Missouri Church Records

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Roman Catholic churches were established in Missouri in the colonial era. Records for St. Louis, for example, date from 1765. Many other denominations came after 1800 with the arrival of various immigrant groups. By 1900 the largest religious groups in Missouri were the Roman Catholic, Baptist, Christian (Disciples of Christ), and Methodist Episcopal (now United Methodist).

The Family History Library has some collections of church records for Missouri, including Catholic, Baptist, and Presbyterian records. These include a unique collection of 13 films of alphabetized parish register transcripts from the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City for the years 1830 to 1900.

For information on church records see:

  • Guide to Vital Statistics: Church Records in Missouri. Washington, DC: Historical Records Survey, 1942. At various libraries (WorldCat) (not available at the Family History Library)

Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. You can write to the following for more information about their records.

Non-Denominational[edit | edit source]

Ruth E. Browning abstracted names and events from The Christian Messenger and created an every name index. The Christian Messenger was a religious newspaper during the 1800's which included "letters with information about the churches, obituaries, death notices, names of subscribers, letters from preachers, etc."[1]  The information abstracted from this newspaper came from several counties in Missouri.

Baptist[edit | edit source]

Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives
901 Commerce Street, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37203-3630
Phone: (615) 244-0344
Fax: (615) 782-4821

Missouri Baptist Historical Commission
400 East High Street
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Phone: (573) 636-0400 ext. 371/ Toll Free: (800) 736-6227 ext. 371

Missouri Baptist Historical Society
William Jewell College
500 College Hill
Liberty, MO 64068
Phone: (816) 781-7700 ext.5468
Fax: (816) 415-5027

American Baptist Historical Society
1106 South Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14620-2532
Phone: (716) 473-1740

An 1899 directory of Baptist ministers lists biographical details about many ministers born or serving in the state:[2]

  • The Ministerial Directory of the Baptist Churches in the United States of America. Oxford, Ohio: Ministerial Directory Co., 1899. Digital version at Google Books.

An inventory of some Missouri Baptist records at the American Baptist Historical Society is:

  • Records of American Baptists in Missouri and Related Organizations. Rochester, New York: American Baptist Historical Society, 1982. At various libraries (WorldCat)


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)[edit | edit source]

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The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Early church records, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for Missouri Wards and Branches can be found on film and are located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The film numbers, for each ward, can be locate through the FamilySearch Catalog . Or by refering to Jaussi, Laureen R., and Gloria D. Chaston. Register of Genealogical Society Call Numbers. 2 vols. Provo, Utah: Genealogy Tree, 1982. FHL Fiche 6031507 (2 fiche); FHL Book 979.2258 A3j. These volumes contain the film numbers for many (but not all) membership and temple record films.

Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)[edit | edit source]

Disciples of Christ Historical Society
1101 19th Avenue S
Nashville, TN 37212-2196
Phone: (615) 327-1444
Fax: (615) 327-1445
Website: Disciples of Christ Historical Society

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Central Methodist College Library
411 Central Methodist Square
Fayette, MO 65248
Phone: (816) 248-3391 ext. 292
Fax: (816) 248-3045
Website: United Methodist Archives

Centenary United Methodist Church
55 Plaza Square
16th & Pine Street
St Louis, MO 63103
Phone: (314) 421-3136
Fax: (314) 421-4625
Website: Centenary United Methodist Church

Commission on Archives and History
P.O. Box 127
36 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
Phone: (201) 408-3590
Fax: (201) 408-3909
Website: Commission on Archives and History
United Methodist Church

A useful history is:

  • Seaton, Richard A. History of the United Methodist Churches of Missouri. Missouri Methodist Historical Society, 1984; FHL Book 977.8 K2hs

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Missouri Lutheran Church Records & Histories can be found at this link.

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Diocese of Jefferson City
2207 West Main Street
P.O. Box 104900
Jefferson City, MO 65110-4900
Phone: (573) 635-9127
Website: Diocese of Jefferson City

The diocese includes the counties of: Adair, Audrain, Benton, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Chariton, Clark, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Gasconade, Hickory, Howard, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Maries, Marion, Miller, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Pike, Pulaski, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby and Sullivan

Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
300 East 36th
Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: (816) 756-1850
Website: Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 419037
Kansas City, MO 64141-6037

The diocese includes the counties of: Andrew, Atchison, Bates, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Holt, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Platte, Ray, St. Clair, Vernon and Worth

Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
601 S. Jefferson Ave.
Springfield, MO 65806
Phone: (417) 866-0841
Website: Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau

The diocese includes the counties of: Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Greene Howell, Iron, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, Madison, McDonald, Mississippi, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Polk, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Wayne, Webster and Wright

Archdiocese of St. Louis
4445 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108-2497
Phone: (314) 533-1887
Fax: (314) 533-1889
Website: Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Louis

Most of the St. Louis Archdiocesan records have been microfilmed and are available at the St. Louis County Library. A list of their holdings is too large to publish on their website. Instead, they have published a 348 page guide Guide To St. Louis Catholic Archdiocesan Parish Records detailing their holdings. The book contains the SLCL and FHL film numbers. A very small number of records were not microfilmed and must be obtained through the Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The Archdiocese includes the counties of: Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Perry, St. Charles, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, St. Louis City (Independent), St. Louis County, Warren and Washington

The Drouin Collection

Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954 ($) (Ancestry). This database only contains the French Catholic parish records from the United States in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is the U.S. part of the U.S. and French-Canadian Drouin Collection. For more details see "The Drouin Collection: Six Databases"

The types of records include baptisms, marriages, and burials as well as confirmations, dispensations, censuses, statements of readmission to the church, and so on. They are written mainly in French, as well as English, Latin, and Italian.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ruth E. Browning, Name Index to the Christian Messenger at http://sherrysharp.com/gentree/documents/christian-messenger.pdf
  2. Davis points out that not all ministers participated, see: Robert S. Davis, "Some Baptist Ministers of South Carolina at the Turn of the Century," The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Winter 2004):13-22. FHL Book 975.7 B2sc v. 32