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Prior to 1880, it was not mandatory Vital Records of Birth be recorded, as well as the records of Death. In this respect, Pottawattamie County was no exception. When it became necessary to report these events, not everyone readily complied to the change. Therefore, records before 1900 are not always complete, and researchers should keep this in mind when searching for documents preceding this time period.

In fact, Iowa's mandatory registration law was enacted in July, 1921. Prior to this date, less than 50% of the vital events were registered and the percentage decreases the further back in time the event occurred. However, Pottawattamie County appears to have surpassed many estimates and most of the early vital events appear to have been documented, in various forms.

Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society has all the birth records for the county on microfilm. If you wish to have this source checked, you MUST provide your ancestor's name and date of birth. You mail email your request or send it via the U.S. Postal Service to:

Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 394
Council Bluffs, IA 51502-0394


You may also address your inquires to:

The Pottawattamie County Court House
County Recorder's Office
227 South 6th
Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503

The Birth (and Death) records for 1921-1941 were sent to the Iowa State level. If you are seeking a document from this period, please contact:

The Division of Vital Records
Iowa State Department of Health
Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

Please keep in mind, there may be a fee to research, abstract, and copy the material.

The Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society has information taken from the Frontier Guardian newspaper on many of the events during 1849-1852, and the Amendments to the Birth Records of Pottawattamie County from about 1875. These are filed alphabetically. If you are interested in investigating these sources, please contact:

The Pottawattamie County Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 394
Council Bluffs, Iowa 51502-0394

or email us.