Missouri Digital Records

Finch-Adj.-Walton-H.-Wife-MissouriThe ‘Show Me State’ is Missouri in the heartlands of the America. This area became one of the major settlements for frontier pioneers in the 1830s to 1850s. You could easily have numerous ancestors who lived in Missouri at one time or another.

To assist those researching the State of Missouri has many of their archives in digital form and online. Some of the most helpful databases you can examine online include:

Missouri Death Certificates 1910 – 1962 with an easy search box to use. You can just place a surname in the box and see what names appear. This can be helpful when you are not sure which given names the ancestor used. Once you find one of interest click on the ‘view image’ to view the digital copy of the death certificate. Check the information on it to make sure it is the relative you are searching. You can enlarge the image to read the details. You can save the certificate to your computer as a PDF file.

Another useful database is the soldiers from Missouri who served during domestic and foreign wars between 1812 and World War I (1919). This covers quite a bit of time and would include those who were in the Civil War, the War of 1812, Spanish-American War, World War One, the Indian Wars, and the Mexican-American War. Just place a surname, unless it is a very common name and see what list appears. After locating one of interest, click on the ‘view details’ about their military service dates, age, hometown, address and any other special details.

The Land Patents database covers 1831-1969 and since many people moved to Missouri to acquire land, this is good to check. This site contains over 35,500 transcribed patents.

Birth records are a primary resource. The Missouri Archives has birth records done before 1909 online. This database is especially helpful in locating a mother’s maiden name. Also the birth order of the child is given, such as the third child born.

Since Missouri was such a divided state during the American Civil War (1861-1865) examining the Provost Marshal records (1861-1866) could prove to be very helpful. The provost marshal records offer a unique look at civilians, military (Union & Confederate), the colored troops, war refugees, women and slaves in the state.

Another interesting database would be the Coroner’s Inquest which covers various Missouri counties, the City of St. Louis, and the St. Louis Medical Examine. The coroner investigates and creates records for deaths that occur under accidental, questionable, unusual, or suspicious circumstances. Coroner’s records contain unique information about the men and women who died in Missouri, which just might uncover some fascinating family history. Place a surname in the search box. Those who died from homicide can be quite interesting. The records date back to the 1850s to 1940.

So several different databases relating to citizens of Missouri are available to search and collect information through the state’s archives online.

Photo: Walton Finch and his wife. He joined Company F, 11th Missouri Infantry as a private on August 6, 1861 in Xenia, Illinois. He rose steadily through the ranks, attaining the rank of first lieutenant before he resigned on September 7, 1865.

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