Kansas Map & Atlas Guide

Any Historical Kansas Map can indicate who owned specific property in the state and which towns held the county seat at the time.  This information is a valuable starting point for your research pointing you to the right location of records.

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Solving Research Problems with a Kansas Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Kansas city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.

Because Kansas historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Kansas map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Kansas.

Kansas Map of Counties

Kansas Map of Counties

Choosing the Best Kansas Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail.  You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city.  This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city?  A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.

The Kansas State Historical Society’s volume 8 of Transactions contains a good map series, which clearly shows how Kansas counties were developed.

There are approximately 21,000 architectural drawings and maps included in the Kansas State Historical Society’s collection. The maps came from various sources, including individuals, railroads, government agencies, and map publishers. Researchers can obtain information based on time periods and locations. A list of Kansas towns that no longer exist, known as the Kansas Dead Town List, is also available.

The Kansas Department of Transportation can provide researchers with access to the General Highway Maps, which are organized according to the name of each county. Those maps mark all of the following important landmarks and information: Cemeteries, Churches, Land Holdings, Township and Range Lines, Section Numbers, Water Courses, Other Important Structures.

Kansas Map of County Formations For The Years 1855-1893

These Kansas maps shows the historical changes to Kansas counties from 1855 to 1893. This Interactive Kansas map is made with the use AniMap Plus 3.0 & with the Permission of the Goldbug Company.

Slideshow image
Kansas County Formation years
1855 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871
1872 1873 1874 1875 1878 1879 1880 1881 1883 1885 1886 1887 1889 1893  
Kansas Census Year with Modern Map overlayed:
1860 1870 1880-1930                      
Kansas Map Abbreviations
unorg. = unorganized
g. = gained
w. = with
fr. = from
atmt. = attachment
exch = exchanged
nca.= non county area
ch. = changed
Al - Allen
An - Anderson
At - Atchison
Bbr - Barber
Bo - Bourbon
Bro - Brown
Btn - Barton
But - Butler
Chs - Chase
Cke - Cherokee
Clk - Clark
Clo - Cloud
Cly - Clay
Cof - Coffey
Com - Comanche
Cow - Cowley
Cqa - Chautauqua
Cr - Crawford
Cyn - Cheyenne
De - Decatur
Di - Dickinson
Don - Doniphan
Dou - Douglas
Ed - Edwards
Eli - Ellis
Elk - Elk
Eth - Ellsworth
Fi - Finney
For - Ford
Fr - Franklin
Ge - Geary
Ghm - Graham
Gly - Greeley
Gnt - Grant
Gov - Gove
Gry - Gray
Gwd - Greenwood
Ha - Haskell
Ham - Hamilton
Hod - Hodgeman
Hpr - Harper
Hvy - Harvey
Ja - Jackson
Je - Jefferson
Jew - Jewell
Jo - Johnson
Ke - Kearny
Kin - Kingman
Kio - Kiowa
Lab - Labette
Lan - Lane
Lcn - Lincoln
Le - Leavenworth
Lnn - Linn
Lo - Logan
Ly - Lyon
McP - McPherson
Me - Meade
Mia - Miami
Mit - Mitchell
Mrn - Marion
Mrs - Morris
Msl - Marshall
Mtn - Morton
Mty - Montgomery
Nem - Nemaha
Neo - Neosho
Nes - Ness
No - Norton
Osa - Osage
Osb - Osborne
Owa - Ottawa
Pa - Pawnee
Ph - Phillips
Po - Pottawatomie
Pr - Pratt
Ra - Rawlins
Rce - Rice
Ren - Reno
Rep - Republic
Ril - Riley
Ro - Rooks
Rsh - Rush
Rsl - Russell
Sal - Saline
Sc - Scott
Sdn - Sheridan
Sed - Sedgwick
Sew - Seward
Sha - Shawnee
Sm - Smith
Smn - Sherman
Snn - Stanton
Std - Stafford
Su - Sumner
Svn - Stevens
Th - Thomas
Tr - Trego
Wab - Wabaunsee
Wal - Wallace
Was - Washington
Wic - Wichita
Wil - Wilson
Wo - Woodson
Wy - Wyandotte

Kansas Maps & Atlases

1866 Kansas MapThe David Rumsey Historical Kansas Map Collection is scanned from original copies so you can see Kansas as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some Kansas map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Kansas researcher.

Kansas Map of D.O.T. County Road and Highway’s

Kansas County DOT MapThe Kansas Department of Transportation is pleased to provide highly detailed county maps online. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.

These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download

External Kansas Map Links

U.S. State Map Guides