Missouri Digital Heritage :: Collections :: County Records on Microfilm :: Description of Record Series

Description of Record Series

The following county and municipal record series descriptions have been included to help the user make maximum use of the records listed in Part II. The series are arranged by office of origin and reflect the statutory duties of each county official.


Recorder of Deeds

Direct index to deeds: Abstract of and index to record of deeds, including warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, sheriff's deeds, guardians' deeds, administrators' and executors' deeds, railroad deeds, miscellaneous deeds, deeds of trust, and deeds of release. Gives the name(s) of the grantor and grantee, date and nature of instrument, consideration, description of property, date filed, and volume and page number where record may be found. Arranged alphabetically by the surname of the grantor.

Indirect index to deeds: Same as the DIRECT INDEX except arranged alphabetically by the surname of the grantee.

Record of deeds: Transcript of deeds conveying real estate. Gives name of grantor and grantee, description and location of property, consideration, dates of transfer and filing, acknowledgment, and certificate of recorder. Includes warranty deeds, quitclaim deeds, deeds of trust, sheriff's deeds, etc. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Warranty deed record: Record of deeds conveying and warranting title in fee simple to real estate, showing date of deed, names of grantor and grantee, consideration, description and location of property, signature of grantor(s), acknowledgment, date filed, and certificate of recorder. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Administrators' deeds: Record of appraisal and sale of property of deceased persons by administrators, giving name of estate, date of appraisement and sale, consideration, description of property, authority to sell, name of administrator, date and time filed, and certificate of recorder. Arranged chronologically.

Quitclaim deed record: Record of transfers of interest in or title to real property without granting title. Gives same information as WARRANTY DEED RECORD. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Sheriff's deed record: Deeds to real estate sold by sheriff at public auction, showing date and place of sale, description and location of property, consideration, grantee, and parties to execution, acknowledgment, date filed, and certificate of recorder.

Index to mortgages: Direct and/or indirect indexes to mortgage records, showing name of mortgagor and mortgagee, serial number, nature and date of instrument, dates filed and recorded, amount of debt, and date and manner of satisfaction. Arranged alphabetically.

Mortgage records: Record of direct conveyances of real estate from debtors to creditors to secure the payment of indebtedness and giving grantee the power to sell in the event of default, showing names of grantor and grantee, date of instrument, amount of debt secured and how evidenced, date of maturity, terms and conditions of sale, disposition of proceeds, acknowledgment of grantor, date and time of filing, name of recorder; if satisfied by payment or quitclaim, signature of payee and acknowledgment and certification by recorder. Arranged chronologically.

School fund mortgage record: Record of mortgages given to secure repayment of money loaned from school funds, showing date of instrument, names of mortgagor and mortgagee, description and location of property, amount and terms of loan maturity, rate of interest, names of witnesses, statutory acknowledgment, date and time filed, and certificate of recorder.

Chattel mortgage record: Original mortgages covering personal property filed with recorder, showing serial number, date, names of mortgagor and mortgagee, description of property, amount and conditions of note, maturity, signatures of mortgagor and recorder, and date and time file.

Deeds of trust: Record of conveyances of real estate to a trustee as security for the repayment of money loaned, showing date; names of grantor, grantee, trustee, and beneficiary; description and amount of note; description and location of property; terms of instrument; maturity; acknowledgment; date filed; and certificate of recorder. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Plat book: Plat book shows location of all land in county by section/township/range numbers and in towns and cities by lot and block numbers, with name of owner and road and school district in which located, number of acres or dimensions or tract or lot, and survey number.

Index to marriage record: Gives name of contracting parties, date filed, volume and page where recorded. May include license number for later years. Usually arranged alphabetically by surname of groom and then alphabetically by surname of bride.

Marriage record: Record of marriages performed, giving name and residence of contracting parties, date of marriage, signature of party officiating, date of filing, and certificate of recorder. Arranged chronologically by date filed. Parental consent in noted for parties under age, but the name of the parent consenting is rarely given. Later records include marriage license and certificate of marriage.

Application for marriage licenses: Applications for license to marry, showing date, names, residences, and ages of contracting parties, consent of parent or guardian of minor, and signatures of applicants.

Register of marriage licenses: Record of certificates of marriages performed and marriage licenses issued and returns on same, giving names, ages, witnesses person officiating, residences of both parties, name and address of parent or guardian, and date and place of ceremony. Arranged chronologically.

Negro and Colored marriage record: Record of marriages of persons of color, held as slaves in the State of Missouri prior to 1865 and who lived together as husband and wife. Gives name of parties, date and place of ceremony, certificate of officer performing ceremony, names of living children and of descendants of deceased children of the parties born before the ceremony of marriage, and date recorded. Arranged chronologically by date filed and usually indexed within the volume. If not listed separately, Negro marriages are included in the MARRIAGE RECORD, noted above.

Military discharge records: Record of certification of discharge from the armed services giving name, enlistment record, date and reason for discharge, physical description, places of residence and service, name of commanding officer, date of filing, and certificate of recorder. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Selective Service records: An alphabetical record indicating registration number by local board; name, address, occupation, date of birth; date of induction and where, branch of services, military serial number; nearest relative or friend, reason for exemption.

