Polk County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Missouri Gotoarrow.png Polk County

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


Polk County, Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded information needed
County Seat Bolivar
Address Polk County Courthouse
102 East Broadway Street
Bolivar, Mo 65613
Phone: 417-326-4031
Polk County Website

County Information

Polk County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1872 1836 1883 1840 1837 1835

County Courthouse

County Recorder has marriage from 1835 and land records from 1836; Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records from 1857; Probate Judge has probate records from 1947.[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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Cass  • Clay  • Johnson  • Johnson County, Kansas  • Lafayette  • Ray  • Wyandotte County, Kansas

Christian CountyDouglas CountyPolk CountyWebster CountyDallas CountyLaclede CountyNewton CountyLawrence CountyGreene CountyBarton CountyDade CountyJasper CountyVernon CountyCedar CountyHenry CountySt. Clair CountyBates CountyHickory CountyBenton CountyMorgan CountyCamden CountyMOPolk.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.

LDS Ward and Branch Records

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 Polk 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.

  • Dade County Historical Society (Greenfield, Missouri). History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade, and Barton counties, Missouri present : from the earliest time to the present, including a department devoted to the preservation of sundry personal, business, professional, and private records; besides a valuable fund of notes, original observations, etc., etc. Chicago, Illinois : Goodspeed Pub. Co., 1889.





Civil War

Online Records


Service men in Polk 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 Polk County, Missouri:

- 15th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry (Union), Company A
- 15th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry (Union), Company F
- 15th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry (Union), Company L
- 26th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company B
- 26th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C
- 26th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company K
- 2nd Regiment, Missouri Cavalry - Confederate, Company B
- 2nd Regiment, Missouri Cavalry - Confederate, Company B
- 5th Regiment, Missouri Infantry - Confederate, Company D
- 7th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company D
- 7th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F
- 7th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company L
- 8th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company E
- 26th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company E
- 26th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F
- 26th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company G
- 26th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company H
- 8th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry (Union), Company K
Civil War Battles

Naturalization and Citizenship


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

List of Missouri Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Genealogical Society

Polk County Genealogical Society, Inc.
120 E. Jackson
P. O. Box 632
Bolivar, MO 65613
Phone: 417-777-2820


Polk County Library
1690 W. Broadway
Bolivar, MO 65613
Phone: 417-326-4531

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 Polk 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 Polk 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 "Polk Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Polk County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Polk County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search
Ancestry.com Polk 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), Polk County, Missouri. Page 404 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/d/d8/Igimissourij.pdf.