Madison County




Welcome to Madison County IAGenWeb

Madison County is located in the south central part of Iowa. It was established in 1846 and organized in 1849 from a territory within Mahaska County. Madison County has many covered bridges made famous in the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. It is also the birthplace of John Wayne and the home of the tree that produced the first "Delicious" apple.  

New Visitor Information:  Welcome! You are on the path to discovering ALL available Madison County vital records directly related to genealogy - births, marriages, deaths and burials. The one exception, due to a concern for privacy, is that births and marriages only older than 100 years old are included, and are updated annually.

The SITE MENU to the left will lead you to an abundance of genealogical records.  The most popular links are BIRTH RECORDS (29,200+), CEMETERIES (30,600+ burials), MARRIAGE RECORDS (13,000+), and OBITUARY INDEX (37,900+).  

To get off to a quick start, we suggest: 
 - Use the yellow SEARCH THIS SITE box in the upper right to find references to a name, surname, place, etc. located anywhere across this website
 - Click on MADISON COUNTY FAMILY TREE icon in the upper left where 101,500+ individuals are grouped in 33,300+ Madison County families. Then verify what you see there with additional research.

Next, check out all the other links in the menu and throughout this page to round out your family’s Madison County history.



Daily Updates:  The County Coordinator and several members of the Madison County Genealogical Society are working daily on obituaries, cemetery records, marriage records, birth records, gravestone photos, newspaper gleanings, the Madison County Family Tree, and other research pertaining to Madison County. If you visited this website before and didn't find your relative's information, we urge you to look again. 

This list is a sample of what has been added from September 2023 thru March 2024.   Additional details are provided in the next section.

  • Obituaries - 225 new, both recent and found from previous years
  • Row locations - 9,500 row links have been added to Iowa Gravestone Photo Project records to assist in locating the actual grave for 82% of entries
  • Cemetery Burials -  Reflecting the most recent interments
  • Gravestone photos - 400 additions or updates
  • Family Tree - 869 individuals added for constant growth



New Data Sets and Major Additions:  Below is a description of additional, complete data sets completed between April 2023 and March 2024. 

1923 Madison County Births: The complete set of Madison County births for calendar year 1923, comprised of 313 records, have been posted to our birth pages as of Mar 31, 2024. To see the list of 1923 births, click here. To see them integrated with all births, select BIRTH RECORDS on the left.  (Posted 11 Apr 2024) 

Random Birth Records: As a part of routine maintenance of the website as well as special projects, we may run across Madison County births not found in the official birth records that either haven't been included or for which additional information has been uncovered. They may come from other county's state census records, marriage records, obituaries, death records, Social Security Applications or Draft Registrations. These random records or record changes are accumulated and posted to the website every 6 months. Random birth records accumulated in the 6 months ending 31 Mar 2024 have been integrated into our Birth records and also posted here as a separate list. Note that all of the special projects, which were the prime sources of new births, have been completed and reporting random births will be suspended going forward. (Posted 12 Apr 2024).

1922 Madison County Marriages: The complete set of Madison County marriages for calendar year 1922, comprised of 198 records, have been posted to our MARRIAGE RECORDS as of September 30, 2023. To see the list of 1922 marriages, click here.  To see them integrated with all marriages, select MARRIAGE RECORDS on the left. (Posted 30 Sep 2023)

Census Supplements: A Census Supplements section has been added to the CENSUS RECORDS page and contains two new datasets.  Though not a complete list of all those who were living here, they provide a snapshot of specific individuals that may help you place your family in Madison County.  They are the 1878 Madison County Farmers by Post Office and the more extensive Madison County 1892 Farmers by Post Office, which is of value since no 1890 Federal Census records exist for Madison County. (Posted 30 Sep 2023)

Madison County Church Histories: Extensive work was done to create a complete list of 88 known churches since the settlement of Madison County, with historical information found for all but five. This project included determining church locations, summarizing their histories, and digging for photos.  If possible, names of early members are included for genealogical purposes. Each church has one or more sources for further research. You can access the histories at the CHURCHES in the menu to the left. (Posted 30 Sep 2023)

Winterset News Obituaries: Most of the older obituaries on line came from a collection of clippings from the Winterset Madisonian held by the Winterset Library. With the recent availability of all Madison County newspapers on line, we initiated a project in April 2022 to glean the Winterset News (1873-1945) of obituaries not found in the Madisonian as well as obituaries with significantly new information. The former were posted as new obituaries and the latter were appended to the existing obituaries. This multi-year project was completed on 25 Aug 2023. A total of 431 new obituaries were posted and 907 were appended to existing obituaries. (Posted 25 Aug 2023)

