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Resources and links to help you discover your family history
Researching your family history in Iron County, Missouri and Reynolds County, Missouri, is often very challenging. We are hopeful that the information, resources and links provided on this website will make studying your genealogy easier for you. We will attempt to clarify some of the issues that even the most enthusiastic genealogist may face when researching family history in our Black River Area and Arcadia Valley Region.
In the near future, a more comprehensive website will be completed which will provide more detailed information including area cemeteries, prominent regional surnames, and interesting stories about the brave families that settled here long ago. Please check back in the near future for a link to our new comprehensive resource guide.
In the meantime, we hope that by providing a bit of Missouri history, your research will be a bit easier.
After the Louisiana purchase in 1800, this region was a part of the territory of “Louisiana” which included all or part of present-day Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and Idaho. After Louisiana became a state in 1812, the remaining Upper Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory and was divided in to five original counties. Our present Iron and Reynolds counties were considered a part of the new county of Ste. Genevieve in the brand new Missouri Territory. For a much more detailed account of the early history of our region, please click here.
The Missouri Territory was finally admitted as the 24th state in the Union in 1821. As more and more new settlers came to Missouri, these original five counties were divided and subdivided to serve the needs of the area populations until ultimately, 114 counties existed as of 1862. Keep in mind that many of the early settlers moved back and forth between the areas now known as Reynolds County and Iron County. In addition, a part of Reynolds County became a part of Iron County in 1857.
For those of you researching Reynolds County, the following information may be helpful. Reynolds County was formed from land acquired from Shannon County and was designated as Reynolds County in February of 1845. Between 1812 and 1845, Reynolds County was at various times a part of the following counties: Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, Wayne, Madison, Ripley, Washington and Shannon. It may be helpful to research the genealogical resources in these other counties if you are having difficulty uncovering information in Reynolds County.
To further complicate Reynolds County genealogical research, all records prior to 1872 no longer exist. The Reynolds County Courthouse in Centerville burned to the ground and all records were destroyed. Please take our website tour of historic towns, villages and settlements in Reynolds County. The historical information will assuredly be helpful to your research.
A vast amount of genealogy research has been done on the early families of Reynolds County by the dedicated people at the Reynolds County Genealogy Society and Museum in Ellington. Many of the gaps in Reynolds County history have been filled in through exhaustive research and dedication. This information is available on site and we encourage you to travel to our beautiful area to see for yourself. They are located at 200 S. Main Street in Ellington. Here are other links that may be helpful to you.
Brand new Reynolds County Museum has been built!
They celebrated a grand re-opening in May, 2011!
Visit their new website.
Join Reynolds County Genealogy on Facebook!
Be certain to explore all of the “favorite pages” listed on the page.
Reynolds County Links
For those of you researching Iron County, the following information may be helpful. Iron County, named for its abundant iron ore, was established in February of 1857. It was formed from parts of Washington, Wayne, St. Francois, Madison and Reynolds County. Again, if you are unsuccessful researching only in Iron County, we suggest that you search these counties as well for the information you are seeking. Please take our website tour of historic towns, villages and settlements in Iron County that we feel will assist you in your research.
Once again, we are grateful to the many dedicated people in our area who have spent countless hours and tremendous energy compiling the information for our communities. Stop by the Arcadia Valley Visitor’s Center, the home of the Iron County Historical Society and Museum for assistance in researching your family roots in Iron County. They are located on Hwy. 21 in Arcadia, MO.
You may also write to the Historical Society and visit the website: