Ray County, Missouri
Genealogy and Facts
Ray County, Missouri genealogy and family tree research page. Discover links to record collections, history, and genealogy sources to assist you to you track your personal Ray Co. ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
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 .
The Ray County Seat is situated in Richmond and in addition the county government website is unknown
Areas surrounding Ray County include Caldwell County (north), Carroll County (east), Lafayette County (south), Jackson County (southwest), Clay County (west), Clinton County (northwest).
Cities and towns to be found in Ray County include Camden, Crystal Lakes, Elmira, Excelsior Springs, Fleming, Hardin, Henrietta, Homestead, Lawson, Orrick, Rayville, Richmond, Stet, Woods Heights.
Ray County has Federal Census Schedules to help in researching your family tree. Government Population Schedules are present 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.
Ray County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Ray County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Missouri State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Ray County Genealogical Association, 901 West Royle Str, Richmond, MO 64085; Ph: (816) 776-2305
- The Ray County Museum 901 West Royle Street, Richmond, Missouri 64085
- Heart of America Genealogical Society and Library , c/o Kansas City Public Library, 311 East Twelfth Street, Kansas City, MO 64106
- Family Tree Climbers, P.O. Box 422, Lawson, MO 64062-0422
- Ray County, Missouri Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Ray County
- Ray County, Missouri Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Ray County
- USGenWeb Archives for Ray County
Ray County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers frequently forget about the value of Ray 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 Ray 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.
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.
The following indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Ray county. The dates indicated below are the first known records for this county which may include records of land, estates, taxes, vital records, divorces, naturalizations, court records, and so forth.
- 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.
- 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. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.
Ray County Links
The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources associated 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. Feel free to present your own most liked Ray County genealogy or family history related sites.
Ray Co. MO Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Ray Co. MO Books, Newspapers & Publications
Ray Co. MO Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Ray Co. MO Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Ray Co. MO Census Records
Ray Co. MO Cemeteries & Graveyards
Ray Co. MO Church & Bible 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