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I apologize for using a general name for the library I
was referring to
located in Iowa City. The specific name for this
library is the State
Historical Library. There are two locations for this
library. One branch
is in Des Moines and the other is in Iowa City. I
have been to both and
done research in both. I had better luck with the
amount of material in
Iowa City. These two libraries are the best for
genealogy research within
the state of Iowa. If you are doing genealogy research
for Davis County,
Iowa specifically, it is my opinion that the genealogy
section in the
Bloomfield library is the best for that specific area.
I'm sure most if not everyone on this list know that
sometimes contain unique material that is not located
in the larger
libraries such as the libraries run by the State
Historical Library of Iowa.
However, the larger libraries will also contain
material that the smaller
libraries do not house.
I did not state that the state library was a better
library for Davis Co
research. I stated it was a better library for doing
reseach. The branch in Iowa City contained newspapers
published across the
state of Iowa, and I was able to locate numerous
obituaries. They also had
the federal and Iowa state censuses for the state
which allowed me to look
up records from several counties from one location.
They also had published
genealogy material from Iowa's 99 counties such as
cemetery indexes, vitals, etc. The amount of material
for each county
The State Historical Library also contains numerous
genealogy material from
across the country.
I loved the Bloomfield library and found enough
material there to keep me
occupied for several trips to their genealogy section.
I, again, apologize for not giving the specific name
for the state library I
was referring to.
The best library for Davis County, IA material is the
library in Bloomfield. The best library for statewide
genealogy material is the state library in Iowa City.
I haven't been to either for a few years but I doubt
they have changed too much.
I had to make more than ten trips to Bloomfield to get
all the material I needed at the time and I know I
could stand to return a handful more times to complete
The Recorders office in the courthouse is really
cramped if there are more than two people working
there at a time. I dread having to go back to complete
my land research...
Stay connected, organized, and protected. Take the tour:
Thanks to all who answered my query about working conditions at the Davis Co.
Courthouse. I definitely will bring a small folding stool and table with me!
I understand that the local library's genealogy collection is minimal. In
your opinion, where is the best library for Davis Co. research?
I live about three hours from Fort Wayne, IND (Allen County library) which is
the best genealogy library in my area. Is there any library famous for
genealogy in your area?
Davis County's genealogy library is in the basement of the Public Library.
We are now manning the room, to assist researchers.
The Gene library hours are Mon, Wed, and Fri 1PM to 4PM and Tues, Thurs, and
Sat 10AM to 2 PM.
The Public librarians can reach a member if by chance these hours don't work
for you. Let us know ahead of time, when you plan to visit.
The Courthouse offices are open until 4:30 PM week Days. They charge 50c a
copy for each sheet, unless it is some type of certificate, and then the
cost is regulated by state. There is no real sit down and dig it out space.
Be prepared to stand. No camera's.
We welcome you to Davis County! Be sure to visit the Welcome Center, and we
do have a historical society.
Maps to cemetery's will be available too!
Pres for DCGS, and webmaster for www.iagenweb.org/davis
From: IADAVIS-D-request(a)rootsweb.com [mailto:IADAVIS-Dfirstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2005 6:03 AM
Subject: IADAVIS-D Digest V05 #5
I was in Bloomfield about 6 years ago. There was a "genealogy room" in the
basement of the public library. It had some old newspapers, a copy of "The
History of Davis County" from 1881, etc.
You're not supposed to take bags or purses in with you, but you can take
writing materials to take notes. It was open until 6 pm on a Friday
evening. There's a table and chairs - but that was in 1999.
Researching CARTER, LASLEY, POLING, HEIDLEBAUGH in Davis County, IA
Be sure to stop in at the Davis Co Library and check out the genealogy room
in the basement. If you think the courthouse rooms are small you haven't
seen anything yet. :)
The genealogies library hours are M, W, F, 1pm to 4 pm. and Tu, Th, Sat
They are still looking for volunteers to help keep the library room open
Dues are $7.50 per year, if anyone wants to join and receive a newsletter 4
times a year.
In the last newsletter they have a notice Wanted! Family Reunions Dates and
newsletter editor is Sue Spilman dsspilman(a)netins.net
I haven't heard for certain but I believe the GASTON Family reunion is at
Bentonsport on June 12th.
> I was just in Bloomfield last summer, and found the courthouse people very
> nice and as helpful as they could reasonably be expected to be,
> considering that genealogists aren't their main job and like most
> government agencies, they are understaffed and overworked. I was in 5 or
> 6 courthouses in 10 days and so I MAY not be remembering the right one,
> but I do remember the high counter and stools and the metal drawers and so
> I think so.
> My main point though is....if you have a chance to go at all, GO. You'll
> find things that haven't been filmed by the LDS people and probably never
> will be. You can take photos on site of things that were there when your
> ancestors were there and that will help bring them and their times to
> life. If you are polite and reasonable at the courthouse, you'll almost
> certainly be treated with courtesy, and help pave the way for future
> researchers to be treated well too. And a genuine "thank-you" never does
> any harm either. :)
> And I'm pea green with envy....can't afford to go this year!
> Linda :)
> San Mateo, CA
Hi, Jan -
I was just in Bloomfield last summer, and found the courthouse people very
nice and as helpful as they could reasonably be expected to be, considering
that genealogists aren't their main job and like most government agencies,
they are understaffed and overworked. I was in 5 or 6 courthouses in 10
days and so I MAY not be remembering the right one, but I do remember the
high counter and stools and the metal drawers and so I think so.
