Podcast Recommendation: Researching at Missouri Repositories

Research Like a Pro Podcast:  Missouri Repositories  by Family Locket team Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer

This free podcast can be listened to at any time.


Highlights summarized by Julia Morse:

More and more archived historical documents are being scanned, indexed, and made accessible.  These are the kinds of resources that start to expand our understanding of the stories of our ancestors.

Diana Elder and Nicole Dyer step through the various historical archives in Missouri with records that assist with family history research. 

These include the following:

(1) Missouri State Archives

Created by the Missouri State Legislature

https://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/resources

This is the archive that is perhaps best known for its database of Missouri Death Certificate images.  Other databases of particular interest include a Land Records Database;   naturalization records from some Missouri counties (including St. Louis); judicial records for some Missouri counties; Missouri soldier’s database (War of 1812 through World War II); and Civil War records.  You can search on family names, place names, or other keywords, or browse historical and regional topics.

(2) Missouri Digital Heritage

A collaboration of the Missouri State Archives and the Missouri State Library
https://www.sos.mo.gov/mdh/
https://mdh.deepwebaccess.com/mdh/desktop/en/search.html

Do a deep search on names or key terms, or dig into the topics list for resources and collections of interest.  For example, browsing through the topic of Missouri History, I found a doctor’s ledger from St. Louis in 1804 and 1813 which mentions some of his patients.  The site also provides historical maps and primary sources on various aspects of Missouri history, settlement, and life.

(3) Missouri Historical Society: Library & Research Center (MHS, St. Louis)

https://mohistory.org/collections
https://genealogy.mohistory.org/ – Name search for genealogy research

This library specializes in St. Louis area documents, but also includes historical documents of broader interest. 

By searching on the family name “Carrico,” I found that they library has a collection of papers from cousin who apparently lived in pre-Civil War St. Louis.  I also like the ability to narrow to records for a given time period.  For example, I selected to browse historical documents from the pre-Louisiana Purchase era.

Diana Elder recommends starting with their “Genealogy and Family History” page:  https://mohistory.org/research/genealogy-family-history/.  Check out the research guides to better understand the types of information you might search out. 

(4) State Historical Society of Missouri (SHSMO, Columbia, MO)

https://shsmo.org/research

Clipping from historic newspaper reads "Morse & Stewart.  Cabinet Makers, Undertakers, and Furniture Dealers.  Being Practical workmen, we take this method of announcing to the Public that we are prepared to do any work in our line in a superior and workman-like manner.  We have heretofore, received a liberal share of patronage as carpenters and builders, and we intend to devote attention to this . . . "
Advertisement by P.Y. Morse and William Stewart found in the Osceola Herald of 1866, provided by the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project database.

Founded in 1898 by the Missouri Press Association, this is the archive that is known for the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project, https://shsmo.org/collections/newspapers/mdnp, which allows you to access and search on various historical Missouri newspapers.  This is the newspaper archive which provided my first access to the Osceola Herald of 1866,  explaining my ancestor P.Y. Morse’s short-lived presence in the town as an undertaker/carpenter.

The “Frontier and Pioneer Research Guide” (https://shsmo.org/research/guides/pioneer ) links to their manuscript database for first-hand accounts.  Accessible articles from the Missouri Historical Review help us better understand the times and places of our early Missouri ancestors. 


I have only briefly touched on a few notable resources from each library.  You will want to listen to the full podcast and explore these libraries yourself. 

I send a big “Thank you” to Diana and Nicole for sharing their Missouri archive research experience with us! 

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