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Carter County, Missouri
Genealogy, History & Facts

Carter County, Missouri Facts

Carter County

When was Carter County, MO Created?
Carter County was created on March 10, 1859 from Oregon County, Reynolds County, Ripley County and Shannon County. The county was named in honor of Zimri Carter, pioneering settler .

What is the County Seat of Carter County, MO?
The County Seat is located in Van Buren (COC) and in addition the county government website is unknown

What counties are adjacent to Carter County, MO?
Bordering Counties are Reynolds County (north), Wayne County (northeast), Butler County (southeast), Ripley County (south), Oregon County (southwest), Shannon County (west).

What cities and towns are in Carter County, MO?
Cities and towns located in the County include Ellsinore, Fremont, Hunter, Grandin, Van Buren.


Carter County, MO Vital Records

Where can find Carter County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Carter County vital records can be found at the Missouri Office of Vital Records has copies of birth and death records reported from January 1, 1910. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Missouri for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Carter County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Missouri Birth and Death CertificateMarriage and Divorce Certificate Application to mail.

Another resource is the Carter County Health Department has Birth Certificates since 1920 and Death Certificates since 1980


Carter County, MO Census Records

What Carter County, MO census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Carter County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Carter Co. Slave Schedules is available for 1860. Carter Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Carter Co. Industry and Agriculture can be found for 1860, 1870 and 1880. Carter Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be acquired for 1890. There are free down-loadable and printable census forms to help you with your research. See Also Missouri Census Records Research Guide


Carter County, MO Courthouse and Government Records


Carter County Courthouse

What genealogical records can I find in the Carter County Courthouse?
The below facts shows exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Carter County. The years listed below are the first noted records with this county. See Also Missouri Corthouse Records Research Guide

  • Carter County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 105 Main St., Van Buren, MO 63965
  • Carter County Recorder of Deeds is the place where all transactions having to do with land are recorded and kept on file. They take marriage license applications, issues marriage licenses, files the license after the marriage, and maintains a permanent record of the marriage, surveys and plats of subdivisions, Armed Forces discharge papers for all veterans who reside in the county. Some naturalization records have been found with the deeds.
    • Phone: 573-323-9656
    • Marriage Records: 1861 (including Marriage records, 1861-1915) 
    • Land Records: 1845 (including Index to deeds, (no dates); Deed records, 1845-1904)
  • Carter County Circuit Court Clerk / Probate Court Clerk has the direct index to records such as divorces, adoptions, judgment, and tax fee books including direct and indirect indexes. They also retain the index to criminal records and criminal files of the circuit court. Adoptions are under the jurisdiction of the circuit court. Naturalization records, including petitions, declarations of intention, certificates, and certificates of allegiance, and granting of citizenship are also located in the clerk's office, as well as an index to civil case files. The County Probate Division has jurisdiction over the estates of deceased persons. The Division hears all litigation involving trusts, including those trusts established in wills. (In the smaller counties, probate matters are handled in the same office as the associate circuit court office)
    • Phone: (573) 323-4513
    • Probate Records: 1859  (including Index to probate records, 1859-1922; Probate records, 1859-1922; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1879-1888; Settlements records, 1883-1891; Guardian’s/curator’s records, 1861-1891; Will records, 1872-1963)
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1866 (including Index to circuit court records, 1866-?; Circuit court records, 1866-1889)
  • Carter County Clerk of the Court has indexes to common pleas, records of all extant proceedings, chancery minute books, records of births and deaths, county court records, right-of-way and road records, as well as surveyor's records (including field notes and plats made by the county surveyor). This office usually holds the county treasurer's notes, bonds and commissions, records of marks and brands, wolf scalps, stray notices, real estate assessments, and tax books. In some counties, early terms for this court included “Chancery” or the “Court of Common Pleas.”
    • Phone: (573) 323-4527
    • Birth & Death Records: ?
  • Carter County Tax Assessor Office is responsible for appraising and assessing real estate property and person property for the purpose of taxation as well as transferring ownership of real estate, and keeping real estate maps up to date.
  • Local Records Inventory Database
  • State-Issued Land Patents 1831 - 1969
  • BLM Land Records

Carter County, MO Societies and Family History Resources

What genealogical and historical societies, archives, museums, associations and libraries are available for Carter County, MO?
A list of Carter County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Libraries, Archives. See also list of Statewide Missouri Archives, Historical & Genealogical Societies.

  • West Carter County Genealogy Society, P.O. Box 309, Van Buren Mo 63965; Phone 573-323-4315; Meets 4th Tuesday of each month except December. Dues $12 year
  • Ellsinore Pioneer Museum, Route 3, Box 247, Ellsinore, MO 63937; Phone: (573) 322-5297
  • Missouri State Archives, Missouri State Information Center; P.O. Box 1747, 600 West Main Str, Jefferson City, MO 65102
  • Missouri State Library – 600 West Main Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101; (573) 751-4936
  • Missouri Historical Society, P.O. Box 11940, St. Louis 63112-0040
  • Missouri State Genealogical Association, P.O. Box 833, Columbia, MO 65205-0833

Where can I connect with other Carter County, MO Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Carter County, MO?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Carter County. A majority of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a payment. This is just a directory which has been gathered or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site above another.

Carter Co. MO Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Carter Co. MO Books, Newspapers & Publications

Carter Co. GA Cemeteries & Church Records

Carter Co. MO Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Carter Co. MO General and History Websites

Carter Co. MO Military Records

Carter Co. MO Schools & Directories

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