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Missouri Public Records

   
      First Name Last Name  
How To Search Public and Vital Records - Vital records are records of life events important enough that some level of government acquires, organizes, and preserves them. While the term "vital records" is often applied to a wide variety of life events... Read more
 
Missouri Vital Records
Vital records were kept on a statewide basis beginning in August, 1909. The city of St. Louis, however, began recording deaths in 1850 and births in 1870. It is estimated that about 60% compliance was met in these earlier recordings for that city. Marriage records are recorded with the county Recorder of Deeds.
For birth and death records after August, 1909, write:
Missouri Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

For marriage records, and for birth and death records before August, 1909, write to the recorder of deeds of the county in question.
For earlier births and deaths in St. Louis, write:
St. Louis Vital Records
P.O. Box 14702
St. Louis, MO 63178

Missouri Land Records
Missouri is a federal-land state. Lands were generally bought from the government or from other individuals. The original records of the United States Land Sales have been microfilmed on seventeen rolls and are located in Record Group 5 at the Missouri State Archives. A complete name index is on each roll. Though the tract books for the state are claimed "lost" by various sources, a duplicate is found at the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office in Springfield, Virginia. Land-entry case files for government patents are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.. Early settlers in Missouri also received land under Spanish and French governments. Case files for most private land claims (the settling of property ownership by the government of the United States for lands previously acquired under a different sovereign) are housed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and at the Missouri State Archives.
The Missouri State Archives also holds other land records of interest to the genealogical researcher, including an alphabetical index to War of 1812 military lands of north Missouri. For transactions between individuals, consult the county Recorder of Deeds. For further reference:
United States Congress. Missouri Land Claims. Reprint. New Orleans: Polyanthos Press.
Lowrie, Walter. Early Settlers of Missouri as Taken From Land Claims in the Missouri Territory. 1834. Reprint. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1986.
"Missouri's Public Domain: United States Land Sales, 1819-1922" Archives Information Bulletin, Vol. II, No. 3 (July 1980) produced by the Office of the Missouri Secretary of State.
Hone, E. Wade. Land and Property Research in the United States. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, Inc., 1997.

Missouri Court Records
Court records entail probate records, guardianship, naturalization, and a wide variety of other sources. It should be remembered that there are different levels of jurisdiction for courts in the United States, all of which should be considered for research under various circumstances. Court of Common Pleas, Orphan's Court, Probate Court, District Court, Superior Court, and Supreme Court. See: "Research in Court Records" by Arlene H. Eakle, found in Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds., The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, rev. ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).

Missouri Military Records
Most military related records are now housed at the Missouri State Archives, where service records are indexed and maintained for the following wars: War of 1812, Indian Wars (1832-38), Seminole War (1837) Mormon War (1838), Iowa or Honey War (1839), Mexican War (1846-7), and Civil War—both Union and Confederate. Confederate pension applications and application for admission to the Confederate Homes are also among these holdings. Accumulated files number approximately one-half of the reported 40,000 men who served from Missouri. Alphabetical indexes for the Spanish-American War (1898) are also extant. Records subsequent to 1917 including those from World War I (1917-19), Missouri National Guard (1900-40) and World War II (1941-45) remain in the Office of the Adjutant General.
For further information, consult:
Neagles, James C. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, Inc., 1994.
Eakin, Joanne Chiles. Confederate Records from the United Daughters of the Confederacy Files. Independence, MO: Kathleen Wilham Research, 1995-. (Multi-volume)

Additional Sources
March, Daniel. The History of Missouri. 4 vols. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1967. (Volumes 3 and 4 contain personal and family records.)
Meyer, Duane. The Heritage of Missouri. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1967.
(If there is room available, I need to get one more reference here that is a brand new book.)


Missouri Vital Records:

Event: Birth or death

Cost of copy: $10.00

Address:
Missouri Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records
930 Wildwood
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

Remarks: State office has had records since January 1910. Certified copies of most Missouri birth and death records are also available from local county health department or the St. Louis City or Kansas City Health Departments. For details, please contact these offices directly. If event occurred in St. Louis (City), St. Louis County, or Kansas City before 1910, write to the city or county Health Department. Copies of these records are $10.00 each in St. Louis City and St. Louis County. In Kansas City, the fee is $6.00 for the first copy and $3.00 for each additional copy ordered at same time. Computer issued copies containing the state certification are $10.00 each.

Check or money order should be made payable to Missouri Department of Health. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees on birth and death records, the telephone number is (573) 751-6400. Information on how to obtain certified copies is also available via the internet at Missouri Department of Health.

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Event: Marriage (State)

Cost of copy: No fee

Address:
Missouri Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records
930 Wildwood
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

Remarks: Indexes since July 1948. Correspondent will be referred to appropriate Recorder of Deeds in county where license was issued.


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Event: Marriage (county)

Cost of copy: Varies

Address: See remarks

Remarks: Recorder of Deeds in county where license was issued.


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Event: Divorce (State)

Cost of copy: No fee

Address:
Missouri Department of Health
Bureau of Vital Records
930 Wildwood
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570

Remarks: Indexes since July 1948. Certified copies are not available from State Health Department. Inquiries will be forwarded to appropriate office.


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Event: Divorce (county)

Cost of copy: Varies

Address: See remarks

Remarks: Clerk of Circuit Court in county where divorce was granted.

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