A Gazetteer for the United States and Canada

Olaf, Iowa

Nearby Census Genealogy
Cemeteries Tidbits &
Other IA

The location of Olaf

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Our Genealogy Helper for Olaf ...

We have a couple of goals for our Gazetteer:

  • That it be a tool that can help us with planning our trips.
  • That it also helps us to understand the community in which our ancestors lived, the community that was part of their daily lives.

By learning about Olaf (and the surrounding area) during the time that our ancestors lived, we hope to have a better understanding of both their community and its relationship to their lifes. We hope that this tool helps to give us an insight into their world.

As we add data and organize our Gazetteer to help with our family research, we will be adding to this, our Genealogical Helper for Olaf. While we don't have information that is specific to any given person or family, we intend to expand our understanding about where and how people lived.

It's still very early in our research, but as we gather more information it will be added to this page.

Neighboring Counties ...

When searching for family records, we have frequently made the mistake of not checking the neighboring counties.

For example, we have great-grandparents who lived in the northeast corner of their home county. During their lives, most doctors were in the next county to the east. Almost all of the nearby churches and cemeteries were in the county to the north.

So when searching for records, we had our best success by looking in neighboring counties instead of the county in which they lived:  their home county contained property and probate records; the county to the east contained birth and death records; the county to the north contained their burial records. If we hadn't included the neighboring counties, we would have missed many valuable sources of information.

If you're in a similar situation, we hope that the following information helps.

Olaf is located in Wright County.

The following counties adjoin and form the boundaries of Wright County: Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Humboldt, Kossuth & Webster.

Below are the counties that are near Olaf. For each of these counties, we show a sample of those communities that are closest to Olaf:

