Ellis County, Kansas Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Hays
Organized: February 26, 1867
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Barton  • Ness  • Osborne  • Rooks  • Rush  • Russell  • Trego
See County Maps
Ellis County Kansas Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Ellis County svg.bmp

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for George Ellis, first lieutenant of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry. The County is located in the central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Ellis County Courthouse
1204 Fort Street
Hays, Kansas 67601-3899
Phone: 785.628.9410
Ellis County Website

  • County Clerk has birth, marriage, and death records 1886-1911.
  • Register of Deeds has land, military discharge & school records. [3]

23rd Judicial District Court
107 W. 12th St., Box 8
Hays, KS 67601
Telephone: 785-628-9415
Fax: 785-628-8415
Clerk of the District court has:

  • Divorce, probate, court and naturalization records
  • Coroner's Reports 1890s- Present
  • Probate Files - 1867 - Present 
  • Marriages - 1890s - Present 
  • Domestic & Criminal Court Cases 1970s - Present 
  • Guardianship Cases - early 1900s

NOTE: Ellis County recently reorganized and moved all non-court related offices from the Courthouse. They are now located in the new Ellis County Administrative Center.

Ellis Co. Administrative Center
718 Main St., POB 720
Hays, KS  67601
Telephone: 785-628-9410
Fax: 785-628-9413
E-mail: dclerk@ellisco.net
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday

  • Must file a Kansas Open Records Act request to access these records.

Ellis 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
1886 1886 1886 1868 1871 1867 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:[7]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
  • Big Creek
  • Buckeye
  • Catherine
  • Ellis
  • Freedom
  • Herzog
  • Lockout
  • Victgoria
  • Wheatland
Ghost towns

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 Ellis 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.
1870 1,336
1880 6,179 362.5%
1890 7,942 28.5%
1900 8,626 8.6%
1910 12,170 41.1%
1920 14,138 16.2%
1930 15,907 12.5%
1940 17,508 10.1%
1950 19,043 8.8%
1960 21,270 11.7%
1970 24,730 16.3%
1980 26,098 5.5%
1990 26,004 −0.4%
2000 27,507 5.8%
2010 28,452 3.4%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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.[8] 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.[9] 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]

See Courthouse above.

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 Ellis 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]

Graham CountyRooks CountyOsborne CountyTrego CountyRussell CountyNess CountyRush CountyBarton CountyEllis, Kansas.JPG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

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

  • Ellis County was not organized until after the Civil War so no Civil War enlistment records exist.
  • Historic Fort Hays  1472 Hwy 183 Alt.  Hays, KS  67601  (785) 625-6812  Email: thefort@kshs.org  http://kshs.org/  Open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Wednesday - Saturday  Some records available for soldiers who served there 1867-1889 - also available at the state archive in Topeka, Kansas.    Celebrating Fort Hays Sesquicentennial June 17&18, 2017

Spanish-American War (1898)

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

For further information see Kansas Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For more information, see Kansas Newspapers.

Kansas Newspapers Online

Kansas Newspaper Catalogs

  • Ellis Review - Ellis Community Newspaper – issues 1886 – present available on microfilm from the Kansas State Archive in Topeka.  Print copies available at the Ellis Public Library 1969 - 1986
  • Hays Daily News - County’s official newspaper.  Issues 1929 – 2013 available on microfilm from the Kansas State Archive in Topeka.  

Historic Ellis County newspapers:

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, Ellis 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 Ellis 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]

Listed below are libraries in Ellis County. For state-wide library facilities, see Kansas Archives and Libraries.

Ellis Public Library: Library holdings can be searched in Pathfinder Central. The library may have cataloged unique items related to genealogy and local history, in addition to published works for this area.

Hays Public Library – Kansas Room: 
The Kansas Room is located in the basement of the Hays Public Library.   
1205 Main St. 
Hays, KS  67601 
(785) 625-9014 
Kansas room staffed 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Monday - Friday 
Open for research all hours the library is open. 

Large collection of Germans from Russia material pertaining to the settlement of Ellis County Many local family histories Ellis County Cemetery records Polk's Hays City Directories 1938, 1963 – 2015 Several local historic newspapers on microfilm Kansas history books Many Kansas County Histories

Fort Hay State University - Forsyth Library 
Special Collections 
502 S. Campus Dr. 
Hays, KS  67601 
(785) 628-4434 
Special Collections 
Parking is challenging during the school year.  Visit campus Police department located in Custer Hall to obtain a visitor parking permit. 
Photos allowed.  Copiers and scanners available. 
Archivist available 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday or by special appointment. 
Their Special Collections include:  Special Collections include extensive Volga German history, Ellis County history, local family histories, area town and church histories.  They also have many area County histories.  

University Archive includes faculty information 1902- present 

FHSU yearbooks 1914-2002 

Government Records 

Western Collection includes Smoky Hill Trail Association documents

Museums[edit | edit source]

Ellis County Historical Society Museum
100 West 7th Street
Hays, KS 67601
Telephone Number: 785-628-2624

Many Kansas County Histories

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Ellis, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellis_County,_Kansas" 8/11/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ellis County, Kansas page 250 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ellis County, Kansas. Page 250 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), 235.
  5. “Kansas Research Outline”, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Department, 2000), 40.
  6. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Ellis County, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellis_County,_Kansas#Communities, accessed 14 September 2017.
  8. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 118-119.
  9. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 119.