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Guide to Black Hawk County, Iowa ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Waterloo [1]
Organized: 17 Aug 1853[2]
Parent County(s): Buchanan [3]
Neighboring Counties
Benton  • Bremer  • Buchanan  • Butler  • Fayette  • Grundy  • Tama
See County Maps
Iowa, Black Hawk County Courthouse.png
Location Map
Iowa Black Hawk Map.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Black Hawk. The County is located in the northeast central area of the state.[4]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Black Hawk County Courthouse
316 East 5th Street
Waterloo, IA 50703-4774
Phone: 319-833-3000
Black Hawk County Website

Black Hawk County, Iowa Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1880 1854 1880 1853 1853 1880 1847
* Statewide registration started for births in July 1880 and for deaths Jan 1891. General compliance by 1924.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[8]

Unincorporated communities
  • Finchford
  • Glasgow
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • Black Hawk County was attached to Buchanan, Benton, and Delaware Counties.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Black Hawk County, Iowa online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Iowa Cemeteries for more information.


Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 135
1860 8,244 6006.7%
1870 21,706 163.3%
1880 23,913 10.2%
1890 24,219 1.3%
1900 32,399 33.8%
1910 44,865 38.5%
1920 56,570 26.1%
1930 69,146 22.2%
1940 79,946 15.6%
1950 100,448 25.6%
1960 122,482 21.9%
1970 132,916 8.5%
1980 137,961 3.8%
1990 123,798 −10.3%
2000 128,012 3.4%
2010 131,090 2.4%
Source: "".

Iowa recorded not only the federal census but state census through out the years as well. The state census contains very valuable genealogical information. Where the census information can be found, what years it was taken, mortality schedules, census substitutions and much more is discussed in the very informative Iowa Census article.

State Census

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Iowa Church Records.


Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. They include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Iowa Land and Property for information about early Iowa land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, transactions were usually recorded and housed at the county courthouse.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Black Hawk County, which may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see Iowa Local Histories.

  • Melendy, Peter. Historical record of Cedar Falls, the garden city of Iowa containing a brief history of Iowa, of Black Hawk County, and a full and complete description of industrial and picturesque Cedar Falls. Cedar Falls, Iowa, Peter Melendy, 1893. Online at FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Van Metre, Isaiah. History of Black Hawk County, Iowa and representative citizens. Chicago Biographical Pub. Co., 1904. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Hartman, John, C. History of Black Hawk County, Iowa, and its people. The S.J. Clarke Pub Co, Chicago, IL, 1915. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library Vol 1; FamilySearch Digital Library Vol 2.
  • Historical and biographical record of Black Hawk County, Iowa. The Inter-state Publishing Co., Chicago, IL 1886. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library.
  • Iowa Indexes at — Select the county.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Butler CountyBremer CountyFayette CountyGrundy CountyTama CountyBenton CountyBuchanan CountyIA BLACK HAWK.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Multiple Wars

Civil War
Civil War service men in Black Hawk County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed here:

- 1st Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, Company G
- 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company K
- 9th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company G
- 12th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Company E

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in Iowa, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Iowa tax records complement land records and can supplement the years between censuses. Iowa's unique Old Age Assistance tax gives names, addresses and birth years. There may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Iowa Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded by civil officials on registers, certificates, and other documents. Copies or extracts may be purchased from the Iowa Department of Public Health or the County Clerk's office. See also Iowa Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Evansdale Public Library
123 N Evans Rd
Evansdale, IA 50707

Hudson Public Library
401 Fifth St
PO Box 480
Hudson, IA 50643

Waterloo Public Library
415 Commercial St
Waterloo, IA 50701

Museums[edit | edit source]

Cedar Falls Historical Society Museums
308 West 3rd Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Grout Museum District
503 South St
Waterloo, IA 50701

Societies[edit | edit source]

Cedar Falls Historical Society
308 West 3rd Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  2. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed 4/16/2021.
  3. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed (date here).
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Black Hawk, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Iowa.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Iowa Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library; accessed (4/16/2021).
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Black Hawk County, Iowa," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Iowa, accessed 22 August 2019.