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Brief History of
|The Iowa vital records system began on July 1, 1880, established by legislation with
the State Board of Health. Some events were recorded prior to this but with little detail
and minimal data. Between 1880 and 1921, only an estimated 50% of the births and deaths
were registered. Marriage record registration began in many areas with the county
All county vital records in Iowa are accessible to the public, by personal inspection or by a written request to the clerk of the district court in the county where the event occurred. State vital records, however, are not open to the public, and many old county records now reside with the state. Copies of certificates are issued to grandparents, parents, children, a spouse, brothers or sisters, legal guardians, or respective legal representatives. An applicant must have a direct and tangible interest in any specified record and must have the ability to present a direct lineal relationship to the registrant. You also must provide a purpose for which the certificate is needed.
Order land transactions from the recorder's office, while birth, marriage, death & probate records are usually found in the office of the clerk of courts at the county seat. Many county court records are disposed of after forty years.
For more information, see
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