Columbia Missouri Family History Center

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
FamilySearch This article describes the services and resources available at a Family History Center, a branch facility of the Family History Library.

We MAY be CLOSED on TUESDAY, MAY 28 due to severe thunderstorms and the possibility of flash flooding in areas where staff reside. Check back here on Tuesday morning, May 28th, around 9:00 AM to ensure we will be open .[edit | edit source]

NOTE: WE HAVE RECENTLY CHANGED OUR HOURS. Be sure to look just below under "Center Contacts and Hours" for changes that may affect you. The changes apply to Wednesdays nights and Saturdays![edit | edit source]


We are ALWAYS closed when the Columbia Public Schools are closed because of weather. In addition, . . . .[edit | edit source]

We have many staff who live in more rural areas outside of Columbia. Sometimes in the Winter and the Spring, some are not able to get in for their shifts because of the weather, even IF the schools in Columbia are open. As we must have two staff on hand in order to open, there may be times when you find us closed during regular hours. Please understand. We always do the best to can. You are always welcome to phone the FHC at the beginning of a shift just to make sure we are there (443-2048). If the roads are cleared in residential and rural areas, you can be pretty certain we will be open. In addition, I try to post last minute changes to our hours as the FIRST item on this webpage, so look here if you have a question.


Center Contacts and Hours (Effective May 10th, 2019)[edit | edit source]

Location Map: Location Map

Address: 4708 Highlands Pkwy Columbia, MO 65203-6259

  • Ring the doorbell at the EAST door to gain entry. Plenty of free parking. Handicapped accessible.
  • Language: English

Phone: 573-443-2048 (answered only when we are open)


Open Hours:

  • Tuesday: 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00pm-4:00pm and 700 pm-9:00pm
  • Thursday: 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Saturday: Open the 3rd and 4th Saturdays of the month from 1:00pm - 4:00pm

We close when Columbia Public Schools close for inclement weather and during the winter holidays: We are also rarely closed unexpectedly because of inclement weather or illness. We apologize if this is an inconvenience.

We always close for winter holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, and we close for one week in sometime during the Summer. Look at the top of this page for specific holiday closing dates closer to the the season.

Occasionally we close 20-30 or so minutes early if no patrons remain in the Center.

Center Resources[edit | edit source]

Patrons will find 5 primary resources at the Columbia Family History Center.

Books[edit | edit source]

We have a collection of general genealogy research books that are invaluable to the researcher who is trying to become familiar with period, place, and research strategies. We also have a small collection of books that focus on specific places (Germany, Virginia, etc.), record types (military, vital records), and a very useful collection of general reference books.We hold a collection (about 40 binders) of obituaries and cemetery records from Boone and surrounding counties, as well as newspaper clippings spanning several decades taken from the Columbia Tribune containing genealogically rich information. Currently, these records are somewhat fragile and unindexed. We are currently in the process of working out a system for entering our holdings into a searchable database that will be posted online.

Microfilms and Microfiche[edit | edit source]


Family History Microfilm Discontinuation

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch discontinued its microfilm distribution services. The change was the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.

The rate at which FamilySearch is digitizing is unbelievable, and all films held by FamilySearch will be digitized an available online by the end of 2020. If you are unsure about how to access digitized records, come in and let us help you. s Family History Centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available through home computers.

For over a hundred years FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, has been dedicated to preserving extant public records. They have photographed millions of relevant records (census, marriage, probate, deeds, military, etc.) and family histories. These, in turn, have been turned into microfilms which may be rented from Salt Lake City and which are shipped to Family History Centers for patrons to use.

We have a “permanent” collection of films and fiche to which patrons have immediate access. Centers have the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not needed. As more images are published online, centers may reevaluate whether to retain microfilm holdings.

If the film or fiche a patron needs in not in our collection or has not been digitized for online viewing, it may be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Relevant films and fiche are identified by using the FamilySearch Catalog where one can search my place, surname, keywords, etc.

Computer Resources[edit | edit source]

From the Family History Center, patrons can access a variety of premium subscription websites. These are sites that an individual patron would otherwise have to subscribe to and which can be quite costly. The Church, however, has negotiated contracts with these providers that allow access to them without cost for Family History Center patrons inside Family History Centers. These premium websites include those listed below. Please note that their direct e-mail address is provided as a courtesy, but they are only free at a Family History Center like ours or at the Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City.

