Franklin County, Missouri Genealogy
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Web Sites
- 7 References
Franklin County was established in 1818, two years before Missouri was admitted to the Union as a state. When the Missouri Territory was organized in 1812, there were only five counties: St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and New Madrid. Franklin County was once part of St. Louis County. Between 1812 and 1820, the number of counties increased to 15 with the addition of Washington (1813), Howard (1816), and Jefferson, Franklin, Wayne, Lincoln, Madison, Montgomery, Pike and Cooper (all 1818). Any student of history and genealogy relating to Franklin County in the first half of the 19th century would be well advised to become apprised of the details of county formation and township formation as townships also evolved before assuming their present form. Someone living in St. Louis County in 1814 might actually have been in present-day Franklin County. Likewise, someone living in Franklin County in 1818 could have been living in present-day Gasconade County.
When the county was first organized, Newport was selected as the first county seat and remained so until 1825, when an act of Legislature effected its removal to Union. Before a courthouse could be built at Union, court was held in a structure belonging to Ambrose Ransom (see photo at right).
Two invaluable sources of early Franklin County history are Goodspeed and Kiel histories. "Goodspeed" is an 1888 history published by Goodspeed Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois, correctly called "History of Missouri, Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford, & Gasconade Counties. The "Kiel" history, correctly referred to as "The Centennial Biographical Directory of Franklin County, Missouri" compiled and published by Herman Gottlieb Kiel", 1925, is basically a book of lists, but the lists are a great tool for the researcher.
See an interactive map of Franklin County border changes at N2Genealogy.
- The State Historical Society of Missouri has information on historical Missouri place names for all 114 Missouri Counties.
- Interactive map of Franklin County townships (Histopolis)
- The University of Missouri Digital Library has digital copies of Missouri county plat books (ca. 1930) for all Missouri counties including Franklin County. The city of St. Louis is not included in this collection.
USCT Volunteers who enlisted in Washtington, Franklin, Missouri
- Missouri State Archives provides on-line access to Missouri Death Certificates more than 50 yrs old starting in 1910.
Societies and Libraries
Family History Centers
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
- Family History Library Catalog
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).