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Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas and Chancery Court

Index to common pleas:v Index to Court of Common Pleas showing names of plaintiff and defendant, style and number of case, and volume and page. Arranged alphabetically by name of plaintiff.

Record of common pleas: Record of all proceedings of Court of Common Pleas prepared from minute book, showing date, term of court, officials in attendance, style and number of case, motions head, orders granted, judgments entered, all other action taken by court, and adjournment. Arranged chronologically.

Chancery minute book: Proceedings in cases tried before circuit court in chancery without jury, giving title and number of case, term of court, date, action taken, and signature of chancellor. Arranged chronologically.

Minutes of oyer and terminer: Minutes of the proceedings at a court of oyer and terminer before judges of the general court of the Territory of Louisiana and Court of Common Pleas. These are the daily proceedings during the term of court, as recorded by the Clerk. Indicates orders and actions taken.

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Clerk of the County Court

Permanent record of births: A permanent record of births, giving the name of child, date and place of birth, sex, and race; nationality, residence, and ages of parents, occupation and full name of father, maiden name of mother, name and address of medical or other attendant making return; in case of stillbirth, name of undertaker and place of burial. Arranged alphabetically by surname of the child.

Register of births and stillbirths: A register of births and stillbirths, giving name of child, date and place of birth, sex, and race; nationality, residence, and ages of parents, occupation and full name of father, maiden name of mother, name and address of medical or other attendant making return; in case of stillbirth, name of undertaker and place of burial. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Permanent record of deaths: A permanent record of death, giving date of report, name, sex, color, age, occupation, marital status, nationality, birthplace; date, place, and cause of death; date and place of burial, addresses of undertaker, physician returning certificate. Arranged alphabetically by surname of deceased.

Register of deaths: A record showing date of report, name, sex, color, age, occupation, marital status, nationality, birthplace; date, place, and cause of death; date and place of burial, addresses of undertaker, physician returning certificate. Arranged alphabetically by surname of deceased. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

County court record: Record of proceedings of the county court, showing date and place of meeting, names of officials present, actions taken on all county business, adjournment, signature of presiding judge. Arranged chronologically by date of meeting.

Right-of-way and Road records: Transcript of instruments releasing and quitclaiming to the State right-of-way for State highways. Shows date; name of grantor; the State of Missouri as grantee; description of land by section, township, and range number; range and road district numbers; signature of grantor; acknowledgment; date filed; recorder's certificate. Arranged chronologically.

Road contracts and specifications: Estimates from the Missouri State Highway Department regarding the construction or repair of roads. Includes specifications for job, definitions of terms, bid instructions, and general provisions. Arranged chronologically.

Road records: Petitions for the development of new roads, indicating description of planned road, name and township of persons signing petition, date. Includes order for surveyor, report of Commissioner of Roads; survey notes including marks of survey, course, distance in rods, township/range maps. Also includes appointment of commissioners to assess damage, notes, oaths, date of report. Arranged chronologically.

Surveyor's record: Field notes and plats made by the county surveyor. Shows number and date of survey; for whom made; chainmen sworn; points established; section, township, range, and principal meridian numbers; signature and seal of presiding judge; attestation by county clerk; date recorded, and signature of recorder. Arranged chronologically.

County treasurer's records: May include any records kept by the county treasurer as required by law. Types of records may include cash books, treasurer's ledgers, accounts with banks, returned checks, bond records, records of revenue collected, township school funds, school bond records, treasurer's apportionment records, treasurer's road fund records, fees and costs.

Bond and commission record: Record of commissions issued and bonds given by public officials. Gives date of commission; title of office; term; name of issuing officer; date and copy of oath; date, amount, and condition of bond; names of principal and sureties; signatures of presiding judge and county clerk. Arranged chronologically by date of filing.

Record of marks and brands: Complete record of marks and brands for livestock. Gives name and address of owner, description of brand or mark, filing date and signature of clerk of county court. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Wolf scalp receipts: Record of bounties paid on wolf scalps, showing date, by whom, number presented, amount of bounty paid, to whom, date or term of court when paid. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Estray record: Record of stray livestock taken up. Gives oath of finder, date taken up and where, name of township, kind of animal, marks and descriptions, date of affidavit, certificate of appraisers, appraised value, proof of publication, names of finder and appraiser. Signature of justice of the peace. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

Assessment records: Records of assessments against real estate, showing name of owner, number of acres, legal description of property, amounts of various state and county levies, original valuation by assessor and as adjusted by boards of equalization, total amount to tax, date assessed, affidavit by county assessor certifying that assessments are in accordance with sworn declarations of persons assessed and embrace all taxable land in the county.

Tax books: Record of real and personal property taxes, giving name, description of property, total valuation by assessor and county and state boards of equalization, allocation to various state and county funds, total tax, date paid.

Almshouse inmates: List of persons admitted to the almshouse, indicating the following information: name of inmate, personal description (race, date of birth, marital status, sex), number of children, place of birth, nativity and parent nativity, occupation, date of admission and cause, physical or mental impairment, date of final discharge. Arranged chronologically.

Board of Health minutes: Miscellaneous papers regarding the duties of the County Board of Health, including quarantine records, notices of attending influenza patients, list of physicians in the county, minutes of the County Board of Health, and medical pamphlets. Arranged in chronological order.

