Free Online Iowa City Directories

City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.

This activity of presenting links is a collaborative effort between The Ancestor Hunt and Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website, which presents links to directories of all types that are available online, including free collections as well as those available only via subscription. I wish to thank Miriam for her help in launching this category of records at The Ancestor Hunt.

So, what kinds of directories are available to the researcher?  Naturally city and business directories, but also telephone directories, and alumni, farm, lodge, rural, and social directories.

What can you find in these records? How about:

  • Full names, including middle names
  • Spouse name
  • Occupation
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Maps
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, newspapers.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including name of husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of previous year.
  • Death date.
  • etc.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching historical city and other directories:​

And here are various places where you can find other city directories online: 

Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital.

(Updated September 2021; recently added links are in BOLD)

Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:

Statewide

Adair County

Ames

Appanoose County

Boone

Boone County

Buchanan County

Burlington

Butler County

Calhoun County

Cedar Rapids

Cerro Gordo County

Charles City

Cherokee County

Clayton County

Clinton County

Council Bluffs

Dallas County

Davenport

Des Moines

Des Moines and Polk County

Dubuque

Dubuque County

Floyd County

Fort Dodge

Fremont County

Grinnell

Hamilton County

Hancock County

Hardin County

Harrison County

Henry County

Iowa City

Jackson County

Jasper County

Jefferson County

Johnson County

Keokuk

Keokuk County

Lee County

Linn County

Louisa County

Lucas County

Madison County

Mahaska County

Marion

Marion County

Marshall County

Marshalltown

Mills County

Montgomery County

Mount Pleasant

Mount Vernon

Muscatine

Muscatine County

Newton

O’Brien County

Osceola County

Ottumwa

Palo Alto County

Plymouth County

Polk County

Pottawattamie County

Poweshiek County

Ringgold County

Sac County

Shelby County

Sioux City

Story County

Tama County

Union County

Van Buren County

Wapello County

Warren County

Washington County

Wayne County

Winnebago County

Winneshiek County

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

For other Free Iowa Links, click on the category of interest:​​

Newspapers
Obituaries
BMD Records
Photos
Yearbooks
Directories
Divorce Records
Naturalizations
Church Records
School Records
Coroner Records
Voter Records
Probate and Wills
Immigration
Mortuary Records
Alumni Records
Cemetery Records

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