Missouri County Resources

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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
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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
County Map of Missouri

County records are retained at the local county level. The Missouri State Archives is making an extensive effort to microfilm many of these county records. A microfilm reel entitled A Roll by Roll Listing of County Records on Microfilm is available from the Missouri State Archives, or it can be viewed at the State Archives website. This enables the researcher to ascertain the exact number of the reel desired. Microfilmed copies of county records are currently available at $15 per roll. Instructions and an order form can be accessed at www.sos.mo.gov/forms/archives/arch1.pdf.

An ongoing project of the Missouri Local Records Preservation Program compiles inventories of local records by county. The searchable Local Records Inventory Database can be found at the state archives website www.sos.mo.gov/CountyInventory/index.asp.

Note that in Missouri all marriage records are held by the recorder of deeds, even though they are listed here with other vital records sources. The year given is the earliest recorded, but there was no official requirement until 1881. Those birth and death records that do exist before statewide recording began in 1909 are held at the clerk of the county court in the county seat. The time period these cover is indicated below.

A Missouri State Archives Birth and Death Records Database at www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/birthdeath abstracts births, stillbirths, and deaths recorded before 1909 at the county level that are available on microfilm at the archives.

Dates given in the chart are the earliest ones for which records are held in a particular category. The researcher should be aware that this does not mean all records in that category are extant. For instance, there may be letters of administration for a county as early as 1833, but the guardianships may not begin until 1845, nor are all the early records indexed. A ~ before the date indicates that the date could not be established. A * indicates that records for this county and time period are incomplete.

Dates for available records were verified with the state archives website listing “Guide to County and Municipal Records on Microfilm” at www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/county/croll.asp. These were cross-checked with the Local Records Inventory Database and the Birth and Death Records Database www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/birthdeath/. When these dates conflicted, the county courthouse was contacted.

Correspondence may be addressed to the recorder of deeds, probate clerk, clerk of the circuit court, or clerk of the county court at the county courthouse as indicated below. Street addresses are necessary for some larger counties.



