Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Iowa: Good for farming, cold winters and....a great census

I often offer to do genealogy research for my friends when I need a break from my own family research. What I most enjoy about these forays into other families is the discovery of great resources I have yet to come across with my own family lines. A perfect example is the 1925 Iowa census.
The Iowa state capital.
Photo by Chuck Felix

My friend Marie was born and raised in Iowa and her family has been there for at least 100 years. In researching one of her family lines I came across the Iowa state census for 1925. I figured this census was like any other state census record: a nice document to have, if only to track your family between federal censuses, but only the barest of facts. For this particular document the family was split between two pages, so I naturally had to turn the digital page to retrieve the rest of the family's members. I was surprised when that page turn showed not the rest of the family, but rather the nativity of the first few people in the family! It included the father and mother of each individual, to include  places of birth and mother's maiden name. Further investigation revealed that the document also provides an individual's military record, occupation and church affiliation.

I was dumbfounded to have stumbled upon this extra information and a little jealous that I had no family from Iowa! The bigger picture is that I have learned to always "turn the page" as you never know what you may find.

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