Building commission files: Records and reports containing information about development sites, including construction costs, name of subdivision, contractor information, and building specifications. Also includes legal land description of site. Arranged numerically.

vChiropractic licenses: Record of licensed chiropractors with certificates issued by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Shows name, date filed for record, signature of deputy clerk, and signature of circuit court clerk. Arranged chronologically.

County Textbook Commission: Includes records kept in conformity with County Uniformity Textbook Law, Session Act 1907. Indicates members of commission, by whom appointed, beginning and ending dates of term. Also includes official list of books adopted for use in the county schools with the following information: author, title, publisher, price, date adopted, and date adoption expires. Minutes of commission meetings are included.

County Ward book: Record of commitments to county institutions, such as county poor farms, etc., indicating name of institution and the following information: name of resident, date of order from court to commit, date of admission, date of discharge/furlough/release, date of return, remarks. These records are primarily for the pre-1940 period. Arranged chronologically.

Dentist certificates (registration): Certificates issued by the State Board of Dental Examiners, indicating name of person practicing, county of residence, diploma received, name of school or university granting diploma, date, names of State Board of Dental Examiners. Arranged chronologically.

Ditch records: Records maintained by the drainage district noting where problems occurred, court orders for improvements, proceedings, and actions taken. Includes dates and possibly contracts. Arranged chronologically.

Embalmers licenses: Record of licensed embalmers, indicating name and date of license, and signatures of state board of examiners. Arranged chronologically.

Farm Name Register: Chronological register of farm names, indicating name of owner, registered name of farm, and legal land description of farm.

Federal Relief records: Administrative papers pertaining to the work of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, a federal relief organization, in Missouri. The papers include applications, reports, and instructions for implementing the programs.

Forfeited list book: A list of lands and town lots against which judgment was rendered by the County Court for taxes, interests, and costs due thereon as stated, and which were exposed to public sale according to law, and, for want of bidders, were then forfeited to the State for nonpayment of taxes; and the records of all sales, redemptions, and subsequent proceedings related thereto. Includes name, quantity of land and legal land description, years for which taxes are due, valuation, taxes due certain funds, interest to date of judgment, sale or redemption.

Loyalty oaths: Series of questions answered under oath. The oaths were devised under the Missouri Constitution of 1865 ("Drake Constitution"), and designed to determine where a person's loyalty had been during the Civil War. The questions concerned personal background information and activities during the war years.

Register of nurses and attendants: Register of licenses indicating name, residence, date and place of birth, license number, date of license, date registered, and remarks. Arranged alphabetically.

Pharmacist certificates (registration): Certificates issued by the State Board of Pharmacy, indicating name of person performing duties of pharmacist, stating that evidence of qualification was submitted to State Board, date the certificate was issued, names of commissioners, signature of county clerk. Arranged chronologically.

Poll road tax books: Record indicating district, township, and section numbers in an account book kept by the road overseer, showing date and debit for poll road tax. Arranged chronologically.

Poll tax book: Alphabetical listing of name, poll tax due, when paid, receipt number, manner of payment (money or labor), amount delinquent, and remarks.

School enumeration records: Enumeration record indicating name of parent/guardian, post office address, name of student, sex, date of birth, age when enumeration taken.

Special execution record: A list of lands and town lots against which judgment was rendered by the County Court, which were ordered to be sold, according to law, for taxes, interest, penalties, and costs due. Gives name, quantity, description of property sold, years for which taxes are due, taxes due to certain funds, total interest to date of judgment, costs. Also includes name to whom sold and quantity sold; redemption by whom, date, amount paid; and deeded to whom. Indicates carried to forfeited list, and book and page where recorded. Arranged chronologically.

Survey land: Records of survey notes and plat drawings indicating name, date, surveyed for whom, and book and page where recorded.

Swampland: An abstract of declaratory statements of settlers on swamp and overflowed lands, indicating name of settler, date of filing, date of settlement, parts of section, legal land description, paid or due. Arranged chronologically.

Warrant register: Ledger book of distributions made by the County Court. Includes name of person paid and amount. There is no indication of transaction purpose. Arranged chronologically.

Water district papers: Working papers of Public Water Supply districts, including maps of the district, working papers for equipment, water system study, minutes of meetings, contracts, correspondence, and financial statements. Arranged chronologically.

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Justice of the Peace

Justice of the Peace docket: Record indicating actions heard by the Justice of the Peace. Includes attorneys, parties to action, nature of proceedings, justice fees, constable fees, witness and juror fees, record of proceedings, actions taken, and township and county where located. Arranged chronologically.

Justice of the Peace records: Docket book indicating style of case, date, proceedings of the court, and actions taken. Arranged chronologically.

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Clerk of the Circuit Court

Naturalization petitions (included in record)/Petitions for citizenship: Petitions for foreign-born persons to be admitted as citizens of the United States. Gives name of petitioner, residence, occupation, date and place of birth, point of emigration, date and port of arrival, name of vessel, date and place of filing original declaration, marital status (if married, gives wife's name, place of birth, and residence, as well as number of children, date and place of birth, and residence of each), oath of allegiance, time of residence in the United States, certificate of Department of Labor, date of petition, prayer, signature of petitioner, circuit court's action.

