Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tribute to the 1925 Iowa State Census

The world is full of beautiful things! Autumn leaves, rainbows, waterfalls and more. Guess what else is beautiful?

The 1925 Iowa census.

Why the appreciation all of a sudden? Well, my own ancestors came to Iowa from Luxembourg in the 1850's. Apparently, they weren't cold enough in the winter so they bailed for Minnesota after a few years. That's all the Iowa research I got to explore until now.

I am doing a project for another person that's all Iowa all the time. Iowa censuses play a prominent role in all lines of the family tree.

If you've never explored the 1925 Iowa census, here's why it's so special:

1. It's a bridge between the 1920 and 1930 federal censuses. I love all states that have their own censuses for this reason. Minnesota gets a nod here, too. The extra information can help narrow down a death date for someone who passed, or include a child who lived and died between federal censuses. The mid-decade census also narrows down location and marriage timelines for ancestors.

2. It provides detailed information on a subject's education. You will know if an adult attended a rural school, grade school, high school or college--and the highest grade completed. Details like these help shape portraits of your ancestors' lives.

3. It includes the names and birthplaces of a subject's parents, including women's maiden names. Oh, it's a lovely thing I tell ya. In doing this genealogy project, I've become very spoiled by the ease with which I can move back generations and use these details to secure birth, marriage, death records and more.

4. It includes the birthplaces and marriage location of a subject's parents. Not only do you get the names, you also learn where they were born. If it says Iowa in that column, you're free to look in the 1925 Iowa census for the subject's parents. If you find them, then the parents' parents will be listed as well.

My most magical experience so far with the 1925 census was the location of a 96 year-old woman in it. You bet it had her parents' names right there. Happy dances all around.


  1. Since a huge chunk of my ancestors came from Iowa and another group passed through, I have long appreciated the 1925 Iowa census. It is the gold standard of census'. At one point, reposted this census, and missed several of the middle pages. Wow, did they hear about this. Thankfully, they fixed it. Another great Iowa resource is the Gravestone Project of Iowa GenWeb.

  2. I love mid schedule state censuses too! The 1892 New York State census was the reason I was able to nail down a death date of 1896 for my 4th Great Grandmother. She was in Brooklyn in 1880 and had passed by 1900. I was dreading searching for a Moore in Brooklyn from Ireland in the indexes. 8 years is much better then 20!

  3. Margel, you're right about the Gravestone Project. It's a gem!

  4. Kathleen, you are so right. Any census published between 1880 and 1900 is alright in my book.

  5. Agree, agree, agree. Those folks in Iowa have done a lot of things right, haven't they. (As she looks up and winks. Yes, dad, I'm talking about you!)

  6. ADORE the 1925 Iowa census! FANTASTIC!! Iowa is a joy to research!

  7. I know, I love the 1925 census, it's spoiled me. At first I went to other states and expected the same. No deal. And the genies in that state especialy north western are really on the ball and have worked hard to put the info out there. They do need a find a grave type society though.cheers for Iowa.

    Iowans and those in Minnesota kind of have rivalry. Just like maybe Minnesota football fans and Wisc.Packer fans Hope it worked out for them.[lol]

  8. Whoops, guess I will have to check on gravestone project. [ and see about copyright issues] Thanks for pointer here.!!

  9. I don't think I've had any cause to use the 1925 Iowa census yet, but I adore the mid-decade Minnesota censuses! I wish they were a bit more detailed, but having 1885 and 1895 in particular is great, and they're all helpful.