Dick Taylor's

collection of reference sources for genealogists.

Looking for information about your KANSAS ancestors?

Until the 19th century, the area was primarily the domain of various American Indian tribes. Beginning around the mid-1840's, the Oregon Trail and the California Trail provided an overland route through northeastern Kansas Territory for emigrants seeking the Northwest and California. Heading southwest through Kansas about that same time, the Santa Fe Trail was used more as a channel for trade than a highway for emigration. Indians and the government engaged in treaties, but there were also hostilities. Several tribes were relocated to Kansas from eastern states.

Perhaps some of these resources can be helpful:

  • Kansas Territory was opened for other new settlers in 1854, and many of those who lived in Kansas before 1885 are listed in the Kansas Pioneers Project, a website maintained by Sharon Van Tyne.

  • The first three decades of the 19th century Kansas settlement is covered in William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas. Because of the success of Bonnie Bunce and her volunteer transcribers, several chapters of this large volume are available online.

  • Most of the people in this list of surnames were associated with Summerfield, KS, in 1888.

  • For names associated with the Parish of St. Bridget Catholic Church in Marshall County, see Crystal Schulte's St. Bridget Home Page

  • Virtually every issue of any Kansas newspaper ever printed is available in the Kansas State Historical Society at Topeka, along with census, military, and a variety of other records. The KSHS How To Research web page provides instructions for acquistion of these materials and other information.

  • You can share information about Kansas life and history on the KANSAS-L discussion list, owned by Dr. Lynn H. Nelson. When you subscribe to KANSAS-L, be sure to substitute your own name in the first line of message text:


  • You can share information about Kansas genealogy, on the KS-KIN-L discussion list, owned by Dr. Lynn H. Nelson. When you subscribe to KS-KIN-L, be sure to substitute your own name in the first line of message text:

    SUBSCRIBE KS-KIN-L Helena Hanbazgit

  • To discuss Kansas genealogy, subscribe to KANSASROOTS, Doc Schneider's new list, and include the following in the first line of message text:


  • Visit the Office of Vital Statistics when you're in downtown Topeka between weekday hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For a $10 minimum fee, they'll search birth, death, marriage, and divorce records. From anywhere, you can dial up 913-296-1400 and select instructions on their phone menu. They lack 800 toll-free access, but you can write to them at this address:

    Kansas Department of Health and Environment
    Office of Vital Statistics
    Room 151
    900 SW Jackson
    Topeka, KS

  • The Kansas Collection contains transcriptions of books and articles, photos and maps, references, bibliographies, and links to other Kansas websites.

  • Here's a variety of Old Kansas Maps in the Kansas Collection.

  • Investigate Nancy Sween's Kansas Interactive Genealogy website, or browse Kansas Heritage, maintained by Stephen Chinn, and you'll find a variety of topics relating to people, places, and periods in history.

  • Nancy Trice is a coordinator in the USA GenWeb project. Nancy collaborates with Tom & Carolyn Ward in maintaining KS GenWeb a new genealogy homepage linking Kansas county websites managed by individual volunteers.

  • John Matthews' GEARY CO. KSGenWeb homepage

  • Debbie Wafford's GREENWOOD CO. KSGenWeb homepage

  • Debbie Wafford's LABETTE CO. KSGenWeb homepage

  • Alice Allen's MARSHALL CO. KSGenWeb homepage

  • Cyndi Howells' List of Kansas Genealogy Sites on the Internet

Direct your GHOSTCHASER comments to Dick Taylor

GHOSTCHASER is not affiliated in any way with Ghostbusters, Inc., nor with the Brotherhood of Ambulance Chasers.

A little bit of dirt on Jesse James

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