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Winter 2001
A Publication of the St. Louis Public Library

Vol. 1   No. 1

They Came From… is a feature that highlights dates in the history of a particular place which are of interest to the genealogist. It will also list addresses of institutions holding vital and military records of that state or country. Our first column highlights our very own state, Missouri.



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1764 Auguste Chouteau and thirty workers begin to build St. Louis on the banks of the Mississippi River near the mouth of the Missouri River. Upper Louisiana passes from French to Spanish.
1804 Ownership of Upper Louisiana is transferred from Spain to France to the United States during this eventful year.
1805 Recording of land titles awarded by foreign governments begins in St. Louis on September 16.
1808 First issue of Missouri Gazette published in St. Louis (first newspaper west of Mississippi River).
1818 U.S. public land sales in Missouri delayed until this year by New Madrid earthquakes of 1811/1812.
1821 Missouri admitted as 24th state.
1830 First federal census of Missouri.
1850 St. Louis begins recording of deaths this year; births in 1863. There is an estimated 60% compliance.
1853 Prior to this year, some adoptions were made by act of the Legislature. Starting in 1853, adoptions are handled through a county’s Recorder of Deeds. In 1917, adoption proceedings are moved to Circuit Court, Juvenile Division. gfh04.jpg (14367 bytes)
1854 Children’s Aid Society of New York City begins sending "Orphan Trains" to midwestern states including Missouri. By 1929, 100,000 children have been sent to the midwest on "Orphan Trains."
1861 Civil War begins; Union troops under General Lyon retain control of St. Louis Arsenal from Confederate troops under General Frost. Many early enlistments are for 90 days because most persons believe hostilities will be over in 90 days or less.
1863 General Thomas Ewing issues infamous General Order No. 11 which forces evacuation of persons from some southwestern Missouri counties.
1864 Confederate troops under General Sterling Price invade Missouri in September; they are pushed back into Arkansas by December.
1865 Regular railroad passenger service between St. Louis and Kansas City begins this year. Missouri slaves are freed in January of this year.

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1866 Missouri persons in certain occupations are required to take so-called "Test Oath" that they never swore allegiance to Confederacy or served in its army or navy.
1874 Kansas City records some births and deaths during the period 1874-1909. Compliance is low and many births and deaths go unreported. Prior to 1881, no marriage license is required in Missouri. Marriage could be recorded in any Missouri county courthouse. After 1880, a marriage license is required and is recorded in county where it occurred.
1883 Births and deaths records made mandatory by Missouri state law. The law repealed in 1893.
1890  Special federal census records Union veterans and their widows living in Missouri in 1890.
1910  Missouri Office of Vital Records begins statewide mandatory recording of births and deaths in Missouri.
1917  All Missouri men born between 1873-1900 are required to register for one of several draft calls in 1917-1918. Persons living in the United States who are not yet citizens and were born in countries hostile to the United States are required to register with Department of Justice as enemy aliens.
1940  Records of soldiers who served in Missouri militia or volunteer regiments before 1940 are kept at Missouri State Archives; records of soldiers serving in Missouri regiments after 1940 are kept by Missouri Adjutant General.

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