Cowley County, Kansas Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Kansas Gotoarrow.png Cowley County

Guide to Cowley County, Kansas ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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County Facts
County seat: Winfield
Organized: February 26, 1867
Parent County(s): Butler [1]
Neighboring Counties
Butler  • Chautauqua  • Elk  • Kay (OK)  • Osage (OK)  • Sedgwick  • Sumner
See County Maps
Courthouse
KansasCowleyCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Cowley County svg.bmp
Adoption
This page is available for adoption

County Information

Description

County Courthouse

Cowley County Courthouse
311 E. 9th Ave.
Winfield, Kansas 67156-2864
Phone: 316.221.4066
Cowley County Website

City Clerk has birth records.
Probate Court has marriage, divorce and probate records 1870 and death records.
Clerk District Court has court records.
Appraisers Office has land records. [1]

County Clerk
311 E. 9th; Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: 620.221.5400 or 620.441.4500; Fax: 620.221.5498
Website

Records minutes of Commission meetings and maintains files for minutes and resolutions; Assist in budget preparation, accounting, payroll, etc.; Manages elections and voting; Selling of hunting and fishing licenses, etc; Birth and death records from the 1800's to 1911 for the county are available; Land records from the 1800's are also available.

Register of Deeds
Phone: 620.221.5461; Fax: 620.221.5463
Location: County Courthouse; 311 E. 9th; Winfield, KS 67156
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 741; Winfield, KS 67156
Website

The central location for vital records and land records for Cowley County. The Register of Deeds maintains a variety of records and prepares reports of some complexity; assists the public in preparing forms, answering inquiries, certifying copies of military discharges, and looking up records; receives, records, and indexes grantor, grantee, and related records; records plats and maps; files chattel mortgages; makes lien searches; maintains various office records; computes and posts figures; etc.

Cowley County, Kansas Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[2]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1885 1870 1885 1870 1870

Record Loss

A flood damaged or destroyed some records at the county offices. Contact the county clerk for details on what is missing and what was salvaged.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes

  • 1867-- Cowley County was created 26 February 1867 from Butler County. These lands belonged to the Osage and were not opened to white settlement though many settlers crossed over from Butler County.
  • 1870-- In January 1870, settlers paid head money to Chetopa, the Osage chief, to remain on Osage lands and laid out towns along the rivers.
  • 1870-- On 28 Feb 1870, Cowley County was officially organized and on 15 Jul 1870, the Osage lands were opened for settlement.
  • 1870-1874-- Between 1870 and 1874, the land in Cowley was divided and redivided into townships and communities, the boundaries changing frequently with the changing population.
  • 1874-1875-- In 1874 and 1875, swarms of grasshoppers devoured the drought damaged crops causing many settlers to leave the county and state.
  • 1880-- In 1880, drought caused another exodus.[3]
  • County seat: Winfield [1]

Populated Places

The following are locations in Cowley County, Kansas:

  • Arkansas City
  • Atlanta
  • Burden
  • Cambridge
  • Dexter
  • Maple City
  • New Salem
  • Rock
  • Silverdale
  • Udall
  • Winfield

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Cowley County, Kansas online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Kansas Cemeteries for more information

Cowley County cemeteries web page.  Not all cemeteries have been transcribed.  If transcribed, gives the name, date of birth and death and comments if any. Topographic Map Cemetery Features in Cowley County, Kansas lists the larger cemeteries and their gps locations. Also, links to topigraphical maps containing the cemetery locaions. Individual cemeteries:

Census Records

Kansas Territory was enumerated in 1860, although there were 15 counties that were marked with "no population" in them. [4] See links listed below.

State Census

Church Records

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.


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Arkansas City

Court Records

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

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.


See Registar of Deeds above.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Cowley 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.


Maps and Gazetteers

Kscowley.jpg

  • Cowley County GIS Maps - A very detailed set of interactive and pdf maps of Cowley County including township lines, roads and water ways, towns, schools, and cemeteries.

Migration

Military Records

Civil War

For information about Civil War records see Marion County.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Cowley County, Kansas Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:


Current Newspapers

  • Arkansas City Traveler (620) 442-4200; 200 E. Fifth Avenue / P. O. Box 988, Arkansas City, KS 67005
  • Cowley County Reporter (620) 438-2370; Burden, KS 67019
  • Winfield Daily Courier (620) 221-1050; 201 E. Ninth Street / P.O. Box 543, Winfield, KS 67156

Obituaries


Other Records

Periodicals

Probate Records

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, Cowley and click Probate records.


Online Records

School Records

Tax 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.


Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents.

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.


See County Offices above.

Birth

Marriage

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

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.

Libraries

Cowley County Genealogical Library
Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum
31639 Us 77,
Arkansas City, KS 67005
Website
The library houses Cowley County Cemetery records, Arkansas City Traveler obituaries, Cowley County Birth, Death and Marriage records, the Robert Docking collection and much, much more.

Arkansas City Public Library
120 E. 5th Avenue,
Arkansas City, KS 67005
Telephone: (620) 442-1280
Website

Southwestern College Library
100 College Street,
Winfield, KS 67156
Telephone: (620) 229-6225
Website

Udall Public Library
109 E. First,
Udall, KS 67146
Telephone: (620) 782-3435
Website

Winfield Public Library
605 College,
Winfield, KS 67156
Telephone: (620) 221-4470
Website

Museums

Cowley County Historical Museum
1011 Mansfield,
Winfield, KS 67156
Telephone: (620) 221-4811
Website

Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum
Attn: Heather Ferguson, Director/
P.O. Box 778
31639 US 77
Arkansas City, KS 67005
Telephone: (620) 442-6750
Website
The mission of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret, natural material culture and documentary items which focus on the history and development of the South-Central Kansas and North-Central Oklahoma areas as it relates to Arkansas City. The emphases will include Native Americans, Land Settlement, and the Cherokee Strip/Outlet Run.

Cowley County Historical Museum
1011 Mansfield,
Winfield, KS 67156
Telephone: (620) 221-4811
Website
The museum is dedicated to preserving the past for the future. In pursuit of this goal, the museum preserves historical documents, artifacts, and genealogy records pertaining to the rich history of the region.

Societies

Cowley County Genealogical Society
1518 East 12th,
Winfield, KS 67156
Telephone: (620) 221-4591

Cowley County Historical Society
1011 Mansfield
Winfield 67156
Website

Udall Community Historical Society
113 E. First,
Udall, KS 67146

East Central Cowley County Historical Society
c/o Emory Lewis
123 Easy Street,
Burden, KS 67019
Telephone: 620-438-3384
Website
Our purpose is to preserve the past of East Central Cowley County in digital form and present it on the internet and at our new home, the old Burden City building. Online databases include lots of photographs of early people, places and things, plus birth and death records, Family Trees, early school records, and more.

Websites

Research Guides

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cowley County, Kansas. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. 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
  3. William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL. COWLEY COUNTY.
  4. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 119.