Shelby County, Missouri
Genealogy and Facts

Shelby County

Shelby County was created on January 2, 1835 from Marion County. The county was named in honor of Isaac Shelby (1750–1826), the first and fifth Governor of the U.S. state of Kentucky.

The Shelby County Seat is situated in Shelbyville and in addition the county government website is www.shelbycountymo.com

Areas surrounding Shelby County include Knox County (north), Lewis County (northeast), Marion County (east), Monroe County (south), Macon County (west).

Cities and towns to be found in Shelby County include Bethel, Clarence, Emden, Hunnewell, Lentner, Leonard, Shelbina, Shelbyville.

Shelby 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 Shelby 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.

Shelby County has Federal Census Schedules to help in researching your family tree. Government Population Schedules are present for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Shelby Co. Slave Schedules is available for 1850 & 1860. Shelby Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Shelby Co. Industry and Agriculture can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Shelby Co. Union Veterans Schedules can be acquired for 1890. There are free down-loadable and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Shelby County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Shelby County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers frequently forget about the value of Shelby 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 Shelby 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 indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Shelby 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. Courthouse burned 1891.

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.
  • Shelby County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 100 E. Main St, Shelbyville, MO 63469
  • Shelby 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: 573-633-2821
    • Marriage Records: 1835 (including Marriage records,1835-1919) 
    • Land Records: 1835 (including Index to deeds, 1835-1891; Deed records, 1835-1890; Warranty deeds, 1867-1885; Quitclaim deeds, 1869-1884; Mort­gage deeds, 1897-1905; Deeds of trust, 1867-1919) 
  • Shelby 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: (573) 633-2151 
    • Probate Records: 1836  (including Probate records, 1863-1880; Administra­tor’s/executor’s letters, bonds and records, 1862-1955; Inventories, appraisements and sale bills, 1858-1888; Settlement records, 1863-1888; Probate court order, 1880-1886; Will records, 1845-1917) 
    • Court & Divorce Records: 1835 (including Index to circuit court records, 1835-1925; Circuit court records, 1835-1907; Index to naturalizations, 1835-1925) 
  • Shelby 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: (573) 633-2181 
    • Birth & Death Records: 1883–87 (including Permanent record of births, 1883-1887; Register of births, 1883-1887; Permanent record of deaths, 1883-1887; Register of deaths, 1884-1887) 
  • Shelby 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.
  • Shelby County Health Department has Birth Certificates since 1920 and Death Certificates since 1980

Shelby County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources associated to Shelby 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 Shelby County genealogy or family history related sites.

Shelby Co. MO Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Shelby Co. MO Books, Newspapers & Publications

Shelby Co. MO Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Shelby Co. MO Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Shelby Co. MO Census Records

Shelby Co. MO Cemeteries & Graveyards

Shelby Co. MO Church & Bible Records

Shelby Co. MO Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Shelby Co. MO General and History Websites

Shelby Co. MO Military Records

Shelby Co. MO Schools & Directories

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