Putnam County, Missouri Genealogy

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United States Gotoarrow.png Missouri Gotoarrow.png Putnam County

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

Hand and keyboard.jpg Missouri
Online Records

Putnam County, Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Location of Missouri in the U.S.
Founded 1845
County Seat Unionville
Address Putnam County Courthouse
Main Street #204
Unionville, MO 63565
Phone: 660.947.2674
Putnam County Website

County Courthouse

Clerk Circuit Court has birth records 1878-1903,
marriage records from 1854, divorce and court
and court records from 1855 and land records
from 1848; Probate Judge has probate records from 1848[1]

See the following:


Israel Putnam.JPG

The area that eventually became Putnam County, Missouri was a part of Chariton County when Missouri was admitted to the Union in 1821. Later, this area was a part of Sullivan County. Putnam County was formed from Sullivan County 28 Feb 1845, according to Walter Williams' 1913 history titled A History of Northeast Missouri, but from parts of both Adair and Sullivan Counties according to Wikipedia.

Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri (1874) also notes that "the Indians left in the summer of 1845." Then, from about 1845 to 1855, "a large number of families, many of them from Kentucky, located in the rich prairie lands and many fine farms were made."

Earlier settlers, prior to the formation of the county in 1845, are also noted by Campbell in his 1874 gazetteer: "Among the early settlers were James Cochran and Isaac and Clifford L. Summers, who located near the present site of Omaha; Isaac and Jesse Gilstrap, John F., W. G. and Miles Crabtree, and Joseph, Joshua, John and Henry Guffey, who settled on Goshen Ridge, which extends from north-west of Hartford to south-east of Martinstown; James M. Brasfield, who lived near Pleasant Home, besides the families of McCollom, Marshall, Mullinix and Martin." Campbell states that all of these individuals and families arrived prior to 1844.

The original county seat of Putnam County was Putnamville, located in the northeastern part of the county. The county seat moved to Winchester 6 Jan 1849. Sometime around 1853 this was again moved, this time to Harmony. The name of Harmony was changed "a few years later," according to Campbell's 1874 Missouri gazetteer, to Unionville.

Originally, the county was divided into the following townships: Cochran, Elm, Grogan, Locust, and Richland.

The first county court was held 28 Apr 1845 in the home of James Cochran. 

The county is named after Revolutionary War Major General Israel Putnam (1718-1790).[2]

For additional information regarding the history of Putnam County, see the following:

Parent County

Putnam County was formed in 1845 from Sullivan County. County seat: Unionville [3]

Boundary Changes

According to Campbell's 1874 Missouri gazetteer, the size of Putnam County was "greatly reduced" as a result of "the difficulty between Iowa and Missouri" (see "The Honey War" in Wikipedia). The same source notes that Putnam County was enlarged to include the former Dodge County in the spring of 1853.

For more information on Putnam County boundary changes, see an interactive map of Putnam County border changes at N2Genealogy.

Record Loss


Populated Places

Additional places listed in historical sources:
  • Ayresville (20 miles west-northwest of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Central City (12 miles west of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Hartford (10 miles east of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Holbrook (10 miles north of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Howland (AKA Mendota; 6 miles north of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Mendota - see Howland
  • Newtown (25 miles southwest of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Omaha (12 miles east-northeast) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Pleasant Home (20 miles east-southeast of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Prairie (4 miles south of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Putnamville (already "fallen to decay" by 1874) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • St. John (15 miles northwest of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Shoneytown (14 miles northeast of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Terre Haute (15 miles southwest of Unionville) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
  • Winchester (already "fallen to decay" by 1874) (Campbell's Gazetteer of Missouri, 1874)
For additional information on Putnam County populated places and townships, see:

Neighboring Counties



Specific cemeteries:
  • Cason Family Cemetery (FHL book 973 V3g, film 599835 item 2; Vol. 5, pg. 214)


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




  • 1870-1873 - Unionville Catholic Church Baptism Index 1870-1873. Batch C511531 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1870-1873 - Unionville Catholic Church Marriage Index 1870-1873. Batch M511531 at FamilySearch - free.[4]


Genealogies and Biographies


Local Histories








Vital Records

  • 1849-1853 - Putnam County Marriage Index 1849-1853. Batch M515631 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1853-1881 - Putnam County Marriage Index 1853-1881. Batch M515632 at FamilySearch - free.[4]
  • 1881-1885 - Putnam County Marriage Index 1881-1885. Batch M515633 at FamilySearch - free.[4]

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Putnam County, Missouri. Page 404 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. "Putnam County, Missouri," Wikipedia.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 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.