Naturalization record/Declaration of intention: Original declarations of intention to become a citizen of the United States, filed in circuit court by foreign-born persons. Gives name of applicant, age, personal description, occupation, place and date of birth, race, present address, point of emigration, name of vessel, last foreign residence, oath of allegiance, date and port of arrival, signatures of declarant and circuit clerk. Also includes petitions. Arranged chronologically.

Certificates of naturalization: Stubs of certificates of naturalization issued to accepted petitioners. Gives certificate number, name and age of applicant, date of petition; name, age, and address of wife; names, ages, and addresses of minor children; date of court order and signature of applicant. Arranged numerically by certificate number.

Certificate of declaration and allegiance: Certificates of declaration and allegiance to the United States by persons desiring to become citizens. Gives name of applicant, date of certificate, place of birth, date of entry into United States, oath, acknowledgment, signature and seal of circuit clerk, date filed. Arranged chronologically.

Citizenship petitions granted: Record of certificates of naturalization issued to accepted petitioners. Gives certificate number, name and age of petitioner, petition number and date, change of name granted, date of court order, signature of circuit judge. Arranged chronologically or numerically by certificate number.

Index to civil and criminal papers (case files): Alphabetical index for all circuit court cases filed. Gives date filed, term of court, names of plaintiff and defendant, case number and where filed. Arranged alphabetically; Civil cases by name of plaintiff and criminal cases by name of defendant.

Direct and indirect index to circuit court record: Alphabetical index gives names of parties, number of case, term of court, date, volume, and page where recorded. Plaintiff and defendant names are arranged alphabetically.

General direct index: Abstract of and alphabetical index to circuit court civil case records and files. Contains references to case files, circuit court record, order of publication, divorces, adoption record. Gives number of case, names of plaintiff and defendant, date and cause of action, final disposition, volume and page where proceedings and fees are recorded, and designation of location where files are maintained. Arranged alphabetically by surname of plaintiff.

Index to circuit court records: Alphabetical index to circuit court record; juvenile court record; judgment docket; abstract of executions; fee books (civil and criminal); and tax fee books. Gives title and number of case, date of filing, cause of action, volume and page where recorded, and final disposition. Arranged alphabetically by title of case.

Direct and indirect index to circuit court record: Alphabetical index gives name of parties, number of case, term of court, date, volume and page where recorded. Plaintiff and defendant names arranged alphabetically.

Index to criminal records: Alphabetical index to criminal case records and files in circuit court. Contains references to case files, circuit court records. Gives case number, name of defendant, nature of offense, volume and page where proceedings and costs are recorded, dispositions, date and location of files. Arranged alphabetically by name of defendant.

Minutes circuit court, minutes of circuit court-civil division, minutes of circuit court-criminal division, minute books, circuit court minutes: Proceedings noted at sessions of the circuit court, later transferred to the circuit court record. Includes date, officials in attendance, style and number of case, proceedings, adjournment. Arranged chronologically.

Circuit court record, Circuit court record-criminal division, Criminal court record: Permanent record of proceedings of circuit court civil and criminal cases. Includes terms of court, date, officials in attendance, number and style of case, detailed statement in formal language of any proceedings, motions, judgments, actions taken, adjournment. Arranged chronologically.

Abstract of circuit court record: Abstract of civil and criminal cases in circuit court. Gives number of case, names of parties, type of action, pleadings, motions, judgments rendered, book and page where recorded. Arranged numerically by case number.

Index to judgment docket, Index to judgment and decree docket: Alphabetical index to judgment docket (abstract). Gives date, name of judgment debtor, number of case, volume and page where recorded. Arranged alphabetically by name of judgment debtor.

Judgment docket (abstract), Judgment and decree docket: Abstract record of final judgments and decrees rendered in circuit court. Gives number of case, names of plaintiff and defendant, term of court, date and nature of judgment or decree, amount of debt, damages or costs, entry or satisfaction or other disposition. May also contain abstracts of executions. Arranged chronologically.

Judgment docket: Record of all judgments rendered in circuit court. Gives date, style and number of case, in whose favor and against whom rendered, amount of judgment, book and page where recorded. Arranged chronologically. Indexed alphabetically by name of judgment debtor.

Circuit court record (divorce): Record of divorces granted. Gives term, date, names of plaintiff and defendant, case number, proceedings, and disposition of case. Arranged chronologically.

Record of the minutes: Proceedings of territorial court indicating date, style of case, and proceedings of court. Arranged chronologically.

Territorial records: Records indicating term of court, plaintiff, defendant, description of proceedings, and actions taken. Arranged chronologically.

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Clerk of the Probate Court

General index to probate court records: Numerical index to and abstract of estates. Index contains citations to PROBATE COURT PAPERS, PROBATE COURT RECORD, EXECUTORS BONDS, LETTERS TESTAMENTARY, INVENTORIES, SALE BILLS, AND GUARDIAN AND CURATOR APPOINTMENTS. Gives name and number of estate, term, date, nature of proceedings, court orders, volume and page where recorded, date filed. Arranged numerically by estate number.