Wright     (The home county for Olaf)
  Belmond   [Map]     SE   6 miles [9.7 km]<1>
  Cornelia   [Map]     S   7 miles [11.3 km]
  Clarion   [Map]     S   10 miles [16.1 km]
  Solberg - Historic   [Map]     SE   11 miles [17.7 km]
  Holmes   [Map]     SW   11 miles [17.7 km]
  Rowan   [Map]     SE   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Galt   [Map]     SE   14 miles [22.5 km]
  Goldfield   [Map]     SW   14 miles [22.5 km]
  Eagle Grove   [Map]     SW   17 miles [27.4 km]
  Dows   [Map]     SE   19 miles [30.6 km]
  Woolstock   [Map]     S   22 miles [35.4 km]
  Aredale   [Map]     E   36 miles [57.9 km]
  Dumont   [Map]     E   39 miles [62.8 km]
Cerro Gordo
  Meservey   [Map]     E   12 miles [19.3 km]
  Thornton   [Map]     E   17 miles [27.4 km]
  Swaledale   [Map]     E   21 miles [33.8 km]
  Ventura   [Map]     NE   21 miles [33.8 km]
  Clear Lake   [Map]     NE   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Burchinal   [Map]     NE   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Rockwell   [Map]     E   27 miles [43.5 km]
  Mason City Junction   [Map]     NE   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Mason City   [Map]     NE   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Dougherty   [Map]     E   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Portland   [Map]     NE   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Plymouth   [Map]     NE   39 miles [62.8 km]
  Rockford   [Map]     E   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Nora Springs   [Map]     NE   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Alexander   [Map]     SE   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Coulter   [Map]     SE   20 miles [32.2 km]
  Latimer   [Map]     SE   20 miles [32.2 km]
  Chapin   [Map]     E   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Oakland   [Map]     SE   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Popejoy   [Map]     SE   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Sheffield   [Map]     E   26 miles [41.8 km]
  Hampton   [Map]     E   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Bradford   [Map]     SE   29 miles [46.7 km]
  Hansell   [Map]     E   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Geneva   [Map]     SE   33 miles [53.1 km]
  Blairsburg   [Map]     S   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Webster City   [Map]     S   29 miles [46.7 km]
  Williams   [Map]     S   29 miles [46.7 km]
  Kamrar   [Map]     S   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Ellsworth   [Map]     S   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Jewell   [Map]     S   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Kanawha   [Map]     NW   4 miles [6.4 km]
  Goodell   [Map]     NE   6 miles [9.7 km]
  Klemme   [Map]     NE   10 miles [16.1 km]
  Corwith   [Map]     NW   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Britt   [Map]     N   15 miles [24.1 km]
  Duncan   [Map]     N   15 miles [24.1 km]
  Garner   [Map]     N   15 miles [24.1 km]
  Crystal Lake   [Map]     N   23 miles [37 km]
  Woden   [Map]     N   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Alden   [Map]     SE   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Iowa Falls   [Map]     SE   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Buckeye   [Map]     SE   36 miles [57.9 km]
  Robertson   [Map]     SE   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Renwick   [Map]     W   13 miles [20.9 km]
  Hardy   [Map]     W   17 miles [27.4 km]
  Thor   [Map]     SW   21 miles [33.8 km]
  Livermore   [Map]     W   23 miles [37 km]
  Arnold   [Map]     W   24 miles [38.6 km]
  Dakota City   [Map]     SW   26 miles [41.8 km]
  Humboldt   [Map]     SW   27 miles [43.5 km]
  Bode   [Map]     W   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Rutland   [Map]     W   30 miles [48.3 km]
  Ottosen   [Map]     W   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Bradgate   [Map]     W   35 miles [56.3 km]
  Gilmore City   [Map]     W   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Lu Verne   [Map]     W   18 miles [29 km]
  Wesley   [Map]     NW   19 miles [30.6 km]
  Irvington   [Map]     W   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Algona   [Map]     NW   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Titonka   [Map]     NW   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Burt   [Map]     NW   33 miles [53.1 km]
  Bancroft   [Map]     NW   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Whittemore   [Map]     W   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Lakota   [Map]     NW   38 miles [61.2 km]
  Lone Rock   [Map]     NW   38 miles [61.2 km]
Palo Alto
  West Bend   [Map]     W   36 miles [57.9 km]
  Vincent   [Map]     SW   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Badger   [Map]     SW   28 miles [45.1 km]
  Duncombe   [Map]     SW   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Brushy   [Map]     SW   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Fort Dodge   [Map]     SW   34 miles [54.7 km]
  Cypsum City - Historic   [Map]     SW   35 miles [56.3 km]
  Evanston   [Map]     SW   35 miles [56.3 km]
  Coalville   [Map]     SW   36 miles [57.9 km]
  Clare   [Map]     SW   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Otho   [Map]     SW   38 miles [61.2 km]
  Lehigh   [Map]     SW   39 miles [62.8 km]
  Forest City   [Map]     N   25 miles [40.2 km]
  Leland   [Map]     N   31 miles [49.9 km]
  Thompson   [Map]     N   33 miles [53.1 km]
  Buffalo Center   [Map]     N   36 miles [57.9 km]
  Lake Mills   [Map]     N   37 miles [59.5 km]
  Scarville   [Map]     N   40 miles [64.4 km]
  Fertile   [Map]     NE   30 miles [48.3 km]
  Hanlontown   [Map]     NE   32 miles [51.5 km]
  Joice   [Map]     N   35 miles [56.3 km]
  Bristol   [Map]     N   38 miles [61.2 km]
  Manly   [Map]     NE   38 miles [61.2 km]

For an expanded list of the communities that are closest to Olaf, see our County-by-County Page for Olaf.

Cemeteries Near Olaf ...

Below are cemeteries that are in the vicinity of Olaf.

This is a new section and is likely to have errors. If you find an error, such as a missing cemetery or we have the wrong name, please let us know. If you know of them, we would also appreciate learning about previous or alternate names.

If you click on the [Map] that follows each cemetery's name, a Google map will open showing a satellite view of the area where the cemetery is located. We have tried to place the cemetery in the center of the map, but we're still working on our data and the map might not not be centered properly. If you don't see the cemetery right away, try zooming-in. Usually, but not always, you can see the outline of the cemetery or some of the headstones.

