Smith County, Kansas Genealogy

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United States
Kansas
Smith County

Guide to Smith 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: Smith Center
Organized: February 26, 1867
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Franklin (NE)  • Jewell  • Osborne  • Phillips  • Webster (NE)
See County Maps
Courthouse
KansasSmithCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Smith County svg.bmp
Adoption
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County Information

Description

The County was named for J. Nelson Smith. The County has Smith Center as its seat and the County was created 1872. The County is located in the north central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Smith County Courthouse
218 S. Grant Street
Smith Center, Kansas 66967-2798
Phone: 785.282.5110
Website

Probate Judge has marriage and probate records from 1875.
Clerk District Court has divorce and court records from 1875.
County Clerk has land records from 1872. [3]

Smith County, Kansas Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1891 1875 1891 1875 1872 1875 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 Smith County, Kansas:[7]

Cities
Unincorporated communites
Townships
  • Banner
  • Beaver
  • Blaine
  • Cedar
  • Center
  • Cora
  • Crystal Plains
  • Dor
  • Garfield
  • German
  • Harian
  • Harvey
  • Houston
  • Lane
  • Lincoln
  • Logan
  • Martin
  • Oak
  • Pawnee
  • Pleasant
  • Swan
  • Valley
  • Washington
  • Webster
  • White Rock


History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Smith 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

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.


Lutheran

  • Records of the Christ Lutheran Church, Gaylord, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at Archives.com ($).

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 Smith 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

Harlan County, NEFranklin County, NEWebster County, NEPhillips CountyJewell CountyMitchell CountyOsborne CountyRooks CountySmith, Kansas.JPG
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Plat Book, Smith County, Kansas, 1900, Northwest Publishing Co.[10]  This atlas shows maps of each township with the names of landowners. It has a patrons' directory and plats of towns as of the year of publication.

Migration

Military Records

Smith County was organized after the Civil War.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

For more information, see Kansas Newspapers.

Kansas Newspapers Online

Kansas Newspaper Catalogs

Obituaries

Other 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, Smith 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

Smith Center Public Library: Library holdings can be searched in Pathfinder Central. The library may have cataloged unique items related to genealogy and local history, in addition to published works for this area.

Museums

Societies

Smith County Historical Society
PO Box 38
Kensington 66951

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Smith, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_County,_Kansas" 9/12/2017.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Smith 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), Smith 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, "Smith County, Kansas" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_County,_Kansas#Communities, 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. Kansas Memory, Kansas Historical Society