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Howard County, Iowa

Howard County

Howard County was established on January 15, 1851 from Unorganized Land. The County was recreated on January 15, 1951 (Organized in July 17, 1855) from Unorganized Territory. The county was named in honor of Tilghman Ashurst Howard (1797–1844), an U.S. senator from Indiana and general in Tennessee and Indiana

The County Seat is located in Cresco and the county government website is

Areas adjacent to Howard County are Mower County, Minnesota (northwest), Fillmore County, Minnesota (north), Winnesheik County (east), Chickasaw County (south), Mitchell County (west), Floyd County (southwest).

Cities and towns located in the county include Chester, Cresco, Elma, Lime Springs, Riceville.

Howard County vital records can be found at the Iowa Office of Vital Records which has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Iowa for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Howard County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Iowa Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate Application to mail.

Howard County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Howard Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Howard Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Howard Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Howard County Society and Family History Resources

A list of Howard County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Howard County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers frequently forget the importance of Howard County court, probate, and land files as a resource of genealogy and family history information and facts. Buried away in Iowa courthouses and archives everywhere could be the desires and frustrations of countless Iowa residents.

The possibilities are excellent that your ancestors and forefathers have left a in-depth document of at least quite a few factors of their lives in the Howard County court records. Even if your ancestors is not discussed in a Court case, give some thought to all of the other procedures which could have lead to her or him to appear in court records.

Remember to contact the clerk's department to validate hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics prior to visiting or requesting information because of many times changing contact information. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The records and documents are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. The majority of employees will help persons in locating the materials, but it's up to the person to undertake the basic research.

The following details shows what birth, death, marriage, property, probate, and legal records will be in Howard County. The years indicated below tend to be the first widely known records for this particular county. Howard County was attached to Floyd County for a breif time prior to organization September 15, 1855. Some early records may be found there. The courthouse at Cresco burned down on December 1, 1876. Few records survived.

  • Howard County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 218 N Elm St, Cresco, IA 52136
    • Phone: (563) 547-3309
  • Howard County Recorder's Office maintains official records of documents affecting title to real estate. Every real estate transaction that takes place begins in the Recorder's Office. One of the major duties of the office is the management of public records. As a result, accuracy and preservation of records are a must in the Recorder's Office. In addition to real estate transactions, the Recorder's Office issues titles and liens; records veterans discharge papers; processes passport applications; accepts marriage applications and issues the subsequent license; issues certified copies of birth, death and marriage records as well as other numerous duties.
    • Birth / Death Records: 1880
    • Marriage Records: 1875
    • Land Records: 1855
  • Howard County Clerk of Court manages and maintains all trial court records, including pleadings, evidence and orders. The clerks of court have hundreds of administrative duties. They accept and process fines, fees and court costs owed to the state, child support checks, and civil judgments owed to litigants. They maintain a record of liens on all real estate in the county. Clerks help with involuntary hospitalization cases. They have the authority to dispose of scheduled violations which are not contested and do not require a court hearing. Clerks are also responsible for informing state and local government agencies of court orders.
    • Probate Records: 1873 
    • Court Records: 1873
  • Howard County Tax Assessor is responsible for assess and appraise all real estate and personal property, to have access to all public records of the county for the purpose of securing information pertaining to accurate listings of taxable property.

Howard County Links

The following are links to Genealogy, Records and Resources associated to Howard County. Many of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a cost. This is simply a list which has been compiled or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site over another. Feel free to furnish your own preferred Howard County genealogy or family history related sites.

Howard Co. IA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Howard Co. IA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Howard Co. IA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Howard Co. IA Census Records

Howard Co. IA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Howard Co. IA Church & Bible Records

Howard Co. IA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Howard Co. IA General and History Websites

Howard Co. IA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Howard Co. IA Military Records

Howard Co. IA Schools & Directories

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