In 1540, Hernando de Soto discovered the Missouri River and explored the area that is now Missouri. However, the area later came under French control. In fact, a group of French settlers led by Sieur d’Iberville came to the area in 1699, creating the first Missouri area permanent settlement. That settlement was created near what is now Ocean Springs. In 1763, the area came under British control, but they ceded it to the United States in 1783, when the Revolution ended. Spain also claimed parts of the are until 1798. Parts of West Florida, which had been under Spanish control, were annexed by the United States in 1798. That region included the southern section of present-day Missouri.

Getting Started with Missouri Genealogy and Family Trees

Missouri Genealogy Tips & Hints – Nestled into the heartland of the United States, Missouri is a state packed with history. From the Native Americans who built sites such as the Cahokia Mounds, to the bustling city of St. Louis, there is a lot to say about the residents of the state. This is why there is so much activity in terms of genealogy and genealogical pursuits. This will all come in very handy as you begin searching for Missouri genealogy data.

The Basic Steps for Missouri Genealogy Data Gathering – Where do you start the quest for Missouri genealogy information? This is one of the best things about modern genealogy – a lot of it can be done from the comfort of home. It is no longer essential that you head out into the real world to simply begin doing research for Missouri genealogy projects. This is due to the ways that many groups have digitized their archives and collections and put them on the Internet.

Of course, not all groups have been able to do so, but it is helpful to know that you can start searching for Missouri genealogy data online, and save time and energy. When you know that a trip is required, you can still use online resources to ensure you will get what you need in the “offline” location.

Learning which resources for Missouri genealogy will be available online, and which require a visit, is the first essential step in getting materials for Missouri genealogy research.

Essential Records for Missouri Genealogy Research – The public records that can be found in many locations are also found readily on the Internet too. You must know how to look for them, however, and using the following labels is going to be very useful in your search for Missouri genealogy information:

  • State Records – this group includes probate information, birth certificates, cemetery information, death records, deeds, estate information, genealogical folders, land records, maps, marriage details, military or veterans information, newspapers, private manuscripts, state census information, surname lists and more. These are available as online and offline resources for Missouri genealogy.
  • Local Records – traditionally, state research requires a visit to a county clerk’s office or website. From there you will often find yourself at small local libraries, historical societies, local genealogical societies, and school or college libraries for Missouri genealogy information. These are items that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.
  • Vital Records – these are the birth, marriage, divorce and death records from county, state, and national archives. They include newspaper items, military records, immigration and naturalization details, cemetery or obituary information, census records, and passenger lists and records as well. These tend to be available as online or offline resources for Missouri genealogy.

The Most Targeted Websites and Locations for Missouri genealogy Data – The following sources are going to give you the targeted materials needed for Missouri genealogy projects of any kind:

  • Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Vital Records, 930 Wildwood, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0570; Website: .
    This is where you may order birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even through an online form.

Additional state and local records can be found at the:

  • Missouri State Archives, 600 West Main Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101; Website: .
    This site has received awards from “Family Tree Magazine” for the strength of its genealogical materials. It has also been recognized by the same group for the effectiveness of the website for those looking for Missouri genealogy materials.

Also, consider using the Missouri State Genealogical Association page at:

Also, these websites give researchers a tremendous amount of state-specific details for those in search for Missouri genealogy data.

Missouri Ethnic Group Research

Many African American slaves were kept in Missouri. However, they were mainly located along either the Missouri River or the Mississippi River. Prior to the Civil War, part of Missouri was settled by southern slave-holders. That area became known as “Little Dixie.” That area was located in what is now the following counties: Howard, Cooper, Boone, Callaway, Audrain, Randolph, Monroe, Ralls, Pike.

Slave schedules for both 1850 and 1860 can be easily searched.