Edwards County Genealogy & Local History Research

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Burial File Cemeteries Church Records Images Local History Microfilm Reference School Records Vital Statistics CONTACT

The Kinsley Library has excellent resources for research in Edwards County genealogy and local history. Probably the most valuable is librarian Rosetta Graff, who draws from over 30 years of experience helping people discover their ancestors or explore the area's fascinating history (contact email: ill@kinsleylibrary.info If this link does not work, copy and paste address onto an email).

Scanned documents e-mailed or mailed USPO cost $1.00 per page. Photocopies mailed USPO are 25 per page with a minimum fee of $1.

The library has microfilm of all existing copies of the county newspapers since 1883 where obituaries and other historical information can be gathered and printed on our microfilm reader/printer. The library has a burial file which contains a card for Edwards County people memorialized locally or buried in the Edwards County cemeteries (map) including:

Belpre (paper records) Bethel

Fellsburg Hillside

Kinsley's first cemetery Peace Lutheran

Prattsburg (paper records) Providence (paper records)

St. Bernard (paper records) St. Nicholas

Sts. Peter & Paul Salem

Trotter Wayne

Wire (private)

Cemetery sexton Ray Wetzel has given us a Directory of Hillside Cemetery (with tombstone pictures). Hillside is the largest cemetery in the county.

The city of Offerle is located on the western edge of Edwards County. Many Edwards County residents are buried in cemeteries just inside bordering Ford County. Evergreen Cemetery Search in:

Evergreen Cemetery: Index by Last Name

Evergreen Cemetery: By Location With Additional Notes;

Old St. Joseph Cemetery: Index by Last Name

Old St. Joseph Cemetery: By Location With Additional Notes

St. Joseph Cemetery: Index by Last Name

St. Joseph Cemetery: By Location With Additional Notes.

Another source is the 1880 Mortality Schedule for Edwards County compiled by Thelma Carpenter and Helen Franklin.

An index of Early Residents of Edwards County who once lived in the county but moved away and are buried elsewhere was compiled by Ed Carlson from the Find A Grave website.

We have Birth Records compiled from old city records, and Marriage Records of Edwards, County Kansas, 1877-1896.

The Kinsley Mercury and Graphic are being indexed by volunteers and is on linein categories: Births, Marriages, Deaths, and News Highlights and Businesses. To date, the index includes: 1901, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1915, 1916, 1918 thru 1935 (1925 is incomplete), 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1943, 1944, and 1948.

(NOTE: To obtain actual birth, marriage, divorce or death records, contact the Office of Vital Statistics (a division of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment). You can order records online at http://www.kdheks.gov/vital/index.html . Or you can contact them by phone or email at 785-296-1400 or Vital.Records@kdhe.state.ks.us .)

Kansas Humanities Council awarded the Kinsley Public Library two Kansans Tell Their Stories Community Heritage grants in 2009, 2011, and 2012 to record & preserve Edwards County oral histories. Visit the following links:

Patchwork of Dependency: The Effects of World War II on Edwards County

Patterns of Change: Edwards County, 1950-1970

Tractorcade to D.C.: Edwards County and the American Agriculture Movement, 1979

Ed Carlson has compiled several notebooks of interest:

  • U.S. Passport Applications with Edwards County connections up to1923. View index.

  • Kinsley and Edwards County Residents Before the Supreme Courts of the States and the Federal Supreme Court, 1884-1946. View index.

  • United States Patents from Belpre, Garfield, Kinsley, and Lewis Kansas, 1883 to 1929. View index.

  • Edwards County, Kansas Related Burials, 4 Volumes of early residents of the county who moved on and are buried elsewhere. View index.

The Kinsley High School Alumni (1891-2011) roster and Offerle High School Alumni list (1918-1966) from the 1966 Chieftain annual are available on-line. Check the card catalog for high school annuals from Edwards County Schools in the library collection.

We have Church of the Holy Nativity (Episcopalian) Church Records beginning in 1934 to 2004. We have photocopies of church records for Peace Lutheran Church (1906-2006), Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (1947-2005), Salem Methodist Church (1887-1927), and the Kinsley Christian Church (1903-1980).

The Edwards County Organization Records lists 301 names and ages of the area residents in 1874 when they applied to become a county in Kansas

The Standard Atlas of Edwards County, Kansas contains a patron directory of a partial list of Edwards County residents in 1906

Ed Carlson, the unofficial Edwards County historian, has also done some excerpting and name-indexing of the local newspapers which is a wonderful resource for finding people. Indexed years include: 1876-1885, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1898-1902, 1904-1908, 1910, 1911, 1921, 1923, 1948, 1950, 1957, and 1958. We also own most of the books written about Edwards County and have some local family histories.

