Jefferson County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Jefferson County

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


Jefferson County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Jefferson County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded December 8, 1818
County Seat Hillsboro
Address Jefferson County Courthouse
300 2nd Street
PO Box 100
Hillsboro, MO 63050-0100
Phone: 636.797.5478
Jefferson County Website
Named for: Thomas Jefferson

County Information

Jefferson County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1825 1883 1820 1819 1820

County Courthouse

Recorder of Deeds has marriage and land records; Probate Court has probate records; Clerk of the Circuit Court has court records.[2]


Jefferson County, Missouri was organized 8 December 1818. This became effective 1 January 1819. The county was named after Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson

County history, school records, marriage, birth and death records, churches, adoptions, passports, photos, military, court records, family histories can be found (free) at Jefferson County Heritage and Historical Society

Parent County

1818 Jefferson County was created 8 December 1818 from Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis Counties. County seat: Hillsboro [3]

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.


Populated Places

Pond in Young Conservation Area

Neighboring Counties

Franklin  • Monroe County, Illinois  • St. Francois  • Ste. Genevieve  • St. Louis  • Washington  •

Jefferson CountyPerry CountySte. Genevieve CountyCape Girardeau CountyBollinger CountyMadison CountyIron CountySt. Francois CountyFranklin CountySt. Louis CountyMonroe CountyRandolph CountySt. Clair CountySt. Charles CountyWashington CountyMadison CountyWashington CountyClinton CountyJackson CountyPerry CountyMOJefferson.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.

A number of residents of Valle Township, Jefferson County, Missouri were buried across Big River in Masonic Cemetery in Washington County, near Blackwell.


Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1820 1,835
1830 2,592 41.3%
1840 4,296 65.7%
1850 6,928 61.3%
1860 10,344 49.3%
1870 15,380 48.7%
1880 18,736 21.8%
1890 22,484 20.0%
1900 25,712 14.4%
1910 27,878 8.4%
1920 26,555 −4.7%
1930 27,563 3.8%
1940 32,023 16.2%
1950 38,007 18.7%
1960 66,377 74.6%
1970 105,248 58.6%
1980 146,183 38.9%
1990 171,380 17.2%
2000 198,099 15.6%
2010 218,733 10.4%


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.



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 Jefferson 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.

  • Articles: Items of History (Jefferson County Historical Society)
  • Boyer, Mary Joan, Jefferson County, Missouri in Story and Pictures.  Festus, Missouri: Tri-City Independent, 1956.
  • Douglass, Robert Sidney, History of Southeast Missouri.  New York:  Lewis Publishing Compasny, 1912.
  • Family Histories (Jefferson County Historical Society)
  • Biographies from The History of Jefferson County, Missouri (1888) published by Goodspeed are available free on the My Genealogy Hound website.
  • History of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, and Gasconade Counties, Missouri.  Chicago:  The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1888.  Reprint, Greenville, South Carolina:  Southern Historical Press, 2001.  (Jefferson County portion, GenWeb)
  • Jefferson County, Missouri History Books (indexes) (Jefferson County Historical Society)
  • Rutledge, Zoe Booth, Our Jefferson County Heritage (index only; Jefferson County Historical Society)
  • Whipple, Etta, History of Jefferson Co. Baptists 1798-1949 (index only; Jefferson County Historical Society)

Maps and Gazetteers



Civil War

Online Records


Service men in Jefferson 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 Jefferson County, Missouri:

- 31st Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company A
- 35th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company K
- 6th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company B
World War II


Naturalization and Citizenship


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

Historic newspapers from 1869 to 1952 are housed at the Jefferson County History Center at Jefferson College. The Center is located in the Jefferson College Library and is open by appointment.


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.

The Jefferson County History Center, located in the Jefferson College Library and open by appointment, contains probate files dating from the 1820s.

Online Probate Records


  • Schools (Jefferson County Historical Society)


Real estate and personal property tax records from the 19th through the mid-20th centuries are located at the Jefferson County History Center in the Jefferson College Library. The Center is open by appointment.

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

Many of the older county records have been moved from the Jefferson County Courthouse to the Jefferson County History Center at Jefferson College. Old newspapers which were once housed at Roop Printing in De Soto have also been moved to the Jefferson County History Center. The De Soto Public Library has a large collection of vintage photographs of De Soto landmarks and businesses.

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 Jefferson 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 Jefferson 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 "Jefferson Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Jefferson County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries

Social networking sites pertaining to Jefferson County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search Jefferson 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), Jefferson County, Missouri. Page 401 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at