Clay County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Missouri
Clay County

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

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County Facts
County seat: Liberty
Organized: January 22, 1822
Parent County(s): Ray[1]
Neighboring Counties
Clinton  • Jackson  • Platte  • Ray  • Wyandotte (KS)
See County Maps
Courthouse
MissouriClayCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Missouri Clay County Map.svg.png
Adoption
Henry Clay

County Information

Description

The county is named after U.S. Speaker of the House Henry Clay (1777-1852).[2]

County Courthouse

Clay County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Liberty, MO 64086
Phone: 816-792-7637
Clay County Website

Recorder of Deeds has marriage and land records.
Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records from 1822.
Probate Court has probate records.[3]

Clay County, Missouri Record Dates

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1883 1822 1883 1822 1821 1830

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

  • 1822 Clay County was created 2 January 1822 from Ray County.
  • County seat: Liberty[5]

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

Populated Places

The following are locations in Clay County, Missouri:

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Clay County, Missouri online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Missouri Cemeteries for more information

Census Records

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

Church Records

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.

Catholic
St. James, Liberty

  • 1847-1873 St. James, Liberty, Baptism Index 1847-1873. Batch C511941 at FamilySearch.
  • 1847-1879 St. James, Liberty, Marriage Index 1847-1879. Batch M511941 at FamilySearch.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Missouri City

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

African Americans

  • 1865-1885 Clay County Colored Marriage Index 1865-1885. Batch M514793 at FamilySearch.

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

Land and Property Records

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 Clay 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.

  • A Civic History of Kansas City, Missouri. Available online at Ancestry ($)
  • Clay County, Missouri Centennial Souvenier, 1822-1922. By Daughters of the American Revolution. Alexander Doniphan Chapter (Liberty, Missouri). 1922. Liberty, Missouri : Liberty Tribune. Available online at FamilySearch
  • Clay County Soldiers and Sailors. By G. A. Puckett. c1919. Liberty, Mo. : Liberty Pub. Co. Available online at FamilySearch
  • History of Clay County, Missouri. By William H. Woodson. 1920. Topeka, Missouri : Historical Pub. Available online at FamilySearch
  • Kansas City, Missouri : its History and its People, 1808-1908. Available online at Ancestry ($)
  • Simon Cockrell : Early Missouri Pioneer. By W. W. (Bill) Ballew. [19--?]. S.l. : s.n. Available online at FamilySearch

Maps and Gazetteers

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Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration

Early migration routes to and from Clay County, Missouri for European settlers included:

Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments

Service men in Clay 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 Clay County, Missouri:

- 11th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company F
- 12th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry - Confederate, Company F
- 12th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry - Confederate, Company I
- 12th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company G
- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Captain Wiley C Snail's Company
- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C
- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company D
- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company E
- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F
- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company I
- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company K
- 4th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company L
- 5th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War Battle was fought in Clay County

  • September 17, 1861 Liberty[8], also known as Blue Mills Landing, Blue Mills
  • Map showing Civil War battles in Missouri

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

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

  • Liberty Tribune, 1860-1869 and Liberty Weekly Tribune, 1846-1860 Searchable online at the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Digital Collections, Index to Selected Missouri Newspapers.

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

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

School Records

Tax 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.

Birth

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

  • Clay County Archives and Historical Library
    210 E Franklin
    Liberty, MO 64068
    Phone: 816-781-3611; Fax: 816-781-3611
    Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 99
    Liberty, MO 64069
    Email: info@claycountyarchives.org
    Website

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.

Libraries

Museums

Societies

  • Genealogical Society Of Liberty
    P.O. Box 99
    Liberty, MO 64069
  • Smithville Historical Society
    Website
    Smithville is located in both Clay and Platte counties.

Websites

  • 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
  • FamilySearch Catalog . Free. - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records
  • 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 ($)

Research Guides

References

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Missouri. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. "Henry Clay," Wikipedia.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Missouri. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. 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
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Missouri. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in Oregon National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).
  8. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 15 August 2012)
  9. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/5/5a/Igimissouria.pdf.