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
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
B4Adair106 W. Washington Kirksville 635011841Macon1883–931841——184118411841
Courthouse burned 1865.
B1AndrewSavannah 644851841Platte Purchase1883–9518411883–93184118411841
Arkansas1806 (abolished 1819; became Arkansas Territory)New Madrid
B1Atchison400 S. Washington Rock Port 644821845Platte Purchase/Holt1883–9318451883–93184518451845
D5Audrain101 N. Jefferson Mexico 652651836Callaway/Monroe/Ralls1883–8618371883–86183718371837
H3Barry700 Main Cassville 656251835Greene1883–8518371883–85183518351872
G2Barton1004 Gulf Lamar 647591855Jasper1883–9618661883–99185718661866
Courthouse burned 1862.
E2Bates1 N. Delaware Butler 647301841Van Buren (now Cass)1883–190718601883–93183918451858
Courthouse burned 1861.
E3Benton316 Van Buren Warsaw 653551835Pettis/Greene1883–9018391883–90183718361835
State census of 1876.
G7Bollinger204 High St. Marble Hill 637641851Cape Girardeau/Madison/Stoddard/Wayne1883–9118651883–92185118661866
Courthouse burned 1866, 1884.
D5Boone801 E. Walnut Columbia 652011820Howard——1821——182118211821
C1BuchananSt. Joseph 645011838Platte Purchase——18391883–93183918391839
H7ButlerPoplar Bluff 639011849Wayne1883–9318781883–93184918491849
C2CaldwellKingston 646501836Ray——1860——183518561859
Courthouse burned 1860, 1896.
D5CallawayFulton 652511820Boone/Howard/Montgomery1883–8818211883–88182118211821
State census of 1844 and 1876.
F4Camden1 Court Cir. Camdenton 650201841 ( as Kinderhook;renamed 1843)Benton/Morgan/Pulaski——1902——184919021902
Courthouse burned 1902. Some deeds were re-recorded in 1902.
G8Cape Girardeau1 Barton Sq. Jackson 637551812original1883–9318051883–93180518051815
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 .
C3Carroll8 S. Main Carrollton 64633 1833Ray1883–8518331883–90183318331833
H6CarterVan Buren 639651859Oregon/Reynolds/Ripley/Shannon——1861——184518591866
E2CassHarrisonville 64701 1835 (as Van Buren;renamed 1849)Jackson1883–19031836——183718351835
State census of 1876.
F3CedarStockton 657851845Dade/St. Clair1883–8918451883–86184518451845
C4Chariton306 S. Cherry St. Keytesville 652611820Howard1883–8718211883–87182618611820
County Court records burned 1861; courthouse burned 1864, 1973.
G3Christian100 W. Church St. Ozark 657211859Greene/Taney/Webster1840–190418661883–84186118641865
Courthouse burned 1865; state census of 1876.
Clark (present)1818 (abolished 1819 when it became part of Arkansas Territory)
B5Clark111 E. Court St. Kahoka 634451836Lewis1830–92; 18361883–92183318361837
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1830—40 and 1883—92 only.
D2ClayAdministration Bldg. Liberty 640681822Ray1883–8418221883–84182218221821
C2Clinton207 N. Main Plattsburg 644771833Clay1863–88; 18471883–88*183318331836
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1863—79 and 1883—88 only.
E5Cole311 E. High Jefferson City 651011820Cooper1883–190618211883–1906182118341821
D4Cooper200 Main St. Boonville 652331818Howard1883–9418191883–89181918191821
F6Crawford302 Main Steelville 655651829Gasconade1879–190318291883–91* 183218321831
*Death records extant for 1883—91 and 1942—43. Courthouse burned 1873, 1884.
G3DadeGreenfield 656611841Barry/Polk1883–8518631883–85184118411846
Courthouse burned 1863.
F4Dallas102 S. Cedar St. Buffalo 656221841 (as Niangua; name changed 1844)Polk1883–190818671883–1924186718671867
Courthouse burned 1863, 1864, 1867, 1955.
