At least one online source says that Madison County court records date back to 1827, but this appears to be incorrect.Court records for the county as microfilmed by the State Archives are extant from as early as 1820, with territorial records dating back to 1810.

Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Missouri Land and Property for information about records of land transfers from the government to private ownership.

After that transfer, transactions were usually recorded and are currently housed at the county courthouse. See Missouri State Archives Guide to County and Municipal Records on Microfilm: Madison County (pdf).

Madison County, Missouri was organized by an act of the territorial legislature. The county was formed from parts of Cape Girardeau and Ste. The county was named after President James Madison.

Madison had been president until 1817, just shortly before the organization of the county, and was instrumental in facilitating the Louisiana Purchase, of which Madison County was a part. The town is believed to have likely derived its name from the first name of one of the area's pioneer settlers, Capt. The earliest European settlement in what became Madison County was at Mine La Motte, located north of the county seat of Fredericktown.

A primary motivation for early settlement was the potential for lead mining, and Mine La Motte became an early center for the manufacture of lead ammunition. Plummer, heading the 11th Missouri Volunteers, to go to Fredericktown in search of Confederate troops led by Jeff Thompson.Madison County is a part of the region of the state which is still referred to as the Lead Belt because of its intense mining activity in the past. The Confederates were found about a mile outside of town, and although they were not overtaken by the Union troops, they were forced to evacuate the area and the Union army took a number of prisoners. For more on the history of Madison County, Missouri, see also: For animated maps illustrating Missouri county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Missouri County Boundary Maps" (1804-1889) may be viewed for free at the Mapof website.A related early settlement in what became Madison County was the French Catholic village of St. There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.Michaels, settled in 1799 or 1800 (sources differ) and later absorbed into Fredericktown. Up until that point, Madison County had been divided into three townships: St. The County Court added two additional townships in 1821. Town/city records in the Family Search Catalog Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper.German Reformed settlers from Bollinger County entered the area after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date.The Madison County Circuit Court first met on in the home of Theodore F. The County Court, separate from the Circuit Court, was then organized in 1821 and first met in the home of J. For general information about Missouri denominations, view the Missouri Church Records wiki page.