Columbia Missouri Family History Center

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FamilySearch This article describes the services and resources available at a Family History Center, a branch facility of the Family History Library.


Thanksgiving: We will be closed for Thanksgiving on Saturday, November 18 through November 25. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, November 28.

Christmas/New Years: We will be closed on Saturday, December 23 through January 6. We will resume normal hours on Tuesday, January 9.

We are ALWAYS closed when the Columbia Public Schools are closed because of the weather, and on very rare occasion we are closed because road conditions make staff uneasy. You are always welcome to call during our open hours to ensure we are here.573-443-2048).

When we have an unexpected closure, we try hard to post that closing RIGHT HERE, at the top of this webpage.

Occasionally, we close 30 or minutes early if no patrons remain in the Center.

Columbia Missouri Family History Center

The Columbia Family History Center, one of about 4,600 such centers in 132 countries, is technically an extension of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we exist to assist patrons in searching for their ancestors. We are staffed by local Church members and others from the community who volunteer their time to serve in the Center. The services provided by the Center are free to anyone who wishes to use them. There is a small charge, however, for copying and for microfilm/fiche rental.

The Columbia Family History Center (FHC) was first opened in 1974 and has been at its current location since 1994. This particular Family History Center is the second largest in the state of Missouri in terms of the number of hours open each week.


Center Contacts and Hours

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


Open Hours:

  • Tuesday: 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Wednesday: 1:00pm-4:00pm and 6:30pm-9:00pm
  • Thursday: 10:00am-4:00pm
  • Saturday: Open the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Saturday of the month from 1:00pm -5:00pm

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 August. Look at the top of this page for specific closing information closer to those dates.

Workshop Schedule

Workshops are free to anyone in the community. Preregistration is absolutely required by e-mailing the Stake Temple and Family History Consultant - Center at


Center Resources

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


We have a collection of general genealogy research books that are invaluable to the beginner 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


Family History Microfilm Discontinuation

On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services. (The last day to order microfilm will be on August 31, 2017.)

The change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology.

• Online access to digital images of records allows FamilySearch to reach many more people, faster and more efficiently.

• FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections.

• Over 1.5 million microfilms (ca. 1.5 billion images) have been digitized by FamilySearch, including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide.

• The remaining microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

• Family history centers will continue to provide access to relevant technology, premium subscription services, and digital records, including restricted content not available at home.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in 3 places on under Search.

• Records include historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse.

• Books include digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries.

• Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection.

Centers may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch after microfilm ordering ends. 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.

  • Patrons' Microfiche Collection -- a collection of fiche ordered by our patrons, assorted titles. Contain family histories, vital records, and other types of information.
  • Indefinite Film Collection -- a collection of films on a variety of subjects, to include vital records, county records, court records, etc.
  • Book Collection: --

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. Among these is the Scottish Parochial Register. We also have some films that patrons have ordered in the past and which other patrons may use as well.

If the film or fiche a patron needs in not in our collection, 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

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 in Family History Centers. These sites include:

  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers digital archive
  • Access Newspaper Archives
  • Alexander Street Press (American Civil War)
  • The Genealogist (UK)
  • Find My Past (UK)
  • Genline Family Finder (Swedish)
  • Godfrey Library
  • Heritage Quest Online (includes PERSI)
  • Historic Map Works
  • (formerly Footnote)
  • World Vital Records

We also have a variety of Church sponsored and non-Church sponsored websites on our desktop computers that many people don’t know about, and which we are happy to demonstrate.

In-House Resources

We offer these local records at our Family History Center:

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.


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

  • 7 computers and printers
  • 4 microfilm readers
  • 3 microfiche readers
  • 1 microfilm/fiche reader printer
  • and 1 new (to us) digital film reader
  • 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

Resources in the Local Area

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.


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

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 LDS Church standards while working in the Center.