Allen County, Kansas Genealogy
Guide to Allen County, Kansas ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
The County was named for William Allen. The County has Iola as its seat and the County was created August 25, 1855. The County is located in the southeast area of the state.
The Allen County Courthouse was designed by Brentwood S. Tolan of Fort Wayne, and was built by James Stewart and Company of Saint Louis, Missouri. When the cornerstone was laid in 1897, the oldest man in the county, Louis Peltier, was present; he remembered Fort Wayne when it was a fort. The courthouse was completed in 1903 at a total cost of $817,553. Built in the Beaux-Arts architecture style, it was one of the most expensive courthouses in the state. It also was filled with artwork that cost more than other entire courthouses of the time. The courthouse has been protected as a National Historic Landmark since 2003. The building is now used primarily as a government annex, as most of the offices were moved across Main Street to the Edwin J. Rousseau Centre in 1971.
Allen County Courthouse
1 N. Washington
Iola, Kansas 66749-2841
Allen County Website
Clerk of the District Court has marriage records from 1856; divorce, probate and court records 1860; and naturalization records 1871-1929.
Allen County Register of Deeds has land and military records from 1860.
Allen County, Kansas Record Dates
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.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
The following are locations in Allen County, Kansas: 
- Name and population (2006 estimate):
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
Iola's two cemeteries came under the direction of the Park Superintendent in April of 1998 after a vote to dissolve the Cemetery Board. The old Iola Cemetery located on the west edge of town was opened in 1863, and Highland Cemetery located on the north end was opened in 1907. Full time employees manage the grounds and take care of burial work. In the summer several part time workers help with mowing, weeding and general upkeep. In 2000, cemetery employees completed the conversion of all cemetery deeds and burial records to computer. This new system will allow genealogists and others interested in locating information about family or friends to have easy access to records and site locations. For your convenience, burial identification lists are avalable from the links below. The lists are in alphabetical order.
- For those seeking genealogy information associated with the Iola and Highland Cemeteries, it is available at the Iola Public Library.
- Other sources of burial information are listed below:
- Allen County Poor Farm Cemetery Search Form
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. See links listed below.
State and Territory Census Records
- 1855-1925 - Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 at Ancestry - ($), Index and images; covers census years 1855-1859, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925
- 1860 - 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Kansas Territory at FamilySearch - Index and images
- 1860 - 1860 U.S. Federal Census for Kansas Territory at Ancestry - ($), Index and images
- 1865 - Kansas State Census, 1865 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1875 - Kansas State Census, 1875 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1885 - Kansas State Census, 1885 at FamilySearch — images
- 1895 - Kansas State Census, 1895 at FamilySearch — index and images.
- 1919-1961 - Kansas, City and County Census Records, 1919-1961 at Ancestry - Partial index (4 counties) and images
Federal Census Records
Most church records are held by individual churches. For contact information, check a phone directory, such as SearchBug or Dex Knows. Some denominations are gathering their records into a central repository. For more information about these major repositories, see Kansas Church Records.
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
Land and Property Records
Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.
See Kansas Land and Property for additional information about early Kansas land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.
Online Land Records
- Land Patent Search - index to federal patents and homesteads on the Bureau of Land Management website, some images available
- 1796-1907 - U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907 at Ancestry - index, info taken from Bureau of Land Management website
- 1861-1936 - U.S. Homestead Records 1861-1936 at Ancestry.com - ($), index and images
For more information see Kansas Land and Property
Local histories are available for Allen 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.
For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau. In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized. Allen County is one of the 33 counties established by the first territorial legislature in August 1855, six years before Kansas statehood in 1861. It was named in honor of William Allen, a United States senator from Ohio. At the time of its creation, Charles Passmore was appointed probate judge; B.W. Cowden and Barnett Owen were appointed county commissioners, and William Godfrey was appointed sheriff. The appointments were temporary until the general election in 1857. The four men were authorized to appoint the county clerk and treasurer thus completing the county organization.
Online County Histories
- History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas. 1901. Edited and compiled by L. Wallace Duncan, Chas. F. Scott. Iola, Kansas : Iola Register. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online, Hathitrust, Internet Archive, Ancestry ($); At various libraries (WorldCat).
- History of Iola, Kansas
Maps and Gazetteers
- Maps of Kansas: Interactive and historical maps of Kansas
- Maps of Allen County:
These collections are unique to Kansas. You will find nationwide databases for military records on U.S. Military Online Genealogy Records and Kansas Military Records.
Collections Covering Multiple Wars
- Kansas Military Index at Kansas Historical Society - Index only, includes Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan Conflicts
- Records of the Deaths and Burials at the Kansas State Soldiers Home - Index only, the home is located in Fort Dodge, Ford County, Kansas.