If you need information about a burial or interment, photos, transcripts, how to contact the cemetery or local authorities, please visit our selection of Genealogy Websites (see below).

If not found below, our Cemetery List for Olaf covers a larger area, with the cemeteries listed in alphabetical order.

Distance &

      Name of Cemetery  
      Less than 2 miles  
  SSW St. Olaf Lutheran Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave<2>]  
  S Ringsaker Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
      About 2 miles [3.2 km]  
  ENE Simenson Family Cemetery   [Map]     
      About 3 miles [4.8 km]  
  WSW Norway Twp. Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
  N West Lake Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
      About 4 miles [6.4 km]  
  NNW Old Amsterdam Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
  E Hickory Grove Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
      About 5 miles [8 km]  
  WSW Wright City Christian Reform Cemetery   [Map]     
  NW Amsterdam Twp. Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
  NW New Amsterdam Twp. Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 7 miles [11.3 km]  
  ESE St. Francis Cemetery   [Map]     
  ESE Belmond Cemetery   [Map]     
  ENE Amsterdam Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
      Within 9 miles [14.5 km]  
  E Immanuel Reformed Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  
  NE Calvary Cemetery   [Map]     
      Within 10 miles [16.1 km]  
  S Evergreen Cemetery   [Map]     
  S St. Johns Cemetery   [Map]     
  NNE Liberty Cemetery   [Map]     
  WNW Magor Twp. Cemetery   [Map]   [FindAGrave]  

Newspapers Published in Olaf ...

An ongoing effort between the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has resulted in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

To share their results, the partnership has created the Chronicling America website. The goal of this partnership is to assemble a database about the current and historic newspapers of the United States. This includes a growing collection of scanned images from selected papers. All of it available to the public on their website.

Using information that we've taken from the Chronicling America website, we've identified 53 newspapers that have been published in the area around Olaf.

Although we're unaware of any newspapers that were published in the immediate area of Olaf, there are papers which were published within 39 miles [62.8 km]. A list of those papers, sorted by paper name, can be found on the Extended Newspaper List for Olaf.

Nearby Communities in 1895 ...

We've built the following list with information that came from an Atlas published by Rand McNally in 1895. The Atlas had details such as the population of the community (which appears to have come from the 1890 Census) and whether there was a post office and/or railroad service available. We also indicate if the community no longer exists and is now historic.<3>

The Rand McNally Atlas shows that in 1895, Olaf had a post office and no railroad service.

These communities are listed based on their distance from Olaf, with the one closest to Olaf listed first.

Belmond   [Map]
 - Located 6 miles [9.7 km] to the East Southeast (ESE) from Olaf
 - 1895 population of 803 people (with 2,296 people in 2018)
 - Belmond had a post office and railroad service
Goodell   [Map]
 - Located 6 miles [9.7 km] to the East Northeast (ENE) from Olaf
 - Goodell had a post office and railroad service
Clarion   [Map]
 - Located 10 miles [16.1 km] to the South (S) from Olaf
 - 1895 population of 744 people (with 2,741 people in 2018)
 - Clarion had a post office and railroad service
Klemme   [Map]
 - Located 10 miles [16.1 km] to the Northeast (NE) from Olaf
 - Klemme had a post office and railroad service
Holmes   [Map]
 - Located 11 miles [17.7 km] to the South Southwest (SSW) from Olaf
 - Holmes had a post office and railroad service
Renwick   [Map]
 - Located 13 miles [20.9 km] to the West Southwest (WSW) from Olaf
 - Renwick had a post office and railroad service
Rowan   [Map]
 - Located 13 miles [20.9 km] to the Southeast (SE) from Olaf
 - Rowan had a post office and railroad service
Alexander   [Map]
 - Located 13 miles [20.9 km] to the East Southeast (ESE) from Olaf
 - Alexander had a post office and railroad service
Stilson   [Map]
 - Located 13 miles [20.9 km] to the Northwest (NW) from Olaf
 - Stilson had a post office and railroad service
Corwith   [Map]
 - Located 13 miles [20.9 km] to the West Northwest (WNW) from Olaf
 - 1895 population of 354 people (with 256 people in 2018)
 - Corwith had a post office and railroad service
Goldfield   [Map]
 - Located 14 miles [22.5 km] to the Southwest (SW) from Olaf
 - 1895 population of 343 people (with 601 people in 2018)
 - Goldfield had a post office and railroad service

We've also created an expanded list of communities that existed in the 1890's and were located in the area around Olaf. The list can be found on our page for Communities Neighboring Olaf in the 1890's.

