Today's free genealogy resource was suggested by Joyce on our Facebook page. Like many state archives, the Missouri State Archives can be a boon for genealogists. There are quite a few databases that can be helpful when tracing family that lived in the state.
The Missouri Judicial Index contains a wide variety of abstracts from court cases ranging from the county level all the way through the supreme court. These include criminal and civil cases. You can search by party name, year or record group. You will taken through a couple screens that request additional information.
The results will then be shown with a brief overview of the case including date, party name, subject, cause of action and case summary. Clicking on the view record detail button will give you more information such as the court, case disposition and identifying information to help locate the records.
The death certificate index contains information on deaths that occurred in Missouri from 1910 to 1958. These are searchable by name, county or year. The results screen will give you the name, date of death, city and county of death, and the certificate number. The last column contains a link that takes you to the image of the certificate which can be saved to your computer or printed.
A third database, the Missouri Birth & Death Records Database, is actually two databases accessible from the same page. It searches events that occurred prior to 1910. You can search by name or county.
For births (which includes stillbirths), the results screen will give you the child's name, place and county of birth, date of birth, father and mother's name, and in some cases, the mother's maiden name. The right-hand column has a details button you can click on for additional information on the birth. For deaths, the results screen gives you name, age, sex, color, date of death and county. As with births, you can click on the details button for more information.
The Civil War Provost Marshall Index is another nice free genealogy resource found in the online archives. It can be searched by name, keyword or county. The results screen gives the name, county, city, subject, date and reel number. Subjects vary, but may include oaths, statements, prisoner records and more. If one of the results seems likely, you can look it up on microfilm with the given reel number to get more information.
The Coroner's Inquest Database covers inquests ranging from the early 1840s to the early 1930s. You can search by record group, name of deceased, cause of death or year range. The results page gives you the deceased's name, county, date of death and cause of death. Clicking on the view details hyperlink will take you to another page which gives a few more details as well as information on what box, folder and reel you can find the actual inquest papers at the archives.
The Land Patents Database cover the years 1831 to 1969 and can be helpful in locating where an ancestor lived. You can search by name, county or year. The results screen gives the record number, purchaser's name, location of the land and the year purchased. Clicking on view in the far right column will take to a screen which may offer additional information including where to find the land patent entry, type of land, size of property and price per acre. Some entries offer more information than others.
Other helpful databases include the Local Records Inventory, Missouri Supreme Court Historical, Naturalization Records, St. Louis Circuit Court Historical Records and Soldier Records: War of 1812-World War I.
When it comes to free genealogy resources, the Missouri Archives has quite a bit to offer.