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Ray County, Missouri
Genealogy, History & Facts

Ray County, Missouri Facts

Ray County

When was Ray County, MO Created?
Ray County was created on November 16, 1820 (effective January 1, 1821) from Howard County. The county was named in honor of John Ray, Missouri State Representative .

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

What counties are adjacent to Ray County, MO?
Bordering Counties are Caldwell County (north), Carroll County (east), Lafayette County (south), Jackson County (southwest), Clay County (west), Clinton County (northwest).

What cities and towns are in Ray County, MO?
Cities and towns located in the County include Camden, Crystal Lakes, Elmira, Excelsior Springs, Fleming, Hardin, Henrietta, Homestead, Lawson, Orrick, Rayville, Richmond, Stet, Woods Heights.

Ray County, MO Vital Records

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

Ray County, MO Census Records

What Ray County, MO census records are available?
There are many types of census records for Ray County guide you in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules are available for 1820 (missing), 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

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

Ray County, MO Courthouse and Government Records

Ray County Courthouse

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

  • Ray County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 100 West Main Street, Richmond, Missouri 64085
  • Ray 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: 816-776-4500
    • Marriage Records: 1820 (including Marriage records, 1820-1920) 
    • Land Records: 1820 (including Index to deeds, 1820-1886; Deed records, 1821-1908; Quitclaim deeds, 1882-1891; Mortgage deeds, 1858-1892; Deeds of trust, 1874-1879) 
  • Ray 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: (816) 776-3377
    • Probate Records: 1821  (including Index to probate records, 1823-1922; Probate records, 1838-1886; Administrator’s/executor’s letters, bonds and records, 1821-1905; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1853-1886; Will records, 1821-1915) 
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1821 (including Index to circuit court records, 1821-1888; Circuit court records, 1821-1882) 
  • Ray 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) 776-4502
    • Birth & Death Records: 1883–90 (including Register of births and stillbirths, 1883-1890; Permanent record of births, 1883-1889; Permanent record of deaths, 1883-1889; Pleas: Index to common pleas, 1867-1874; Common plea records, 1867-1870) 
  • Ray 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.
  • Ray County, Missouri Marriages (1820-50) and Wills (1824-49)
  • Marriage records, 1820-1850, and will records, 1824-1849, of Ray County, Missouri  
  • Local Records Inventory Database
  • State-Issued Land Patents 1831 - 1969
  • BLM Land Records

Ray County, MO Societies and Family History Resources

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

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

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

Ray Co. MO Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Ray Co. MO Books, Newspapers & Publications

Ray Co. GA Cemeteries & Church Records

Ray Co. MO Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Ray Co. MO General and History Websites

Ray Co. MO Military Records

Ray Co. MO Schools & Directories

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