19th Century British Library Newspapers. Access this database at:

This fully searchable database of the British Library's newspaper holdings provides a complete run of 48 national and regional Victorian British newspapers for the 19th century from 1800 to 1900. These support the study of colonial history, genealogical research, politics, urban studies, and media courses.

Access Newspaper Archive. Access this database at:

" is the world's largest online newspaper archive. Featuring billions of articles from historical newspapers around the U.S. and the world, NewspaperARCHIVE makes exploring history and genealogy easy and fun. Discover fascinating news in archived newspapers hundreds of years old-including obituaries, birth announcements, sports articles, comics, and more-to fill in the life stories you are interested in. And share those stories with others through our community at Our NewspaperARCHIVE. All of our historical newspapers are full-page and fully searchable. Try exploring above, and discover your history today!"

Alexander Street Press - American Civil War. Access this database at:

* Research Data: Contains indexed, searchable information on over 4 million soldiers and thousands of battles, together with 15,000 photographs.

* Letters and Diaries: Contains approximately 100,000 indexed pages of diaries, letters, and memoirs, including 4,000 pages of previously unpublished manuscripts, such as the letters of Amos Wood and his wife and the diary of

Maryland planter William Claytor.

* Images, Photographs, Posters, and Ephemera : Provides a vivid history of the American Civil War with over 1,400 images.

* Women and Social Movements in the United States: Organized around the history of women in social movements in the United States between 1600 and 2000 A.D. Access this database at:

Ancestry gives you access to thousands of collections of records from around the world, including immigration, census, voter, vital, and military records; newspapers and periodicals; family trees; photos and images; directories, maps, court, land, wills and financial records, stories, memories, and histories; and detailed records about births, marriages, deaths, land ownership, and much more. It is the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world.

ArkivDigital. Access this database at:

ArkivDigital is the largest private provider of Swedish Church Records and other historical records online! All images are newly photographed color images of the original documents. Click the link from the Premium Family History Websites page to install the current client version of ArkivDigital Online.

Findmypast. Access this database at:

Findmypast makes it easy to research your UK ancestry and create your family tree. Search census records and trace births, marriages, and deaths to bring your family history to life. Please note that not all of the content from findmypast is available in family history centers. 1911 British Census (accessed through the findmypast website)-The 1911 UK Census is a record of everyone who lived in England and Wales in 1911. It provides a unique snapshot of the lives of those who lived at that time.

Fold 3 - formerly Footnote. Access this database at: http://www.fold3.comSearch or browse millions of historical documents and photos. Fold3 has refocused their efforts on gathering the best online collection of military records and stories.

The Fold3 name reflects military history and honor, since traditionally, the third fold in a flag-folding ceremony honors and remembers veterans for their sacrifice in defending their country and promoting peace in the world.

The Genealogist. Access this database at:

Contains English parish records, directories, census, civil registration, surname mapping, and selected army and navy lists. This site is now available only in the United Kingdom. It is NOT available anywhere else.

Historic Map Works. - Library Edition Access this database at:

Historic Map Works-Library Edition is one of the most extensive digital map collections available, with over 470,000 high-resolution, full color historic and antique maps. The core of the collection consists of cadastral (property and land ownership) maps illustrating the geographic and development history of the United States and also includes illustrations, city directories, and more. This unique content allows genealogists, historians, and academic researchers to track the "residential genealogy" of families and locations.

Kinpoint - Premium. Access this database at:

Kinpoint is designed to make it easier for you to do your family history by letting you see what to work on at a glance; quickly find missing information in your family tree; and discover insights into the lives of your ancestors.

MyHeritage. - Library Edition. Access this database at:

Used by millions of people worldwide to help research family history, build a family tree, and add photos, historical records, and more.

Paper Trail. Access this database at:

Provides access to 19th-century westward American migration documents.

ProQuest Library

Use the collection to search for obituaries and death notices from prominent newspapers, such as the New York Times (dating back to 1851). The collection includes both famous and lesser-known individuals and can be searched by name or by keywords appearing in the body of the article.

Puzzilla. - Premium Services. Access this database at: Find new research opportunities on descendant lines in Family Tree.

OTHER RESOURCES AT OUR FHC[edit | edit source]

We offer hard copies of these local records at our Family History Center for your on-site examination. They can also be photocopied.

