk cemeteries to gather data to update documentation and add photos for the Iowa Gravestones Project in Madison County. In the past year, Eileen Reed has submitted many obituaries  which are greatly appreciated. And finally, thanks go to Shirley Keating who works on current obituaries.



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since this page was created on 16 Jul 2004. This page was last updated Sunday, 28-Nov-2021 08:50:22 CST.

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