Bates County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Bates County

Guide to Bates County, Missouri ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.


Bates County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Bates County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1841
County Seat Bulter
Address Bates County Courthouse
1 N Delaware Street
Butler, MO 64730
Phone: 660.679.3371
Bates County Website

County Information

Bates County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1860 1883 1830 1839 1845

County Courthouse

County Clerk has birth and death records 1883-1887; County Recorder has marriage records from 1860 and land records from 1840; Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce records from 1860; Probate Judge has probate records.[2]


Parent County

1841 Bates County was created 29 January 1841from Cass, Van Buren and Jackson Counties. Van Buren County name was changed to Cass County 19 Feb 1849. County seat: Butler [2]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Missouri county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Missouri County Boundary Maps" (1804-1889) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss

1861 Courthouse burned; some records were destroyed.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:



Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Cass  • Henry  • Linn County, Kansas  • Miami County, Kansas  • St. Clair  • Vernon

Bates CountyJackson CountyLafayette CountyPolk CountyCedar CountyPettis CountyWilson CountyNeosho CountyCrawford CountyCoffey CountyAnderson CountyLinn CountyMiami CountyFranklin CountyLeavenworth CountyBourbon CountyWoodson CountyOsage CountyShawnee CountyDouglas CountyJohnson CountyAllen CountyVernon CountyBarton CountyDade CountyGreene CountyJohnson CountyBenton CountyHenry CountyHickory CountyCass CountySt. Clair CountyMOBates.jpg



Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
MOGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MOGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Missouri Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Bates County, Missouri Genealogy census records online, see: Missouri Census.


Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Missouri denominations, view the Missouri Church Records wiki page.

  • Zion Lutheran Church, Rich Hill, records in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).[3]



Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Missouri Land and Property for information about records of land transfers from the government to private ownership. After that transfer, transactions were usually recorded and are currently housed at the county courthouse.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Bates County, Missouri Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the Wiki page section Missouri Local Histories.

The old settlers' history of Bates County, Missouri from its first settlement to the first day of January, 1900 is available online free from Google Books.; and atFamilySearch (Free)

  • Atkeson, William Oscar. History of Bates County, Missouri.Topeka, Kansas : Historical Pub. Co., 1918.
  • The History of Cass and Bates counties, Missouri : containing a history of these counties, their cities, towns; biographical sketches of their citizens, general and local statistics, history of Missouri. Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974.



Civil War

Online Records

Service men in Bates County, Missouri served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Bates County, Missouri:

- 11th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company D
- 60th Battalion, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C
World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Bates County, Missouri Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:


Probate records include wills, bonds, petitions, accounts, inventories, administrations, orders, decrees, and distributions. For further information, see United States Probate Records.

In Missouri, probate records have usually been recorded by the clerks of the probate courts, but in some counties the common pleas or circuit courts handled this function. They are frequently indexed.

Online Probate Records


Taxes were levied on free white males over 21 and slaves aged 21 to 60. These persons are referred to as "polls." Tax listings, or digests, of a county generally list the taxable landowners and other polls and the amount of tax. The records for each county are divided by militia district. For more information see the wiki page Missouri Taxation.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths. For additional guidance on researching and using vital records, see United States Vital Records or How to order Missouri Vital Records.

St. Louis and Kansas City recorded births and deaths starting as early as 1850 for deaths and 1870 for births.  The Missouri Department of Health began keeping birth and death records in 1909. County records vary by year and the county. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Missouri Vital Records State Department of Health, the County Clerk's office or order electronically online.


Societies and Libraries

  • Bates County Genealogical Society
    Mailing Address:
    P. O. Box 501
    Butler, MO 64730
    Meetings are the second Saturday morning of every month at 9:30 am at the Butler MO Public Library, 100 W. Atkinson, Butler, MO
  • Bates County Old Settlers’ Society
    Route 4
    Butler, MO 64730

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.


Sites with online indexes or images of records
Missouri Digital Heritage Free digital images of many types of records from institutions across the State
MOGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Sites that search for links pertaining to Bates County, Missouri Genealogy
RootsWeb resources Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS Free family history resources and government records
Missouri Genealogy Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Bates County, Missouri Genealogy
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library Major genealogy resource library, located in Indiana. On home page enter "Bates Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Bates County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Bates County, Missouri Genealogy
GeneaBloggers enter "missouri" in the search box to see a list and links to Missouri Blogs
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search Bates County Message Board


  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 422-438. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. 2.0 2.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bates County, Missouri. Page 397 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society," Collection Finding Aids, Minnesota Historical Society,, accessed 10 June 2013.
  4. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at