Do you have a favorite place? When I first saw this writing prompt, I was taking it personally. Then today, I read several of the ways one could interpret this prompt. Now, I’m viewing this prompt from the perspective of my genealogy research. Based on this new perspective, I have to say my favorite place is Kansas.
- My tree is deeply rooted in Kansas. My great-grandparents were all born in Kansas. Almost all of my ancestors thru my 2nd great grandparents died in Kansas.
- Many of the register of deeds offices in Kansas have a unique resource called the Range Index. These indexes trace the ownership of sections of land over the years. Using these indexes requires that one knows the section, township and range description of the land. However, they can quickly provide the volume and page numbers for all of the land transactions for that parcel of land. Unfortunately, one needs to visit the courthouse to access these indexes.
- The Kansas State Historical Society has a ‘nearly comprehensive collection of newspapers for the state.’ When I first started doing genealogical research, these newspapers were mostly available on microfilm. Many of those early newspapers have been digitized. Over the years, these newspapers have proven to be very beneficial to my research.
- Besides their newspaper collection, the Kansas State Historical Society’s library and archive collection has been a great help with my genealogy research over the years.
- Kansas also has state census records that help track families between the federal census records. The 1885 and 1895 Kansas census help fill in the blanks around the missing 1890 federal census. The Kansas State Historical Society has microfilm of these records. They have also worked with Ancestry to make them available on Ancestry’s site.
I am grateful for all of the Kansas records that have been created, collected and preserved over the years.