Vernon County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Vernon County

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

County Facts
County seat: Nevada
Organized: February 17, 1851
Parent County(s): Bates[1]
Neighboring Counties
Barton  • Bates  • Bourbon (KS)  • Cedar  • Crawford (KS)  • Linn (KS)  • St. Clair
See County Maps
Location Map
Missouri Vernon County Map.svg.png

County Information


The county was named for Colonel Miles Vernon, state senator, and veteran of the Battle of New Orleans. The county has Nevada as its seat and the county was created February 27, 1855. The County is located in the western area of the state. [2]

County Courthouse

Vernon County Courthouse
100 W Cherry Street
Nevada, MO 64772
Phone: 417-448-2500
Vernon County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records 1883-1904.
Recorder of Deeds has marriage and land records.
Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records.
Probate Court has probate records.[3]

Vernon 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
1883 1855 1883 1856 1855 1855 1830
Statewide registration started in 1910 for births and deaths. General compliance for births by 1927 and deaths by 1911.

Record Loss

1863 Although there was a courthouse fire in 1863, Vernon Co did not suffer any historic record loss. County government was shut down during the Civil War. The county clerk took the courthouse key and went to war. In mid-1862 he came back into Vernon Co and secreted the records away and sent them south into Arkansas for safekeeping, just 10 months before Nevada was burned. The records ended up in Fort Scott, KS and were returned to Vernon County following the war, only one index book having fallen from the wagon.

The last term of Vernon County court before the Civil War was held June 6, 1861; and the next term of the county court was held Oct 17, 1865.

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1855 Vernon County was created 27 February 1855 from Bates County.
  • County seat: Nevada[5]

For animated maps illustrating Missouri county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Missouri County Boundary Maps" (1804-1889) may be viewed for free at the website.

Populated Places

The following are locations in Vernon County, Missouri:

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Vernon 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

Where is present-day Vernon County, Missouri Found in the Federal Census? 1830: North of the Osage River: Jackson County, MO 1830: South of the Osage River: Crawford County, MO 1840: Van Buren County, MO except for the southern 1/4th of the county which was enumerated as Newton County, MO 1850: Bates County, MO 1860-present: Vernon County, MO

For tips on accessing Vernon 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


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



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 Vernon 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 Vernon County, Missouri. 1887. St. Louis: Brown. Available online at FamilySearch
  • History of Vernon County, Missouri. By J. B. Johnson. 1911. Chicago, Illinois: C. F. Cooper. Vol 2 available online at FamilySearch

Maps and Gazetteers

Linn CountyBourbon CountyCrawford CountyBates CountyHenry CountySt. Clair CountyBarton CountyDade CountyCedar CountyMO VERNON.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military Records

Civil War

Online Records

Civil War Battles
The following Civil War Battles were fought in Vernon County:

  • September 2, 1861 Dry Wood Creek[6] also known as Big Dry Wood Creek, Battle of the Mules
  • October 25, 1864 Marmiton River[7] also known as Shiloh Creek, Charlot’s Farm
  • Map showing Civil War battles in Missouri.

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship


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


Other Records


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

• ID
• Deceased surname
• Deceased given name
• Comment re deceased
• File type
• Date of Probate
• Administrator surname
• Administrator given name
• Heirs surname
• Heirs given name
• Relationship to Deceased

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.





Research Facilities


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.




  • Vernon County Historical Society
    231 North Main Street
    Nevada, MO 64772
    Phone: 417-667-9602


  • Missouri Digital Heritage. Free. digital images of many types of records from institutions across the State
  • Vernon County 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


  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, "Vernon County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Missouri, accessed 18 Sept 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), Vernon 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. "History of Vernon County, Missouri"; St. Louis: Brown & Co. 1887; Pages 191-196. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August 2012)
  7. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 15 August 2012)
  8. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at