Genealogy and Local History
Uncover the story of your family and your hometown by digging into any of the following resources, available now through your library!
(And, if you are new to genealogy, make sure to check out librarian Pam Danley's Easy Genealogical Research Guide, found under 'Online Links and Resources' below.)
Ancestry.com Subscription Membership
Ancestry.com is one of the world's leading genealogical websites, and you can now receive full access to members-only features by logging in on select library computers*. View more about Ancestry.com HERE.
*Available only on library computers: a library IP address is necessary to validate membership. Please ask a librarian about log-on information.
Newspapers and Area Records on Microfilm
Records for the DeWitt Observer (originally called the DeWitt Standard) are available dating back to 1865, with select records also available from the Iowa Census, the Lost Nation Press and Community Scoop, the Charlotte Record, the Wheatland Gazette, and the Clinton County Historical Preservation Commission. Records for The Observer are most complete, but please note that some time spans may be unaccounted for as some records have been lost or destroyed.
Cemetery Records and Platt Maps
Browse records of burials throughout Clinton County: records searchable by town and cemetery. Platt maps available dating from 1865.
Yearbooks for the Central Clinton Community High School of DeWitt, covering the following years: 1962, '63, '71, '75, '76, '79, '81-'83, '86-'90, '93-'96, '98, '99, 2002, and '04-'11.
(Please note that donated yearbooks always welcome for the years we are missing!)
Various Additional Family and Area Records
Over the years we have received several unique records relating to area history; feel free to stop in at any time to browse through our miscellaneous holdings.
Online Links and Resources
New to researching your family tree? Just follow this step-by-step guide for beginners, created by a DeWitt librarian to help streamline the process.
A current selection of websites recommended for genealogical research.
Browse our top-recommended websites for learning more about the history of DeWitt, the Clinton County area, and the state of Iowa.
Local History Sites, Societies and Museums
For unique records, special collections, and on-site history, consider any of the following area organizations:
|Central Community Historical Society & Museum
628 - 6th Avenue, DeWitt IA • (563) 659-9717
Permanent and rotating museum displays related to the history of Clinton County (especially the DeWitt area), as well as a genealogical index and research area with records dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. Limited hours, but access also available by appointment: call Ann Soenksen at (563) 659-3686 for more information.
1608 - 7th St., Moline IL • (309) 762-0167
A museum dedicated to preserving and sharing the Quad City's Belgian heritage. Archives and library documents available to view, and museum volunteers may be contacted to help with genealogical research and translations.
601 S 1st St., Clinton IA • (563) 242-1201
The museum aims to display the history of Clinton County residents as they lived, played and worked. A research library is also available, specializing in information and photographs of Clinton County history.
712 W 2nd St., Davenport IA • (563) 322-8844
Intended to preserve the area's German heritage, and to promote understanding of the German immigration experience that helped to form Eastern Iowa and the Midwest.
(Mulitple sites managed) • (563) 652-5020
Currently oversees four museums related to Jackson County history, as well as a Research and Family History Library for both genealogical and local area research.
Davenport Public Library • 321 N Main Street, Davenport IA • (563) 326-7902
A massive collection of local history and genealogical records relating to the Davenport and Eastern Iowa area: the Special Collections also serve as the Archives for the City of Davenport.
Sites include: The Hopewell burial mounds at the Toolesboro site, the Blood Run National Historic Landmark, Plum Grove (retirement home of Territorial Governor Robert Lucas), Montauk (home of Iowa's 12th Governor William Larrabee), the Matthew Edel Blacksmith Shop, the American Gothic house, the Abbie Gardner Sharp cabin, and the Western Historic Trails Center.
An interactive, 500-acre outdoor museum that tells the story of how Iowans transformed the fertile prairies of the Midwest over 300 years into the most productive farmland in the world.