Background Sources for Missouri

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This entry was originally written by Marsha Hoffman Rising CG, FUGA, FASG, and Pamela Boyer Porter, CGRS, CGL for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Missouri Family History Research series.
History of Missouri
Missouri Vital Records
Census Records for Missouri
Background Sources for Missouri
Missouri Maps
Missouri Land Records
Missouri Probate Records
Missouri Court Records
Missouri Tax Records
Missouri Cemetery Records
Missouri Church Records
Missouri Military Records
Missouri Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Missouri Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Missouri Territorial Records
African Americans of Missouri
Missouri County Resources
Map of Missouri


The following publications will be helpful to the Missouri researcher:

  • Parrish, William E., gen. ed. A History of Missouri. 5 vols. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1971–97.
  • Gerlach, Russell L. “Population Origins in Rural Missouri,” Missouri Historical Review 71 (October 1976): 1-21.
  • ———. Settlement Patterns in Missouri: A Study of Population Origins, with a Wall Map. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1986.
  • Houck, Louis. History of Missouri: From the Earliest Explorations and Settlements until the Admission of the State Into the Union. 3 vols. Chicago: R.R. Donnelley and Co., 1908.
  • March, Daniel. The History of Missouri. 4 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1967. Volumes 3 and 4 contain personal and family records.
  • Meyer, Duane. The Heritage of Missouri. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1967.
  • Ohman, Marian M. “Missouri County Organization, 1812–1876,” Missouri Historical Review 76 (April 1982): 253-81.
  • ———. A History of Missouri’s Counties, County Seats, and Courthouse Squares. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri-Columbia Extension Division, 1983.
  • Porter, Pamela Boyer and Ann Carter Fleming. Research in Missouri. Arlington, Va.: National Genealogical Society, 1999. One of the NGS Research in the States Series.
  • Schroeder, Walter A. Bibliography of Missouri Geography. Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri-Columbia Extension Division, 1977. An excellent annotated listing of geographic materials including atlases. A must for the serious researcher.
  • Shortridge, James R. “The Expansion of the Settlement Frontier in Missouri,” Missouri Historical Review 75 (October 1980): 64-90.
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