Missouri Church Records
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 (not at Family History Library) at the Library of Congress.
Many denominations have collected their records into central repositories. You can write to the following for more information about their records.
Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives
901 Commerce Street, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37203-3630
Missouri Baptist Historical Commission
William Jewell College
500 College Hill
Liberty, MO 64068
Telephone: 816-781-7700 ext.5468
American Baptist Historical Society
1106 South Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14620-2532
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.
Disciples of Christ Historical Society
1101 19th Avenue S
Nashville, TN 37212-2196
United Methodist Archives
Central Methodist College Library
411 Central Methodist Square
Fayette, MO 65248
Telephone: 816-248-3391 ext. 292
Centenary United Methodist Church
55 Plaza Square
16th & Pine Street
St Louis, MO 63103
Commission on Archives and History
United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 127
36 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940
A useful history is:
- Seaton, Richard A. History of the United Methodist Churches of Missouri. Missouri Methodist Historical Society, 1984; FHL 977.8 K2hs
Diocese of Jefferson City
Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
4445 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108-2497
Phone: (314) 533-1887
Fax: (314) 533-1889
THE DROUIN COLLECTION:
Drouin Collection 1621-1967 at Ancestry.ca. When searching these databases, be creative in the spellings as well as the various focuses in searching for an ancestor. The French language has many possible spellings for a name, as well as there are errors in the indexing.
This French-Canadian collection has over 15 million genealogical and vital records entries; they were microfilmed by the Institut Généalogique Drouin. In Quebec, under the French Regime, there were two sets of records kept: a copy for the civil government archives and a copy for the ecclesiastical church archives. The Drouin collection is a civil copy of these entries. Please note that the cutoff date of this collection is in the early 1940s; only a small percentage of entries were covered from 1948 to 1967.
This collection is divided into six databases: 1. Quebec Vital and Church Records, 1621-1967 2. Ontario French Catholic Church Records, 1747-1967, 3. Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954, 4. Acadia French Catholic Church Records, 1670-1946, 5. Quebec Notarial Records, 1647-1942, and 6. Miscellaneous French Records, 1651-1941. For details about these six databases, see The Drouin Collection: Six Databases.
Early U.S. French Catholic Church Records, 1695-1954, part of the Drouin Collection (digitally available at 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. 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.