Index to general index to probate court records: Alphabetical index of estates. Gives name and number of estate, volume and page number in the general index. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Index to probate court record: Alphabetical index showing name and number of estate, volume and page where entry is recorded. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Index to probate papers/Index to files: Alphabetical index to probate court files. Gives name and number of estate, name of person appointed to administer estate, dates of appointment and discharge, location of files. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Probate minute book: Memoranda of proceedings of the probate court noted at sessions and later transferred to PROBATE COURT RECORD. Gives term, date of session, name and number of estate; name of executor, administrator, guardian, or curator; business transacted and signature of probate judge. Arranged chronologically.

Probate court record: Complete record of all proceedings in estate administered in probate court. Gives term, date, name and number of estate, nature of proceedings or order made, and signature of probate judge. Arranged chronologically.

Probate papers (case files)/Probate files: Original files in the administration of estates, containing applications for letters (testamentary, of administration, or of guardianship), bonds and oaths of persons appointed, settlements, claims allowed or rejected, other papers in probate matters assembled in separate folders under names of estate. Arranged chronologically, or numerically by estate number.

Index to record of administrators, executors, and guardians: Alphabetical index giving name of estate, name of administrator, executor, guardian, or curator, book and page where recorded. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Application letters and bonds/Administrators' and executors' letters: Record of applications for letters of administration and letters testamentary, giving name of deceased, date of death, names, residences and relationship of heirs-at-law, legatees and devisees, appointment of administrator or executor, date appointed, names of witnesses to inventory, bond and oath of person so appointed, names of principal and sureties, date of oath and execution of bond, signature of probate judge, date of filing. Arranged chronologically.

Letters of administration/Administrators' bonds and letters: Record of letters of administration granted. Gives number of estate, name of decedent and last residence, name of administrator, date appointed, names of witnesses for inventory, signature of clerk and seal or court; amount, date, and conditions of bond, names of principal and sureties, dates approved and recorded. Arranged chronologically.

Executors' bonds and letters testamentary: Record of letters testamentary. Gives name of deceased testator, number of estate, name of person appointed executor, date of appointment, signature of probate judge or clerk and seal of court, oath of appointees; bond to the State of Missouri, showing date of executor and sureties, amount, conditions, approval, and date recorded. Arranged chronologically.

Appointments and bonds of administrators (will annexed and de bonis non): Record of appointments by the probate court of persons other than those named as executors and of person to complete administration of estates which had not been fully administered. Gives name of deceased, number of estate, date and reason for appointment, name of appointee, authorization to administer estate, signature of clerk, seal of court; oath and bond of appointee, showing names of principal and sureties, amount, approval by court, and dates of execution and filing. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Bonds/Guardians' and curators': Original bonds and oaths of administrators, executors, guardians, and curators. Gives name of principal and surety, date, amount and conditions, date of approval, name of probate clerk, date filed. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Record of bond/Administrators' and executors': Record of bonds and oaths filed. Gives name of principal and surety, date, amount and conditions, date of approval, name of probate clerk, and date filed. Arranged chronologically.

Inventory and appraisement record/executor and administrator inventories, certificates and affidavits, record of inventories, appraisements, and sale bill: Record of inventory and appraisement of all real and personal property belonging to estates of decedents, giving description and appraised value of property, date of inventory and appraisal, names and oaths of witnesses to inventory, appraisers and executor or administrator, date filed for record, and signature of probate judge. Arranged chronologically. (Title varies, may be called JOURNAL and may also include BILL OF SALE).

Sale bill record/Public sale of personal property, private sale of personal property, account of sale: Record of sale clerk's accounts of sales of personal property belonging to estates filed by executor or administrator. Gives name and number of estate, date of order, date and place of sale, articles sold, to whom, sale price of each, name of sale clerk, date report filed. Arranged chronologically. (Sometimes included in INVENTORY AND APPRAISEMENT RECORD).

Index to settlement record: Alphabetical index to settlement records, giving name of estate, date of settlement, book and page where recorded. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Settlement record/Administrator and executor settlements: Record of semiannual, annual, and final settlements of estate administered in probate court. Gives name of estate, executor or administrator, guardian or curator, number of voucher, total debits and credits, balance due estate or distribution made, affidavit of person making settlement, name of probate clerk, date filed. Arranged chronologically by term of court.

Administrators' notice (of appointment): Notice of appointment of administrators, executors, guardians, and curators with proof of publication. Gives name of estate, date of appointment, affidavit of publisher of newspaper in which published, giving dates and number of issues in which notice appeared. Arranged chronologically.

Administrators' notice of final settlement: Record of notices published of intention to file a final settlement of estate by administrator or executor. Gives name of estate, date to be filed, affidavit of publisher, name of newspaper, and dates of publication. Arranged chronologically.

Notices and publishers' affidavits/Administrators', executors', and guardians' notice: Record of notices pertaining to administration of estates, including notice of letters by executors and administrators of all types, public administrators' notice of taking charge of estates. Gives number of estate, name of decedent, date of appointment, name and designation of representative, attestation by judge or clerk, term of court at which final settlement will be made, date of notice, copy of docket showing dates on which settlements are due, affidavit of publisher showing date and name of newspaper in which published. Arranged chronologically.

