Putnam County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Missouri
Putnam County

Guide to Putnam 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: Unionville
Organized: February 22, 1843
Parent County(s): Non-County Area 23 and Non-County Area 24 [1]
Neighboring Counties
Adair  • Appanoose (IA)  • Mercer  • Schuyler  • Sullivan  • Wayne (IA)
See County Maps
Courthouse
MissouriPutnamCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Missouri Putnam County Map.svg.png
Adoption
Israel Putnam

County Information

Description

The County was named for Israel Putnam. The County has Unionville as its seat and the County was created February 28, 1845. The County is located in the north center area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Putnam County Courthouse
Main Street, #204
Unionville, MO 63565
Phone: 660-947-2674
Putnam County Website

Clerk of the Circuit Court has birth records 1878-1903, marriage records from 1854, divorce and court records from 1855, land records from 1848.
Probate Judge has probate records from 1848.[3]
For additional details:Putnam County Courthouse (GenWeb)

Putnam 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
1878 1854 1887 1855 1848 1848 1830
Statewide registration started in 1910 for births and deaths. General compliance for births by 1927 and deaths by 1911.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

  • 1843 Putnam County was formed in February 22, 1843 from Non-County Area 23 and Non-County Area 24.
  • County seat: Unionville[5]

According to Campbell's 1874 Missouri gazetteer, the size of Putnam County was "greatly reduced" as a result of "the difficulty between Iowa and Missouri" (see "The Honey War" in Wikipedia). The same source notes that Putnam County was enlarged to include the former Dodge County in the spring of 1853.

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 Putnam County, Missouri:

  • Central City (12 miles west of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Hartford (10 miles east of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Holbrook (10 miles north of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Howland (AKA Mendota; 6 miles north of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Mendota - see Howland
  • Newtown (25 miles southwest of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Omaha (12 miles east-northeast) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Pleasant Home (20 miles east-southeast of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Prairie (4 miles south of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Putnamville (already "fallen to decay" by 1874) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • St. John (15 miles northwest of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Shoneytown (14 miles northeast of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Terre Haute (15 miles southwest of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Winchester (already "fallen to decay" by 1874) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • "Putnam County" section, Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874 (online text in Google Books)
  • Township Formation History (GenWeb)

History Timeline

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Missouri Digital Heritage,

  • 1836 March - The first white settler came to what is now Putnam County.
  • 1843 - The area that included what would later become Putnam County was surveyed and old boundary lines were readjusted.
  • 1845 February 28 - Putnam County is organized.
  • 1877 June 26 - A Temperance and Reform Society was organized.

The area that eventually became Putnam County, Missouri was a part of Chariton County when Missouri was admitted to the Union in 1821. Later, this area was a part of Sullivan County. Putnam County was formed from Sullivan County 28 Feb 1845, according to Walter Williams' 1913 history titled A History of Northeast Missouri, but from parts of both Adair and Sullivan Counties according to Wikipedia.

Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri (1874) also notes that "the Indians left in the summer of 1845." Then, from about 1845 to 1855, "a large number of families, many of them from Kentucky, located in the rich prairie lands and many fine farms were made."

Earlier settlers, prior to the formation of the county in 1845, are also noted by Campbell in his 1874 gazetteer: "Among the early settlers were James Cochran and Isaac and Clifford L. Summers, who located near the present site of Omaha; Isaac and Jesse Gilstrap, John F., W. G. and Miles Crabtree, and Joseph, Joshua, John and Henry Guffey, who settled on Goshen Ridge, which extends from north-west of Hartford to south-east of Martinstown; James M. Brasfield, who lived near Pleasant Home, besides the families of McCollom, Marshall, Mullinix and Martin." Campbell states that all of these individuals and families arrived prior to 1844.

The original county seat of Putnam County was Putnamville, located in the northeastern part of the county. The county seat moved to Winchester 6 Jan 1849. Sometime around 1853 this was again moved, this time to Harmony. The name of Harmony was changed "a few years later," according to Campbell's 1874 Missouri gazetteer, to Unionville.

Originally, the county was divided into the following townships: Cochran, Elm, Grogan, Locust, and Richland.

The first county court was held 28 Apr 1845 in the home of James Cochran.

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Putnam 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 Putnam 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.

Catholic
Unionville

  • 1870-1873 Unionville Catholic Church Baptism Index 1870-1873. Batch C511531 at FamilySearch.

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 Putnam 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.

  • History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam and Schuyler Counties, Missouri. 1888. Chicago, Illinois : Goodspeed Pub. Co. Available online at FamilySearch
  • History of Northeast Missouri. (See "Putnam County" chapter.) Ed. by Walter Williams. 1913. Vol. 1 available online at Google Books.
  • Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri. (See "Putnam County" section.) 1874. Available online at Google Books

Maps and Gazetteers

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Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration

Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments

Service men in Putnam 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 Putnam County, Missouri:

- 18th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company D
- 18th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company E
- 18th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company I
- 2nd Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company A
- 2nd Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company G
- 2nd Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company C
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company A
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company B
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company D
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company E
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company G
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company H
- 45th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company I

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Putnam 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

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
  • genealogytrails.com. Free. Data submitted by individuals
  • 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
  • epodunk/com. Free. Putnam County Profile with links of genealogical interest
  • 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, "Putnam, Missouri," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putnam_County,_Missouri. accessed 9/13/2018
  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), Putnam 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. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/d/d8/Igimissourij.pdf.