Howell County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Missouri Gotoarrow.png Howell County

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


Howell County, Missouri
Map of Missouri highlighting Howell County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded 1857
County Seat West Plains
Address Howell County Courthouse
County Courthouse Square
West Plains, MO 65775
Phone: 417.256.2591
Howell County Website

County Information

Howell County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1867 1883 1830 1866 1862

County Courthouse

County Clerk has birth records 1883-1895 and death records 1883-1893; Circuit Clerk and Recorder of Deeds has marriage, divorce, court and land records; Associate Circuit Court has probate records.[2]


Parent County

1857 Howell County was created from Oregon and Ozark Counties. County seat: West Plains [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

1863 The courthouse was burned. Most records were destroyed.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:


Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Douglas  • Fulton County, Arkansas  • Oregon  • Ozark  • Shannon  • Texas

Howell CountyOregon CountyRipley CountyCarter CountyReynolds CountyShannon CountyTexas CountyChristian CountyWebster CountyWright CountyTaney CountyOzark CountyDouglas CountyBoone CountyNewton CountyBaxter CountyMarion CountySearcy CountyStone CountyIzard CountySharp CountyFulton CountyIndependence CountyJackson CountyCraighead CountyRandolph CountyLawrence CountyMOHowell.JPG





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 Howell 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.

A history of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas being an account of the early settlements, the Civil War, the Ku-Klux, and times of peace (1907) by William Monks a resident of Howell County is available free online from Google Books.




Civil War

Online Records


Service men in Howell County, Missouri served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Howell County, Missouri:

- 4th Regiment, Missouri Infantry - Confederate, Company B
- 4th Regiment, Missouri Infantry - Confederate, Company C
- 8th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C

Naturalization and Citizenship


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

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 Howell 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
Missouri Genealogy Free Click links. Some sites they link to may have fees ($)
Major catalogs for hard copy collections of Howell 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 Major genealogy resource library, located in Indiana. On home page enter "Howell Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Howell County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Howell County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search Howell County Message Board


  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), Howell County, Missouri. Page 401 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at