Douglas County, Kansas Genealogy
Guide to Douglas County, Kansas ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Resources
- 2.1 Bible Records
- 2.2 Biographies
- 2.3 Business, Commerce, and Occupations
- 2.4 Cemeteries
- 2.5 Census Records
- 2.6 Church Records
- 2.7 Court Records
- 2.8 Directories
- 2.9 Emigration and Immigration
- 2.10 Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
- 2.11 Funeral Homes
- 2.12 Genealogies
- 2.13 Guardianship
- 2.14 Land and Property Records
- 2.15 Local Histories
- 2.16 Maps and Gazetteers
- 2.17 Migration
- 2.18 Military Records
- 2.19 Naturalization and Citizenship
- 2.20 Newspapers
- 2.21 Obituaries
- 2.22 Other Records
- 2.23 Periodicals
- 2.24 Probate Records
- 2.25 School Records
- 2.26 Tax Records
- 2.27 Vital Records
- 3 Research Facilities
- 4 Societies
- 5 Websites
- 6 Research Guides
- 7 References
The County was named for Stephan A. Douglas, famous orator and United States senator. 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.
Douglas County Courthouse
111 E. 11th Street
Lawrence, Kansas 66044
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. 
Douglas County, Kansas Record Dates
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:
The following are locations in Douglas County, Kansas:
Business, Commerce, and Occupations
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. See links listed below.
- 1865 - Kansas State Census, 1865 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1875 - Kansas State Census, 1875 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1885 - Kansas State Census, 1885 at FamilySearch — images
- 1895 - Kansas State Census, 1895 at FamilySearch — index and images
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.
Emigration and Immigration
Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups
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.
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
- Lecompton, Kansas : the Capital Worth Remembering. By Lecompton Historical Society. Lecompton, Kan. : The Society. Online at:FamilySearch Books Online.
- Portrait and Biographical Record of Leavenworth, Douglas and Franklin Counties, Kansas. 1899. Chicago, IL : Chapman Publishing Company. Online at: Hathitrust,Internet Archive, Google Books; At various libraries (WorldCat).
- Rural Schools and Schoolhouses of Douglas County, Kansas. By Goldie Piper Daniels. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat).
- Territorial Days : a Story of Historic Lecompton, Kansas. 1980. Online at: FamilySearch Books Online; At various libraries (WorldCat).
Maps and Gazetteers
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.
Early migration routes to and from Douglas County, Kansas Genealogy for European and African American settlers included:
- Men from Douglas county enlisted in the 1st Infantry Regiment, Company A and 20th Regiment, Company H.
Civil War Battle
The following Civil War battle was fought in Douglas County.
- Map showing Civil War battles in Kansas.
Naturalization and Citizenship
For more information, see Kansas Newspapers.
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.
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.
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.
- 1818 - 1936 Kansas, Births and Christenings, 1818-1936 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1885 - 1911 Kansas County Birth Records, 1885-1911 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1885 - 1911 Kansas, Births and Christenings Index, 1885-1911 at Ancestry.com — index $
- 1811 - 1911 Kansas, Marriages, 1811-1911 at FamilySearch — index
- 1840 - 1935 Kansas, Marriages, 1840-1935 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1855 - 1911 Kansas County Marriages, 1855-1911 at FamilySearch — images
- 1855 - 1911 Kansas, County Marriages, 1855-1911 at Ancestry.com — images $
- 1885 - 1930 Kansas, Deaths and Burials, 1885-1930 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1885 - 1930 Kansas, Deaths and Burials, Index, 1885-1930 at Ancestry.com — index $
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.
Spencer Research Library—Kansas Collections (includes Douglas County Records)
University of Kansas
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence, KS 66045-7616
Phone: (785) 864-4334
Douglas County Historical Society
Douglas County Kansas Genealogical Society
PO Box 3664
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
- USGenWeb project: Douglas County, Kansas. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- FamilySearch Catalog The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records
- Douglas County, Kansas Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- 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.
- Genealogy Trails History Group, “Douglas, Kansas Genealogy and History”, "http://genealogytrails.com/kan/douglas/ 8/10/2017."
- Wikipedia contributors, "Douglas, Kansas," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_County,_Kansas" 8/10/2017.
- Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 232-245. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
- William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 118-119.
- 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).
- 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).
- Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August, 2012)