Brown County, Kansas Genealogy

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Guide to Brown County, Kansas ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Hiawatha
Organized: August 30, 1855
Parent County(s): Original county [1]
Neighboring Counties
Atchison  • Doniphan  • Holt (MO)  • Jackson  • Nemaha  • Richardson (NE)
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Brown County svg.bmp

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Albert Gallatin Brown (1813-1880), United States senator from Mississippi at the time of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Other legislators, however, stated it was named for O. H. Browne, a member of that legislature.[2] The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Brown County Courthouse
601 Oregon Street

PO Box 417
Hiawatha, Kansas 66434
Brown County Website

Clerk of the District Court, (785) 742-7481: Marriage records from 1857 to present. Naturalization records starting in 1930s. Probate and court records from 1800’s.

County Clerk, (785) 742-2581: Birth and death records for 1885-1889 and 1907, 1911, indexed. Brown County census for 1860 and 1880 (indexed). Brown County newspapers for 1875-1899 (indexed).

Register of Deeds, (785) 742-3741: Military discharges, cemetery deeds, and land records from 1857.

Brown County, Kansas Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1885 1857 1885 1800s 1857 1857 1855
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.[5]

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
  • Hamlin
  • Hiawatha
  • Irving
  • Mission
  • Morrill
  • Padonia
  • Powhattan
  • Robinson
  • Walnut
  • Washington

See also: National Register of Historic Places in Brown County, Kansas Indian Reservation

The Kickapoo Indian Reservation is located within the boundaries of Brown County.

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Brown County, Kansas online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Kansas Cemeteries for more information

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 2,607
1870 6,823 161.7%
1880 12,817 87.8%
1890 20,319 58.5%
1900 22,369 10.1%
1910 21,314 −4.7%
1920 20,949 −1.7%
1930 20,553 −1.9%
1940 17,395 −15.4%
1950 14,651 −15.8%
1960 13,229 −9.7%
1970 11,685 −11.7%
1980 11,955 2.3%
1990 11,128 −6.9%
2000 10,724 −3.6%
2010 9,984 −6.9%
Source: "".

Indexed county-level censuses for 1860 and 1880 available through County Clerk (see Courthouse info).Kansas became a territory in 1854 and the first territory census taken was in 1855. It was also enumerated as Kansas Territory in the 1860 Federal Census, although there were 15 counties that were marked with "no population" in them. The state continued to take state censuses after it was admitted to the Union in 1861.[7] See links listed below.

State and Territorial Census Records[edit | edit source]

Federal Census Records[edit | edit source]

The 1870 Census was the first Federal Census taken for Kansas after it became a state in 1861.[8] For links to Federal Census indexes, see Kansas Census.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Kansas Church Records.

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Old Brown County Courthouse

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Kansas Land and Property for additional information about early Kansas land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

Online Land Records

For more information see Kansas Land and Property

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Brown County, Kansas Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Kansas Local Histories.

Online County Histories

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Brown CountyNemaha CountyDoniphan CountyJackson CountyAtchison CountyRichardson County, NebraskaBrown, Kansas.JPG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Brown County, Kansas Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Online Collections[edit | edit source]

These collections are unique to Kansas. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and Kansas Military Records.

Collections Covering Multiple Wars

Civil War

Spanish-American War (1898)

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

For further information see Kansas Military Records.

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Soldiers from Brown County enlisted in:

  • 1st Regiment, Companies A and B
  • 2nd Infantry Regiment, Companies Dand G
  • 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Company I
  • 5th Cavalry Regiment, Companies G and L
  • 7th Regiment, Companies A, C, H, and I
  • 8th Regiment, Companies C and D
  • 9th Regiment, Company A
  • 11th Regiment, Company F
  • 13th Regiment, Companies A, B, E, G, H, I
  • 14th Cavalry Regiment , Companies A, H, L, K
  • 16th Cavalry Regiment , Companies A, C, and K
  • Nebraska 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Companies G and L
  • Missouri Regiments 5 and 25

All regiments are Kansas Infantry unless otherwise indicated.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For more information, see Kansas Newspapers.

Kansas Newspapers Online

Kansas Newspaper Catalogs

  • Online Historical Newspapers - contains a list of known Kansas newspapers online and the websites they are found on
  • U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Voter Records

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

In most counties in Kansas, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, inventories, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Kansas, Brown and click Probate records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Kansas tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Tax lists were usually made every year, however, there may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Kansas Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Kansas Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Brown County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Kansas Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Barnes Reading Room Library
640 Main St

PO Box 204
Everest, KS 66424
Telephone Number: (785) 548-7733


Morrill Free Public Library
431 Oregon St
Hiawatha, KS 66434
Telephone Number: (785) 742-3831


Horton Public Library
809 1st Ave. East
Horton, KS 66439
Telephone Number: (785) 486-3326


Museums[edit | edit source]

Brown County Ag Museum
301 E Iowa Street
Hiawatha, KS 66434
Phone 785- 742-3330
Brown County Historical Museum
611 E Utah Street
Hiawatha, KS 66434
Phone 785-742-3330

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Brown County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Kansas Societies.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Brown County, Kansas. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Genealogy Trails History Group, "Brown, Kansas Genealogy and History", 7/24/2017.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Brown, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kansas 7/24/2017.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Brown County, Kansas. Page 248 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 234.
  5. “Kansas Research Outline”, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Department, 2000), 40.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "BROWN COUNTY, KANSAS," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kansas#Communities, accessed 8 September 2017.
  7. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 118-119.
  8. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 119.
  9. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in Oregon National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  10. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in California National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  11. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at (accessed 18 July 2011).