Ottawa County, Kansas Genealogy

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United States
Ottawa County

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

County Facts
County seat: Minneapolis
Organized: February 27, 1860
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Clay  • Cloud  • Dickinson  • Lincoln  • Mitchell  • Saline
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Pawnee County svg.bmp

County Information


The County was named for Odawa tribe. The County has Minneapolis as its seat and the County was created February 27, 1860. The County is located in the central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Ottawa County Courthouse
307 N. Concord Street
Minneapolis, Kansas 67467-2140
Phone: 785.392.2279
Ottawa County Website

County clerk has marriage, divorce and probate records.
City Officers have birth records from 1911 and death records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [3]

Ottawa 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.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1911 1866 1885 1869 1866 1866 1855
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1911. General compliance by 1917.[5]

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in Ottawa County, Kansas:[7]

Unincorporated communites
Census-designated places
  • Bennington
  • Blaine
  • Buckeye
  • Center
  • Chapman
  • Concord
  • Culver
  • Durham
  • Fountain
  • Garfield
  • Grant
  • Henry
  • Lincoln
  • Logan
  • Morton
  • Ottawa
  • Richland
  • Sheridan
  • Sherman
  • Stanton

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Ottawa 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

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 2,127
1880 10,307 384.6%
1890 12,581 22.1%
1900 11,182 −11.1%
1910 11,811 5.6%
1920 10,714 −9.3%
1930 9,819 −8.4%
1940 9,224 −6.1%
1950 7,265 −21.2%
1960 6,779 −6.7%
1970 6,183 −8.8%
1980 5,971 −3.4%
1990 5,634 −5.6%
2000 6,163 9.4%
2010 6,091 −1.2%
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.[8] 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.[9] 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


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



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 Ottawa 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

MitchellCloudClayDickinsonSalineEllsworthLincolnOttawa, Kansas.JPG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


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

During the  Civil War the settlers of Ottawa County were driven out by Indian raids and returned in 1863, but spent their energy in defending themselves against the Indians.  After the war there was an influx of discharged Civil War Veterans coming to take advantage of their soldiers' claims.

Spanish-American War (1898)

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

For further information see Kansas Military Records.

Naturalization and Citizenship


For more information, see Kansas Newspapers.

Kansas Newspapers Online

Kansas Newspaper Catalogs


Obituary Index for the Minneapolis Messenger (1920-2003) and other newspapers. Index gives the name and death date.  Instructions for ordering a copy are included on the web page. 

Other Records

Voter Records


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, Ottawa 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.





Research Facilities


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.



Ottawa County Historical Museum
110 South COncord Street
Minneapolis, Kansas 67467
Telephone Number: 785-392-3621


Tescott Historical Society
PO Box 195
Tescott, KS 67484-0195


Research Guides


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Osborne, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, ",_Kansas" 9/11/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ottawa County, Kansas page 254, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ottawa County, Kansas. Page 254 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), 236.
  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, "Ottawa County, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kansas#Communities, accessed 27 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.