Genealogy Guide

Library Resources

  • HeritageQuest
    Search the US census 1790-1950, selected Revolutionary War Records, a variety of local and family histories plus articles of interest to genealogy researchers.
  • Library Edition
    Available inside the library only.
  • Show-Me the World Interlibrary Loan
    Search for print or microfilm indexes, county histories, newspaper microfilm, family histories etc. in libraries, archives and historical societies throughout the United States.

Guides to Getting Started

Birth, Marriage & Death Records

  • Boone County Records
    Certified copies of marriage licenses are available from the Recorder of Deeds in the county where the license was obtained. The Boone County Recorder of Deeds has an online search for marriage licenses issued since 1973. Please note: there is a registration process in order to access these records.
  • Callaway County Records
    Contact the Recorder’s Office for marriage and death certificates (fees required for some access).
  • Columbia/Boone County Health Department
    Obtain copies of birth certificates from Missouri birth records 1920 to the present and copies of death certificates from Missouri death records from 1980 to the current year (fees required for some access).
  • Missouri Birth & Death Records Database, Pre-1910
    From the Missouri Office of the Secretary of State, this searchable database contains over 185,000 abstracts of the birth, stillbirth and death records recorded before 1910.
  • Missouri Death Certificates: 1910-1973
    From the Missouri Office of the Secretary of State Archives, this database is an incomplete, but ongoing project.
  • Missouri Vital Records
    Request certified copies of Missouri birth, death, marriage and divorce records from the Department of Health and Senior Services Bureau of Vital Records. (A search fee must accompany all requests for copies of vital records.)
  • Online Death Indexes
    A directory of online death indexes by state and county.
  • Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
    The SSDI provides information on millions of deceased individuals with United States social security numbers whose deaths were reported to the SSA.
  • State Archives
    Contact information for the archives of each state, compiled by the National Archives.
  • State Historical Society of Missouri Newspaper Collection
    Request copies of birth, death and marriage notices found in Missouri newspapers (fee charged per request).
  • Vital Records by State
    The National Center for Health Statistics has links to Vital Records websites for each state (fees vary by state).

Cemetery, Obituary & Tombstone Records

(See also library resource links at the top.)


(See also library resource links at the top, particularly

Judicial, Military & Land Records

(See also library resource links at the top.)

  • Civil War Research
    Information from the National Parks Service on obtaining service and pension records for both Union and Confederate soldiers.
  • Land Records
    The Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office site provides access to more than five million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States, issued between 1788 and the present.
  • Military Personnel Records
    Military personnel health and medical records of discharged and deceased veterans of all services during the 20th century. (Records prior to WWI are in the National Archives, Washington D.C.)
  • Missouri Judicial, Land and Military Records
    Judicial records, land records including the Missouri Land Patents Database, military records, penitentiary records and many other collections relating to state history.
  • National Archives
    Describes the military records holdings of the National Archives with guidelines on how to use records for genealogy research.

Immigration Records

(See also library resource links at the top.)

  • Ellis Island
    Search passenger records for immigrants arriving at Ellis Island from 1820-1957.
  • Family Search
    America’s first immigration center has free access to a database of information on 11 million immigrants who entered the United States 1820-1892.
  • Naturalization Indexes
    Searchable naturalization indexes and records organized by state. Some require payment.


Other Helpful Websites