St. Louis County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Missouri Gotoarrow.png St. Louis County

Guide to St. Louis County Missouri genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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Online Records

St. Louis County, Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded October 1, 1812
County Seat Clayton
Address St. Louis County Courthouse
41 S Central Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105
Phone: 314.889.2041
St. Louis County Website

County Courthouse


County Clerk has birth records 1877-1910;
Recorder Deeds has marriage and land records;
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records[1]


St. Louis County predates the state of Missouri which was admitted to the union in 1821. St. Louis was one of the five original districts of the Louisiana Territory from 1805-1812 and one of the five original counties of the Missouri Territory from 1812 to 1821.

On August 22, 1876 the City of St. Louis voted to separate from St. Louis County and became an independent city.

Parent County

'St. Louis County was created 1 October 1812 as an original county.

  • County seat: City of St. Louis (1805- Mar. 1877)
  • County seat: Clayton[2] (abt. 1878-present)
Note - The seperation was not official until a court case decided the issue in March of 1877. St. Louis County started separate record keeping from St. Louis City in 1877. It was not until December 1878, however, that the county established a new courthouse in the new county seat of Clayton, Missouri.
Records for the county (1805-1876) are maintained by the City of St. Louis and records (1877-present) are maintained by the county. The two years of 1877 and 1878 are a gray area in county record keeping and records for those years may show up in city records. Many of these records are available at both the St. Louis Public Library (City) and the St. Louis County Library.

For further explanation see St. Louis City and County Split & How it Affects Research in St. Louis.

Boundary Changes

  • See an interactive map of St. Louis County border changes at N2Genealogy.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


Archives and Libraries

  • St. Louis Public Library (St. Louis City) owns a large collection of books, periodicals, maps, and other miscellaneous materials that deal with the history of St. Louis City, and Library staff have indexed many previously unindexed books and materials on that topic. They also own a large local history card file, and a large vertical file consisting of articles clipped from local newspapers and other local publications.
    St. Louis Public Library Local History Indexes and Bibliographies
  • St. Louis County Library has a large collection of genealogical records for St. Louis City and St. Louis County in its Special Collections Department located at its main headquarters. The collection includes holdings from the St. Louis Genealogical Society as well as parish records from the Archdiocese of St. Louis. In addition to its holdings, the staff of the Special Collections Department has created indexes for many records including St. Louis newspapers as well as birth, naturalization, probate, and church records.




For tips on accessing St. Louis County, Missouri Genealogy census records online, see: Missouri Census.

Church History and 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.

  • The St. Louis County Library has a page that lists its available Lutheran resources including an index to some Immanuel Lutheran Church and St. Paul's Lutheran Church records.
Evangelical and United Church of Christ

* With the priests name from a civil marriage record, this list can be used to locate a church marriage record which often contains more family information.


Fairmount Presbyterian Church, St. Louis

  • 1871-1875 - Fairmount Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Baptism Index 1871-1875. Batch C515742 at FamilySearch - free.[3]
  • 1871-1879 - Fairmount Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Marriage Index 1871-1879. Batch M515741 at FamilySearch - free.[3]

North Presbyterian Church, St. Louis

  • 1850-1857 - North Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Baptism Index 1850-1857. Batch C515751 at FamilySearch - free.[3]

Third Presbyterian Church, St. Louis

  • 1842-1850 - Third Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Baptism Index 1842-1850. Batch C515761 at FamilySearch - free.[3]
  • 1843-1846 - Third Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Marriage Index 1843-1846. Batch M515762 at FamilySearch - free.[3]

County Directories

  • The St. Louis County Library has St. Louis County Directories for 1893, 1896, 1903 and other later years available in their Special Collections Department.

Court 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.

  • St. Louis County Library has created an Index to Naturalizations.  Site provides information on the various naturalization records from the U.S. Circuit Court.


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 St. Louis 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.





  • 1798-1914 - St. Louis County Library has created an Index to Registers of Enlistments in the United States Army, 1798-1914. The names included in the extracted set below include ONLY enlistees who were either born in St. Louis, Missouri, or who enlisted at St. Louis or at Jefferson Barracks (shown as Jeff Bks in the chart) which is located in St. Louis County.

Civil War

Civil War service men from St. Louis County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of St. Louis County.

Men from St. Louis County also served in the following Illinois companies:

- 2nd Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery, Battery E.
- 10th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company F.
- 16th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry, Company E.
- 43rd Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company A.

World War I


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

St. Louis Obiturary index: Compiled from the St. Louis Post Dispatch Newpaper covering the years 1880-1930, 1942-1945, 1960-1969, and 1992-2009. Sponsored by the St. Louis Public Library.


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 (Civil)

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.

See St. Louis County, Missouri Vital Records for information on St. Louis County vital records and their indexes.


St. Louis Genealogical Society.

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), St Louis County, Missouri. Page 406 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at