Vernon County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States
Vernon County

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


Vernon County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Vernon County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded February 17, 1851
County Seat Nevada
Address Vernon County Courthouse
100 W Cherry Street
Nevada, MO 64772
Phone: 417.448.2500
Vernon County Website

County Information

Vernon County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1855 1883 1860 1855 1855

County Courthouse

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.[2]


Parent County

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

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:

Places / Localities

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Barton  • Bates  • Bourbon County, Kansas  • Cedar  • Crawford County, Kansas  • Linn County, Kansas  • St. Clair
Vernon CountyBarton CountyCedar CountyBates CountyAllen CountyLinn CountyCrawford CountyNeosho CountyBourbon CountyHenry CountySt. Clair CountyDade CountyAnderson CountyMOVernon.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.


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 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 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: including a history of its townships, towns and villages, together with a condensed history of Missouri...biographical sketches...statistics.... St. Louis: Brown, 1887.
  • Johnson, J. B. History of Vernon County, Missouri: past and present, including an account of the cities, towns and villages of the county. Chicago, Illinois: C. F. Cooper, 1911.




Civil War

Online Records

Civil War Battles

The following Civil War Battles were fought in Vernon County:

  • September 2, 1861 = Dry Wood Creek[4] also known as Big Dry Wood Creek, Battle of the Mules
  • 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:


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.

Vernon County Probate Index, 1855-1963 On-line. Index may be searched by surname of the deceased, the administrator or the heirs. Record copies may be ordered for a nominal sum. The index provides the following:

• 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
• Field 12

Online Probate 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.


Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

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 Vernon 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 Vernon 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 "Vernon Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Vernon County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Vernon County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search


  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), Vernon County, Missouri. Page 406 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. History of Vernon County, Missouri"; St. Louis: Brown & Co. 1887; Pages 191-196.
  4. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 9 August 2012)
  5. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 15 August 2012)
  6. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at