Websites to Help With Your Genealogy Research ...

When we do our genealogical research, we start with the websites from Cyndi's List, FamilySearch and Genealogy Trails. These helpful websites offer the information directly or else point to where you can find it. Their information is open to all and free to view - although they might link to other websites which do charge.

To help you get started, the following links will take you to the pages that are relevant to Olaf:

These websites are specific to Iowa:

Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    

Website for the //

Not to be confused with the official state website, we've found the Digital State Archives website for the State of Iowa to be a good source for additional links.

These pages are specific to Wright County:

Cyndi's List     Family Search     Genealogy Trails    

Genealogy information for nearby counties:

Butler County:     Cyndi's



Cerro Gordo County:     Cyndi's



Floyd County:     Cyndi's



Franklin County:     Cyndi's



Hamilton County:     Cyndi's



Hancock County:     Cyndi's



Hardin County:     Cyndi's



Humboldt County:     Cyndi's



Kossuth County:     Cyndi's



Palo Alto County:     Cyndi's



Webster County:     Cyndi's



Winnebago County:     Cyndi's



Worth County:     Cyndi's




Cemetery Information and Directories for Iowa:

Cyndi's List:   Cemeteries of Iowa,
Cemeteries of Wright County
Cemetery Junction:   Directory for Iowa   Cemetery Wiki for Iowa
Find-A-Grave:   Home Page   Cemeteries for Iowa

Of Special Interest ...

The GenDisasters website specializes in newspaper articles about tragedies and disasters. While it makes interesting reading all by itself, it should be of special interest to genealogists and family historians looking for people who were either affected by or directly involved in such tragedies.

Disaster Stories from Iowa
Also see Disaster Stories for ...

Miscellaneous References and Mentions for Olaf ...

While our initial data about Olaf came from various goverment sources, we have found mention of Olaf in old books and maps. When we do, we'll find a fact here or a snippet there. We've created the following list to keep track of the documents we found useful in adding to our knowledge about Olaf.

We hope that the following list of documents will be of interest to you.

Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide

Published by Rand McNally & Co.
(Document found on Google Books)

Notes for Olaf:

  • Services available at that time (1895): had Post Office, no Railroad mentioned

Both the GNIS and FIPS databases contain entries for Olaf. See our Misc Page for Olaf for more information.

Other Roadside Stops ...

Find a Community in Iowa

About Wright County

About Iowa

Off-the-Road Links ...

Unfortunately, we don't know of a website for Olaf. If you can help, please contact us through our Feedback Page.

The official website for Wright County:

The official website for State of Iowa:

Footnotes ...

<1>Our distances are not driving distances, but are calculated as a 'straight-line' (or point-to-point) distance. A straight line distance ignores things like rivers, canyons, lakes, et cetera - it's truly a line from Point A (ie- Olaf) to Point B.

Our distance measurements begin at a specific point in Olaf. The point we use is located at these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 42.8866, Longitude: -93.7247     [Map].   In this case, the coordinates for Olaf have been provided by the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS).

- Return to Citation

<2>The Find-a-Grave website is an excellent research tool with information about a cemetery's location and interments. They also offer a forum for their members which can provide additional help. More information about Find-a-Grave can be found on their website:

- Return to Citation

<3>We use the term 'Historic' broadly and it generally means that the community no longer exists. However, it can also mean that the community might still exist, but was significantly larger or had a more 'official' existence in the past than it does now. Unfortunately our sources of data have proven to be unreliable. If you can provide us with more specific information about Olaf, please let us know so that we can improve our accuracy.

- Return to Citation






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This page was last modified: 07 Oct 2019