Missouri, as the gateway to the west, has a central position in American history and the opening of the frontier. As such, Missouri tends to have vital records stretching back well into the 19th century and these records are diligently maintained by both government agencies and historical societies. If you are looking for Missouri birth records then you are likely in luck, because the state does a decent job at making the search for birth records relatively easy. As we will see below, there are three quick and easy ways for you to find birth records from Missouri.
State Archives (pre-1910)
If you are looking for a birth in Missouri that was registered prior to 1910 then you will definitely need to check out the State Archives. While the State Archives are headquartered in Jefferson City, the good news is that you can find these historical birth records from the comfort of your own home. That's because the archives have been put online in a simple to search database. You will just need to know the county in which the birth was registered and the name that you are looking for, which can include the mother's name, mother's maiden name, or the father's name. The archives even include records of stillbirths, which, since a name for the deceased may not be available, includes the name of the undertaker and the place of burial.
Vital Records Office (1910 to present)
If you are looking for records from 1910 to the present day then you are going to need to contact the Vital Records Office. You can either phone the Vital Records Office or mail them for a certified copy of a birth record. Obviously, if you are looking for a copy of your own birth record then contacting the Vital Records Office is going to be your first stop. Also, keep in mind that although the Vital Records Office typically does not cover pre-1910 births, if births were late being filed then there may be some cases where a pre-1910 birth will show up in the Vital Records Office.
Keep in mind that although the State Archives does cover birth records prior to 1910, registration of births was not always compulsory in the 19th century in Missouri. That means that there may be gaps in the records that the State Archives has. One possible solution to filling in these gaps is by looking through an online genealogical database, especially one that complements its public vital records with newspaper announcements and other sources for birth information.
Missouri plays an important role in the history of the country, which is why many families have ancestors who have passed through and lived in this state. As such, if you are looking up your own family tree there is a decent chance it will have members who were born in the Show Me State. Fortunately, looking up birth records, whether your own or your ancestors', is relatively easy and straightforward in Missouri, so long as you have internet access.