vital records are available generally beginning after 16 August 1909,
and they can be obtained from Vital Records; PO Box 570; Jefferson City,
At the city level, deaths were recorded in St. Louis from 1850 - 1910,
and births from 12 July 1870 - 1910. Although the recording was quite
sporadic. These records can be obtained from St. Louis City Vital
Records; PO Box 14702; St. Louis, MO 63178. Marriage records from St.
Louis County are kept from 1876 to present day. These are in an archival
card file, with entries for brides and grooms.
In Kansas City, the birth and death records date from 1874, but
recording at this time was sparse. These records can be obtained from
Kansas City Vital Records, City Hall, 414 E. 12th Street, Kansas City,
In 1863, a non-compulsory birth registration law was put into effect. It
stated that county recorders could upon request record births in the
regular deed books, sometimes they were recorded in the marriage books.
These records are not indexed and there was very little compliance.
A state law was passed in 1883 requiring the registration of all births
and deaths at a county level. In 1893, this law was inadvertently
repealed, and never reenacted. Some counties had high rates of
compliance, while other records are no where to be found. The records
that remain have been microfilmed and are available at the Missouri
State Archives, Jefferson City, MO 65102
Marriage records are generally available from the date of county
inception, although there was no law that required licensing until 26
June 1881. Prior to this date, the marriage could be recorded at any
convenient courthouse, there was no requirement to be married in the
county of residence. Most of these records are kept by the Recorder of
Deeds, and are consistently complete and indexed. These records have
also been filmed by the Missouri State Archives.
Many books have been published with compiled vital records for various
counties in Missouri. The Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence,
MO, has many of these books in the genealogy reference collection. Some
of them are available for inter-library loan in the AFRA Genealogy
circulating collection. A catalog lists the titles available called
"Genealogy from the Heartland".
Guide to Public Vital Statistic Records in Missouri, Missouri Historical
Records Survey, WPA, (St. Louis, MO, 1941) lists Birth, Death, Marriage
and Divorce records available by county and at the state level.
Robert E. Parkin's Guide to Tracing Your Family Tree in Missouri, Robert
E. Parkin, Genealogical Research & Productions, (St. Louis, MO,
1979), is an excellent reference work. It lists the records available at
the county level. It also gives the titles of compiled books by county
for birth, death, and marriage records.
A Guide to County Records on Microfilm, Missouri State Archives,
(Jefferson City, MO, 1998