Missouri State and Territorial Census Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Missouri, State and Territorial Census Records, 1752-1876 .

Record Description

This collection consists of digital images of extant state and territorial censuses for early counties in Missouri. This collection includes records from the Missouri State Archives and from FamilySearch. In some instances the only records available are census abstracts which contain a statistical summary of the original census.

Record Content

The content varies depending upon the census. You may find any of the following information included:

  • Name of every person who resided in the family
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Age or age range
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Place of birth
  • Religious belief
  • Information relevant to military service
  • If a foreigner, whether or not naturalized
  • Whether literate or not (by age category, under or over 10 years old)
  • Any disabilities
  • Occupation

Additional sample images are available in the wiki article Missouri, State and Territorial Census Records Sample Images (FamilySearch Historical Records)

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Ancestor's name
  • Identifying information such as age and residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection by image:
⇒Select the "Browse link" in the initial search page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images to make this determination. As you are searching it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's name. You may not be sure of your ancestor’s name, there may be more than one person in the records with the same name or your ancestor may have used different names, nicknames or variations of their name throughout their life.
  • Some identifying information such as your ancestor's residence and age.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor in the census, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:

  • Use the age listed to determine an approximate birth date. This date along with the place of birth can help you find a birth record. Birth records often list biographical and marital details about the parents and close relatives other than the immediate family.
  • Birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the race information to find records related to that ethnicity such as records of the Freedman’s Bureau or Indian censuses.
  • Use the naturalization information to find their naturalization papers in the county court records. It can also help you locate immigration records such as a passenger list which would usually be kept records at the port of entry into the United States.
  • Use the information about religious beliefs find local church records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The 1844 census for Gasconade County seems to be a summary of population statistics and does not include names.
  • If they are subject to military service they may have military files in the State or National Archives.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as school records; children’s occupations are often listed as “at school.”
  • It is often helpful to extract the information on all families with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
  • Be sure to extract all families before you look at other records. The relationships given will help you to organize family groups. The family groupings will help you identify related families when you discover additional information in other records.
  • Married family members may have lived nearby but in a separate household so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even county.
  • You may be able to identify an earlier generation if elderly parents were living with or close by a married child.
  • You may be able to identify a younger generation if a young married couple still lived with one of their sets of parents.
  • Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the census.
  • You should also be aware that the census may identify persons for whom other records do not exist.
  • If you are unable to find your ancestor check for variant spellings of the names.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby Localities.
  • There is also the possibility that a family was missed in the census.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

“Missouri, State and Territorial Census Records, 1752-1876.” Index or Index and Images or Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing:Missouri Secretary of State. Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City, Missouri.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.