C2Daviess102 N. Main Gallatin 646401836Ray1883–9118371883–91183818901837
State census of 1876.
Decatur(see Ozark; name changed from Ozark 1843; changed back to Ozark 1845)
C2DeKalb109 W. Main Maysville 644691845Clinton1883–9318451883–91* 183618771856
*Death records extant for 1883—91 and 1942—43. Courthouse burned 1878.
F6Dent400 N. Main Salem 65560 1851Crawford/Shannon1883–8418511883–841851 (1866)18661866
Courthouse burned during Civil War and 1866; earlier deeds recreated.
Dodge1849/50 (abolished 1853; see Putnam)
H4DouglasAva 656081857Ozark——18771886–94185818861886
Courthouse burned 1882, 1886.
J8DunklinCourt Sq. Kennett 638571845Stoddard——1872——185918651872
Courthouse burned during Civil War and 1872; deeds 1872—76 recreated.
E6Franklin300 E. Main Union 630841818St. Louis1862–921819——181918191819
State census of 1876.
E6Gasconade119 E. First St. Hermann 650411820Franklin1867–9618221883–96182118251821
B2Gentry200 W. Clay St. Albany 644021845Clinton1883–9318851883–931885*1885*1885*
Courthouse destroyed by windstorm 1883. Incomplete sporadic records before 1885.
G3Greene940 Boonville Springfield 658021833Crawford/Wayne1883–190118331883–1902183318301833
Courthouse burned 1861; state census of 1844 and 1876.
B3Grundy700 Main St. Trenton 646831841Livingston1847–93* 18411883–93184118631841
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1847—66 and 1883—93 only.
B2Harrison1505 Main St. Bethany 644241845Daviess1883–8918451883–93184518531845
Courthouse burned 1874.|
Hempstead1818 (abolished 1819; became part of Arkansas Territory)New Madrid
E3HenryClinton 647351834 (as Rives; renamed 1841)Lillard (now Lafayette)1883–901835scattered183518341835
F3HickoryHermitage 656681845Benton/Polk1883–9818721883–89184618451845
Courthouse burned 1852, ~1860, and 1881.
B1Holt102 W. Nodaway Oregon 644731841 (as Nodaway; renamed 1841)Platte Purchase1883–8918411883–89184118371841
Courthouse burned 1965; state census of 1876.
D4Howard1 Courthouse Sq. Fayette 652481816St. Charles/St. Louis1883–9318161883–88181618181816
Courthouse burned 1886, 1975; state census of 1876.
H5Howell1 Courthouse West Plains 657751857Oregon1883–9518671883–95186618621857
Courthouse burned 1866.
F7Iron250 S. Main St. Ironton 636501857Madison/Reynolds/ St. Francois/Washington/Wayne1883–9618571883–87181418571857
State census of 1876.
D2Jackson415 E. 12th St. Kansas City 64106 and 200 S. Main Independence 640501826Lillard (now Lafayette)1883–9518271883–93182718281828
G2Jasper302 S. Main Carthage 648361841Barry1883–190018411883–97184118411841
Courthouse burned 1863.
E7JeffersonHillsboro 630501818St. Louis/Ste. Genevieve1883–9218251883–92181918201819
E3Johnson300 N. Holden Warrensburg 640931834Lillard (now Lafayette)1883–9418351883–94183218351835
Kinderhook1841 (changed to Camden 1843)Benton/Pulaski/Morgan
B5KnoxEdina 635371845Scotland1883–193918451883–93184518451845
F4LacledeLaclede County Government Center Lebanon 655361849Camden/Pulaski/Wright1883–931855——184918481845
D3Lafayette1001 Main Lexington 640671820 (as Lillard; renamed 1825)Cooper——1821——182018211821
Lawrence1815 (abolished 1819; became part of Arkansas Territory)New Madrid
G3Lawrence1 Courthouse Sq. Mt. Vernon 657121845Barry/Dade1883–9318451883–93184518431845
Courthouse burned 1895.
