Polk County, Iowa

Polk County

Polk County was established on January 13, 1846 (Organized in January 17, 1846) from Unorganized Territory. The county was named in honor of James Knox Polk (1795–1849), the eleventh president of the United States

The County Seat is located in Des Moines and the county government website is http://www.polkcountyiowa.gov

Areas adjacent to Polk County are Boone County (northwest), Story County (north), Jasper County (east), Marion County (southeast), Warren County (south), Madison County (southwest), Dallas County (west).

Cities and towns located in the Polk county include Alleman, Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Des Moines, Elkhart, Grimes, Johnston, Mitchellville, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Runnells, Sheldahl, Urbandale, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights.

Polk 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 Polk 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.

Polk County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Polk Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Polk Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Polk Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Polk County Society and Family History Resources

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

Polk County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers frequently forget the importance of Polk 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 Polk 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 Polk County. The years indicated below tend to be the first widely known records for this particular county.

  • Polk County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 111 Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309
    • Phone: (515) 286-3921
  • Polk 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: 1846
    • Land Records: 1846
  • Polk 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: 1846 
    • Court Records: 1846 
  • Polk 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.

Polk County Links

The following are links to Genealogy, Records and Resources associated to Polk 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 Polk County genealogy or family history related sites.

Polk Co. IA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Polk Co. IA Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Polk Co. IA Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Polk Co. IA Census Records

Polk Co. IA Cemeteries & Graveyards

Polk Co. IA Church & Bible Records

Polk Co. IA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Polk Co. IA General and History Websites

Polk Co. IA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Polk Co. IA Military Records

Polk Co. IA Schools & Directories

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