The area now known as Kansas was first explored by a European in 1541. His name was Francisco de Coronado and he was exploring for Spain. Sieur de la Salle also made several land claims in the area on behalf of France, but not until 1682. In 1763, Spain received the territory from France, but France got it back again in 1800. Shortly thereafter, in 1803, the land was transferred to the United States from the French via the Louisiana Purchase.
Between 1803 and 1819, several famous explorers came to explore the region that is now the state of Kansas. Some of those explorers were Stephen H. Long, the famous exploring duo of Lewis and Clark, and Zebulon Pike. However, it wasn’t until 1827 that the first permanent settlement was established at Fort Leavenworth. In 1842, a settlement at Fort Scott was established, followed by one at Fort Riley in 1853. The point of some of those settlements was to protect those traveling along either the Oregon Trail or the Santa Fe Trail.
The area earned the ominous nickname of “Bleeding Kansas” right before the Civil War broke out, thanks to numerous slavery-related conflicts.
The Kansas Territory, was organized on May 30, 1854. The State of Kansas was created as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. The capital is Topeka and the official state website is kansas.gov/. Kansas has 105 Counties. Select a Kansas county to view information & records pertaining to each County
Getting Started with Kansas Genealogy and Family Trees
Tips for Searching for Kansas Genealogy Information – Kansas is famous in many people’s minds for a few things – corn, wild weather, and the Wizard of Oz. This is unfortunate because it is also a place of beauty and vast amounts of history. There is the African American history, the territorial history leading up to the Civil War, and so much more. So many people have settled in Kansas, or passed through it, that there is a lot of demand for Kansas genealogy material, and a lot of it available!
Successful Tactics for Kansas Genealogy Projects – Any savvy researcher knows that their first step in doing work for Kansas genealogy projects is to use what is right at their fingertips – their computer!
Kansas makes a large number of resources available online, and this means that it is possible for even a beginning genealogist to quickly access the state’s online resources in order to begin gathering data or requesting copies of the materials needed for a Kansas genealogy project.
This does not mean that ALL resources will be available in the digital format, and many of the archives, libraries and museums are still only “offline” resources. Naturally, these are places that are just as valuable to those looking for Kansas genealogy, and many let people know what they have through details on their websites.
It is extremely useful for you to become familiar with these resources for Kansas genealogy, and to learn which are the offline resources, and which can provide you with materials right away through the Internet.
The Contemporary Method for Kansas Genealogy Research – Because public records are among the most useful resources for Kansas genealogy projects we are providing the following list of the best categories to search through:
- State Records – from probate information to birth certificates, cemetery information, death records, deeds, estate information, genealogical folders, land records, maps, marriage details, military or veterans information, newspapers, private manuscripts, state census information, surname lists and more. Such records are available as online and offline resources for Kansas genealogy.
- Local Records – state research is most often initiated at a county clerk’s office or website, and then incorporates the small local libraries, historical societies, local genealogical societies, and school or college libraries for Kansas genealogy data with materials that are usually offline and viewable only by appointment or special arrangement.
- Vital Records – these will always cover the basic birth, marriage, divorce, and death records available from county, state, and national archives. They also contain census records, newspaper items, military records, immigration and naturalization details, cemetery or obituary information, and passenger lists and records as well. These are generally available as online or offline resources for Kansas genealogy.
Today’s Strongest Tools for Kansas Genealogy – The computer is the genealogist’s best friend and provides them with direct and instant access to many tools for Kansas genealogy research. Below are some of the best of tools for Kansas genealogy research that is targeted and effective:
- Office of Vital Statistics, Curtis State Office Building, 1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 120, Topeka, Kansas 66612-2221; Website: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w/kansas.htm.
This is an ideal resource for birth, death, marriage and divorce records that you can request via a written notice, or even online.
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
- Kansas Historical Society , 6425 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66615-1099; Website: http://www.kshs.org/portal_genealogy.
Resources on this site for Kansas genealogy are extensive and contain all of the vital records, state records, Native American census data, newspapers, name indexes, military records and a tool through which direct questions can be asked to research staff.
Also, consider using the Kansas Genealogical Society and Online Library at: http://www.kgs-genlibrary.com/.
Finally, these three popular websites provide a tremendous amount of state-specific details to those in search of details for Kansas genealogy projects.
- Kansas Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Encyclopedia of Kansas (kansaspedia.com)
- The Kansas Family Group Sheet Project (fgs-project.com)
- USGenweb – Kansas Genealogy (skyways.org)
- Free GenForum Message Boards – Kansas (genforum.genealogy.com)
- Free Rootsweb Message Boards – Kansas (boards.ancestry.com)
- Cyndis List Kansas Links (cyndislist.com)
- Kansas Mailing List (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- Kansas American History and Genealogy Project (usgennet.org)
- Kansas (wikipedia.org)
- Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) – Kansas (raogk.org)
- Kansas Genealogy Look Ups (geneasearch.com)
- USGenWeb Archives Project for Kansas (usgwarchives.net)
- KANSAS – A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc. (skyways.lib.ks.us)
- Genealogical records from Mrs. Otis O. Fleming (search.ancestry.com)