Douglas County, Kansas Genealogy

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United States
Kansas
Douglas County

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

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County Facts
County seat: Lawrence
Organized: August 30, 1855
Parent County(s): Original county [1]
Neighboring Counties
Franklin  • Jefferson  • Johnson  • Leavenworth  • Miami  • Osage  • Shawnee
See County Maps
Courthouse
KansasDouglasCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Douglas County svg.bmp
Adoption

County Information

Description

The County was named for Stephan A. Douglas, famous orator and United States senator.[2] The County has Lawrence as its seat and the County was created August 25, 1855. The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse

Douglas County Courthouse
111 E. 11th Street
Lawrence, Kansas 66044
Phone: 785.841.7700
Douglas County Website

Clerk District Court has probate and court records from 1863 naturalization records 1867-1953.
Registrar of Deeds has land records.
Spencer Research Library has marriage 1863-1912. [1]

Douglas County, Kansas Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1885 1863 1885 1863 1856 1863 1855
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.[5]

Record Loss

1863 During the American Civil War, county records were destroyed on 21 August. Some marriage records have been reconstructed.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in Douglas County, Kansas:[6]

Cities
Unincorporated communites
Townships
  • Clinton
  • Eudora
  • Grant
  • Kanwaka
  • Lecompton
  • Marion
  • Palmyra
  • Wakarusa
  • Willow Springs


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Douglas 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

BillionGraves:

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 8,637
1870 20,592 138.4%
1880 21,700 5.4%
1890 23,961 10.4%
1900 25,096 4.7%
1910 24,724 −1.5%
1920 23,998 −2.9%
1930 25,143 4.8%
1940 25,171 0.1%
1950 34,086 35.4%
1960 43,720 28.3%
1970 57,932 32.5%
1980 67,640 16.8%
1990 81,798 20.9%
2000 99,962 22.2%
2010 110,826 10.9%
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.[7] See links listed below.

State and Territorial Census Records

Federal Census Records

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

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.


Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

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

For more information see Kansas Land and Property

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Douglas 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

Jefferson CountyLeavenworth CountyShawnee_CountyJohnson CountyOsage CountyFranklin CountyMiami CountyDouglas, Kansas.JPG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Atlas of Douglas County, Kansas, 1873 published by F.W. Beers and Co., New York. Available on Kansas Memory.

Plat Book and Complete Survey of Douglas County, Kansas, 1909 including township and town maps with land owners. Published by Albert W. Armstrong. Available on Kansas Memory.

Migration

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

Military Records

Online Collections

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

  • Men from Douglas county enlisted in the 1st Infantry Regiment, Company A and 20th Regiment, Company H.

The following Civil War battle was fought in Douglas County.

  • August 21, 1863 = Lawrence, also known Lawrence Massacre[11]
Map showing Civil War battles in Kansas.

Spanish-American War (1898)

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

For further information see Kansas Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

For more information, see Kansas Newspapers.

Kansas Newspapers Online

Kansas Newspaper Catalogs

Obituaries

Other Records

Voter Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

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, Douglas and click Probate records.


Online Records

School Records

Tax 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.


Vital Records

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

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

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.

Libraries

Spencer Research Library—Kansas Collections (includes Douglas County Records)
University of Kansas
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045-7616
Phone: (785) 864-4334
Website

Museums

Watkins Community Museum of History
1047 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Phone: (785) 841-4109
Email: info@watkinsmuseum.org
Website

Societies

Douglas County Historical Society
1047 Massachusetts
Lawrence 66044

Douglas County Kansas Genealogical Society
PO Box 3664
Lawrence 66046-0664
Or, 1329 Kasold Dr. G-1
Lawrence, KS 66049

Kansas Historical Society
6425 SW Sixth Avenue
Topeka, KS 66615-1099
Phone: (785) 272-8681
Fax: (785) 272-8682
Website

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Douglas County, Kansas At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Douglas, Kansas Genealogy and History”, "http://genealogytrails.com/kan/douglas/ 8/10/2017."
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Douglas, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_County,_Kansas" 8/10/2017.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Douglas 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), 234.
  5. “Kansas Research Outline”, (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Department, 2000), 40.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Douglas County, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_County,_Kansas#Communities, accessed 14 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 http://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).
  10. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).
  11. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August, 2012)