Search For Your Ancestors in Historical Documents




Clay County, Missouri
Genealogy, History & Facts

Clay County, Missouri Facts

Clay County

When was Clay County, MO Created?
Clay County was created on January 2, 1822 from Ray County. The county was named in honor of Henry Clay (1777-1852), American Senator and orator from Kentucky.

What is the County Seat of Clay County, MO?
The County Seat is located in Liberty and in addition the county government website is

What counties are adjacent to Clay County, MO?
Bordering Counties are Clinton County (north), Ray County (east), Jackson County (south), Wyandotte County, Kansas (southwest), Platte County (west).

What cities and towns are in Clay County, MO?
Cities and towns located in the County include Avondale, Birmingham, Claycomo, Ectonville, Excelsior Estates, Excelsior Springs, Gladstone, Glenaire, Holt, Kansas City, Kearney, Lawson, Liberty, Missouri City, Mosby, North Kansas City, Oaks, Oakview, Oakwood, Oakwood Park, Pleasant Valley, Prathersville, Randolph, Smithville, Sugar Creek.

Clay County, MO Vital Records

Where can find Clay County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records?
Clay 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 Clay 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 Clay County Health Department has Birth Certificates since 1920 and Death Certificates since 1980.

Clay County, MO Census Records

What Clay County, MO census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Clay County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Clay Co. Slave Schedules is available for 1850 & 1860. Clay Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Clay Co. Industry and Agriculture can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Clay 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

Clay County, MO Courthouse and Government Records

Clay County Courthouse

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

  • Clay County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 1 Courthouse Square, Liberty, Missouri 64068
  • Clay 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: (816) 407-3550
    • Marriage Records: 1822 (including Index to marriage records, 1822-1877; Marriage records, 1822-1917; Marriage license applications, 1881-1916; Negro/colored marriage records, 1865-1891) 
    • Land Records: 1822 (including Index to deeds, 1823-1889; Deed records, 1822-1890; Warranty deeds, 1885-1887; Quitclaim deeds, 1868 and 1884-1886; Mortgage deeds, 1868-1871 and 1884-1887; Deeds of trust, 1876-1879 and 1883-1887)
  • Clay 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)
    • Address: 11 South Water Street, Liberty, Missouri 64068
    • Phone: 816-407-3900
    • Probate Records: 1821  (including Guardian’s/curator’s records, 1860-1863)
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1822 (including Circuit court records, 1822-1878)
  • Clay 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: (816) 407-3570
    • Birth & Death Records: 1883-84 (including Register of births and stillbirths, 1883-1884; Register of deaths, 1883-1884)
  • Clay 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.
  • Abstracts of wills and administrations of Clay County, Missouri  
  • Local Records Inventory Database
  • State-Issued Land Patents 1831 - 1969
  • BLM Land Records

Clay County, MO Societies and Family History Resources

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

  • Clay County Archives and Historical Library, P. O. Box 99, Liberty, MO 64069; Telephone: 816-781-3611, Fax: 816-781-3611; Street Address: 210 E Franklin, Liberty, MO 64068
  • Clay County Historic Sites, 21216 Jesse James Rd, Kearney, MO 64060; Phone: (816) 628-6065
  • Smithville Historical Society, P.O. Box 270, 303 West Main Street, Smithville, MO 64089; Phone: (816) 532-0255
  • Thrailkill Genealogical Society, 2018 Gentry, North Kansas City, MO 64116
  • Excelsior Springs Historical Museum, 101 E Broadway, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024-2513; Phone: (816) 630-3712
  • Excelsior Springs Genealogical Society, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
  • Watkins Mill Association, P.O. Box 419038, Kansas City, MO 64183
  • Northland Genealogy Society , P.O. Box 14121, Parkville, MO 64152; Phone: (816) 741-3981
  • Historic Liberty Jail, 216 North Main Street, Liberty, MO 64068; Phone: (816) 781-3188
  • Heart of America Genealogical Society and Library , c/o Kansas City Public Library, 311 East Twelfth Street, Kansas City, MO 64106
  • Partee Center for Baptist Historical Studies, 500 College Hill, William Jewell College, Liberty, MO 64068; Phone: (816) 781-7700, ext.5490
  • 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 Clay County, MO Researchers through message boards and forums?

What other genealogical resources are available in Clay County, MO?
The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Clay 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.

Clay Co. MO Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Clay Co. MO Books, Newspapers & Publications

Clay Co. GA Cemeteries & Church Records

Clay Co. MO Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Clay Co. MO General and History Websites

Clay Co. MO Military Records

Clay Co. MO Schools & Directories

Copyright © 2014,