Orders of publication: Petitions by administrators or executors of estates for order of sale of real estate to pay debts or legacies. Gives name and number of estate, date and term of court, name of administrator, dates of petition and order of publication, affidavit of publisher, giving name of newspaper and dates of publication of notice of sale. Arranged alphabetically by name of deceased, or chronologically by date of order.

Application for appointment as guardian and curator of minor/Record of applications for guardian and curator: Record of applications for appointment as guardian or curator of minor, giving name of applicant, name of minor, age, residence of minor, estimated value of his real and personal estimated property, names of parents, whether living or dead, dates of application and appointment, name of probate judge. Arranged chronologically.

Appointment of guardian or curator: Record of appointments of guardians and curators of minors and insane persons. Gives term of court, name, age, and residence of ward; name and address of guardian or curator, date of appointment, amount of bond, names of sureties, date approved by probate court, and name of probate judge. Arranged chronologically.

Index to guardians' and curators' inventory and appraisement: Alphabetical index to inventory and appraisement record. Gives name of estate, guardian or curator, book and page where recorded. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Guardians' and curators' inventory and appraisement/Inventory and appraisement-minor and insane: Record of guardians' and curators' inventory and appraisement of all property belonging to estates of minors and persons of unsound mind. Gives name of ward, number of estate, name and affidavit of guardian or curator, oath of witnesses and appraisers, appraised valuation, and date filed. Arranged chronologically.

Index to guardians' and curators' settlement record: Alphabetical index to settlement record. Gives name and number of estate, name of guardian or curator, book and page where recorded. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Guardians' and curators' settlement record: Record of settlements filed in estates of minors and persons of unsound mind. Gives name of guardian or curator, number and name of estate, term of court, date, balance at last settlement, amount of receipts and disbursements, balance on hand, affidavit of guardian or curator, name of probate judge, date filed. Arranged chronologically by term of court. (Discontinued as a separate record).

Index to abstract of demands: Alphabetical index gives name of estate, book and page where recorded. Arranged alphabetically by name of estate.

Abstract of demands: Abstract of claims and demands allowed against estates of deceased person. Gives name and number of estate, name of claimant, date allowed, class, and amount. Arranged chronologically. (Title varies: ESTATE AND CLAIM DOCKET).

Probate court docket: Record of all cases to come before probate court. Gives name and number of estate, date letters granted or appointments made, matter before the court, service had or orders made at last term, list of settlements due, and orders entered at current term. Arranged chronologically.

Docket books (probate): Term docket. Gives term and date, number of estate, names of parties and attorneys, matter before the court, service had or order made at last term, list of settlements due, and order entered at current term. Arranged chronologically.

Settlement docket: Term docket of settlements by administrators, executors, guardians, or curators. Gives name and number of estate, date filed, name of person appointed to administer estate, number of settlements and date of each, order of court, and name of attorney. Arranged chronologically by date of settlement.

Execution docket: Probate record indicating name of estate and administrator/guardian/executor, date and amount of judgment, amount of execution, executions issued, to whom delivered, to whom cost assigned, officer's returns, and remarks.

Wills: Original wills filed for probate. Gives name and residence of testator or testatrix, provisions of will, names of legatees and devisees, provisions of will, name of executor, and attestation of witnesses. Arranged chronologically.

Record of wills: Record of wills probated, giving name of testator or testatrix, provisions of will, signature of witnesses, certificate of probate signed by probate judge. Arranged chronologically.

Perpetual docket: Probate record indicating name of estate, date of appointment, and name of administrator, executor, or guardian appointed. Arranged chronologically.

Probate register: Record book indicating the following information about probate cases: register number and decedent or ward; administrator, executor, or guardian; will probated and where recorded; bonds; date of letters and where recorded; inventories; legal notices, affidavits, pleadings, motions; orders, decrees, reports; settlements; judgments and claims; miscellaneous information. Arranged chronologically.

Record of decedents: Record of estates on which letters of administration and letters testamentary have been issued. Includes name of descendants, date and place of death, date of letters, estimated value of real and personal property, value of real and personal property as shown by inventory, heirs at large (names and residence), legatees and devisees, estimated value of real estate, total value of legacy, amount of tax, and amount of receipt. Arranged chronologically.

Abstract of allowances (claims): Probate record indicating name of estate, name of claimant, date, where recorded, class number, amount claimed. Arranged chronologically.

Inheritance tax: Probate order setting date to appoint appraiser to determine market value of property or interest due therein in case of transfer of the property which is subject to payment of a tax under provisions of Missouri tax law. Indicates date, name of estate, administrator/executor. Arranged chronologically.

Mentally ill records: Probate records for estates of the mentally incapacitated administered by the probate court. Indicates date, name of estate, name of judge and clerk, complete transcript of motions filed, record of proceedings, and actions taken. Arranged chronologically.

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County Superintendent of Schools

County Superintendent: These records may include school directories, organization of school districts, family census records, teachers permanent records, records of school business, expense accounts, reports of county superintendents to State Superintendent, State Department high school reports, rural and high school district reports to county and state superintendents, teachers' tenure records, teachers' examinations grades, examination and certificate records, transcripts and health certificates of teachers, State Teachers Association members, permanent record card of pupils, delinquent record card, transfer cards, enrollment cards, and lists of graduates.