From Prairie to People: The Edwards County Centennial Book, 1873-1973 was indexed by people's names by the Eldorado Correctional Facility (hard copy only). Also an online digital index of businesses, events, places, etc. was generated by Darlene Carlson.

The Kansas State Historical Society has two references edited by James C. Malin online: J. A. Walker's Early History of Edwards County and The Kinsley Boom of the Late Eighties Part 1

Rosetta with the research help of Ed Carlson have put together an extensive vertical file on the people, businesses, places and events in Edwards County. These have been entered into the Kinsley Library Card Catalog.

The Historical Downtown Kinsley Digital Map contains a map with linked timeline of business sites in the main 4 block area of downtown Kinsley. Images and detailed card catalog descriptions of the images are linked to the business sites.

Historical Kinsley and Edwards County Photos are images organized by location within the city or county. They are linked to detailed descriptions in the card catalog.

A few additional Edwards County images are available online from the Special Collections and University Archives of Wichita State University Libraries. View Kinsley, Lewis, Trousdale, and Belpre.

Our collection also contains general genealogy resources in both book and other formats. For use in the library we have several CD ROMS including Family Tree Searcher and PERSI, the genealogy periodical index. Check out on-line card catalog as well. On video we have How To Trace Your Native American Heritage, the popular 10 tape ANCESTORS video series, and another series which goes into detail on researching in four specific areas (U.S. military records, land records, immigration and ship passenger lists, and court records).

We own an index and copies of the DAR magazine from 1914 to 1997, all 21 volumes of the Forgotten Settlers of Kansas. We have back issues and continue to subscribe to the Kansas Treesearcher and Genealogy Helper.

We were given a mixture of resources exploring Swedish genealogy.

We are able to do quick searchers (as our time permits) for out-of-town people seeking specific information. Unfortunately, time does not permit us to do extensive research. Scanned documents e-mailed or mailed USPO cost $1.00 per page. Photocopies mailed USPO are 25 per page with a minimum fee of $1.00.



Rosetta Graff or Joan Weaver

Kinsley Library

208 E. 8th

Kinsley, KS 67547




Belpre Kansas: The Story of a Small Town by David M. Kearney

Centennial books for Kinsley, Lewis, and Offerle

Parish histories for St. Peter & Paul and St.Mary's Churches

The Crescent Communities of Kiowa and Edwards Counties

Myrtle Richardson's books: Changes Rode the Winds

The Great Next Year Country


Oft' Told Tales

Some family histories -- Check the Card Catalog

Marriage Records of Edwards County, Kansas, 1977-1896


Existing copies of all Edwards County Newspapers since 1883

Kansas State Census, Edwards County: 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925

U.S. Census for Edwards County: 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

Misc. microfilms from Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas

Interlibrary Loan from Kansas State Historical Society


PPB Ancestors series

How to Trace Your Native American Heritage

OGS/FGS Genealogical Teleconferences:

American Court Records

American Land Records

Immigration and Ships Passenger Lists

U.S. Military Records


PERCI (Index for U.S. genealogical magazines)

Kansas Treesearcher

DAR Magazine with Index: 1914-1997

Forgotten Settlers of Kansas, all 24 volumes and indexes


Edwards County people, buildings, historical events, and places (see Card Catalog)

Burial Card File for people buried in Edwards County (Burial Card File index online)


PERSI Index of Genealogical Periodicals

Family Tree Maker

Social Security Death Index: U.S. 1937-1995

Family Archives: World Family Tree, Pre 1600 to Present, Vol. 1-22

Census Index: Colonial America 1607-1789

Census Microfilm Records: Virginia, 1850

Marriage Index: KY, NC, TN, VA, WV 1728-1850

Pennsylvania Wills, 1682-1834

U.S. Marriage Record Index, 1691-1850


Many of the resources on this page could not have been possible without dedicated volunteers.
Our sincere appreciation goes out to the following people in alphabetical order:

Julie Ackerman Don Benish Sally Bidleman Ed Carlson Beverly Craft

Virginia Gleason Rosetta Graff Mary Graff Lucy Herrmann Sandra Jasper

Carol Mathews Bette Ryan Maxine Shaffer Nancy Weidenheimer Joan Weaver

Eula Westphal Ray Wetzel

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Last Updated Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Maintenance by Joan Weaver

Email us director@kinsleylibrary.info