Ray County, Missouri Genealogy

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


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___ County, Missouri
Map
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Facts
Founded November 16, 1820
County Seat Richmond
Courthouse
MissouriRayCourthouse.jpg
Address Ray County Courthouse
100 W Main Street;
PO Box 536
Richmond, MO 64085-0536
Phone: 816.776.4502
Ray County Website


County Information

Ray County, Missouri Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1883 1820 1883 1830 1820 1821

County Courthouse


County Clerk has birth and death records 1883-1884; Recorder Deeds has marriage and land records; Clerk of the Circuit Court has divorce and court records; Probate Judge has probate records. (Records of interest to genealogists obtainable from Ray County Historical Society, Richmond, Missouri 64085) [2]

History

Parent County

1820 Ray County was created 16 November 1820 from Howard County. County seat: Richmond [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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

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

Places/Localities

Town/city records in the FamilySearch Catalog

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Caldwell  • Carroll  • Clay  • Clinton  • Jackson  • Lafayette

Ray CountyClay CountyClinton CountyCaldwell CountyLivingston CountyCarroll CountyJohnson CountyLafayette CountyJackson CountySaline CountyPettis CountyMORay1.JPG



Resources

Biographies

Cemeteries

Compendium Resources:

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
MOGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
MOGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
MOInterment
MOGravestones
EPodunk
Billion Graves
See Missouri Cemeteries for more information.


Individual Cemeteries:

  • Sunny Slope Cemetery, Richmond
  • Woodland Cemetery, Richmond
  • Odell Cemetery (also known as Roe Baptist Church cemetery)

Three of the cemeteries in this county, Shotwell, Sunny Slope, and Richmond, are on the north side of Highway 10 (Main Street) and are all together almost as if they were all one cemetery.

Census

For tips on accessing Ray County, Missouri Genealogy census records online, see: Missouri Census.

Church

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.

New Hope Church, near Richmond, Ray County, Missouri, was the first church of any faith to organized (1820) in this county. (Transcript of records at Primitive Baptist Library in Carthage, Illinois.)[4]

Court

Many of your ancestors may be found in the "more genealogically obscure" court records as defendants, plaintiffs, witnesses, or jurors. Court records can establish family relationships and places of residence, occupations, and other family history information. See Missouri Court Records for a discussion of court types and their jurisdictions.

For the top court records sought by genealogists, see Vital Records  · Wills and Probate  · Land  · Naturalization

Circuit Court
  • Woods, Fred D. Name Index to the First Twenty Years of Ray County, Missouri, Circuit Court records, 1820-1840  FHL
  • The Missouri State Archives has the index (1821-1872) to the circuit court records, and Vols A-O (1821-1882) in microfilm.
  • Missouri, Ray County Circuit Court. Court Records, 1821-1882; Index to Court records, 1821-1888. FHL
County Court

The Missouri State Archives has Vol A (1820-1837) Minutes (County Clerk) on microfilm.

Court of Common Pleas

The Missouri State Archives has the Common Plea Index, Vol A, 1867-1874 and the Common Pleas book, Vol A, 1867-1870 on microfilm.

Justice of the Peace

Docket, 1836-1851 is available at the Missouri State Archives.

Land and Property

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 Ray 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 Ray County, Mo.", St. Louis Missouri Historical Company, 1881 at GoogleBooks and at FamilySearch (Free)
  • "A History of Northwest Missouri", Walter Williams, Editor, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1915 at GoogleBooks .

Maps

Moray.jpg

Military

Indian Wars

(Black Hawk 1832, Seminole War 1837, Osage War 1837, Heatherly War 1836)

Mexican War

Some Ray county residents served in the Santa Fe Battalion of the Missouri Mounted Volunteers. (This unit compiled its own record.)

Civil War

Online Records

Regiments

Service men in Ray 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 Ray County, Missouri:

- 65th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company E
- 65th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Milita (Union), Company F
- 15th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry (Union), Company E
- 15th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry (Union), Company I
- 35th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company D
- 3rd Regiment, Missouri Infantry - Confederate, Company A
- 44th Regiment, Missouri Infantry (Union), Company B
- 4th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C
- 4th Provisional Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company D
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company A
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company B

- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company C
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company D
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company E
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company F
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company G
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company H
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company I
- 51st Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union), Company K
- 6th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company D
- 6th Regiment, Missouri State Militia Cavalry (Union), Company K
- 13th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry (Union), Company C

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

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


  • Newspaperarchive.com ($) has historical newspapers available on-line. Their database has Chillicothe newspapers from the late 1800's and early 1900's that covered local news on residents from Ray County communities.