B5LewisMonticello 634571833Marion1883–8718331883–87183318331833
D6LincolnTroy 633791818St. Charles——18251883–84181918201819
C4LinnLinneus 646531837Chariton1822–1907*18571883–87183618401837
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1822—88 and 1907 only.
C3Livingston700 Webster St. Chillicothe 646011837Carroll1883–9118371883–90183718371837
H2McDonaldPineville 648561849 (as Seneca)Newton1856–941865——185318651855
Courthouse burned 1863; deeds before 1863 recreated. State census of 1876.
C4Macon101 E. Washington Macon 635521837Chariton/Randolph1883–9318371883–93183718381837
G7Madison1 Courthouse Sq. Fredericktown 636451818Cape Girardeau/Ste. Genevieve1883–190018211883–1900181918211827
F5Maries211 Fourth St. Vienna 655821855Osage/Pulaski1883–8418691883 only185518661866
Courthouse burned 1868.
C5MarionPalmyra 634611826Ralls1883–90*18271883–89*182718271827
*Also births 1927—30 and deaths 1927—30.
B3Mercer802 Main St. Princeton 646731845Grundy1883–9418981883–94184618491868
Courthouse burned 1898.
E4Miller256 High St. Tuscumbia 650821837Cole/Pulaski1883–9118371883–1904183718371837
H8MississippiCharleston 638341845Scott——1845——182318451845
Courthouse burned 1891, 1997.
E4MoniteauCalifornia 650181845Cole/Morgan1883–9418451883–87184518451845
State census of 1876.
C5Monroe300 N. Main Paris 652751831Ralls1883–8518311883–85183118321831
Courthouse burned 1861.
D6MontgomeryMontgomery City 633611818St. Charles——186418391889
Courthouse burned 1864, 1901; copies of the original early deeds are at Jones Abstract Company in Montgomery City. State census 1876.
E4Morgan100 E. Newton St. Versailles 650841833Cooper1841–86 18331883–86183718341833
*Records incomplete. Birth records extant for 1841—63 and 1883—86 only.
Courthouse burned 1887.
H8New MadridNew Madrid 638691812original——1847——180518001805
H2NewtonNeosho 648501838Barry1883–8518651883–85183918391939
Courthouse destroyed during Civil War.
Niangua1841 (renamed Dallas, 1844)Polk
B1Nodaway305 N. Main Maryville 644681845Andrew1883–9018451883–93184518451845
H6OregonAlton 656061845Ripley1883–901845–77*1883–89184518541845–72†
*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.
E5OsageLinn 650511841Gasconade1883–9818411883–94184118411841
Courthouse burned 1880 and 1922; state census of 1876.
H4OzarkGainesville 656551841 (renamed Decatur, 1843; renamed Ozark, 1845)Taney1884–9018581887–89185818651858
Courthouse burned 1858 or 1859, 1865, 1934, and 1937.
J8Pemiscot610 Ward Ave. Caruthersville 638301851New Madrid1883–841882——188118651883
Courthouse burned 1882. Deed index from 1833 survived fire.
F8Perry321 N. Main Perryville 637751820Ste. Genevieve1883–9418301883–94182118211821
State census of 1876.
E3PettisSedalia 653011833Cooper/Saline1883–8518331883–85183318331833
F5Phelps200 N. Main Rolla 654011857Crawford1883–9018571883–90185718581857
State census of 1876.
C6PikeBowling Green 633341818St. Charles1883–841825181918251819
Courthouse burned 1864 and 1915.
C1Platte415 Third St. Platte City 640791838Platte Purchase1883–8718391883–87183918391839
Courthouse destroyed 1861 during Civil War.
F3PolkBolivar 656131835Greene1872–190018361883–90183718351836
F5Pulaski301 Historic 66 East Waynesville 65583Crawford——1903——190318331834
Courthouse burned 1903.
B4PutnamUnionville 635651845Adair/Sullivan1878–190718491887–1907184718531855
C6RallsNew London 634591820Pike1883–9318211883–86182118211821
C4RandolphHuntsville 652591829Chariton/Ralls1883–8918291883–89184118291858
Courthouse burned 1882 and 1955. Deed index from 1829 survived fire.
