Kansas Church Records
|Kansas Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 Historical Background
- 2 Information Found in the Records
- 3 Finding the Records
- 3.1 Look for online records.
- 3.2 Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.
- 3.3 Correspond with or visit the actual churches.
- 3.4 Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.
- 3.5 Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.
- 4 Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.
- 5 Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor
- 6 References
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
DeZurko published a religious history of Kansas:
- Early Kansas Churches (online) DeZurko, Edward R. Manhattan, Kansas: Kansas State College, 1949. FHL Collection book 978.1 A1 no. 35; film 928360 item 4
Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
Finding the Records[edit | edit source]
Look for online records.[edit | edit source]
Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:
- 1811-1940 - Kansas, Births and Baptisms, 1811-1940 at FamilySearch, index
- 1826-1992 - Kansas, Church Records, 1826-1992 - index and images, very incomplete
- 1818-1936 - Kansas, births and christenings, 1818-1936, index.
- 1885-1911 - Kansas, Births and Christenings Index, 1885-1911 ($)
- 1885-1930 - Kansas, deaths and burials, 1885-1930, index.
- 1885-1930 - Kansas, Deaths and Burials, Index, 1885-1930 ($)
- 1840-1935 - Kansas, marriages, 1840-1935, index.
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
- 1781-1969 - U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969, index and images, incomplete.($)
- 1800-1947 - U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish American Church Records, 1800-1947, index and images. Incomplete. ($)
- 1861-1918 - Kansas, Swedish Church Records, 1861-1918 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1918 - Kansas, Swedish Church Vital Records, 1861-1918 at FamilySearch — index
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]
- 1701-1970 - U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970, index and images, ($). Incomplete.
Other Collections[edit | edit source]
Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]
- The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
- Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
- If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
- Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
- To find records:
- a. Click on the records of United States, Kansas.
- b. Click on Places within United States, Kansas and a list of counties will appear.
- c. Click on your county if it appears.
- d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- e. Click on Places within United States, Kansas [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
- f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
- g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.
Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]
Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.
- Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
- To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
- Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
- A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
- If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
- See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
- Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.
Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.
Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
Bethany College Archives
335 E. Swensson Street
Lindsborg , Kansas 67456-1897
Phone: (785) 227-3311, Ext. 8342
- Archives hold records for closed churches. For open churches write directly to the local church.
Some materials related to the current Central States Synod territory of Kansas and Missouri may also be
found in the archives of the Nebraska Synod, which are located at Midland Lutheran College, Fremont,
Neb. That collection has both Augustana materials and recordsfrom the German Nebraska Synod, part
of the former United Lutheran Church in America.
Midland Lutheran College
900 North Clarkson
Fremont, Nebraska 68025
Phone: (402) 941-6252
Methodist[edit | edit source]
Baker University Library
606 Eighth Street
Baldwin City, KS 66006
Phone: (913) 594-8414
Fax: (913) 594-6721
100 College Street
Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: (316) 221-8225
Fax: (316) 221-2499
Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Dodge City
P.O. Box 137
Dodge City, KS 67801
Phone: (620) 227-1500
- Contact the local parish: Parish Listing
- Archives: The Archives receives materials from the various agencies, ministries and parishes as well as the chancery. The Archives assists these units with identifying historical information. The Archives makes the heritage of the Diocese of Dodge City available to historical researchers within the guidelines of civil and canon law.
The diocese includes the counties of: Barber, Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kiowa, Lane, Meade, Morton, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush, Scott, Seward, Stafford, Stanton, Stevens and Wichita
Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas
12615 Parallel Parkway
Kansas City, KS 66109
Phone: (913) 721-1570
Fax: (913) 721-1577
- The Archives Office is responsible for sacramental records before April 1958, historical material and the upkeep of the Archdiocesan Reference Library.
- Contact the local parish first.
The Archdiocese includes the counties of: Anderson, Atchison, Brown, Coffey, Doniphan, Douglas, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Lyon, Marshall, Miami, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Shawnee, Wabaunsee and Wyandotte
Diocese of Salina
103 North Ninth Street
Salina, KS 67401-2503
Phone: (785) 827-8746
- Contact the local parish for requests.
The diocese includes the counties of: Cheyenne, Clay, Cloud, Decatur, Dickinson, Ellis, Ellsworth, Gove, Graham, Jewell, Lincoln, Logan, Mitchell, Norton, Osborne, Ottawa, Phillips, Rawlins, Republic, Riley, Rooks, Russell, Saline, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Thomas, Trego, Wallace and Washington
Diocese of Wichita
424 N. Broadway
Wichita, KS 67202
Phone: (316) 269-3900
- Contact the local parish with requests.
The diocese includes the counties of: Allen, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cowley, Crawford, Elk, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Kingman, Labette, Marion, McPherson, Montgomery, Morris, neosho, Reno, Rice, Sedgwick, Sumner, Wilson and Woodson
Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.
|Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations|
Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]
You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:
- name, including middle name and maiden name
- names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
- exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
- names and approximate birthdates of children
- all known places of residence
- military service details
Carefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.
References[edit | edit source]
- Edward R. DeZurko, Early Kansas Churches (Manhattan, Kans.: Kansas State College, 1949; FHL book 978.1 A1 no. 35; film 0928360 item 4).