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Genealogy Research Guide

This guide is intended to assist genealogists in knowing what resources are available in the ISU Library and through the Internet. It also includes some information on genealogy resources at Ames Public Library and the Iowa Genealogical Society Library.

Iowa Adoption Records

New Iowa legislation for adoptee records! HF855 was signed into law on May 19, 2021. "Beginning January 1, 2022, any adult adoptee 18 years old or older may apply for a noncertified copy of the original certificate of birth prior to adoption." This same law gives birth parents the right to request redaction of their information from the record. For more info:

Researching Iowa Adoptions & Orphanages

Soldiers' Orphans' Homes

"Homes for children of deceased soldiers as might be left in destitute circumstances."

In Iowa, the idea first took form in October 1863, in Muscatine, by Mrs. Annie Wittenmeyer. The 1st home opened in 1864 in Van Buren County. It was funded by the general public and also from soldiers in the field - organized and run by an association called the Iowa State Orphan Asylum. By 1865 it became necessary to provide more homes due to the large number of children, so a branch was opened at Cedar Falls and Camp Kinsman near Davenport was donated to the cause. In 1866, the Home contained about 450 inmates, became a state-run institution and another branch was established at Glenwood in Mills County.