1881-1882 Obituaries:  Over 150 obituaries from 1881/1882 and associated family members  have been gathered in addition to those found in the Winterset News project described above. Winterset Madisonian newspapers for 1881 and 1882 are not available for microfilming and/or digitizing. However, for many years the Madisonian ran weekly features of news items that took place 10, 20, 30, and 40 years previously. On occasion, this included mentions of deaths, so these have been added to the obituary index. Newspapers from Dallas, Clarke, Union and Warren County have also provided obits from these years. The majority of these 1881-1882 obituaries had accompanying gravestones photos that have been linked. (Posted 26 Jun 2024)

Surname List of Madison County Gravestones: A surname list of Madison County's Iowa Gravestone Photo Project (IGPP) records are now accessible under CEMETERIES.  This allows IGPP entries to appear within the results of the all-site search in the yellow box in the upper right. Updates are done quarterly. (Posted 13 Apr 2024) 

1862 Madison County Active Militia List: A complete list of Madison County militia volunteers, both for infantry and cavalry duty, has been added to the MILITARY RECORDS page. These groups were formed by law and put into effect in September, 1862.  The information was provided by the State Historical Society of Iowa. (Posted 02 Jul 2024) 

Mexican Border War Veteran List: A complete list of Madison County veterans who served during the Mexican Border War (1916-1917) has been added to the MILITARY RECORDS page.  The information was taken from the Adjutant General's published report of those who served from Iowa. (Posted 26 Apr 2024) 


Ongoing Projects:  Several efforts require continuous updating or work over multiple years to complete.

Gravestone Photos: Over 31,000 gravestones in Madison County's 55 cemeteries have been photographed and posted at the Iowa Gravestone Project. This is a continuous effort as there are new burials, repaired gravestones, or stones placed on existing graves. In the period from September 2023 thru March 2024, 400 gravestones have been photographed, with GPS coordinates, and posted. A list of the new postings can be seen in a separately compiled list of new Gravestone Photo postings(Posted 13 Apr 2024)

Enhanced Gravestone Way-finding: To help those who want to personally visit family members' gravestones in a Madison County cemetery, a project is underway to add a link with the row number, as well as section letter for larger cemeteries, to the gravestone photo.  This link will take you to a cemetery map with the rows marked.  Using this information, a visitor can walk to the row then use the gravestone photo to locate a stone.  Please note that rows are often incomplete or irregular, so searching neighboring rows is suggested.  See a sample here. Over 25,500 gravestones records (82%) have been updated with a row link. (Posted 13 Apr 2024)  

 Civil War Gravestone Project: With collaboration among the Madison County IAGenWeb team and the Madison County Genealogy Society, volunteers are researching and procuring Veterans Administration (VA) issued gravestones for Civil War soldiers currently lying in unmarked graves in Madison County cemeteries. Veterans of other pre-WWI conflicts were added to the project in early 2023 and as of 31 Oct 2023, 22 new stones have been placed and 2 repaired. Seven more have been acquired during the winter and are to be installed in 2024. Photographs of the gravestones already placed can be seen here (Posted 13 Apr 2024) 

Madison County Family Tree: Our online tree holds over 101,500 individuals, grouped in families, who have a direct connection to Madison County (without ancestors and descendants who do not). Continual updates are made from various sources, such as additions to this website, vital records encountered in our research, and incoming obituaries.  In the period from September 2023 thru March 2024, 869 individuals have been added and linked to their families. When first generated, the tree had few sources. For the past five years, we have been entering sources for all new entries and, as we have occasion to work with older entries, adding sources for them as well.   (Posted 13 Apr 2024)



Current Contributors:  Maintenance and improvement of this website would be impossible without the continued support of various volunteer contributors. Those below are especially dedicated to their work and have our deep appreciation.  (Posted 13 Apr 2024)

  • Special thanks go to Pat Hochstetler and Kathi Kuhl who have worked tirelessly in transcribing new obituaries weekly along with older obituaries as they are found.

  • Since 2022, a variety of local genealogists, led by Pat Hochstetler, volunteered their time in cemeteries to gather data and to add photos for the Iowa Gravestones Project for Madison County.  Pat then updates both row-by-row and alphabetical listing documents, which are available at the Winterset Public Library. 

  • Colleen Peterson has put much energy into the Civil War Gravestone Project, researching candidates, creating VA applications, communicating with cemetery trustees, coordinating installations, and inviting descendants, if known.

  • Kent Transier, although retired from active County Coordinator duties, continues to expand the website with new/additional information in many categories or to connect information within the website.  Recent examples include the Civil War Gravestone Project, creating cemetery maps with rows in support of the Iowa Gravestone Photo Project, Winterset News obituaries, census supplements, and the extensive Church History update.



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Maintained by the County Coordinator

Last Updated September 30, 2023



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