Thursday, February 28, 2008

Researching for your ancestors in the Kansas City Area

In one of the earlier blogs, I told you about historical societies and state archives in the Midwest. If you don’t have that much time you might want to research in the Kansas City area. There are lots of libraries and genealogical societies in the area that have great resources.

1. Midwest Genealogy Center: Although it is not yet open, this brand new state of the art genealogy facility is slated to open during the 2008 NGS conference. It is part of the Mid-Continent Public Library, which has had a genealogy collection for over 35 years. For more information about the types of materials available at the Mid-Continent Library visit their website.

2. National Archives and Records Administration – Central Plains Branch: This branch of NARA contains lots of information that is helpful to genealogists. They have a complete set of the U.S. census records on microfilm, military records and the Freedman’s Bureau records, censuses of the Northern Plains Indians and the Five Civilized Tribes, passenger arrival lists and naturalization records and much more. You can learn more about their holdings by reading their brochure.

3. Kansas City, Missouri Public Library located in downtown Kansas City has a large reference and genealogy collection. For information about their holdings visit their website.

4. Kansas City, Kansas Public Library houses the Kansas Collection. For information about the Kansas Collection check the website.

5. Northwest Missouri Genealogical Society in St. Joseph, Missouri: Less than 60 miles from the conference venue you will find the NWMGS library. This repository houses resources for the 9 Platte Purchase Counties in Missouri and adjacent Kansas Counties: Atchison, Nodaway, Worth, Gentry, Holt, Andrew, DeKalb, Clinton and Buchanan Counties in Missouri and Brown and Doniphan Counties in Kansas. They are also the official archive of Buchanan County, Missouri and have original court and marriage records.

6. Johnson County Genealogical Society – the society’s holdings are located at the Johnson County Public Library located in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

7. University of Missouri at Kansas City houses some of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection. See this website too!

8. Jackson County, Missouri Historical Society in Independence: Be sure to contact them in advance to arrange time for a visit.

9. Church of the Nazarene World Headquarters Archive is located in Kansas City. For more information about their holdings check their website and it may be advisable to contact them in advance to make the best use of your time.

10. Don’t forget the local county courthouses. You will be in close proximity to the following courthouses in Missouri: Jackson, Johnson, Cass, Clay, Lafayette, Ray, Clinton, Platte and Buchanan and in Kansas: Doniphan, Atchison, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson and Miami.

These are only some of the places where you might find your Missouri / Kansas ancestors.

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