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Clay County, Iowa
Genealogy, History & Facts

Clay County, Iowa Facts

When was Clay County, IA Created?
Clay County was established on January 15, 1851 (Organized in 1858) from Unorganized Territory. The county was named in honor of Henry Clay, Jr.  (1807–1847), a general who died during the Mexican-American War and the son of Henry Clay, the famous U.S. statesman

What is the County Seat of Clay County, IA?
The County Seat is located in Spencer and the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Clay County, IA?
Bordering Counties are Dickinson CountyPalo Alto CountyBuena Vista CountyO’Brien County.

What cities and towns are in Clay County, IA?
Cities and towns located in the County include Dickens, Everly, Fostoria, Gillett Grove, Greenville, Peterson, Rossie, Royal, Spencer, Webb.

Clay County, IA Vital Records

Where can find Clay County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Clay County vital records can be found at the Iowa Office of Vital Records which has copies of birth, marriage and death records from July 1880. 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 Clay County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Iowa Birth CertificateMarriage CertificateDeath Certificate Application to mail.

Clay County, IA Census Records

What Clay County, IA census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Clay County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 186018701880 (free index)1890 (fragment)19001910192019301940.

Clay Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Clay Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Clay Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890.

Another Iowa census is the Iowa State Census Collection from 1836-1925. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Iowa Census Records Research Guide

Clay County, IA Courthouse and Government Records

Clay County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Clay County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Clay County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. See Also Iowa Corthouse Records Research Guide.

  • Clay County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 215 W 4th St, Spencer, IA 51301
    • Phone: (712) 262-7651
  • Clay 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: 1866
    • Land Records: 1858
  • Clay 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: 1870
    • Court Records: 1880?
  • BLM Land Records

Clay County, IA Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Clay County, IA?
A list of Clay County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Iowa Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

Where can I connect with other Clay County, IA Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Clay County, IA?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Clay 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.

Clay Co. IA Books, Newspapers & Publications

Clay Co. IA Cemeteries & Church Records

Clay Co. IA Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Clay Co. IA General and History Websites

Clay Co. IA Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Clay Co. IA Military Records

Clay Co. IA Schools & Directories