Adair County, Missouri

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| width="100%" bgcolor="#ADFF85" colspan="3" | <center>'''Sites with online indexes or images of records''' </center>
| width="100%" bgcolor="#ADFF85" colspan="3" | <center>'''Sites with online indexes or images of records''' </center>
| width="30%" | [ Missouri Digital Heritage]
| width="20%" | Free
| digital images of many types of records from institutions across the State
| width="30%" | [ ARGenWeb]  
| width="30%" | [ ARGenWeb]  
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| width="10%" | Free  
| width="10%" | Free  
| width="60%" | Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
| width="60%" | Data may be submitted by individuals or may be complete transcriptions
| width="30%" | [ FamilySearch Historical Collections]
| width="10%" | Free
| width="60%" | Search indexes or browse images at
*Click "Last Updated." Collections through April 2014 have been posted to the appropriate topics for this Wiki page.
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| width="70%" | located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
| width="70%" | located in Indiana They are heavily involved in digitizing.
| width="30%" | [ Arkansas History Commission]  
| width="30%" | [ Missouri State Archives Library]  
| width="70%" | AR state agency involved in organizing and maintaining state and local history of AR
| width="%70%" | catalog; from this page you must search "Adair County"
| width="100%" colspan="2" | <center>'''See also''' [[{{PAGENAME}}#Societies_and_Libraries|local libraries]] and [[Missouri Archives and Libraries]]</center>
| width="100%" colspan="2" | <center>'''See also''' [[{{PAGENAME}}#Societies_and_Libraries|local libraries]] and [[Missouri Archives and Libraries]]</center>

Revision as of 15:06, 1 May 2014

This article is about a northeast Missouri county. For other uses, see Adair.

United States Gotoarrow.png Missouri Gotoarrow.png Adair County

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

Hand and keyboard.jpg Missouri
Online Records

Adair County, Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1841
County Seat Kirksville
Address Adair County Courthouse
106 W. Washington
Kirksville, MO 63501
Telephone: (660) 665-3350
Adair County Website


County Courthouse

County Recorder has marriage and land records from 1840:
Clerk Circuit Court has divorce and court records; Probate
Clerk has probate records; County Clerk has school enumeration


Parent County

1841--Adair County was created 29 January 1841from Macon County. County seat: Kirksville [2]

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


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Knox  • Linn  • Macon  • Putnam  • Schuyler  • Scotland  • Sullivan

Adair CountyKnox CountyLewis CountyScotland CountyClark CountySchuyler CountySullivan CountyPutnam CountyShelby CountyMarion CountyMacon CountyGrundy CountyLivingston CountyLinn CountyAdams CountyHancock CountyMercer CountyLee CountyPike CountyHenderson CountyJefferson CountyHenry CountyDes Moines CountyVan Buren CountyWapello CountyDavis CountyMonroe CountyWayne CountyLucas CountyAppanoose CountyDecatur CountyMOAdair1.JPG




For tips on accessing Adair 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.



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 Adair 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.

History Timeline

Emphasis for this timeline is on events that affected migration, records, or record-keeping. Unless otherwise mentioned, the events below were gleaned from Missouri Digital Heritage,

  • The area now known as Adair County was first settled in pre-historic times.
  • 1804 November 3 - The Treaty of St. Louis, between the USA and the Sacs and Foxes, stipulated that goods and cash be paid to the Sacs and Foxes.
  • 1825 - The Big Neck War was fought.
  • 1828 - The first white settlement in Adair County.
  • 1838-40 - Survey of Public Lands of Adair County was completed.
  • 1840 - Both settlers and speculators began a rush to the land office.
  • 1841 January 29 - Adair County was founded.
  • 1850 - Immigrants started coming to Adair County in large numbers.




Civil War
Civil War Battle

The following Civil War Battle was fought in Adair County

Map showing Civil War battles in Missouri


The Adair County Historical Society has created an obituary and death notice collection on its website. They have been extrated from the Kirksville Daily Express and cover from March, 1979 through December 31, 2010. There are some additional obituaries taken from the Unionville Republican which are earlier than the listed dates above.

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Adair 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.

  • 1866-1867 - Adair County Birth Index, Volume 1, 1866-1867. Batch C514581 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1841-1878 - Adair County Marriage Book 1 Index 1841-1878. Batch M514581 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1871-1884 - Adair County Marriage Books 2 thru 4 Index 1871-1884. Batch M514582 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1884-1885 - Adair County Marriage Books 5 and 6 Index 1884-1885. Batch M514583 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers