Montgomery County Historical Society Montgomery County Historical Society
Dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the rich local history of the Montgomery County, Missouri area.

Tuesday "Open House" Canceled

The Genealogy Society will not be opening the building on Tuesday mornings until further notice.  Please check the "Events" listings before planning a visit.

Online References

Older researchers (like your webmaster) remember sticking our heads into a microfilm box and serially scanning through reference material for hours, days and weeks for a mere tidbit of information. Today, many resources are available online with search capabilities that allow task completion in seconds. Many are even free!  See Online References for some sources we have found to be of value; including digitized books, maps and documents. Links to helpful websites are listed.
If you are aware of other useful sites, please send an email to and they will be added to the list. Thank you for taking the time to help your fellow researchers!                                                                            

Freebies from Ancestry: Lessons & Records

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and its long-term digitization partner Ancestry will make it even easier for people to explore their own family history stories from home by providing FREE access to search nearly 500 million records and images on Ancestry

For nearly a decade, Ancestry® has been offering its AncestryK12® services, a no-cost program for K-12 schools and teachers in classrooms nationwide that includes access to content from the U.S. collection of Ancestry, and With school closures in effect across the U.S., Ancestry is offering support to parents by making its AncestryK12 lesson plans available for free for anyone to download while they are educating children at home. 

Ancestry is continuing to provide free online tutorials and video courses to help people get started with family tree building. We’re also developing live learning sessions on our social channels for our community.

Home page articles are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                 Return to Top of Page

Bicentennial of Missouri Statehood

200 years ago, March 6, 1820, President James MonroePresident Monroe signed an enabling act, which Missouri statehood enthusiasts surely thought would outline the final substantial acts they would have to take for Missouri too become one of the United States of America.
The Act had eight sections and they are summarized as follows:
I.  The Missouri Territory was empowered to draft and adopt a state constitution and form a government, and upon approval, the state would be admitted to the Union on an equal footing with the existing states in all respects.
II.  The boundaries of the new State of Missouri, would be: On the south, latitude 36 degrees north between the Mississippi and St Francois rivers and latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes north from the St Francois west to the west boundary; on the east, the Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers; on the north, latitude 40 degrees, 35 minutes from the Des Moines River to the west boundary; and on the west, a straight line passing at the confluence of the Kaw and Missouri Rivers.
III.  Forty-one delegates to the constitutional convention all to be white males, 21 years old, or older, and residents of the area of the proposed for three months immediately prior to an election of delegates, were apportioned among the first 15 counties created (New Madrid, Cape Girardeau, St Genevieve, St Louis, St Charles, Wayne, Howard, Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, Cooper, Montgomery, Pike and Lincoln). The apportionment in the enabling act was decidedly favorable to those counties south of the Missouri River. For instance, Howard, the most populous county, had fewer delegates than St Louis County. However, this may not have had any practical effect on the constitution adopted or the government formed.
IV.  The first meeting of the delegates was set for the second Monday in June, 1820. It was required that the convention produce a constitution providing for a republican form of government in no way repugnant to the Federal Constitution.
V.  The new state would have one representative in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress until the next general census.
VI.  Five proposals for grants, to be accepted or rejected by the constitutional convention, were made:
     1.  A grant to the State of section 16 in each congressional township in the State for school purposes.
     2.  A grant of all salt springs, not to exceed 12 in number, and six sections of land adjoining each.
     3.  Five percent (5%) of the net proceeds of sales of public lands in the State after January 1, 1821, for public roads and canals. Three-fifths (60%) of the money would go to the General Assembly for state projects and two-fifths (40%) would be administered by the U.S. Congress for roads to the State.
     4.  Four sections of land for the purpose of fixing the state capitol thereon.
     5.  Land for a seminary of learning.
Requirements for acceptance were that all public lands sold within the State after January 1, 1821, and bounty land awarded for military service would be exempt from taxes for three years so long as held by the veteran or his heirs.
VII.  An authenticated copy of the constitution adopted would be filed with the U.S. Congress.
VIII.  Missouri could permit slavery within its borders, but it would be prohibited in the area north and west of Missouri above latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes north.
The three-year conflict and uncertainty over Missouri’s admission to the Union seemed to be finally coming to a close.
Research tidbits are archived under "Misc. Articles" in County History.                     Return to Top of Page

A Much Appreciated Gift

The family of Clarence Nelson made a generous donation in his memory. We are very grateful for their financial support. Clarence died July 9, 2017, age 88. He was a native of Montgomery County, graduate of Jonesburg High School, 1946, and Westminister College in Fulton. His parents were Benjamin and Arline (Loyd) Nelson, both long-time Montgomery County families. 

MCHS is a not-for-profit corporation organized in 1976 with Federal 501(c)(3) status. We have a modest endowment from donations and memorials. The principal source of income is dues and donations. There are no paid employees or consultants, nor expense accounts for volunteers.

April 4
StL Gen Society Conference
Annual Family History Conference "Proof Positive ... Evidence in Court Records" feature Judy Russell, JD and Missouri State Archivisit John Dougan.  Registration required, fee charged. ...

April 6
The Mexican War
Bonnie Vega looks at the causes and consequences of the Mexican-American War. The US annexation of Texas led to the nearly two-year war, which resulted ...

April 12
Happy Easter
Click here for the history of this holy day.

April 15
Ft. Kaskaskia and Lewis & Clark
Mark J. Wagner of Southern Illinois University–Carbondale will discuss how in 2017 SIUC archaeologists located the previously unknown remains of Lewis and Clark’s Fort Kaskaskia ...

April 19
Volunteer Army During the Civil War
Ranger Talk, details TBD.