Shawnee County, Kansas Genealogy

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United States
Kansas
Shawnee County

Guide to Shawnee 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: Topeka
Organized: August 30, 1855
Parent County(s): Original county[1]
Neighboring Counties
Douglas  • Jackson  • Jefferson  • Osage  • Pottawatomie  • Wabaunsee
See County Maps
Courthouse
KansasShawneeCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Shawnee County svg.bmp
Adoption

County Information

Description

The County was named for the Shawnee people. The County has Topeka as its seat and the County was created August 25, 1855 . The County is located in the northeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Shawnee County Courthouse
200 E 7th
Topeka, KS 66603
Phone: 785.233.8200
Website

County Clerk has birth, marriage, and death records 1894-1911.
Probate Court has marriage records 1856-1906.
Clerk District Court has divorce, probate and court records.
Register of Deeds has land records from 1855. [3]

Shawnee County, Kansas Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1894 1856 1894 1858 1855 1859 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 Shawnee County, Kansas:[7]

Cities
Unincorporated communites
Census-designated places
Townships
  • Auburn
  • Dover
  • Grove
  • Menoken
  • Mission
  • Monmouth
  • Rossville
  • Silver Lake
  • Soldier
  • Tecumseh
  • Topeka
  • Williamsport
Ghost towns


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

All of the family biographies from the History of Shawnee County, Kansas and Representative Citizens (1905) by James L. King, published by Richmond & Arnold are available free online at My Genealogy Hound.

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Shawnee 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

The Topeka State Hospital, a publicly funded institution for the care and treatment of the mentally ill in Topeka, Kansas, was in operation from 1872 to 1997. For some, the grounds of the hospital became their final resting place. There is a searchable index to the 1157 individuals buried in the hospital cemetery. With only a few exceptions, individuals were buried without a headstone. Because most individuals were buried in unmarked graves, hospital officials used a grid pattern and designated gravesites by their distance from stone markers placed at the end of each row. The 'Location' is the distance in feet and inches from the eastern marker west to the gravesite.

Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 3,513
1870 13,121 273.5%
1880 29,093 121.7%
1890 49,172 69.0%
1900 53,727 9.3%
1910 61,874 15.2%
1920 69,159 11.8%
1930 85,200 23.2%
1940 91,247 7.1%
1950 105,418 15.5%
1960 141,286 34.0%
1970 155,322 9.9%
1980 154,916 −0.3%
1990 160,976 3.9%
2000 169,871 5.5%
2010 177,934 4.7%
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.[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.


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Topeka

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

African Americans

Cox. Thomas C. Blacks in Topeaka, (Shawnee County) Kansas, 1865-1915. :a social history - Baton Rouge: Louisiana State university Press c.1982 236 p.  F689.T6 C69 1982

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 Shawnee 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

Jackson CountyJefferson CountyDouglas CountyOsage CountyWabaunsee CountyPottawatomie CountyShawnee, Kansas.JPG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration

Early migration routes to and from Shawnee 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

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

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Newspaper Index. Click on "newspaper index". The keyword index contains articles, obituaries and events in the Topeka Capital Journal from 1989-1999.

Obituaries

Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Obituaries Index. Click on "obituary index".  The Index  covers 1906-1935 and 1971 to the present.

Also, many obituaries from 1936-1971 have been indexed.

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, Shawnee 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

Museums

Societies

Topeka Genealogical Society
2717 SE Indiana Ave
Topeka, KS 66605
Telephone: 785-233-5762
E-mail:webmaster@tgstopeka.org
Website

Shawnee County Historical Society
Cox Communication Heritage Education Center
1116-1118 SE Madison Avenue
PO Box 2201
Topeka, KS 66601
Telephone: 785-234-6097
Website

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Shawnee, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawnee_County,_Kansas" 9/12/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shawnee County, Kansas page 256, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Shawnee County, Kansas. Page 256 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, "Shawnee County, Kansas" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawnee_County,_Kansas#Townships, accessed 17 October 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.
  10. 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).
  11. 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).
  12. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/mopi/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).