Map County County Address Date Formed Parent County(ies) Birth Marriage Death Land Probate Court
B4 Adair 106 W. Washington Kirksville 63501 1841 Macon 1883–93 1841 —— 1841 1841 1841
Courthouse burned 1865.
B1 Andrew Savannah 64485 1841 Platte Purchase 1883–95 1841 1883–93 1841 1841 1841
Arkansas 1806 (abolished 1819; became Arkansas Territory) New Madrid
B1 Atchison 400 S. Washington Rock Port 64482 1845 Platte Purchase/Holt 1883–93 1845 1883–93 1845 1845 1845
D5 Audrain 101 N. Jefferson Mexico 65265 1836 Callaway/Monroe/Ralls 1883–86 1837 1883–86 1837 1837 1837
H3 Barry 700 Main Cassville 65625 1835 Greene 1883–85 1837 1883–85 1835 1835 1872
G2 Barton 1004 Gulf Lamar 64759 1855 Jasper 1883–96 1866 1883–99 1857 1866 1866
Courthouse burned 1862.
E2 Bates 1 N. Delaware Butler 64730 1841 Van Buren (now Cass) 1883–1907 1860 1883–93 1839 1845 1858
Courthouse burned 1861.
E3 Benton 316 Van Buren Warsaw 65355 1835 Pettis/Greene 1883–90 1839 1883–90 1837 1836 1835
State census of 1876.
G7 Bollinger 204 High St. Marble Hill 63764 1851 Cape Girardeau/Madison/Stoddard/Wayne 1883–91 1865 1883–92 1851 1866 1866
Courthouse burned 1866, 1884.
D5 Boone 801 E. Walnut Columbia 65201 1820 Howard —— 1821 —— 1821 1821 1821
C1 Buchanan St. Joseph 64501 1838 Platte Purchase —— 1839 1883–93 1839 1839 1839
H7 Butler Poplar Bluff 63901 1849 Wayne 1883–93 1878 1883–93 1849 1849 1849
C2 Caldwell Kingston 64650 1836 Ray —— 1860 —— 1835 1856 1859
Courthouse burned 1860, 1896.
D5 Callaway Fulton 65251 1820 Boone/Howard/Montgomery 1883–88 1821 1883–88 1821 1821 1821
State census of 1844 and 1876.
F4 Camden 1 Court Cir. Camdenton 65020 1841 ( as Kinderhook;renamed 1843) Benton/Morgan/Pulaski —— 1902 —— 1849 1902 1902
Courthouse burned 1902. Some deeds were re-recorded in 1902.
G8 Cape Girardeau 1 Barton Sq. Jackson 63755 1812 original 1883–93 1805 1883–93 1805 1805 1815
State census 1868 and 1876. Almost all county records up to 1990 are now in custody of the Cape Girardeau County Archive Center, 112 E. Washington, Jackson, MO 63755 .
C3 Carroll 8 S. Main Carrollton 64633 1833 Ray 1883–85 1833 1883–90 1833 1833 1833
H6 Carter Van Buren 63965 1859 Oregon/Reynolds/Ripley/Shannon —— 1861 —— 1845 1859 1866
E2 Cass Harrisonville 64701 1835 (as Van Buren;renamed 1849) Jackson 1883–1903 1836 —— 1837 1835 1835
State census of 1876.
F3 Cedar Stockton 65785 1845 Dade/St. Clair 1883–89 1845 1883–86 1845 1845 1845
C4 Chariton 306 S. Cherry St. Keytesville 65261 1820 Howard 1883–87 1821 1883–87 1826 1861 1820
County Court records burned 1861; courthouse burned 1864, 1973.
G3 Christian 100 W. Church St. Ozark 65721 1859 Greene/Taney/Webster 1840–1904 1866 1883–84 1861 1864 1865
Courthouse burned 1865; state census of 1876.
Clark (present) 1818 (abolished 1819 when it became part of Arkansas Territory)
B5 Clark 111 E. Court St. Kahoka 63445 1836 Lewis 1830–92; 1836 1883–92 1833 1836 1837
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1830—40 and 1883—92 only.
D2 Clay Administration Bldg. Liberty 64068 1822 Ray 1883–84 1822 1883–84 1822 1822 1821
C2 Clinton 207 N. Main Plattsburg 64477 1833 Clay 1863–88; 1847 1883–88* 1833 1833 1836
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1863—79 and 1883—88 only.
E5 Cole 311 E. High Jefferson City 65101 1820 Cooper 1883–1906 1821 1883–1906 1821 1834 1821
D4 Cooper 200 Main St. Boonville 65233 1818 Howard 1883–94 1819 1883–89 1819 1819 1821
F6 Crawford 302 Main Steelville 65565 1829 Gasconade 1879–1903 1829 1883–91* 1832 1832 1831
*Death records extant for 1883—91 and 1942—43. Courthouse burned 1873, 1884.
G3 Dade Greenfield 65661 1841 Barry/Polk 1883–85 1863 1883–85 1841 1841 1846
Courthouse burned 1863.
F4 Dallas 102 S. Cedar St. Buffalo 65622 1841 (as Niangua; name changed 1844) Polk 1883–1908 1867 1883–1924 1867 1867 1867
Courthouse burned 1863, 1864, 1867, 1955.
C2 Daviess 102 N. Main Gallatin 64640 1836 Ray 1883–91 1837 1883–91 1838 1890 1837