Probate Records

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.

A unique aspect of Ray county wills is that the people who legally should be referred to as executors are referred to as administrators.[5] The Ray County Courthouse houses the orginial probate records from 1821. All dates have associated packets.

Ray county, Probate Court. Wills, Letters & Bonds, 1821-1915. Missouri State Archives microfilm.

Ray county, Probate Court. Bonds, Vol B, 1836-1844. Missouri State Archives Microfilm Reel Number C 5780.

Ray county, Probate Court. Letters of Admministration, 1836-1884. Missouri State Arcives microfilm.

Ray county, Probate Court. Inventories/appraise/sale Bill, Vol B, 1853-1863. Missouri State Archives microfilm.

Ray county, Probate Court. Inventories,Appraisements & Sale Bills, Vol D-FI, 1859-1886. Missouri State Archives microfilm

Ray county, Probate Court. Notices & Affidavits, Vol A, 1862-1877. Missouri State Archives microfilm.

Ray county, Probate Court. Minutes, 1867-1869. Missouri State Archives microfilm.

Ray county, Probate Court. Record of Estates, Vol 1, Allen-Zuklin. Missouri State Archives microfilm.

Ray county, Probate Court. Record of Estates-guardians, Vol 1, Adams-Yates. Missouri State Archives microfilm.

Online Probate Records

Taxation

  • 1821 "Ray County Assessor's List for 1821" Ray county, Missouri USGenweb. Cites as its source: "Missouri Pioneer Book" Volume 2 February 1968, p. 39-41, compiled and published
    by Miss Nadine Hodges & Mrs John Vineyard & Mrs Howard W. Woodruff.
  • 1831 "Poll Book of Elections & Voter Registrations" Ray County Genealogical Assoication
  • Cowles, Edgar M. Resident taxpayers of Ray County, Mo., comprising the names and occupation of all resident taxpayers in the county, arranged alphabetically, according to post-office addresses. (Hardin? Mo., c1894). See Library of Congress F472.R2 C87.
  • Missouri State Archives has microfilmed taxation sources starting in the 1900s.


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.

Births
  • 1827 - 1935 Missouri, Births and Christenings, 1827-1935 at FamilySearch.org — index
  • 1851 - 1910 Missouri Birth Records, 1851-1910 at Ancestry.com — index/images $
  • 1858 - 1868 Ray County Birth Index 1858-1868. Batch C515661 at FamilySearch - free.[6]
  • 1883 - 1890 Ray County Birth Index 1883-1890. Batch C582498 at FamilySearch - free.[6]
  • Missouri, Ray county, County Clerk. Permanant Record of Births, Vol 1, 1883-1889 is available at the Missouri State Archives on microfilm. Reel Number C 25631.
  • Missouri, Ray county, County Clerk. Register of Births and Stillbirths, Vol 1, 1883-1890 is available at the Missouri State Archives on microfilm. Reel Number C 5754.
Marriages


Deaths

Societies and Libraries

  • Ray County Museum and Genealogical Library
    901 W Royle Street
    Richmond, MO 64085-1545
    Phone: 816-776-2305
    Facebook

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.

Genealogy Societies, Archives and Libraries

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 Ray 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 Ray 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 "Ray Missouri" and search catalog.
Missouri State Archives Library catalog; from this page you must search "Ray County"
See also local libraries and Missouri Archives and Libraries
Social networking sites pertaining to Ray County, Missouri Genealogy
Google+ Missouri Genealogy Network Community
Facebook list of groups from "Missouri Genealogy" search
Ancestry.com Ray County Message Board

References

  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), Ray County, Missouri. Page 405 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. Webb, Robert. "Sharing Our Joy in Successfully Locating Books, Church Records, and Other Valuable Original Source Documents, and a Listing of Recent Gifts Received." Primitive Baptist Library website, accessed 16 Dec 2012.
  5. Fred Woods, "Tarwater Family History / Genealogy - Daviess and Ray co. Missouri" Facebook group (closed) posting dated 29 Jul 2012 and email correspondence to Jana Stokes, July 2012. Wood is author of several Ray county genealogical books including Name Index to the First Twenty Years of Ray County, Missouri, Circuit Court Records, 1820-1840 (Richmond, Missouri : Ray County, Missouri Genealogical Association, 1994).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/f/f4/Igimissourir.pdf.