DISTRICT AND PROBATE COURT RECORDS
The Research Center is the repository of original ledger books from the District and Probate Courts. Included in these books are all types of documents filed in the courts involving probate cases (will, estates, etc.), civil cases (civil judgments, divorces, etc.), criminal cases, marriage affidavits, voter registration lists (1910-1968), etc. Many of the original documents date back to the 1870's.
TOWNSHIPS AND CITIES IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
Information about the townships (Caney, Cherokee, Cherry, Drum Creek, Fawn Creek, Independence, Liberty, Louisburg, Parker, Rutland, Sycamore, and West Cherry) and cities (Caney, Havana, Cherryvale, Tyro, Independence, Liberty, Elk City, Coffeyville, Wayside, Sycamore, Crane Station, Larimer, LeHunt, and Radical City) in Montgomery County, including Population Schedules back to the 1920's, Voter Registration Records back to 1910, census records, cemetery records, city directories, and other relevant local information is available. All records are not all inclusive.
LOCAL RESEARCH COLLECTION
Information about Montgomery County can be extremely useful in locating family history. Three primary collections compiled by volunteers are a good place to begin research. 1. Old Settlers of Montgomery County (five binders), 2. Civil War Veterans of Montgomery County (eleven binders), 3. Pioneer Women of Montgomery County (over 3,000 listings). These collections include biographical sketches, obituaries, and other information about individuals and families. A vertical file of family names and histories is also maintained, as well as a miscellaneous file containing local items of interest throughout the county's history. Boxed family files of information collected and donated to the center by specific families is also available for research.
CEMETERY RECORDS, BURIALS AND FUNERAL RECORDS, AND OBITUARIES
Cemetery records for all the rural cemeteries in Montgomery County and most of the city cemeteries are indexed by names of the persons buried in the cemeteries. Burial records for Webb Rodrick (1935-2011), Jackson (1927-1929 and 1939-1941), and Denbo (1928-1957). Funeral homes are indexed by the deceased's last name and include the date and place of birth, father's name, mother's maiden name, date and place of birth, and place of burial when the information was available on file. Over 10,000 names are indexed. Potts Funeral Home records are in the process of being indexed. There are also over 40 binders containing obituaries of area people who have died since 1871. These obituaries are not all inclusive.
Marriage records from 1870-1925 are indexed in the nine binders by name of the bride and groom, and give the ages and places of residence of the couple. Additional records can also be found in the original county Marriage Affidavit and Marriage License ledger books dating from 1870 to 1984.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Another source of valuable historical information can be found in the records from the Montgomery County Public Schools, including the 113 rural school districts going back as far as 1903. There is information about the schools, the teachers, and the students, including teacher term reports, district reports, and programs for commencement, normal school institutes, and teachers' associations back to the late 1880's. Various school yearbooks and reunion books are also available. All information is not all inclusive.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY AND KANSAS HISTORICAL INFORMATION
Various resources about the history of Montgomery County and the state of Kansas and its' people are available for research. Included are:
- Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, 1883, which includes historical and biographical sketches of people who lived in Montgomery County.
- Duncan's History of Montgomery county, 1903, which includes organizations, events, cities, counties, and biographical sketches of pioneers.
- Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, 1912, which includes a history of prominent persons in Montgomery County.
- The 1881 and 1916 Plat Books of Montgomery County listing township landowners by name and property location.
OTHER STATES' INFORMATION
There is an assortment of information about every state in the country that could aid researchers in looking for their family roots outside the state of Kansas.
DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
The Esther Lowrey Chapter of the DAR has donated their collection of family names and histories to the Research Center. The Patriot Indexes are available to locate family names.
AREA RESOURCES FOR GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH
- Montgomery County Clerk's Office (620-330-1200) has many birth and death records from 1886 to 1911 before the state required the recording of these events.
- Montgomery County Register of Deeds (620-330-1340) has information pertaining to property deeds from 1870 to the present. Contact them to find out what information they need to do a search.
- District Clerk's office (620-330-1070) has marriage licenses from 1870 to the present, probate records from 1870 to the present, and civil and criminal cases from 1870 to the present.
- Independence Public library (620-331-3030) has Independence and some area newspapers on microfilm dating back to 1871, city directories from 1923 to 1991 (not all inclusive), and school yearbooks. Many other resources are also available.
LINKS TO OTHER RESOURCES IN THE STATE OF KANSAS
Kansas Historical Society
The Kansas Historical Society is transferring all their newspapers on microfilm to their website. Because of copy right issues, they will go up to 1992 at present. The Historical Society in Topeka is working with Newspaper.com to digitize all their microfilmed newspapers. They have 800,000 on the system now and are adding about 50,000 per month. They hope to put in all early Kansas newspapers eventually. They now have the Independence Reporter. It is a name search website and will be a wonderful resource for genealogists and researchers.