State census of 1876.
Decatur (see Ozark; name changed from Ozark 1843; changed back to Ozark 1845)
C2 DeKalb 109 W. Main Maysville 64469 1845 Clinton 1883–93 1845 1883–91* 1836 1877 1856
*Death records extant for 1883—91 and 1942—43. Courthouse burned 1878.
F6 Dent 400 N. Main Salem 65560 1851 Crawford/Shannon 1883–84 1851 1883–84 1851 (1866) 1866 1866
Courthouse burned during Civil War and 1866; earlier deeds recreated.
Dodge 1849/50 (abolished 1853; see Putnam)
H4 Douglas Ava 65608 1857 Ozark —— 1877 1886–94 1858 1886 1886
Courthouse burned 1882, 1886.
J8 Dunklin Court Sq. Kennett 63857 1845 Stoddard —— 1872 —— 1859 1865 1872
Courthouse burned during Civil War and 1872; deeds 1872—76 recreated.
E6 Franklin 300 E. Main Union 63084 1818 St. Louis 1862–92 1819 —— 1819 1819 1819
State census of 1876.
E6 Gasconade 119 E. First St. Hermann 65041 1820 Franklin 1867–96 1822 1883–96 1821 1825 1821
B2 Gentry 200 W. Clay St. Albany 64402 1845 Clinton 1883–93 1885 1883–93 1885* 1885* 1885*
Courthouse destroyed by windstorm 1883. Incomplete sporadic records before 1885.
G3 Greene 940 Boonville Springfield 65802 1833 Crawford/Wayne 1883–1901 1833 1883–1902 1833 1830 1833
Courthouse burned 1861; state census of 1844 and 1876.
B3 Grundy 700 Main St. Trenton 64683 1841 Livingston 1847–93* 1841 1883–93 1841 1863 1841
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1847—66 and 1883—93 only.
B2 Harrison 1505 Main St. Bethany 64424 1845 Daviess 1883–89 1845 1883–93 1845 1853 1845
Courthouse burned 1874.|
Hempstead 1818 (abolished 1819; became part of Arkansas Territory) New Madrid
E3 Henry Clinton 64735 1834 (as Rives; renamed 1841) Lillard (now Lafayette) 1883–90 1835 scattered 1835 1834 1835
F3 Hickory Hermitage 65668 1845 Benton/Polk 1883–98 1872 1883–89 1846 1845 1845
Courthouse burned 1852, ~1860, and 1881.
B1 Holt 102 W. Nodaway Oregon 64473 1841 (as Nodaway; renamed 1841) Platte Purchase 1883–89 1841 1883–89 1841 1837 1841
Courthouse burned 1965; state census of 1876.
D4 Howard 1 Courthouse Sq. Fayette 65248 1816 St. Charles/St. Louis 1883–93 1816 1883–88 1816 1818 1816
Courthouse burned 1886, 1975; state census of 1876.
H5 Howell 1 Courthouse West Plains 65775 1857 Oregon 1883–95 1867 1883–95 1866 1862 1857
Courthouse burned 1866.
F7 Iron 250 S. Main St. Ironton 63650 1857 Madison/Reynolds/ St. Francois/Washington/Wayne 1883–96 1857 1883–87 1814 1857 1857
State census of 1876.
D2 Jackson 415 E. 12th St. Kansas City 64106 and 200 S. Main Independence 64050 1826 Lillard (now Lafayette) 1883–95 1827 1883–93 1827 1828 1828
G2 Jasper 302 S. Main Carthage 64836 1841 Barry 1883–1900 1841 1883–97 1841 1841 1841
Courthouse burned 1863.
E7 Jefferson Hillsboro 63050 1818 St. Louis/Ste. Genevieve 1883–92 1825 1883–92 1819 1820 1819
E3 Johnson 300 N. Holden Warrensburg 64093 1834 Lillard (now Lafayette) 1883–94 1835 1883–94 1832 1835 1835
Kinderhook 1841 (changed to Camden 1843) Benton/Pulaski/Morgan
B5 Knox Edina 63537 1845 Scotland 1883–1939 1845 1883–93 1845 1845 1845
F4 Laclede Laclede County Government Center Lebanon 65536 1849 Camden/Pulaski/Wright 1883–93 1855 —— 1849 1848 1845
D3 Lafayette 1001 Main Lexington 64067 1820 (as Lillard; renamed 1825) Cooper —— 1821 —— 1820 1821 1821
Lawrence 1815 (abolished 1819; became part of Arkansas Territory) New Madrid
G3 Lawrence 1 Courthouse Sq. Mt. Vernon 65712 1845 Barry/Dade 1883–93 1845 1883–93 1845 1843 1845
Courthouse burned 1895.
B5 Lewis Monticello 63457 1833 Marion 1883–87 1833 1883–87 1833 1833 1833
D6 Lincoln Troy 63379 1818 St. Charles —— 1825 1883–84 1819 1820 1819
C4 Linn Linneus 64653 1837 Chariton 1822–1907* 1857 1883–87 1836 1840 1837
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1822—88 and 1907 only.
C3 Livingston 700 Webster St. Chillicothe 64601 1837 Carroll 1883–91 1837 1883–90 1837 1837 1837
H2 McDonald Pineville 64856 1849 (as Seneca) Newton 1856–94 1865 —— 1853 1865 1855
