Census Records for Kansas

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This entry was originally written by Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FUGA, FASG and Mary Clement Douglass, CGRS for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Kansas Family History Research series.
History of Kansas
Kansas Vital Records
Census Records for Kansas
Background Sources for Kansas
Kansas Maps
Kansas Land Records
Kansas Probate Records
Kansas Court Records
Kansas Tax Records
Kansas Cemetery Records
Kansas Church Records
Kansas Military Records
Kansas Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Kansas Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Kansas County Resources
Map of Kansas


Population Schedules

• Indexed'1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

• Soundex'1880, 1900, 1910 (Miracode)

Mortality Schedules

• 1860, 1870, 1880 (indexed)

Industry and Agriculture Schedules

• (Agriculture) 1870, 1880 There are two online agricultural indexes of Riley County Kansas 1925 Decennial Agricultural State census and Riley County, Kansas State Census, 1915 available at Ancestry.com.

The research center at the Kansas State Historical Society has all the federal population censuses for Kansas, as well as the 1880 and 1900 Soundex and the 1910 Miracode.

Ancestry.com has digitized images of the entire U.S. Federal Census Schedules 1790-1930 and created searchable indexes for the images. This collection can be accessed at U.S. Federal Census Collection.

Territorial and State

The census enumerations that were completed between 1855 and 1859, inclusive, are actually voters lists. The researcher must note that some voters boycotted elections, making the lists by no means complete. The 1857 Census of Shawnee, Native and Adopted is available in the state archives department at Kansas State Historical Society.

The 1860 Kansas territorial census was taken as part of the federal census. Two copies of it exist. The original copy was sent to Washington, with a transcription retained by the state. Both copies have been indexed and are available for research at the Kansas State Historical Society, Center for Historical Research, making it possible to check inconsistencies between the two returns. A county census was completed at the time of application for county organization. Many of these are extant, some housed at the Kansas State Historical Society, which can provide a list of availability.

Kansas completed state censuses in 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, and 1925. They have been microfilmed, are available for research, and have been partly indexed by the Kansas State Historical Society. A list of those indexed is available from the society. The statistical rolls of the Board of Agriculture contain enumerations for the years 1873 and 1877, 1896 to 1904 (incomplete), 1918, 1920 to 1924, 1925 (taken as part of the state census), 1926 to 1936, and from 1950 to 1979. These rolls only included the head of household until 1955. As with all census records, these must be used with caution as they are not entirely complete, but they are a good source for recent data.

Ancestry.com has a Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 that includes state censuses for Kansas for the following years: 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1859, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925. The censuses completed from 1855-1859 are actually voter lists. There is also a Kansas Census, 1850-90 collection that contains the following indexes: 1850 Federal Census Index; 1855 Territorial Census Index; 1856 State Census Index; 1857 State Census Index; 1858 State Census Index; 1859 State Census Index; 1860 Federal Census Index; 1870 Federal Census Index; 1890 Veterans Schedule.

There are also indexes for Riley county, Kansas, 1885 State Census, Riley county, Kansas, 1905 State Census and Riley County, Kansas State Census, 1915 at Ancestry.com.

Native American Censuses

Also available at the Kansas State Historical Society are:

  • Enrollment cards of the Five Civilized Tribes (1898'1914): Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.
  • Indian census rolls (1885'1940), primarily for tribes with a Kansas connection.

Voter Registration

There is an index of Kansas Voter Registration Lists, 1854-1856 online at Ancestry.com.

External Links

  • Kansas Census Records - free up-to-date guide to accessing Kansas census records. Identifies federal, state, and territorial censuses, as well as substitute records (FamilySearch Research Wiki).