My main point though is....if you have a chance to go at all, GO. You'll
find things that haven't been filmed by the LDS people and probably never
will be. You can take photos on site of things that were there when your
ancestors were there and that will help bring them and their times to life.
If you are polite and reasonable at the courthouse, you'll almost certainly
be treated with courtesy, and help pave the way for future researchers to be
treated well too. And a genuine "thank-you" never does any harm either. :)
And I'm pea green with envy....can't afford to go this year!
San Mateo, CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2005 5:19 AM
Subject: [IADAVIS-L] Courthouse
> Could someone tell me what it is like to work at the Davis County
> For example. Do they have a place for researchers to sit down and work?
> they close during the noon hour?
> Can you get access to their earliest deeds and indexes? It's so
> to work at the local LDS libraries (too few readers, too many talkers)
> that I'm
> contemplating making a side-trip during my vacation this summer to work on
> Regards, JAN
> ==== IADAVIS Mailing List ====
> New Davis County at Rootsweb !!http://www.rootsweb.com/~iadavis/davis.htm
> Search the US Census Collection. Over 140 million records added in the
> last 12 months. Largest online collection in the world. Learn more:
You can always brink cookies or a box of candy.
I have only found the Davis co people very nice to work with.
The only time I got upset, was on our first trip, I found my husband's
father's birth information, since that time the book or page has
disappeared. thankful, I got a copy the first time I was there. This was
back in the early 1880's. When I ask for the book, they didn't have it, and
didn't want to see the photo copy we had.
MINEAR, MOORE, JONES, GASTON Davis Co, Iowa
> I've never been in the Davis Co. court house but have been in others
> that are probably as small and as congested. I'm only a little over
> 5 ft. tall and can hardly reach the tall tables in a lot of the old
> court houses. I read an article about genealogists crowding into the
> small rooms in which the writer suggested researchers be inobtrusive
> as possible...ask as few questions as possible...and carry a small
> folding TV table and a small camping stool to set up in a corner out
> of the way. Don't know how practicable that is, I never tried it.
> One court house in an Iowa county would not let researchers come into
> the room. We had to ask specifically for a book and then review it
> at the door. The clerk(s) were very blunt and were less than
> helpful. Yet in another county, the clerks couldn't have been more
> help. They suggested books I'd not even though of and made copies
> readily. We tried to give them a few dollars....for the next coffee
> break....they refused to accept them, saying they were there to help
> the public.
>> The birth, marriage, death and land records are kept in a vault. There
>> is a high counter that you can stand at to work in there, but when I
>> was there last (3-4yrs) they had just finished remodeling and had a
>> table with several chairs right outside the vault door. Copies in
>> there were, if I rightly remember, $1.00 or if you want a certified
>> copy, I think it was $10.
>> In the Clerk's office, they had a stool behind the counter, and if you
>> asked, they would let you use it. Copies in there were cheaper. They
>> are sometimes very busy and not able to help you as soon as you might
>> think they should.
The birth, marriage, death and land records are kept in a vault. There is a
high counter that you can stand at to work in there, but when I was there
last (3-4yrs) they had just finished remodeling and had a table with several
chairs right outside the vault door. Copies in there were, if I rightly
remember, $1.00 or if you want a certified copy, I think it was $10.
In the Clerk's office, they had a stool behind the counter, and if you
asked, they would let you use it. Copies in there were cheaper. They are
sometimes very busy and not able to help you as soon as you might think they
Jan, it's been about 5 years since I was at Davis County Courthouse and
the first word that comes to mind is "cramped". In one little room they
have all the original birth, marriage and death books, and the land
records . A staff member will make copies of anything you want and they
have always been very helpful. They have a high counter in the room for
looking at the books, but basically you must stand (one stool, I
remember). That's rough on the legs and back. A small desk with a chair
is for attorney lookups. More than once I have used the chair and desk
only to be told by someone looking at (mostly) deeds, that they are
reserved for the attorneys. Still, I have found mega information in
this small room. In the probate office, it's true that you have to look
through the index book and then give the clerks the number and they will
bring the information in a little tin box to you from the back. If you
are lucky enough to find the envelope you need, there is really no place
to look through the materials. There are a couple of chairs against the
wall to sit but can't spread out the materials. They do let you use a
section of their counter. All the rooms in the Courthouse are quite
small, and it would be so helpful to at least put a table outside their
door in the hallway with a couple of chairs. But again, I found lots of
information at hand, and would suggest that you at least plan to stop by
for half a day to peruse the indexes and books. I don't remember how
much copies were. Hope this helps. Dar
It has been quite a while since I did any research at the Davis Co.
Courthouse, but at the time I was there it was very disorganized. Everything was in
little tin boxes and you had to have someone get them for you. It probably has
changed. There were no tables, no books, only "stuff" in tin boxes stacked to
the ceiling. If you go there let me know how it is now. I was reasearching
the Myers and Thompsons. Mary K.
Could someone tell me what it is like to work at the Davis County courthouse?
For example. Do they have a place for researchers to sit down and work? Do
they close during the noon hour?
Can you get access to their earliest deeds and indexes? It's so frustrating
to work at the local LDS libraries (too few readers, too many talkers) that I'm
contemplating making a side-trip during my vacation this summer to work on