Courthouse burned 1863; deeds before 1863 recreated. State census of 1876.
C4 Macon 101 E. Washington Macon 63552 1837 Chariton/Randolph 1883–93 1837 1883–93 1837 1838 1837
G7 Madison 1 Courthouse Sq. Fredericktown 63645 1818 Cape Girardeau/Ste. Genevieve 1883–1900 1821 1883–1900 1819 1821 1827
F5 Maries 211 Fourth St. Vienna 65582 1855 Osage/Pulaski 1883–84 1869 1883 only 1855 1866 1866
Courthouse burned 1868.
C5 Marion Palmyra 63461 1826 Ralls 1883–90* 1827 1883–89* 1827 1827 1827
*Also births 1927—30 and deaths 1927—30.
B3 Mercer 802 Main St. Princeton 64673 1845 Grundy 1883–94 1898 1883–94 1846 1849 1868
Courthouse burned 1898.
E4 Miller 256 High St. Tuscumbia 65082 1837 Cole/Pulaski 1883–91 1837 1883–1904 1837 1837 1837
H8 Mississippi Charleston 63834 1845 Scott —— 1845 —— 1823 1845 1845
Courthouse burned 1891, 1997.
E4 Moniteau California 65018 1845 Cole/Morgan 1883–94 1845 1883–87 1845 1845 1845
State census of 1876.
C5 Monroe 300 N. Main Paris 65275 1831 Ralls 1883–85 1831 1883–85 1831 1832 1831
Courthouse burned 1861.
D6 Montgomery Montgomery City 63361 1818 St. Charles —— 1864 1839 1889
Courthouse burned 1864, 1901; copies of the original early deeds are at Jones Abstract Company in Montgomery City. State census 1876.
E4 Morgan 100 E. Newton St. Versailles 65084 1833 Cooper 1841–86 1833 1883–86 1837 1834 1833
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1841—63 and 1883—86 only.
Courthouse burned 1887.
H8 New Madrid New Madrid 63869 1812 original —— 1847 —— 1805 1800 1805
H2 Newton Neosho 64850 1838 Barry 1883–85 1865 1883–85 1839 1839 1939
Courthouse destroyed during Civil War.
Niangua 1841 (renamed Dallas, 1844) Polk
B1 Nodaway 305 N. Main Maryville 64468 1845 Andrew 1883–90 1845 1883–93 1845 1845 1845
H6 Oregon Alton 65606 1845 Ripley 1883–90 1845–77* 1883–89 1845 1854 1845–72†
*Records incomplete. Marriage records extant for 1845—61 and 1877 only.
†Court records extant for 1845—59 and 1872 only.
Courthouse burned 1863 during Civil War.
E5 Osage Linn 65051 1841 Gasconade 1883–98 1841 1883–94 1841 1841 1841
Courthouse burned 1880 and 1922; state census of 1876.
H4 Ozark Gainesville 65655 1841 (renamed Decatur, 1843; renamed Ozark, 1845) Taney 1884–90 1858 1887–89 1858 1865 1858
Courthouse burned 1858 or 1859, 1865, 1934, and 1937.
J8 Pemiscot 610 Ward Ave. Caruthersville 63830 1851 New Madrid 1883–84 1882 —— 1881 1865 1883
Courthouse burned 1882. Deed index from 1833 survived fire.
F8 Perry 321 N. Main Perryville 63775 1820 Ste. Genevieve 1883–94 1830 1883–94 1821 1821 1821
State census of 1876.
E3 Pettis Sedalia 65301 1833 Cooper/Saline 1883–85 1833 1883–85 1833 1833 1833
F5 Phelps 200 N. Main Rolla 65401 1857 Crawford 1883–90 1857 1883–90 1857 1858 1857
State census of 1876.
C6 Pike Bowling Green 63334 1818 St. Charles 1883–84 1825 1819 1825 1819
Courthouse burned 1864 and 1915.
C1 Platte 415 Third St. Platte City 64079 1838 Platte Purchase 1883–87 1839 1883–87 1839 1839 1839
Courthouse destroyed 1861 during Civil War.
F3 Polk Bolivar 65613 1835 Greene 1872–1900 1836 1883–90 1837 1835 1836
F5 Pulaski 301 Historic 66 East Waynesville 65583 Crawford —— 1903 —— 1903 1833 1834
Courthouse burned 1903.
B4 Putnam Unionville 63565 1845 Adair/Sullivan 1878–1907 1849 1887–1907 1847 1853 1855
C6 Ralls New London 63459 1820 Pike 1883–93 1821 1883–86 1821 1821 1821
C4 Randolph Huntsville 65259 1829 Chariton/Ralls 1883–89 1829 1883–89 1841 1829 1858
Courthouse burned 1882 and 1955. Deed index from 1829 survived fire.
D2 Ray Richmond 64085 1820 Howard 1883–90 1820 1883–89 1820 1821 1821
G6 Reynolds Centerville 63633 1845 Shannon 1883–86 1872 1883–86 1872 1872 1872
Courthouse burned 1862, 1871; state census of 1876.
H7 Ripley Doniphan 63935 1833 Wayne 1883–97 1833 1883–93 1833 1856 1867
Courthouse burned during Civil War and 1898.
Rives 1834 (see Henry)
