Wayne County MOGENWEB

Wayne County Missouri

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"The State of Wayne"

Wayne County was created in Dec 1818 by the last Missouri Territorial Legislature out of parts of Cape Girardeau and Lawrence Counties and thus predates the state of Missouri. In March 1819 Congress established the territory of Arkansas and most of Lawrence County, Missouri Territory became Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory. The small strip of "Old Lawrence County" that had been orphaned in Missouri was added to Wayne County by the State Constitution of 1820. The Osage Strip along the Kansas border was added in 1825. From 1825 to 1831 Wayne County was an enormous area larger than Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware combined. All or part of 32 Missouri counties were at one time part of Wayne County.

When the county was formed, five commissioners were appointed to govern the county. They chose a small settlement known locally as Cedar Cabin located on the St Francis River to be the county seat and named it Greenville. In 1900 Greenville had a population of about 1,000. By 1940 the population had declined to 572. The town was relocated by the the construction of Wappapello Lake in 1941 and the new town only had a population of 270 in 1950. Today around 500 people live in Greenville.

The Wayne County courthouse burned in 1854. The records in the new courthouse were stolen in 1866 and in 1892 the courthouse burned again. As a result few official county records prior to 1893 survive. In the Census of 1820, the large area of Wayne County had a population of only 1,239 whites and 204 slaves, but unfortunately the list of Head of Households has been lost as were early local census records. 

Wayne County Missouri Links

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Civil War Sites

Web Sites with Wayne County Connections

To add your Web Site with Wayne County Connections send the URL to Larry Taylor

 Mailing List for Wayne County

To subscribe to to the Wayne Co. list, send the message: subscribe , with signature files removed to:
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Wayne County Research Materials


Census and County Maps

Census Records on Line:

Wayne Co Census Records

From the Wayne County Historical Society:

Cemetery books: Volumes I and II: $50 plus $5 shipping Volume III: Covers years 1989-1992 $12 plus $2 shipping
History of Wayne County by Rose Fulton Cramer. This is a spiral- bound paperback reprint. $50 plus $5 shipping
Wayne County Marriages: 1892-1896 $12 plus $2 shipping
Wayne County Marriages: 1896-1900 $12 plus $2 shipping
Wayne County Taxpayers 1894: $12 plus $2 shipping

Order from:
Wayne County Historical Society
Mrs. Opal Lee Payton
Rt. #2, Box 2609
Piedmont, Mo. 63957

Some Wayne County records on microfilm are available from the Missouri State Archives :

Wayne County records
Ordering information

Some Wayne County Cemetery and Marriage Records:

Wayne County Marriages by Sharon Hackworth

More Wayne County Marriages by Stacy Neese

Wayne County Cemeteries

Looking for where to obtain Missouri Vital Records?


Did your ancestors purchase land from the Federal Government?

Check the BLM site

 Links to Neighboring Counties

  • Bollinger County
  • Butler County
  • Carter County
  • Iron County
  • Madison County
  • Reynolds County
  • Stoddard County



    The MOGenWeb/USGenWeb Project

    In March and April, 1996, a group of genealogists organized the KentuckyGenWeb project. This grew into the USGenWeb Project,and eventually the WorldGenWeb project. At the same time, volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate the collection of databases and generally oversee the contents of the web page..

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    My name is Larry Taylor and I am the person responsible for Wayne County. If you would like to contribute your information to this page, please let me know. If you are interested in adopting a county in Missouri visit the MO Orphan County Page.

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    This page last updated Sat, 17 Sep 2005

    Copyright 1997 - 2005 by Larry Taylor