Missouri Tax Records

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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 Missouri Historical Society has some original tax records; others can be found in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri, but most extant records remain in the office of the clerk of the county court. The Missouri State Archives has microfilmed some tax records for quite a few counties. A researcher can determine which county records exist by first searching the Archives Local Records Inventory Database at www.sos.mo.gov/CountyInventory and then look at the Archives Roll-by-Roll Listing by County at www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/county/croll.asp to find out if the records are available on microfilm.

Prior to 1850, purchasers of the federal lands in Missouri were exempt from land taxes for five years after purchase. If one finds an ancestor on a Missouri tax list with livestock, etc., but no land being taxed, the individual may have purchased his land from the government within the preceding five years.

Some early delinquent tax lists were sent to the state auditor’s office and are now located in the Capitol Fire Documents held by the Missouri State Archives (see Missouri Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections below).

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