D2RayRichmond 640851820Howard1883–9018201883–89182018211821
G6ReynoldsCenterville 636331845Shannon1883–8618721883–86187218721872
Courthouse burned 1862, 1871; state census of 1876.
H7RipleyDoniphan 639351833Wayne1883–9718331883–93183318561867
Courthouse burned during Civil War and 1898.
Rives1834 (see Henry)
D7St. Charles201 N. Second St. P.O. Box 99 St. Charles 633021812original1867–901807——180418051808
City Clerk has birth and death records 1883—1952.
F3St. Clair655 Second St. Osceola 647761841Rives (now Henry)1883–190318551883–90184118651841
Courthouse burned 1861 and 1864.
F7St. FrancoisFarmington 636401821Jefferson/Ste. Genevieve/Washington1883–9318361883–90182218221822
State census of 1876.
E7St. Louis (City)1200 Market St. St. Louis 631031804 (1764)(1876 became independent city separate from St. Louis County)1825–*17661825–*176617661766
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.
E7St. Louis County41 S. Central Ave. Clayton 631051812original1883–*1876–1883–*187618761876
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.
F7Ste. GenevieveSte. Genevieve 636701812original1883–9218071883–921804*18071804
State census 1868. *Also Misc. Records (Concessions, Contracts, Deeds, Slave Deeds) 1761— .
D3Saline101 W. Arrow Marshall 653401820Cooper1883–8518351883–85182118211821
Courthouse burned 1864 during Civil War.
B4SchuylerLancaster 635481845Adair1883–9318451883–91184518451846
State census 1880.
B5Scotland117 S. Market Memphis 635551841Clark/Lewis/Shelby1883–8918411883–89183618421841
G8Scott131 S. Winchester Benton 637361821New Madrid1883–8618401883–86182218251822
State census of 1876.
G6ShannonEminence 654661841Ripley——1881——185918691872
Courthouse burned during Civil War, 1871, 1895, and 1938.
C5ShelbyShelbyville 634691835Marion1883–8718351883–87183518361835
Courthouse burned 1891.
H8Stoddard316 S. Prairie Bloomfield 638251835New Madrid1883–8718631883–86183518351835
Courthouse burned 1864 during Civil War.
H3Stone108 E. Fourth St. Galena 656561851Taney——1851——185418481851
B4Sullivan109 N. Main Milan 635561845Linn1835–71*18451883–99184518491845
Courthouse burned 1908. *Also birth records 1883—92.
H4Taney266-A Main St. Forsythe 656531837Greene——1885——188118881887
Courthouse burned 1885.
G5Texas210 N. Grand Ave. Houston 654831845Shannon/Wright1883–8718551883–90184318701858
Courthouse burned or damaged ~1850, destroyed during Civil War, burned 1881 and 1930. State census of 1876.
Van Buren1835 (see Cass)
F2Vernon100 W. Cherry Nevada 647721855Bates1883–9718551883–1904185518551856
Courthouse burned 1863 during Civil War.
D6Warren104 W. Main Warrenton 633831833Montgomery1883–8918331884–94183318331833
F6Washington102 N. Missouri Potosi 636641813Ste. Genevieve1883–9518151883–1976* 181318131819
*Records incomplete. Death records extant for 1883—95 and 1974—76 only.
Courthouse burned 1907.
G7Wayne109 Walnut Greenville 639441818Cape Girardeau/Lawrence——1892——184918691893
Courthouse burned 1853 or 1854 and 1892; some deeds re-recorded.
G4Webster100 Crittenden St. Marshfield 657061855Greene1883–9318551883–84185418561855
Courthouse burned 1863 during Civil War; damaged by tornado 1880. State census of 1868, 1876.
B2WorthFourth & Front St. Grant City 644561861Gentry1883–9318611883–93184918611861
Courthouse burned 1866. State census of 1876.
B4Wright125 Court Sq. Hartville 656671841Pulaski——1897——185318531895
Courthouse burned 1862 and 1863 during Civil War and 1896; damaged by tornado in 1888.
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