Howell County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Missouri Gotoarrow.png Howell County

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

Hand and keyboard.jpg Missouri
Online 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 Courthouse

County Clerk has birth records 1883-1895 and death records 1883-1893;
Circuit Clerk and Recorder Deeds has marriage, divorce, court and land 
land records; Associate Circuit Court has probate records[1]


Parent County

1857--Howell County was created from Oregon and Ozark Counties. County seat: West Plains [2]

Boundary Changes

See an interactive map of Howell County border changes at N2Genealogy.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties




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.




Community and Conflict: the Impact of the Civil War in the Ozarks, Howell County.


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.


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.

  • 1867-1881 - Howell County Marriage Books A thru C Index 1867-1881. Batch M515191 at FamilySearch - free.[3]
  • 1881-1885 - Howell County Marriage Book 1 Index 1881-1885. Batch M515192 at FamilySearch - free.[3]
  • 1885 - Howell County Marriage Book 2 Index 1885. Batch M515193 at FamilySearch - free.[3]

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites

  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • Family History Library Catalog


  1. 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.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at