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Missouri Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Missouri[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Many tax assessment books of Missouri counties have been preserved. The original records are generally at the office of the county clerk.

  • Some county tax records are available at the Family History Library. To access these records which are in printed form or still on Microfilms, they will have to be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, UT or check with "Worldcat" to see what source is closest to you. Listed below is the catalog page listing what there is. Just scroll down to taxes.

Missouri tax records

State Level[edit | edit source]

  • 1862-1866 Internal revenue assessment lists for Missouri Internal revenue assessment lists were created into divisions called Districts, each county is put into a district. County names are arranged alphabetically within the division and then within months. The following is a list of counties placed in which district. (knowing the district and county your ancestor lived in will make searching this years taxes list a little faster)
    (once on page scroll down to district desired and click on camera to open)

U.S. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists. Three types of Reports: A=Annual; M=Monthly; S=Special Years and Reports may be different.

Created Districts 1-3 on 28 August 1862

DISTRICT 1: St. Louis (Only)

District made up of counties South of The Missouri River excluding St. Louis
DISTRICT 2: Barry, Barton, Bates, Benton, Bollinger, Camden, Cape, Gerardeau, Carter, Cass, Cedar, Christian, Cole, Crawford, Dude, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene. Henry, Howell, Iron, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Luclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Madison, Maries, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Morgan, New Madrid, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscott, Perry, Petis, Phellps, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley,St. Clair, St Francois, Sainte Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wright

District made up of Counties North of the Missouri River
DISTRICT 3: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Boone, Buchanan, Caldwell, Callaway, Carrol, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Knox, Lafayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Monroe, Nodaway, Montgomery, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, St Charles, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan, Warren Worth


As of 24 Sep 1864
DISTRICT 3: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carrol, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Knox, Lafayette, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Nodaway, Platte, Putnam, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan, Worth

Created District 4 on 24 Sep 1864 from District 3
DISTRICT 4: Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Lincoln, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, St Charles, Warren


After 27 Apr 1865
DISTRICT 2: Bollinger, Cape, Gerardeau, Carter, Crawford, Dude, Dent, Dunklin, Franklin, Gasconade, Iron, Jefferson, Madison, Maries, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Osage, Pemiscott, Perry, Phellps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St Francois, Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Washington, Wayne,

DISTRICT 3: Adair, Clark, Howard, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby,

Created District 5 on 27 April 1865 from District 2 NO LIST FOR THIS DISTRICT
DISTRICT 5: Barry, Barton, Bates, Benton, Camden, Cass, Cedar, Christian, Cole, Dallas, Douglas, Greene. Henry, Howell, Jasper, Johnson, Luclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Newton, Ozark, Petis, Polk, St. Clair, Stone, Taney, Texas, Vernon, Webster, Wright

Created District 6 on 27 April 1865 from District 3
DISTRICT 6: Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Carrol, Chariton, Clay, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Jackson, Lafayette, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Platte, Putnam, Ray, Saline, Sullivan, Worth



The Missouri Historical Society has some original tax records; others can be found in the Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The Missouri State Archives has microfilmed some tax records for quite a few counties. A researcher can determine which county records exist by first searching the Archives Local Records Inventory Database at www.sos.mo.gov/CountyInventory and then look at the Archives Roll-by-Roll Listing by County at www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/county/croll.asp to find out if the records are available on microfilm.

The Missouri State Archives has microfilmed some tax records for the counties of, Boone, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Chariton, Clay, Cooper. Franklin, Howard. Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, ST. Charles, St. Francois, and Ste. Genevieve. [1]

The Missouri Historical Society
Address: 225 S Skinker Blvd,
St. Louis, MO 63105

Missouri State Archives Records & Archives
State Archives
Phone: (573) 751-3280
E-Mail: archref@

Missouri Secretary of State's Office
Missouri Secretary of State
600 West Main Street
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
Main Office: (573) 751-4936
Index of records available on microfilm in the Research Room, including tax records for each county.

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

  • Prior to 1850, purchasers of the federal lands in Missouri were exempt from land taxes for five years after purchase. If one finds an ancestor on a Missouri ta list with livestock, etc, but no land being taxed, the individual may have purchased land from the government within the preceding five years.[2]
  • Even though the Secretary of Treasury tried to make instructions and regulations more uniform. Individual assessment assessors in Missouri however, continued to alter the forms for their own purposes and to enumerate and assess taxable property in a manner they found convenient. Hence some confusion.[3]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [4]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.


References[edit | edit source]