Douglas County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Missouri
Douglas County

Guide to Douglas 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: Ava
Organized: October 29, 1857
Parent County(s): Ozark, Taney[1]
Neighboring Counties
Christian  • Howell  • Ozark  • Taney  • Texas  • Webster  • Wright
See County Maps
Courthouse
MissouriDouglasCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Missouri Douglas County Map.svg.png
Adoption

County Information

Description

The County was named for Stephen A. Douglas. The County has Ava as its seat and the County was created October 19, 1857. The County is located in the south central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Douglas County Courthouse
203 SE 2nd Avenue
Box 398
Ava, MO 65608
Phone: 417-568-4714
Douglas County Website

Clerk of the Circuit Court and Recorder has marriage, divorce and court records.
Probate and Magistrate Judge has probate records.[3]

Douglas 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
1886 1877 1886 1858 1858 1856 1830
Statewide registration started in 1910 for births and deaths. General compliance for births by 1927 and deaths by 1911.

Record Loss

1872 The Militia Springs courthouse burned in July 1872, destroying many records.

1886 Fire destroyed a building being used for courthouse purposes on April 26, 1886. All records were destroyed.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1857 Douglas County was created 29 October 1857 from Ozark and Taney Counties.
  • County seat: Ava[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 Douglas County, Missouri:

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Douglas 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 Douglas 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.

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

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 Douglas 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 settlers of Douglas County, Missouri. By Bessie Janet Woods Selleck. 1952. Berkeley, Calif. : Professional Press. Available online at FamilySearch
  • A Reminiscent History of Douglas County, Missouri, 1857-1957. By J. E. Curry. 1957. Douglas County Herald (Missouri). Available online at FamilySearch

Maps and Gazetteers

Douglas CountyTexas CountyDent CountyWright CountyLaclede CountyWebster CountyDallas CountyGreene CountyPolk CountyTaney CountyStone CountyChristian CountyHowell CountyOzark CountyFulton CountyBaxter CountyIzard CountyStone CountyMarion CountySearcy CountyBoone CountyNewton CountyCarroll CountyMODouglas.JPG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration

Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments

Service men in Douglas 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 Douglas County, Missouri:

- 1st Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company H

Civil War Battle
The following Civil War Battle was fought in Douglas County:

  • 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 Douglas County, Missouri Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

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

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

  • Douglas County Historical And Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 655
    Ava, MO 65608
    Phone: 417-683-5799 or 417-683-2536
    Website

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. Wikipedia contributors, "Douglas, Missouri," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_County,_Missouri. accessed 9/10/2018
  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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Douglas County, Missouri. Page 397-407 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 393-397.
  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. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August 2012)
  7. 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.