Clay County, MissouriEdit This Page

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United States Gotoarrow.png Missouri Gotoarrow.png Clay County

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

Hand and keyboard.jpg Missouri
Online Records

Clay County, Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded January 22, 1822
County Seat Liberty
Address Clay County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Liberty, MO 64086
Phone: 816.792.7637
Clay County Website


Clay County Courthouse

Recorder Deeds has marriage and land records;
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records
from 1822; Probate Court has probate records[1]


Henry Clay.JPG

The county is named after U.S. Speaker of the House Henry Clay (1777-1852).[2]

Parent County

1822--Clay County was created 2 January 1822 from Ray County.
County seat: Liberty [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

For a list of record loss in Missouri counties see: Missouri Counties with Burned Courthouses


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Clinton  • Jackson  • Platte  • Ray  • Wyandotte County, Kansas  •

Jackson CountyRay CountyLafayette CountyCarroll CountyCass CountyJohnson CountyClay CountyCaldwell CountyDaviess CountyDeKalb CountyClinton CountyPlatte CountyBuchanan CountyAndrew CountyWyandotte CountyMiami CountyFranklin CountyOsage CountyDouglas CountyJohnson CountyLivingston CountyShawnee CountyLeavenworth CountyJefferson CountyAtchison CountyBrown CountyDoniphan CountyMOClay1.JPG


African American

  • 1865-1885 - Clay County Colored Marriage Index 1865-1885. Batch M514793 at FamilySearch - free.[4]



Roberts Cemetery, Gallatin BillionGraves


For tips on accessing Clay County, Missouri 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.


St. James, Liberty

  • 1847-1873 - St. James, Liberty, Baptism Index 1847-1873. Batch C511941 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1847-1879 - St. James, Liberty, Marriage Index 1847-1879. Batch M511941 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Missouri City


City Directories


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 Clay County, Missouri. 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.




Early migration routes to and from Clay County, Missouri for European settlers included:


Civil War
- 11th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company F
:- 12th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry - Confederate, Company F
:- 12th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry - Confederate, Company I
:- 12th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company G
:- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Captain Wiley C Snail's Company
:- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C
:- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company D
:- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company E
:- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F
:- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company I
:- 48th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company K
:- 4th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company L
:- 5th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F

Civil War Battle

The following Civil War Battle was fought in Clay County

  • September 17, 1861 = Liberty[7] aslo known as Blue Mills Landing, Blue Mills

Map showing Civil War battles in Missouri


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Clay County, Missouri 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.


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.

  • 1855-1869 - Clay County Birth Index 1855-1869. Batch C514791 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1865-1885 - Clay County Birth Index 1865-1885. Batch C514793 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1883-1884 - Clay County Birth Index 1883-1884. Batch C514794 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • Missouri State Archives provides on-line access to Missouri Death Certificates more than 50 yrs old starting in 1910.
  • 1883-1884 - Clay County Death Index 1883-1884. Batch B514795 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

Smithville Historical Society

Smithville is located in both Clay and Platte counties. There are a number of resources available on their website.

Family History Centers