Saturday, August 6, 2011

Missouri Genealogy Research in St. Louis

Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center
Missouri History Museum: St. Louis Area Civil War Digitization Project
Most researchers find a repository by accident.  Perhaps your goal was to exhaust every archive in a town while searching for an allusive ancestor's records. Or maybe through a Google search you landed on a site with your ancestor's name.  Following up, you call or write to the holding facility requesting as copy of the document.  But have you visited or studied the repository to learn what else is housed behind those walls? I have to admit, I never knew the extent of the holdings at the Missouri History Museum Library in St. Louis. 

At the 2011 Missouri State Genealogical Association, Dennis Northcott presented "Genealogy Treasure: The Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center, St Louis.  And a treasure is exactly what he revealed.

Looking for Missouri Documents
Western travel, steamboats, river transportation, Civil War records, necrology and school scrapbooks and information on organizations, and more are awaiting the researcher at the Missouri History Museum Library. 

Transportation Passenger Papers
Did your ancestor travel by steamboat? Try the 1000 or more papers lying in the Charles Parsons Transportation Passenger Papers - copies of passenger tickets.  

Mason Records
Recently I was asked if there were Mason Records, well the Missouri History Museum Library has a collection of local members, i.e. St. Louis Lodge Roster, 1860's.

Thomas Jefferson Papers
This repository has the 4th largest collection of Thomas Jefferson papers to include a copy of Jefferson's 1805 drivers license. 

St. Louis WWI Service Information
If your St. Louis WWI ancestor service files were destroyed in the National Archives fire perhaps the information was compiled in one of the ten thousand documents collected in the Biography and Service Record collection.  This collection held genealogical answers like who was the 1st American ancestor? Did your ancestor serve in previous wars?

Civil War Claims
Other military records holding genealogical data may be found in the Francis Minor -  Civil War Claims nine (9)  book volume collection. Even widows and ex-slaves submitted claims. 

Civil War Military Passes
Of course, Civil War records are a favorite amongst genealogists.  The Provost Marshal collection includes selected "military passes." Like a passport, the military pass allowed for travel, usually out of St. Louis.

Military Union Organizations
We often reference GAR records, and this repository has a healthy collection of GAR Post Records.  The Union officers may also be listed in the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the US collection.  The Military Order papers may hold a military sketch and photo as a tribute to a deceased veteran. 

For more information visit the Missouri History Museum website and know that some of the information above has been indexed and/or digitized like St. Louis Area Civil War Records Digitization Project. 

Other St. Louis genealogy websites:

Supporting another Missouri genealogy repository!

Kathleen Brandt


  1. Very helpful- thank you for the information!

  2. Hi Kathleen,

    You may know about these already but I'll post them anyway...

    MO State Archives

    State Historical Society Of MO

    St. Louis Genealogical Society

    NPRC (part of NARA) in St. Louis

  3. Excellent information, thank you.