Howell County, Missouri
Genealogy and Facts

Howell County

Howell County was created on March 2, 1857 from Oregon County. The county was named for the Howell Valley, where James Howell made first settlement.

The Howell County Seat is situated in West Plains and in addition the county government website is www.howellcounty.net

Areas surrounding Howell County include Texas County (north), Shannon County (northeast), Oregon County (east), Fulton County, Arkansas (south), Ozark County (southwest), Douglas County (northwest).

Cities and towns to be found in Howell County include Brandsville, Caulfield, Hocomo, Lanton, Moody, Mountain View, Peace Valley, Pomona, Pottersville, Siloam Springs, South Fork, West Plains, Willow Springs.

Howell 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 Howell 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.

Howell County has Federal Census Schedules to help in researching your family tree. Government Population Schedules are present for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

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

Howell County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Howell County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Howell County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers frequently forget about the value of Howell County court, probate, and land files as a source of family history and genealogy information. Buried away in Missouri courthouses and archives just about everywhere could be the ambitions and worries of many Missouri residents.

The odds are great that your potential ancestors have left a comprehensive record of at least a number of aspects of their lives in the Howell County court records. Even if your forefathers is not brought up in a Court case, take into consideration all of the other procedures which often can have lead to her or him showing up in court records.

The following facts denotes exactly what marriage, birth, death, property, probate, and legal records can be found in Howell County. The years suggested below are the first known records data with this county. In the fall of 1863, guerrillas burned West Plains and the Courthouse. Most records were destroyed. The county reorganized in 1866.

You need to call the clerk's dept to validate hours, mailing address, fees and other facts before visiting or looking for information because of in some cases changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are accessible to interested parties, barring private issues. A lot of staff will guide men and women in locating the resources, but it's up to the particular person to complete the research.
  • Howell County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 35 Court Square, West Plains, MO 65775
  • Howell 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: (417) 256-3750
    • Marriage Records: 1867 (including Marriage records, 1867-1916) 
    • Land Records: 1866 (including Index to deeds, 1866-1888; Deed records, 1866-1914; Index to mortgage records, 1870-1889; Patent records, 1886-1896)
  • Howell 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: (417) 256-3741
    • Probate Records: 1862  (including Index to probate records, 1867-1886; Probate records, 1870-1886; Settlement records, 1869-1876; Will records, 1862-1885 and 1889-1919)
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1857 (including Index to circuit court records, 1858-1896; Circuit court records, 1857-1886)
  • Howell 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: 417-256-2591
    • Birth & Death Records: 1883-95 (including Permanent record of births, 1883-1895; Register of births and stillbirths, 1883-1895)
  • Howell 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.
  • Howell County Health Department has Birth Certificates since 1920 and Death Certificates since 1980

Howell County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources associated to Howell 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. Feel free to present your own most liked Howell County genealogy or family history related sites.

Howell Co. MO Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Howell Co. MO Books, Newspapers & Publications

Howell Co. MO Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Howell Co. MO Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Howell Co. MO Census Records

Howell Co. MO Cemeteries & Graveyards

Howell Co. MO Church & Bible Records

Howell Co. MO Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Howell Co. MO General and History Websites

Howell Co. MO Military Records

Howell Co. MO Schools & Directories

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