Missouri Birth and Death Records

The Missouri Birth and Death Records Database is an online abstract of the birth, stillbirth, and death records recorded in Missouri before 1909 and that are available on microfilm at the Missouri State Archives.

The first provision for statewide registration of births and deaths in Missouri was enacted July 1, 1883, when the State Board of Health was created for the supervision of such registrations. The act concerning birth and death registration was repealed in 1893, and registration ceased until 1910. Information for births and deaths between 1893 and 1910 generally is not available. Records after 1909 are available only from the Bureau of Vital records; they are not available online.

Over 250 reels of microfilm containing birth and death records from 1883 to 1893 are available at the Missouri State Archives for research. Researchers should note that the records vary from county to county during this period because there was no requirement for mandatory reporting from parents or professional attendants. For example, Bates County births records are only available for 1883 to 1886.

The Missouri Birth and Death Records Database currently contains over 185,000 records from 87 counties. Information found in this database includes the following:

Births and Stillbirths: 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.

Deaths: 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.

The Birth and Death Records Database can be searched by entering all or part of a name. It is recommended to enter just the last name. The search engine is designed to search for keywords. Entering "William" will find records containing the first or last name of "William", "Williams", or "Williamson." Within the birth and stillbirth records, the search engine will search the name of the child, mother's name, mother's maiden name, and name of father. Also, all records for a county can be viewed by selecting the county and leaving the name blank.

I found the database to be super easy to use. I did a search for my own last name and found many entries. Here is one that I will display here as an example of the data that can be found in the Missouri database:

Date of Return (Month/Day/Year): June 11 1884
Name of Child: Sarah J Eastman
Sex: female
No. of Child of this Mother: 4th
Race or Color: white
Date of Birth: June 9, 1884
Place of Birth: Moutain Twp
Nationality of Father: American
Place of Birth: MO
Nationality of Mother: American
Place of Birth: MO
Age: 24
Full Name of Mother: Mary J Eastman
Maiden Name of Mother: Mary J Henson
Residence of Mother:  
Full Name of Father: William Eastman
Occupation: Farmer
Name and Address of Medical Attendant: M J KingJenkins MO
Name and Address of Person making Certificate:  
Returned by:  

(The above data was reformatted.)

As you can see, a lot of information is available in this database of abstracts. However, it still does not contain all the information. Once you find a name listed in the database of abstracts, you will want to view the microfilms of the original records in order to learn what other data might be in the original entries. If you prefer, you can request a print copy of the record by contacting archref@sos.mo.gov or by sending a #10 business size self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Missouri State Archives
P. O. Box 1747
Jefferson City, MO 65102.

The cost of a photocopy is $1.00 per page.

To access the Missouri Birth and Death Records Database of births and deaths from 1883 to 1909, go to http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/birthdeath/.

More Missouri Birth and Death Records