Madison County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Madison County

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


Madison County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Madison County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded February 14, 1818
County Seat Frederickstown
Address Madison County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Fredericktown, MO 63645
Phone: 573.783.2176
Madison County Website

County Information

Madison County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1821 1883 1820 1819 1821

County Courthouse

  • County Clerk has birth and death records 1883-1900 and local census 1876
  • Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce and court records from 1821 and military discharge records from 1943
  • County Magistrate has probate records from 1820
  • County Assessor has land records from 1821[2]


Madison County, Missouri was organized 14 Dec 1818 by an act of the territorial legislature. That act became effective 1 Jan 1819. The county was formed from parts of Cape Girardeau and Ste. (correct spelling) Genevieve Counties.

The county was named after President James Madison. Madison had been president until 1817, just shortly before the organization of the county, and was instrumental in facilitating the Louisiana Purchase, of which Madison County was a part.

Fredericktown is Madison County's county seat. The town is believed to have likely derived its name from the first name of one of the area's pioneer settlers, Capt. George Frederick Bollinger.

The earliest European settlement in what became Madison County was at Mine La Motte, located north of the county seat of Fredericktown. A primary motivation for early settlement was the potential for lead mining, and Mine La Motte became an early center for the manufacture of lead ammunition. Madison County is a part of the region of the state which is still referred to as the Lead Belt because of its intense mining activity in the past.

A related early settlement in what became Madison County was the French Catholic village of St. Michaels, settled in 1799 or 1800 (sources differ) and later absorbed into Fredericktown. German Reformed settlers from Bollinger County entered the area after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

The Madison County Circuit Court first met on 12 Jul 1819 in the home of Theodore F. Tong. The County Court, separate from the Circuit Court, was then organized in 1821 and first met in the home of J.G.W. McCabe. Up until that point, Madison County had been divided into three townships: St. Michaels, Liberty, and Castor. The County Court added two additional townships in 1821. These were Twelve Mile and German.

The Battle of Fredericktown took place on 21 Oct 1861 when U.S. Grant ordered Col. Plummer, heading the 11th Missouri Volunteers, to go to Fredericktown in search of Confederate troops led by Jeff Thompson. The Confederates were found about a mile outside of town, and although they were not overtaken by the Union troops, they were forced to evacuate the area and the Union army took a number of prisoners.

The county's estimated 2004 population was 11,948.

For more on the history of Madison County, Missouri, see also:

Parent County

1818--Madison County was created 14 December 1818 from Cape Girardeau and Ste. Genevieve Counties.
County seat: Fredericktown [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.


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

See also:

Neighboring Counties

Bollinger  • Iron  • Perry  • St. Francois • Wayne

Madison CountyBollinger CountyPerry CountyStoddard CountyCape Girardeau CountyWayne CountyReynolds CountyShannon CountyCarter CountyIron CountyWashington CountySt. Francois CountySte. Genevieve CountyMOMadison.JPG




Note that many Madison County records are available on microfilm at the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City. For general information about Madison County records, see the following:


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.









1876 State Agricultural Census

  • 1876 State Agricultural Census: The census book is in the courthouse, Fredericktown, MO, and has been microfilmed by the State Archives, although this record may be incomplete. This is the only Missouri state census that has survived for Madison County.
  • Madison County State Census 1876, book and digital images of Missouri State and Territorial Census Records. (FHL)
  • Miller, Michael G. 1876 State Census for Madison Co., Missouri: An Original Work. Fredericktown, MO: Foundation for Historical Preservation, 2001. Other Libraries


1890 Special Enumeration






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.


At least one online source says that Madison County court records date back to 1827, but this appears to be incorrect. Court records for the county as microfilmed by the State Archives are extant from as early as 1820, with territorial records dating back to 1810. See Missouri State Archives Guide to County and Municipal Records on Microfilm: Madison County (pdf).


Genealogies and Biographies


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.

Madison County land records date back to 1819. See Missouri State Archives Guide to County and Municipal Records on Microfilm: Madison County (pdf).

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Madison 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.

  • Douglass, Robert Sidney, History of Southeast Missouri, Vol. 1. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912. Google Books digital text | Internet Archive digital text
  • Historical Madison: The History of Madison County, Missouri 1818-1988. Fredericktown, MO: Heritage and Landmarks Commission and Madison County Historical Society, 1989.
  • History of Southeast Missouri. Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1888. Missouri State Archives digital copy
  • Mills, James E. Geological Report on the Mine La Motte Estate: The Property of Hon. Rowland Hazard, Situated in Madison County, Missouri. [n.p.:] G.W. & C.B. Colton & Co., 1877. Google Books page
  • Thompson, Henry Clay. A History of Madison County, Missouri. [no publication information: abt 1940]. (Originally published in installments in the Fredericktown Democrat News).
  • Rothensteiner, John Ernest. Chronicles of an old Missouri parish : historical sketches of St. Michael's church, Fredericktown, Madison County, Mo. St. Louis, Mo. : "Amerika" Print, 1917.



Civil War

Online Records

Civil War Battle

The following Civil War Battle was fought in Madison County:

World War II


Naturalization and Citizenship


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


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.

Madison County probate records date from 1821.

Online Probate Records


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.

Divorce Records

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

  • Historic Madison County
    122 North Main Street
    Fredericktown, MO 63645

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 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 Madison 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 Free genealogy & family history resources Free profile and links regarding Madison County
Missouri Genealogy Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Madison 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 "Madison Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Madison County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Madison County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search Madison 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), Madison County, Missouri. Page 402 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. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August 2012)
  5. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at