Clay County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Clay County

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


Clay County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Clay County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded January 22, 1822
County Seat Liberty
Address Clay County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Liberty, MO 64086
Phone: 816.792.7637
Clay County Website

County Information

Clay County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1822 1883 1830 1822 1821

Clay County Courthouse

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.[2]


Henry Clay.JPG

The county is named after U.S. Speaker of the House Henry Clay (1777-1852).[3]

Parent County

1822 Clay County was created 2 January 1822 from Ray County.
County seat: Liberty [4]

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

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


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Clinton  • Jackson  • Platte  • Ray  • Wyandotte County, Kansas  •

Jackson CountyRay CountyLafayette CountyCarroll CountyCass CountyJohnson CountyClay CountyCaldwell CountyDaviess CountyDeKalb CountyClinton CountyPlatte CountyBuchanan CountyAndrew CountyWyandotte CountyMiami CountyFranklin CountyOsage CountyDouglas CountyJohnson CountyLivingston CountyShawnee CountyLeavenworth CountyJefferson CountyAtchison CountyBrown CountyDoniphan CountyMOClay1.JPG


African American

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



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 Clay 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.


St. James, Liberty

  • 1847 - 1873 St. James, Liberty, Baptism Index 1847-1873. Batch C511941 at FamilySearch - free.</ref>
  • 1847 - 1879 St. James, Liberty, Marriage Index 1847-1879. Batch M511941 at FamilySearch - free.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Missouri City


City Directories


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.




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


Civil War

Online Records


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[7] aslo known as Blue Mills Landing, Blue Mills
  • Map showing Civil War battles in Missouri
World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship


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.


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.


Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

  • Genealogical Society Of Liberty
    P.O. Box 99
    Liberty, MO 64069

Smithville Historical Society

Smithville is located in both Clay and Platte counties.

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 Clay 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 Clay 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 "Clay Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Clay County"
See also local libraries] and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Clay County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search Clay 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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Clay County, Missouri. Page 399 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "Henry Clay," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in Oregon National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  6. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in California National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 15 August 2012)
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at