D7 St. Charles 201 N. Second St. P.O. Box 99 St. Charles 63302 1812 original 1867–90 1807 —— 1804 1805 1808
City Clerk has birth and death records 1883—1952.
F3 St. Clair 655 Second St. Osceola 64776 1841 Rives (now Henry) 1883–1903 1855 1883–90 1841 1865 1841
Courthouse burned 1861 and 1864.
F7 St. Francois Farmington 63640 1821 Jefferson/Ste. Genevieve/Washington 1883–93 1836 1883–90 1822 1822 1822
State census of 1876.
E7 St. Louis (City) 1200 Market St. St. Louis 63103 1804 (1764) (1876 became independent city separate from St. Louis County) 1825–* 1766 1825–* 1766 1766 1766
On August 22, 1876, St. Louis City separated from St. Louis County and began keeping its own records, also retaining all original St. Louis County records before 1876.
*Public Vital Records before State Recording: City of St. Louis Vital Records Division, City Health Department, 634 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63103. Some births and deaths were recorded back as far as 1825, but they are far from complete.
E7 St. Louis County 41 S. Central Ave. Clayton 63105 1812 original 1883–* 1876– 1883–* 1876 1876 1876
Note that all records of St. Louis County prior to 1876 are held by the City of St. Louis (see listing above).
*Public Vital Records before state recording: Vital Records Division, County Health Department, 111 S. Meramec, Clayton, MO 63105.
F7 Ste. Genevieve Ste. Genevieve 63670 1812 original 1883–92 1807 1883–92 1804* 1807 1804
State census 1868. *Also Misc. Records (Concessions, Contracts, Deeds, Slave Deeds) 1761— .
D3 Saline 101 W. Arrow Marshall 65340 1820 Cooper 1883–85 1835 1883–85 1821 1821 1821
Courthouse burned 1864 during Civil War.
B4 Schuyler Lancaster 63548 1845 Adair 1883–93 1845 1883–91 1845 1845 1846
State census 1880.
B5 Scotland 117 S. Market Memphis 63555 1841 Clark/Lewis/Shelby 1883–89 1841 1883–89 1836 1842 1841
G8 Scott 131 S. Winchester Benton 63736 1821 New Madrid 1883–86 1840 1883–86 1822 1825 1822
State census of 1876.
G6 Shannon Eminence 65466 1841 Ripley —— 1881 —— 1859 1869 1872
Courthouse burned during Civil War, 1871, 1895, and 1938.
C5 Shelby Shelbyville 63469 1835 Marion 1883–87 1835 1883–87 1835 1836 1835
Courthouse burned 1891.
H8 Stoddard 316 S. Prairie Bloomfield 63825 1835 New Madrid 1883–87 1863 1883–86 1835 1835 1835
Courthouse burned 1864 during Civil War.
H3 Stone 108 E. Fourth St. Galena 65656 1851 Taney —— 1851 —— 1854 1848 1851
B4 Sullivan 109 N. Main Milan 63556 1845 Linn 1835–71* 1845 1883–99 1845 1849 1845
Courthouse burned 1908. *Also birth records 1883—92.
H4 Taney 266-A Main St. Forsythe 65653 1837 Greene —— 1885 —— 1881 1888 1887
Courthouse burned 1885.
G5 Texas 210 N. Grand Ave. Houston 65483 1845 Shannon/Wright 1883–87 1855 1883–90 1843 1870 1858
Courthouse burned or damaged ~1850, destroyed during Civil War, burned 1881 and 1930. State census of 1876.
Van Buren 1835 (see Cass)
F2 Vernon 100 W. Cherry Nevada 64772 1855 Bates 1883–97 1855 1883–1904 1855 1855 1856
Courthouse burned 1863 during Civil War.
D6 Warren 104 W. Main Warrenton 63383 1833 Montgomery 1883–89 1833 1884–94 1833 1833 1833
F6 Washington 102 N. Missouri Potosi 63664 1813 Ste. Genevieve 1883–95 1815 1883–1976* 1813 1813 1819
*Records incomplete. Death records extant for 1883—95 and 1974—76 only.
Courthouse burned 1907.
G7 Wayne 109 Walnut Greenville 63944 1818 Cape Girardeau/Lawrence —— 1892 —— 1849 1869 1893
Courthouse burned 1853 or 1854 and 1892; some deeds re-recorded.
G4 Webster 100 Crittenden St. Marshfield 65706 1855 Greene 1883–93 1855 1883–84 1854 1856 1855
Courthouse burned 1863 during Civil War; damaged by tornado 1880. State census of 1868, 1876.
B2 Worth Fourth & Front St. Grant City 64456 1861 Gentry 1883–93 1861 1883–93 1849 1861 1861
Courthouse burned 1866. State census of 1876.
B4 Wright 125 Court Sq. Hartville 65667 1841 Pulaski —— 1897 —— 1853 1853 1895
Courthouse burned 1862 and 1863 during Civil War and 1896; damaged by tornado in 1888.