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

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Online Records

Shelby County, Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded January 2, 1835
County Seat Shelbyville
Address Shelby County Courthouse
PO Box 186
Shelbyville, MO 63469
Phone: 573.633.2181
Shelby County Website
Isaac Shelby.JPG


County Information

Shelby County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1835 1883 1840 1835 1836

County Courthouse


Recorder Deeds has marriage and land records; Clerk Circuit Court has divorce records; Probate
Court has probate records; Clerk Magistrate Court has court records[2]


The county is named after Kentucky's First Governor Isaac Shelby (1750-1826).[3]

Parent County

1835--Shelby County was created 2 January 1835 from Marion County. County seat: Shelbyville [4]

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

Knox  • Lewis  • Macon  • Marion  • Monroe  • Randolph

Shelby CountyAdair CountyLewis CountyMarion CountyKnox CountyRandolph CountyChariton CountyMacon CountyMonroe CountyRalls CountyPike CountyPike CountyAdams CountyHancock CountyMOShelby.JPG




For tips on accessing Shelby County, Missouri Genealogy 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.



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 Shelby 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.

  • History of Monroe and Shelby counties, Missouri . . . : including a history of their townships, towns and villages together with a condensed history of Missouri . . . biographical sketches of prominent citizens. St. Louis, Missouri : National Historical Co., 1884.
  • Bingham, William H. General history of Shelby County, Missouri. Chicago, Illinois : H. Taylor & Co., 1911.




Civil War
- 70th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company H
:- 70th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company D
:- 70th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company B
:- 70th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company F
:- 39th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company G
:- 11th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company A
:- 11th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company H
:- 2nd Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company A
:- 2nd Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company B
:- 2nd Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company I
:- 70th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company E
:- 70th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company G
:- 70th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company I


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

  • ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Moberly newspapers from the early 1900's that covered local news on residents from Shelby County communities.


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.

Online Probate Records


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.


Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

Historical Society

Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Web Sites

Sites with online indexes or images of records
Missouri Digital Heritage Free digital images of many types of records from institutions across the State
MOGenWeb Free Data may be submitted by individuals or complete transcriptions
USGenWeb Archives Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Sites that search for links pertaining to Shelby County, Missouri Genealogy
RootsWeb resources Free Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
Linkpendium Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
CyndisList Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
StateofUS Free family history resources and government records
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Shelby County, Missouri Genealogy
Books, microfilm, or manuscripts of genealogical records
FamilySearch catalog Select topics. To select towns, add a comma to the search box.
WorldCat To find nearby libraries that have specific items, see WorldCat Online Catalog.
Allen County Public Library located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Shelby County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Shelby County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search Shelby County, MO Genealogy Forum


  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 422-438. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shelby County, Missouri. Page 405 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. "List of Counties in Tennessee," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at


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  • This page was last modified on 18 October 2015, at 22:06.
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