Kansas, State Census, 1885 (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.

Collection Time Period

This census includes people who lived in Kansas in 1885. It was taken on March 1, 1885.

Record Description

Information is handwritten on pre-printed forms.

Record Content

Kansas 1885 State Census (10-0067) Keosho 4 5.jpg

The census generally gives the following information:

  • all members of the household by name
  • sex
  • age
  • race or color
  • place of birth
  • relationship to head of household
  • birthplace of parents
  • where from to Kansas
  • military record [1]

How to Use the Record

Use this Kansas 1885 State Census Extraction Form. Fortunately, Kansas passed legislation to enumerate its population between Federal Census years. Use this census along with the 1880 to identify ancestors who were born after 1880. Since the 1890 Federal Census was destroyed, the Kansas 1885 State Census will be the most reliable census prior to 1900. The Kansas 1895 State Census was taken very carelessly according to the state argicultural board. See Kansas 1895 State Census.

Record History

Kansas became a state in 1861 and later passed a law requiring a state census every ten years to number the population of the various counties in order to determine apportionment of the state legislature. The first state census was taken in 1865 and continued until 1925, as the law was repealed in 1933.

Why this Record Was Created

The addintonal census was be used in conjuction with the 1880 census to more accurately determine population. "On March 1, 1885, the state census was taken, in accordance with constitutional provision. It showed the population of the state to be 1,268,562, upon which the new apportionment of the state into legislative districts was be made. The general assembly of 1885 had not been able to devise a method to avoid an extra session, and on Dec. 3, 1885, Gov. Martin issued a proclamation calling the legislature together on Jan. 19, 1886, to make a new apportionment as required by the constitution; to correct some mistakes in the acts of 1885 relating to the reform school and the school for feeble-minded; to make an appropriation to pay the salary and expenses of the commissioner of labor; and to correct the boundaries of certain judicial districts." [2]

Record Reliability

Censuses are usually reliable, depending on the knowledge of the informant and the care of the census enumerator. Information may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or by a neighbor. Some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

Related Web Sites

Kansas State Historical Society

Related Wiki Articles

Kansas Censuses Existing and Lost


Contributions to This Article

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Style Guide

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Sources of Information for This Collection

“Kansas State Census, 1885,” database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/); from Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. FHL Microfilm, 151 rolls, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah.

We welcome your assistance in adding source citation information for individual archives when collection data was collected from various sources or archives. The format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

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Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection

Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above.

Examples of citations:

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023


  1. "Kansas Censuses, 1855-1930 - Kansas Historical Society." Home - Kansas Historical Society. Web. 14 Dec. 2010. <http://www.kshs.org/p/kansas-censuses-1855-1930/10961/#fields>.
  2. Connelley, William Elsey. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Vol. 2. Chicago: Standard, 1912. Print. pg. 237 Kansas 1885 State Census (Google Books)