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Resources for Family & Community History

Missouri Judicial Records, 1804 - Present

Mo Supreme Court Courtroom

Missouri Supreme Court, 1963; photograph by Gerald R. Massie

Two major record groups make up this collection detailing Missouri's judicial heritage. First are the case files and papers of all hearings before the Territorial Court (1804-1820) and the Missouri Supreme Court (1821-present). An alphabetical index is available on microfilm for these cases. Most of the records have not been microfilmed and are available for use in their original paper format.

The State Appellate Court cases from the Eastern, Western, and Southern district appeals courts make up the second record group.

The Archives is also involved in the Judicial Records Project, which rescues court records from accidental loss or from destruction when there is insufficient storage space in county facilities. Probate court records and circuit court records from counties across the state are being microfilmed for patron use, thus making available in one location information that s was inaccessible or difficult to access.

The Judicial Records Project is of interest to genealogists, lawyers, and historians. Among the famous Missourians whose court records are preserved by the project are Harry Truman, George Caleb Bingham, William Rockhill Nelson, Moses and Stephen F. Austin, John Smith T, James Rollins, William Clark, Auguste Chouteau, and Joseph Folk.