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Polk County, Missouri
Genealogy, History & Facts

Polk County, Missouri Facts

Polk County

When was Polk County, MO Created?
Polk County was created on January 5, 1835 from Greene County. The county was named in honor of James K. Polk (1795–1849), 11th President of the United States.

What is the County Seat of Polk County, MO?
The County Seat is located in Bolivar and in addition the county government website is unknown

What counties are adjacent to Polk County, MO?
Bordering Counties are Hickory County, Dallas County, Greene County, Dade County, Cedar County, St. Clair County.

What cities and towns are in Polk County, MO?
Cities and towns located in the County include Aldrich, Bolivar, Brighton, Dunnegan, Eudora, Fair Play, Flemington, Goodson, Goodnight, Halfway, Humansville, Morrisville, Pleasant Hope, Polk, Tin Town.

Polk County, MO Vital Records

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

Polk County, MO Census Records

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

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

Polk County, MO Courthouse and Government Records

Polk County Courthouse

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

  • Polk County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 102 E. Broadway, Bolivar, MO 65613
  • Polk 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: 417-326-4924
    • Marriage Records: 1836 (including Index to marriage records, 1836-1920; Marriage records, 1836-1916; Military discharge records, 1863-1933) 
    • Land Records: 1837 (including Index to deeds, 1871-1887; Deed records, 1837-1929; Mortgage deeds, 1884-1905) 
  • Polk 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) 326-4912
    • Probate Records: 1835  (including Index to probate records, 1835-1846; Probate records, 1835-1890; Administrator’s/executor’s letters, bonds and records, 1837-1896; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1855-1898; Proof of publication, notices and affidavits, 1868-1879; Settlement records, 1869-1887; Will records, 1839-1917) 
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1836 (including Circuit court records, 1836-1887) 
  • Polk 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) 326-4031 
    • Birth & Death Records: 1872–1900 (including Permanent record of births, 1883-1891; Register of births and stillbirths, 1872-1900; Permanent record of deaths, 1883-1890) 
  • Polk 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

Polk County, MO Societies and Family History Resources

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

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

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

Polk Co. MO Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Polk Co. MO Books, Newspapers & Publications

Polk Co. GA Cemeteries & Church Records

Polk Co. MO Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Polk Co. MO General and History Websites

Polk Co. MO Military Records

Polk Co. MO Schools & Directories

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