Northwest Missouri

Genealogical Society

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Wise Words

  • We are the children of many sires, and every drop of blood in us in its turn ... betrays its ancestor.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.
    Alex Haley, Roots

  • There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings.
    Hodding S. Carter

  • We've uncovered some embarrassing ancestors in the not-too-distant past. Some horse thieves, and some people killed on Saturday nights. One of my relatives, unfortunately, was even in the newspaper business.
    Jimmy Carter
    Former U.S. President

  • Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.

  • He who has no fools, knaves, or beggars in his family was begot by a flash of lightning.
    English Proverb

  • Why waste your money looking up your family tree? Just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you.
    Mark Twain

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The Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society serves the counties of Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, and Worth.


New Index for the Library Holdings

The indexes for the Library collections have been moved, paginated and reorganized to make them easier to use, and the surnames indexes are also easier to find.

Once you have the listing of all the library holdings, you can quickly see which ones we have the names indexed for, as the title will be blue and underlined.  Currently, the first example of this is on page 3 of the index.  If you need any further information on any of the books or surnames you find here, please contact our research librarian for assistance in obtaining a copy.

NEW Sunday Hours!

The NWMGS is happy to announce that we will be open the fourth Sunday of the month, starting in June. We will begin with the hours of 12 - 4 p.m. until we see how much demand there is for research assistance. This will be a pilot program until December and then we can decide to expand or change the hours as needed.

A huge thank you to our Sunday volunteers!! Please visit the library and thank them for their time!

Index of Library Resources

THIS IS ONLY A PARTIAL LIST - it represents only one wall of our library at this time. The list will continue to grow every couple of weeks, as we work our way through the library. This is a time consuming process, so please bear with us.

In addition, we are entering every name from every book into the database. Again, this is a lot of work, so please bear with us as this will grow slowly and steadily. (And if you're really impatient, volunteer to come help speed things along!) You can browse these surname indexes, or use the Google Search box in the navigation section on the left to find the surnames you're looking for.

Every effort has been made to make these entries as correct as possible, however, if you should spot a typo or what you believe to be an error, please let us know and we will correct it as soon as possible.

Library Resources Index

HOW TO USE this index: The listing is alphabetical. They are entered by the name which appears on the cover of the book. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to find exactly what you are looking for. EXAMPLE: Births and Deaths from Buchanan County would be found alphabetically under the B's, but since it also contains death information, if you only look at the D's you will not see this resource as being available. EXAMPLE: Index to Deaths in St. Joseph is found under the I's, but logically you would look under the D's or even S for St. Joseph. So PLEASE be sure to look through all of the items!

Once you have found a book which might be of interest, look to see if it is underlined and in blue. If it is, then click on that title to see a list of surnames that can be found within that book. PLEASE NOTE: these books are not indexed all at once - our at-home volunteers do a little bit at a time, so if there appears to be only a few names, it is probably being worked on. It can be difficult to know if the names are all entered or not. EXAMPLE: Deaths from the Catholic Tribune is alphabetized by the name of the deceased, however, we index every name in the obit, so you will see names from A to Z, even though the person entering the book has only done 1/2 of it.

If you find a name in the index that is of interest, write down the book number and record number. With this information our librarian can quickly find the record you need. Contact our librarian for a copy of the record of interest.

Further questions about the database and how it works? Let us know!

Library Collections and Services

We are very proud of the extensive collection of materials our library maintains. Our collection includes, but is not limited to:

  • Cemetery records
  • Census records
  • Circuit Court records
  • City directories
  • Death records (pre-1910)
  • Family files
  • Funeral home records
  • Historical publications
  • Indexes
  • Journals
  • Maps
  • Marriage records
  • Microfilm
  • Probate records
  • Tax records
  • Wills
  • Yearbooks

We are currently working on creating an index of each title we have available and will post that detailed list as soon as possible.

We have wireless internet service available for those who travel with their own laptop. Several tables are available - so you can spread out all your research documents and keep yourself organized. Microfilm and microfiche machines can accommodate multiple researchers. Most items can be scanned into digital form and e-mailed to you as well, to help reduce paper clutter. For our visitors who plan to stay awhile, we also have a refrigerator and microwave, with snacks and drinks available for a nominal price.

There are a limited number of parking spaces available in front of the library, however, we are located across the street from the municipal parking garage where ample parking abounds. The library is a short walk from the Holiday Inn as well. If you are planning a visit to St. Joseph for genealogical research, please be sure to include the Northwest Missouri Genealogical Library on your list of "must see" places!

Library Hours

The library is staffed by volunteers at all times.

  • Tuesday: 2:00 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday (1st and 3rd of the month): Noon to 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday (4th of the month): Noon to 4:00 p.m.

During the months of inclement weather, you are encouraged to call ahead to verify the library will be open. Road conditions and illness may contribute to the library closing at unscheduled times.

If you are interested in visiting the library at another time, please send an e-mail to Kelly and we will be happy to discuss other times which may be available to accommodate your schedule.

PLEASE NOTE: The library is closed for the months of January and February. However, we are more than happy to assist researchers who may be visiting from out of town during these months. Please contact us to make arrangements.

If you are planning a visit to St. Joseph for research purposes, please be sure to check the St. Joseph Public Library and Courthouse hours in order to make the most of your visit. Both of these facilities are a short distance from the library. Also, please note the State of Missouri observes Truman Day the second Friday of May! Many services/offices are not open so please plan accordingly.