Newspaper Records:
Obituaries from the Columbia Daily Tribune covering the years 1962, 1984 through 2013.
Obituaries from the Hannibal Courier Post from 22 Nov 1958-24 Aug 1959.
Obituaries & Births from the Bowling Green Times from 9 Oct 1958-28 Apr 1960 (plus 14 May 1959 Bowling Green High School graduation service w/senior class photos).
"People of the Past" columns from the Columbia Daily Tribune (early settlers to Boone County).
"Whatever Happened to?" columns from the Columbia Daily Tribune (early homes & businesses of Boone County, including family histories).
"People of Note?" columns from the Columbia Daily Tribune (early families & landmarks of Boone County, written by historian & newspaperman Francis Pike).

Funeral Home Records:
Parker's Funeral Home Records 1892-1925.
Parker's Funeral Home Records 1926-28 June 1960.

Cemetery Records:
Elmwood Cemetery, Mexico, Mo. (read Fall 1962).
Memorial Cemetery, Boone County, Mo. (read Summer 1982).
Howard County Cemetery Records (read approximately 1961-1963).
City of Centralia Cemetery & Glendale Memorial Gardens, Centralia, Mo. (Compiled from Evans & Thompson, Ellsberry, Gibson, obituaries).
Columbia Cemetery, Columbia, Mo. (by Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry 1963; rearranged in alpha order by E. Henry; corrections by Ruth Minner; addtns & corrections by Ruth Minner & Athelda Henry May, 1985.
Howard County Cemetery Records: Boonesboro, Friendship, Lewis, Mt. Gilead, Walnut Ridge, Washington Cemetery-Fayette, Washington Cemetery-Glasgow, Clark's Chapel-northwest of Boonville (copied various months of 1963).
Cole County Cemeteries by Members of Jefferson City Branch, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (read 1957-1960).
Boone County Cemeteries (read in 1980s).
Audrain County Cemeteries (copied in 1976).

Vital Records:
Boone County Marriages: Index A & Index B; Index 1872-1880; Book 1 (1900).
Howard County Marriages & Probate.
Audrain County Marriages 1836-1879 (listed by male last name).
Audrain County Marriages 1880-1890.
Hatton (Surname) & Willingham (Surname) Women Marriages.
Turner (Surname) & Toalson (Surname) Women Marriages.
Toalson, Turner & Willingham (Surnames) Men Marriages.
Howard County 1817 Taxpayers.

Staff[edit | edit source]

Who Can Help You Think About Your Quandary

We all get stuck in a rut from time to time and need some new ideas about how to pursue old research problems. Our staff can be very helpful in exploring other approaches to research with you. Perhaps we can think of something you haven’t. We’ll be happy to try!

Hardware and Equipment[edit | edit source]

  • 5 computers and printer
  • 2 older microfilm readers
  • 1 digital microfilm/fiche reader.
  • 2 older microfiche readers
  • 1 multi-function printer that will copy pages from books, etc.
  • 1 camera mount used for taking digital pictures from a microfilm reader
  • Instructional CD and DVDs
  • Wi-fi connected
  • You can also download many web pages to your own flash drive. We also sell flash drives at cost in the Center.

Resources in the Local Area[edit | edit source]

Local libraries, archives, and societies have useful information about Missouri and Boone County. Some of these include:

  • Boone County Courthouse (for land, marriage, court, tax, and probate records from Boone County, Mo.)
  • The Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City.
  • Boone County Historical Society, 3801 Ponderosa Street, Columbia. They have a very useful museum and library that focuses on Missouri and Boone County history.
  • The State Historical Society of Missouri is located on the ground floor, east side, of Ellis Library on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. They have a very significant newspaper collection from Missouri and a fine reference library.
  • Daniel Boone Regional Library corner of Boradway and Garth in Columbia, has books and resources of interest to Mid-Missouri researchers. One can search their catalog online.
  • Midwest Genealogy Center, a branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library, is located in Independence, Mo. It is a gem of a genealogy library and only 100 miles to the west. Visit their website at . One can search their catalog online.

Links[edit | edit source]

The Missouri State Archives has been a national leader in scanning and digitizing records of value to genealogists. The program, called the Missouri Digital Heritage Collection, has a variety of records of historical and genealogical import. One of the most used is the The Missouri Death Certificate project, located at Missouri Digital State Archives

Volunteer at the Center[edit | edit source]

We are always looking for enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteer staff to work in the Center. The typical commitment is for a 3-hour/week shift. Staff must have an enthusiastic commitment to family history. Additionally, they must be comfortable using computers, have good interpersonal skills, and be willing to take the initiative to learn and ask questions. They must also be willing to abide by Church standards while working in the Center.