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O'Brien County, Iowa Genealogy

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Guide to O'Brien County, Iowa ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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O'Brien County, Iowa
Map
Map of Iowa highlighting O'Brien County
Location in the state of Iowa
Map of the U.S. highlighting Iowa
Location of Iowa in the U.S.
Facts
Founded January 15, 1851
County Seat Primghar
Courthouse


County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for William Smith O'Brien, a leader for Irish independence in 1848. The County has Primghar as its seat and the County was created 1851. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[1]

O'Brien County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1880 1880 1880 1857 1880 1847
Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1851--O'Brien County was created 15 January 1851 from unorganized territory. It was attached to Woodbury County prior to organization 7 April 1860. County seat: Primghar [3]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Iowa County boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Iowa County Boundary Maps" (1816-1872) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[4]

Cities
Unincorporated communities
Townships


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Buena Vista • Cherokee • Clay • Dickinson • Lyon • Osceola • Plymouth • Sioux

Resources[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
IAGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
IAGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Iowa Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

State Census

Church[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Iowa Church Records.


Lutheran[edit | edit source]
  • Records of Siloam Lutheran Church, Paullina, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

Court[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Iowa Land and Property for additional information about early Iowa land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.


Local Histories [edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for O'Brien County, Iowa Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Iowa Local Histories.


Maps[edit | edit source]

Lyon CountyOsceola CountyDickinson CountySioux CountyPlymouth CountyCherokee CountyBuena Vista CountyClay CountyIA O'BRIEN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives

NewspaperArchive.com ($) has a large collection of digitized Iowa newspapers online. This database is sometimes free at libraries.

  • The Sheldon Mail. 1954. Sheldon, IA, USA. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)
  • Obrien County Bell.1905-06. Primghar, IA, USA. Online at: Ancestry.com ($)

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

In most counties in Iowa, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Iowa - O'Brien - Probate records.


Taxation[edit | edit source]

Iowa tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Tax lists were usually made every year, however, there may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Iowa Taxation.


Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also How to order Iowa Vital Records or order electronically online.

Births[edit | edit source]
Marriages[edit | edit source]
Deaths[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

O'Brien County Historical Society
Box 385
Primghar, Iowa, 51245
Telephone:712-957-2581
Website

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Websites[edit | edit source]



Sites with online indexes or images of records pertaining to O'Brien County, Iowa Genealogy
State Historical Society of Iowa Free Select from research collection topics
The Iowa Heritage Digital Collection Free digital images from a variety of Iowa cultural institutions - results of "o'brien county" in the search box
State Library of Iowa Free electronic depository of documents intended for the general public produced by Iowa agencies - results of "o'brien county" in the search box
IAGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
genealogytrails.com Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
[1] [2][3] FamilySearch Free Births, 1880-1935; Deaths 1880-1992; Marriages, 1838-1934; all indexes
Sites that search for links pertaining to O'Brien County, Iowa Genealogy
RootsWeb Resources Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
O'Brien County IA at LDS Genealogy Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS.com Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of O'Brien County, Iowa Genealogy
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch Catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
See also local libraries and Iowa Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to O'Brien County, Iowa Genealogy
GeneaBloggers enter "Iowa" in search box to see list and links to Iowa blogs
Google+ list of groups from "iowa genealogy" search
Facebook list of groups from "Iowa Genealogy" search
genealogy.com IA Genealogy Forum
ancestry.com O'Brien County Message Board

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "O'Brien, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Brien_County,_Iowa."
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), O'Brien County, Iowa. Page 230-238 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 222-225.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "O'Brien County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O%27Brien_County,_Iowa, accessed 20 October 2019.

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