Missouri Court Records
Major Missouri courts that kept records of genealogical value include the following:
- Circuit courts are county-wide courts with jurisdiction over criminal and civil matters.
- Courts of common pleas were county-wide courts that existed in some counties before the 1880s. They had jurisdiction over minor civil and criminal matters.
- Magistrate courts have citywide jurisdiction over minor criminal offenses and some small claims.
National Archives—Central Plains Region (Kansas City, Missouri) has U.S. circuit and district court records dating from 1820. The Family History Library has microfilmed many Missouri court records in each county. The library also has a few records from the French and Spanish era for 1766 to 1816 (FHL films 1005424-6).
For more information about federal court records, see William D. White, Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the United States Courts for the Western District of Missouri, (Kansas City, Missouri: Federal Records Center, 1969; FHL book 977.8 A1 no. 85; film 982261 item 21).