- Kansas Civil War Soldiers at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index only
- 1862, 1863, 1868: Kansas, Civil War Enlistment Papers, 1862, 1863, 1868 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
- 1866-1931: Kansas, Grand Army of the Republic Bound Post Records, 1866-1931 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
- 1880-1940: Kansas, Grand Army of the Republic Post Reports, 1880-1940 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
- 1889: Kansas, Enrollment of Civil War Veterans, 1889 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
- Kansas Civil War Soldiers at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
Spanish-American War (1898)
- 1945-1970: Kansas, United Spanish War Veterans Reports of Deaths, 1945-1970 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
World War I
- History and Roster of the Kansas State Guard (WWI) at KSGenWeb - Taken from the book by the Adjutant General's Office
- 1917-1919: Kansas, World War I Veteran Collection, 1917-1919 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
- 1930: Kansas, Enrollment of WWI Veterans, 1930 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
World War II
- 1940-1946: Web: Kansas, WWII Selective Service Index, 1940-1946 at the Ancestry.com - ($), Index and images
- World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing, State of Kansas, War Dept-June 1946 at KSGenWeb - Index only
For further information see Kansas Military Records.
Men from Allen County enlisted in:
The Iola Battalion in 1861
- Ninth Regiment
- Three companies, commanded by Captains Coleman, Flesher and Killen
- Tenth Regiment
- Two companies, commanded by Captain N. B. Blanton
- Seventh Regiment
- Commanded by General J. H. Lane
Naturalization and Citizenship
- 1864 - 1972 - Kansas, Naturalization Abstracts, 1864-1972 at Ancestry — ($), Index
- 1865 - 1874 - Kansas Indian Naturalizations, ca. 1865-1874 at the National Archives — Index, District of Kansas, Record Group 21.
- 1865 - 1984 - Kansas, Federal Naturalization Records, 1865-1984 at Ancestry — ($), Index and images
- 1917 - 1918 - Kansas, Registration Affidavits of Alien Enemies, 1917-1918 at Ancestry — ($), Index and images, includes German and other aliens living in Kansas
For more information, see Kansas Newspapers.
Kansas Newspapers Online
- Kansas Newspapers at Newspapers.com - ($), free to Kansas residents through Kansas Historical Society
- GenealogyBank - ($), contains images of Kansas newspapers
- Newspaper Archive - ($), contains images of Kansas newspapers
- Chronicling America - contains images of some Kansas newspapers; searching tips
- Elephind - Free; search engine that retrieves newspaper images from other free newspaper websites
Kansas Newspaper Catalogs
- Kansas Online Historical Newspapers - contains a list of known Kansas newspapers online and the websites they are found on
- U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present on Chronicling America - contains a list of all known newspapers and the dates they cover; once you locate a newspaper name, contact the local library to see if they have copies of the newspaper
- Selected Allen County Obituaries Scroll down on page to Obituaries heading. USGenWeb Archives
- 1854 - Kansas Election List, 1854 at Ancestry — ($), Index
- 1854 - 1856 - Kansas Voter Registration Lists, 1854-1856 at Ancestry — ($), Index
In most counties in Kansas, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, inventories, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.
The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Kansas, Allen and click Probate records.
Kansas tax records complement land records and can be used to supplement the years between censuses. Tax lists were usually made every year, however, there may be gaps of several years. For more information, see the wiki page Kansas Taxation.
A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred. See also Kansas Vital Records. For information about restrictions and costs for certificates, see the CDC Where to Write for Vital Records site.
- 1800 - 1946 - United States Marriages – Kansas, 1800-1946 at findmypast — ($), Index and images
- 1811 - 1911 - Kansas, Marriages, 1811-1911 at FamilySearch — Index
- 1811 - 1911 - Kansas, County Marriages, 1811-1911 at Ancestry — ($), Index
- 1840 - 1935 - Kansas, Marriages, 1840-1935 at FamilySearch.org — Index
- 1854 - 1861 - KHS Kansas Marriage Index, 1854-1861 at Kansas Historical Society — Index
- 1885 - 1930 Kansas, Deaths and Burials, 1885-1930 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1885 - 1930 Kansas, Deaths and Burials, Index, 1885-1930 at Ancestry.com — index $
Family History Centers
Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.
- USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- Allen County USGenWeb Archives
- FamilySearch Catalog The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records
- Allen County, Kansas Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Allen, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_County,_Kansas" 9/14/2017.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Allen County, Kansas. Page 248 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- “Kansas Research Outline”, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Department, 2000), 40.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Allen County, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_County,_Kansas, accessed 6 September 2017.
- William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 118-119.
- William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 119.