Attendance records: Record of pupil attendance, giving name of student and number of days attending class; daily program of activities; pupil data, including names of parents; enrollment figures.

Board of Education: Record of board proceedings and decisions regarding school district business. Includes appointments, financial records and statements; teachers employed, name, grade of certificate, school term, salary; township clerk's report to superintendent. Arranged chronologically.

District clerk's records: Records kept by the clerk of the school district, including proceedings of annual school board meetings, school expenses, names of taxpayers, teacher contracts, and financial statements.

District records (school): Records maintained by individual school districts, which include the following types of information: record of attendance, with the name and daily attendance of each student; record of standing and classification, with name, subject, and earned grade, with individual recommendations and remarks; record of annual and special meetings of the school board, with minutes of business conducted; financial records; teacher term reports, with statistics regarding sex, age, race, as well as teacher information regarding college hours attained, and experience. Arranged chronologically by school district.

School census cards: Index card taken for school enumeration records. Indicates name of child, date and place of birth, full name of father, full name and maiden name of mother, sex and race of child, name of school attended, year, and grade attained. Arranged alphabetically.

School enumeration records: Enumeration record indicating name of parent/guardian, post office address, name of student, sex, date of birth, age when enumeration taken.

School register: Register of students, indicating name, names of parents/guardians, race, and sex.

Teacher institutes: Record of teachers' institutes held, indicating date and place; name, address, and teaching information about teacher attending; days attended institute. Also includes minutes and records of institute.

Teacher reports: Reports indicating names of students and addresses, textbooks used, attendance records, and some grades.

Visitation records: Records indicating district number and name of school; assessed valuation and levy; school officers, addresses; school teachers, salary; questions regarding teacher, methods of teaching, and subjects taught; enrollment figures; building and out-building conditions; equipment inventory; library inventory and suitability of materials; memoranda.

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Office of County Collector

Abstract of current taxes: Records indicating date; name of taxpayer; taxes for state, county, road, railroad, school; interest; and total taxes. Arranged chronologically.

Abstract of taxes collected: List indicating taxes collected. Shows name and following tax information: state tax, county tax, school taxes, colored school tax, and total collected. Arranged chronologically.

Delinquent land tax: Record of land and town lots returned delinquent for taxes. Indicates owner's name, quantity of land, parts of section or survey of towns and additions; legal land description, valuation, and other taxes due. Arranged chronologically.

Land delinquent summary: List of persons owing taxes on personal property returned delinquent. Indicates name, valuation, taxes due to state, county, and road; total taxes due; and remarks. Arranged chronologically.

Past due taxes: A list of lands and lots undertaken to collect taxes. Includes name, valuation, legal land description, taxes due certain funds, total interest due, date of judgment, penalty, total amount, redemption, and remarks. Arranged chronologically.

School tax: Indicates name, acres owned, subdivision, legal land description, valuation, all other personal property, total aggregate, school tax, and remarks. Arranged chronologically.

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Office of the County Assessor

Assessment records: Indicates to whom assessed, index to real estate, livestock owned; money, notes, and bonds; all other personal property, total valuation by assessor; taxes for state, county, road, and railroad; and remarks. Arranged chronologically.

Land assessment records: Records indicating to whom assessed, description of real estate, total valuation by State Board of Equalization, and remarks. Arranged chronologically.

Land register: Record for assessment of taxes, indicating name of owner (original and present), legal land description, improved and unimproved land, aggregate of totals, valuation, and remarks. Arranged chronologically.

Land tax record: Records for tax purposes, which indicate the following land information: to whom assessed, original claimant, present owener, acres, legal land description, valuation, slaves, other personal property, money/bonds/notes, taxable property, total state tax, total amount of all taxes. Arranged chronologically.

Personal tax records: Assessor's records indicating owner's name, real estate description, personal property, state taxes, county and local taxes. Arranged chronologically.

Property assessment records (erroneous): Records indicating claims of errors in assessing taxes. Includes name of claimant, nature of error, court's findings and judgment, date, and tax abatement distribution. Arranged chronologically.

Real estate assessment records: Records indicating to whom tax is assessed, description of real estate, total valuation by amount of dollars, and remarks. Arranged chronologically.

Real estate tax: Records indicating to whom tax is assessed; legal land description; city or town; amount of land; valuation; taxes for state, county, road, back taxes, and railroad. Also includes total taxes due, and date of payment. Arranged chronologically.

Tax assessment records: Records indicating to whom tax is assessed, land description, city or town or village lot description, slaves, other personal property, description of equipment and business buildings, taxable property, total state tax, total amount of all taxes due. Arranged chronologically.

Tax lists: Record of real and personal property taxes, giving name, description of property, total valuation by assessor and county and state boards of equalization, allocation to various state and county funds, total tax, and date paid. Arranged chronologically.

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Municipal Records

Annual report (library): Reports concerning operations of the library, delivered each fiscal year. Reports include receipts, expenditures, classification of material, number of volumes, borrower statistics, circulation statistics, financial reports, program attendance statistics, librarians' reports. Arranged chronologically.

Board, commission, and committee records: Includes reports, correspondence, and other files pertaining to ad hoc groups established by the municipality.

