Russell County, Kansas Genealogy

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United States
Russell County

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

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

County Information


The County was named for Alva P. Russell. The County has Russell as its seat and the County was created February 26, 1867. The County is located in the central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Russell County Courthouse
401 N. Main Street
Russell, Kansas 67665-0113
Phone: 785.483.4641
Russell County Website

County Clerk has marriage, probate, court records 1876 and divorce records. [3]

Russell 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
1885 1876 1885 1876 1872 1872 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 Russell County, Kansas:[7]

  • Big Creek
  • Center
  • Fairfield
  • Fairview
  • Grant
  • Lincoln
  • Luray
  • Paradise
  • Plymouth
  • Russell
  • Waldo
  • Winterset

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Russell 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 156
1880 7,351 4612.2%
1890 7,333 −0.2%
1900 8,489 15.8%
1910 10,800 27.2%
1920 10,748 −0.5%
1930 11,045 2.8%
1940 13,464 21.9%
1950 13,406 −0.4%
1960 11,348 −15.4%
1970 9,428 −16.9%
1980 8,868 −5.9%
1990 7,835 −11.6%
2000 7,370 −5.9%
2010 6,970 −5.4%
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.


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, Russell County, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

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 Russell 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.

Maps and Gazetteers

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


Military Records

  • Russel County was organized after the Civil War.

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

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


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, Russell 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.




Russell County Historical Society
331 Kansas, Box 245
Russell 67665


Research Guides


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Russell, 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), Russell County, Kansas page 255, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Russell County, Kansas. Page 255 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), 237.
  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, "Russell County, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Kansas#Communities, accessed 30 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.