Counties formed before Statehood:
Cape Girardeau · New Madrid · St. Charles · St.Louis · Ste.Genevieve
First Settlement, Ste.Genevieve founded in 1735 by French Settlers from Fort Kaskaskia 1735. Ste.Genevieve is also the county seat for Ste.Genevieve County. The town contains many historic homes dating back to 1760's and the Ste.Genevieve Museum is open year round. The St. Louis Public Library has information on this area
Perry County - County Seat Perryville. Saxons settled in this county as early as 1839. Germans from Prussia settled in area 1840's. There is the Saxon Lutheren Memorial in Frohna that is dedicated to preserving the religious and cultural Heritage of the Saxon Immigrants. Two books regarding history of the county are: The Setttlement Patterns of Perry County,Missouri 1850-1900 by Barber and Church and Slave in Perry County,Missouri 1818-1865 by Poole and Slawson.
Madison County - County Seat Fredericktown. Home of the lead mines at Mine LaMotte. In 1863 the Battle of Fredricktown occurred, involving 3000 Confederate Soldiers and 5000 Union Troops. Historic Madison County Society in Fredericktown has lots of genealogical information.
Cape Girardeau County - County Seat Jackson. Largest City in Southeast Missouri Founded in 1812. Trail of Tears State Park's Visitors Center tells the story of the Cherokee Indians forced relocation from the Southeastern United States to Oklahoma along what has come to be called the "Trail of Tears."
Iron County - County seat is Ironton. Pilot Knob is the sight of Fort Davidson the best preserved Civil War battlefield in Missouri. The Battle left 1,000 soldiers either dead or wounded.
St.Louis - County Seat Clayton, MO. The City of St.Louis has its own offices for Vital Records and probates. St.Louis City and County split in 1876. Best respositories for St.Louis and surrounding area information is the St. Louis Public Library on Olive Street. It contains all Missouri Census, Civil War muster-in records, passenger lists, city directories, newspapers, obituaries and much more. Missouri State Historical Society near Forest Park (the home of the 1904 World's Fair) contains the diaries of Lewis & Clark, fur traders ledgers, city directories dating back to early 1820's, card catalogues of persons who had business's in St.Louis up until 1900's and much, much more. Calvary Cemetery and Bellefontaine Cemetery are two of the oldest cemeteries in St.Louis . Calvary is a catholic Cemetery and dates back to early 1900's Bellefontaine Cemetary has many famous St. Louisians buried there: William Clark (of Lewis & Clark fame), Thomas Hart Benton, and Adolphus Busch. Besides the thousands of Germans who settled in St.Louis 1830s through1850s, several other ethnic groups from Europe settled there, including Italians, French, Irish, and Polish.
Cole County - Jefferson City is County Seat and also the State Capital. Jefferson City was the second capital of Missouri. It was founded in 1820. Many immigrants from Kentucky and the Carolinas settled here around 1830's. The best repository for Missouri research information is the Missouri State Archives, which sits down the hill from the state capital. It contains all Missouri Census, pre-statehood history, land deeds, marriages for several counties, church records, Civil War muster-in records, county histories, Mexican and Spanish American War muster-in records of soldiers who served out of Missouri and much, much more.
Andrew County - St.Joseph is the county seat. The Pony Express originated here, and it's also home to Jesse James. During the Civil War both Confederates & Union Soldiers fought in the area. Families were divided brother against brother. Families were tarred and feathered for taking sides with the Union soldiers. The Denver and St. Joe Railroad originated here.
Kansas City - Jackson County. Best research repository is the Mid-Continent Public Library Genealogy Branch on 24 Highway, Independence, MO. The Library contains the best collection of Missouri History in Western Missouri. It was named one of the Top10 in the United States by Heritage Quest. Some of the great records there are Missouri Civil War muster-in cards, both Confederate and Union Soldiers; city directories for Kansas City and surrounding areas; census from Missouri Statehood through 1930 including Soundexes; also census records from 1790 through1930 for all of the United States. Requests can be sent to the Library. There is no charge for this service but they do ask for a donation.
Greene County Springfield Area. Site of the Civil War, Battle at Wilson's Creek. This county had a lot of early settlers from Kentucky and North Carolina.
CIVIL WAR BATTLES IN MISSOURI
Carthage in Jasper County; Lexington (also known as the Battle of the Hemp Bales) in Northern Missouri; Glasgow in Northern Missouri; and Westport in Kansas City. You can find out more about these and 21 other Civil Battles in Missouri on Missouri Genweb. Missouri Genweb contains many good sites. Everything from early settlers; slavery; Trail of Tears; Early Missouri Marriages; Lewis and Clark and much more.