Building commission files: Records and reports containing information about development sites. These include construction costs, name of subdivision, contractor information, and building specifications. Also includes legal land description of site. Arranged numerically.

Cemetery maps and plats file: Consists of maps and plats showing detailed drawings of each section of city cemetery surveyed. May also include worksheet of plats designating exact location of grave plots.

Cemetery registers: Consists of books kept in ledger form, showing all lots with plat location, name of purchaser, deed number, price of lot, and date of purchase.

City census: Listing of residents within a particular city or town. Indicates name, sex, race, occupation, and nativity. Sometimes arranged in alphabetical order.

City charter: Includes the constitution and by-laws of the city, for those municipalities authorized and approved for charter forms of government. Also includes charter amendments.

City Hall records: These are the records kept by the City Clerk, primarily administrative records produced in the course of daily city administration, and include financial reports, regulatory information, municipal ordinances, public hearing notices, construction bids, receipts, taxpayer statements, correspondence, work orders, and more.

Emergency calls journal/log: A daily listing of all emergency calls responded to. May include ambulance, police, and fire, either in combination or separately as appropriate.

Fire incident emergency reports file: A record of fire incidents which include incident number; month, date, and year; day of week; alarm time, arrival time; address of fire, occupant's name; method of alarm; type of situation found, action taken; number of personnel, engines, and other vehicles at the scene; units responding; incident-related injuries and deaths; property use; area and level of fire origin; termination state; equipment involved and form of heat of ignition; structure type; construction type and method; extent of damage, insurance, property damage classification, dollar loss; method of extinguishing, number of hydrants used; signature of person completing report.

Fire log books: List date of incident, time, name of caller, stations responding, total hours of service, miles traveled, kind of building on property, location, cause, method by which fire was extinguished, number of lines used, size and ladder, and help. May also include insurance carried and estimated loss.

General license register: Record indicating name, address, business to be licenses, date of issue, and expiration. Arranged chronologically.

Minutes and agendas: Consist of minutes and agendas presented to the governing body at its official meetings. May include appointments, budget reports, proclamations, annexation petitions, resolutions, and other documents submitted for the official records.

Ordinances and resolutions: Resolutions consist of copies of resolutions, including dates of adoption and signatures, sometimes with supporting materials. Also may include documentation relating to ordinances and action of City Council. Ordinances include ordinance number, title, text, date passed, and signatures. Ordinances and resolutions may relate to a variety of subjects, such as new appointments, contract and agreement amendments, tax levies, alcohol licenses, zoning, and other issues relevant to municipal business.

Planning and zoning commission: Application forms indicating name of applicant and development site with legal description. Also includes affidavit of publication, notice of public hearing, correspondence, and other administrative papers.

Zoo records: Various records including records of acquisition to show USDA officials during inspection of zoo facility, documenting receipt or transfer of mammals; health certificates detailing veterinarian's inspection of an animal prior to shipping; shipping permits, domestic and import/export, used to ship endangered species in the United States or worldwide; individual animal files, studbook cards, breeding loans, annual inventory of animals; various administrative papers.

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Federal Census

The federal government has taken a census of the population of the United States every ten (10) years since 1790. Each of these twenty-one (21) census enumerations survive, except the 1890 schedules. Those were destroyed by a 1923 fire while in storage in Washington, D.C., prior to microfilming.

The first federal census for the State of Missouri was the 1830 census. Missouri became a state in 1821, and was not enumerated until the 1830 census was taken. Federal censuses for Missouri which are available to the researcher at the present time are:

  • 1830
  • 1840
  • 1850
  • 1860
  • 1870
  • 1880
  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920

There is a printed index for each of these. Soundex, a type of statewide index, is available for these records.

 

The census schedules for 1930 through 1990 are not available to the public for use. Each census will be released by the Bureau of the Census at a date approximately seventy-five (75) years from the date the census was taken, i.e. 1930 census released circa 2005. It is possible to request a search of these restricted censuses for one specific close family member, for a fee, if certain criteria can be met. To obtain a copy of their "Application for Search of Census Record" form and the necessary instructions, write to: Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, PO Box 1545, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47131.

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Missouri Census Records

The need for statistical information about the population by the government of Missouri Territory resulted in the taking of a state census in the years 1814 and 1817. These census records listed only free white males. The next census was taken in 1821, the year statehood was achieved. Beginning in 1824 and following at four (4) year intervals through 1876, other state censuses were taken.

The Census Act of 1824 and thereafter required that the sheriffs or assessors submit abstracts of their returns to the Secretary of State and that they file the original returns with the Clerks of the County Courts. Only a very few of the state census enumerations have survived. A list of these follows:

Census Year County(ies)
1840 New Madrid, Newton, Pike, Randolph, Ray, *Rives (later Henry), Shelby, Stoddard, and Warren
1844 Callaway, Greene
1856 Audrain
1868 Cape Girardeau
1876 Atchison, Benton, Butler, Callaway, *Cape Girardeau, Christian, Daviess, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, *Holt, *Howard, *McDonald, Madison, Moniteau, Montgomery, *Osage, Perry, Phelps, *Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Stone, Texas, Webster, and Worth

*Has been published, indexed, or both.

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