Sumner County, Kansas Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Wellington
Organized: February 26, 1867
Parent County(s): Butler and Marion [1]
Neighboring Counties
Butler  • Cowley  • Grant (OK)  • Harper  • Kay (OK)  • Kingman  • Sedgwick
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Sumner County svg.bmp

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for Charles Sumner. The County is located in the south central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Sumner County Courthouse
500 N. Washington Ave.
Wellington, Kansas 67152-4096
Phone: 620.326.3395
Sumner County Website

Probate Judge has marriage and probate records.
Clerk District Court has divorce records.
County Clerk has land records. [1]

Sumner 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[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1885 1871 1885 1880 1871 1871 1855
*Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.[4]

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: [5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Ghost towns
  • Bushnell
  • Cleardale
  • Doster
  • Metcalf
  • Roland
  • Sumner City

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 Sumner 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 22
1880 20,812 94500.0%
1890 30,271 45.4%
1900 25,631 −15.3%
1910 30,654 19.6%
1920 29,213 −4.7%
1930 28,960 −0.9%
1940 26,163 −9.7%
1950 23,646 −9.6%
1960 25,316 7.1%
1970 23,553 −7.0%
1980 24,928 5.8%
1990 25,841 3.7%
2000 25,946 0.4%
2010 24,132 −7.0%
Source: "".

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.[6] 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.[7] 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]

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 Sumner 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

  • Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc.. [8]
  • Portrait and Biographical Album of Sumner County, Kansas. 1890. Chicago, Illinois : Chapman Brothers. Online at: Hathitrust, Internet Archive, Google Books.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Kingman CountySedwick CountyButler CountyCowley CountyHarper CountyKay County, OKGrant County, OKSumner, Kansas.JPG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

1915-1918 Sumner County Railroad Map.png

Plot Maps of Sumner County from the Kansas Historical Society.

Migration[edit | edit source]

The Chisholm Trail entered Kansas south through Caldwell and moved northeastward missing Wellington by 7 miles to the west. The trail that hosted cattle travel from the 1860’s well into the 1870’s was virtually abandoned as settlers staked out homesteads diverting cattle to the West. The Santa Fe Railroad brought the Trail back to life when the railroad came to Caldwell in 1880. [9]

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

  • Sumner County was organized after the Civil War began.Please see Butler and Marion counties for Civil War records

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

Newspapers and addresses

  • Belle Plaine News - 431 N. Merchant Belle Plaine Ks 67013 620-488-2234
  • Caldwell Messenger - 111 S. Main P.O. Box 313 Caldwell Ks 67022 620-845-2320
  • Conway Springs Star - Argonia Argosy - 214 W. Spring Conway Springs Ks 620-456-2473
  • Mulvane News - 204 W. Main Mulvane Ks 67110 ~ 620-777-4233
  • Oxford Register 110 E. Myrtle Oxford Ks 67119 ~ 620 455 3535
  • South Haven New Era South Haven Ks
  • Wellington Daily News 113 W. Harvey / Wellington, KS 67152 (620) 326-3326

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, Sumner 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 Sumner 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 Sumner County. For state-wide library facilities, see Kansas Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

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

Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society
208 N Washington Ave
PO Box 402
Wellington, KS 67152
Phone: 785-339-3127

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Sumner County, Kansas. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Sumner, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Kansas" 9/12/2017.
  3. Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 237.
  4. “Kansas Research Outline”, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Department, 2000), 40.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Sumner County, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kansas, accessed 26 November 2018.
  6. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 118-119.
  7. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 119.
  8. Frank Wilson Blackmar Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events ..., Volume 1 Google Books
  9. The Chisholm Trail