Ellis County, Kansas Genealogy

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United StatesGotoarrow.png Kansas Gotoarrow.png Ellis County

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

County Facts
County seat: Hays
Organized: February 26, 1867
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Barton  • Ness  • Osborne  • Rooks  • Rush  • Russell  • Trego
See County Maps
Ellis County Kansas Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Kansas highlighting Ellis County svg.bmp
This page is available for adoption

County Information


County Courthouse

Ellis County Courthouse
1204 Fort Street
Hays, Kansas 67601-3899
Phone: 785.628.9410
Ellis County Website

  • County Clerk has birth, marriage, and death records 1886-1911.
  • Register of Deeds has land, military discharge & school records. [2]

23rd Judicial District Court
107 W. 12th St., Box 8
Hays, KS 67601
Telephone: 785-628-9415
Fax: 785-628-8415
Clerk of the District court has:

  • Divorce, probate, court and naturalization records
  • Coroner's Reports 1890s- Present
  • Probate Files - 1867 - Present 
  • Marriages - 1890s - Present 
  • Domestic & Criminal Court Cases 1970s - Present 
  • Guardianship Cases - early 1900s

NOTE: Ellis County recently reorganized and moved all non-court related offices from the Courthouse. They are now located in the new Ellis County Administrative Center.

Ellis Co. Administrative Center
718 Main St., POB 720
Hays, KS  67601
Telephone: 785-628-9410
Fax: 785-628-9413
E-mail: dclerk@ellisco.net
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday

  • Must file a Kansas Open Records Act request to access these records.

Ellis County, Kansas Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1886 1868 1885 1871 1867

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

  • 1867--Ellis County was created 26 February 1867 from unorganized territory.
  • County seat: Hays[4]

Populated Places

The following are locations in Ellis County, Kansas:

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Ellis 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


Census Records

Kansas Territory was enumerated in 1860, although there were 15 counties that were marked with "no population" in them. [5] 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.

Court Records

See Courthouse above.


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



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.

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Ellis 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



Military Records

Civil War

  • Ellis County was not organized until after the Civil War so no Civil War enlistment records exist.
  • Historic Fort Hays  1472 Hwy 183 Alt.  Hays, KS  67601  (785) 625-6812  Email: thefort@kshs.org  http://kshs.org/  Open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Wednesday - Saturday  Some records available for soldiers who served there 1867-1889 - also available at the state archive in Topeka, Kansas.    Celebrating Fort Hays Sesquicentennial June 17&18, 2017

Naturalization and Citizenship


  • Ellis Review - Ellis Community Newspaper – issues 1886 – present available on microfilm from the Kansas State Archive in Topeka.  Print copies available at the Ellis Public Library 1969 - 1986
  • Hays Daily News - County’s official newspaper.  Issues 1929 – 2013 available on microfilm from the Kansas State Archive in Topeka.  

Historic Ellis County newspapers:

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


Other Records


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, Ellis 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.





Research Facilities


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.


Ellis Public Library: Library holdings can be searched in Pathfinder Central. The library may have cataloged unique items related to genealogy and local history, in addition to published works for this area.

Hays Public Library – Kansas Room: 
The Kansas Room is located in the basement of the Hays Public Library.   
1205 Main St. 
Hays, KS  67601 
(785) 625-9014 
Kansas room staffed 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Monday - Friday 
Open for research all hours the library is open. 

Large collection of Germans from Russia material pertaining to the settlement of Ellis County Many local family histories Ellis County Cemetery records Polk's Hays City Directories 1938, 1963 – 2015 Several local historic newspapers on microfilm Kansas history books Many Kansas County Histories

Fort Hay State University - Forsyth Library 
Special Collections 
502 S. Campus Dr. 
Hays, KS  67601 
(785) 628-4434 
Special Collections 
Parking is challenging during the school year.  Visit campus Police department located in Custer Hall to obtain a visitor parking permit. 
Photos allowed.  Copiers and scanners available. 
Archivist available 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday or by special appointment. 
Their Special Collections include:  Special Collections include extensive Volga German history, Ellis County history, local family histories, area town and church histories.  They also have many area County histories.  

University Archive includes faculty information 1902- present 

FHSU yearbooks 1914-2002 

Government Records 

Western Collection includes Smoky Hill Trail Association documents


Ellis County Historical Society Museum
100 West 7th Street
Hays, KS 67601
Telephone Number: 785-628-2624

  • Many Kansas County Histories



Research Guides


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ellis County, Kansas page 250 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. 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
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT: Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide, Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses (Bountiful, UT: American Genealogical Lending Library, 1985), page 119.