Bleeding Kansas – Part 2: Genealogical Resources from the Era of Kansas Territory, 1854-1861

The following article by my good friend, William Dollarhide:

In Bleeding Kansas-Part 1, we presented an historical timeline of events leading up to the era of “Bleeding Kansas,” a reference to the bloody battles that took place in Kansas Territory from its founding in 1854 to statehood in 1861. In this Bleeding Kansas-Part 2, an essential list of genealogical resources was extracted from Dollarhide’s new book, Kansas Name Lists: Online and Published Censuses and Substitutes, 1854-2012.

Genealogists have some interesting tools for locating an ancestor in Kansas Territory during this period, because the Pro-Slavery and Free-Staters who invaded Kansas Territory are mostly all named in various censuses, tax lists, and voter lists – a genealogical gold mine of information not found in other states.

Essential Genealogical Resources:
1854-1856 Name Lists. See Troubles in Kansas [Online Database], an excellent review and name lists from the Bleeding Kansas era, with links to the following: 1) A Brief History. 2) 1855 Kansas Census – Index of Voters. 3) Index of Testimony. 4) Emigrant Aid Society Settler List. 5) Further Reading. 6) Bibliography and Credits, and 7) The KSGenWeb Page. See

1854-1856 Name Lists. See The 1854-1856 Voters of the Territory of Kansas: Includes the Eighteen Original Districts and Voting Qualifications [Printed Book], compiled by Debra Graden, published 1999, publisher not noted, 630 pages. Lists voters alphabetically by surname. FHL book 978.1 N4g. This database of names was indexed online at the website as Kansas Voter Registration Lists, 1854-1856. See

1854-1856 Name Lists. See Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Troubles in Kansas, With the Views of the Minority of Said Committee [Digitized Book], original published Washington, DC, C. Wendell, Printer, 1856, 1,206 pages. Digitized by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2013, from an original copy at the Allen County Public Library, Ft. Wayne, IN. To view the digital images, see the online FHL catalog page for this title:*,0,0.

1854-1856 Name Lists. See An Index to the Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Troubles in Kansas, 1856 [Printed Book & Microfilm], compiled by Robert A. Hodge, published by the author, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1984, 2 vols. 396 pages. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 provided for the organization of the Kansas Territory in preparation for statehood. This act required the citizens of the territory to vote on the issue of slavery. Due to disagreement as to what constituted authorized voters, the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress appointed a special committee to investigate the issue. The bulk of the report consisted of testimonies, lists of names from the census records, poll books and voting registers. This is an index to that report. Contents: Vol. 1: A-L . Vol. 2: M-Z. FHL book 978.1 X3h, v.1 & 2, also on 6 microfiche, FHL fiche #6111324. Some of the name lists were indexed online at the website. For the free search screen to Kansas Election List, 1854, see

1854-1856 Name Lists. See Kansas Pioneers of 1855: That Came by Way of New England Emigrant Aid Company [Printed Book], extracted by Debra F. Graden. In 1856 the U.S. House of Representatives ordered a special committee to investigate the pro-slave vs free-state troubles in Kansas. One purpose of the hearings was to determine whether the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society hired men to come to Kansas solely to manipulate the voting. This extract contains excerpts from testimony given by some of the settlers whose emigration to Kansas was sponsored by the New England Emigrant Aid Society. Also includes lists of all who emigrated to Kansas under the Emigrant Aid Society’s sponsorship during early 1855. Published by the author, Leavenworth, KS, 1997, 72 pages, FHL book 978.1 W2g.

1854-1856 Name Lists. See The Conquest of Kansas: by Missouri and her Allies; a History of the Troubles in Kansas, from the Passage of the Organic Act Until the Close of July, 1856 [Digitized book], by William Phillips, published Boston, Phillips, Sampson and Co., 1856, 414 pages. This is a history written during the era of Bleeding Kansas, and is a rather one-sided view of the events taking place there. Written by a Boston editor, obviously on the Free-Stater side of things, he offers no apologies for his viewpoints. The book is listed here because the names of the players involved in the conflict are mentioned. See the FHL catalog page to access the digital images of this book. See*,0,0.

1854-1861 Territorial Kansas Online [Online Database]. one of several outstanding websites by the Kansas Historical Society, this is a virtual repository for territorial Kansas history. Topics: Territorial Politics & Government; Border Warfare; Immigration & Early Settlement; Personalities; and National Debate About Kansas. Resources: Timeline, Annals of Kansas, Lesson Plans, Bibliography, Historic Sites, FAQs, and Related Links. See

1854-1861. See Death Notices from Kansas Territorial Newspapers, 1854-1861 [Printed Book], compiled by Alberta Pantle, originally published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly, reprinted by the Jefferson Co Genealogical Society, Oskaloosa, KS, ca1985, FHL book 978.1 V4p. For a digital version of this title, see the online FHL catalog page. See*,0,0.

1854-1880s. See Pioneers of the Bluestem Prairie, Full Name Index [Printed Book], compiled and published by the Riley County Genealogical Society, Manhattan, KS, 2005, 212 pages, FL book 978.1 D3pi index.

1854-1900s. See Cemetery Records of Kansas [Printed Books], compiled by members of the Kansas Mission (LDS), published by the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, 1966 – , 18 vols., with the names of persons buried, name of cemetery, and name of county. See FHL book 978.1 V22 v.1-18. Names of cemeteries/counties for all 18 volumes were indexed in Cemetery Records of Kansas, Combined Table of Contents, compiled by James Davis Moore, published by Genidex, Santa Margarita, CA, 1967, 10 pages, FHL book 978.1 V22 index.

1854-1925 See Kansas Census & Voter Lists at [Online Database]. Databases unique to Kansas: 1) Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925. 2) Kansas Compiled Census Index, 1850-1890. 3) Kansas Voter Registration Lists, 1854-1856. 4) Kansas Election List, 1854. 5) Kansas Territorial Census, 1855. 6) Riley County, 1865 Kansas State Census. 7) Riley County, 1875 Kansas State Census. 8) Riley County, 1885 Kansas State Census. 9) Riley County, 1905 Kansas State Census. 10) Riley County, 1915 Kansas State Census. 11) Leavenworth, 1865 Kansas State Census. 12) Leavenworth, 1859 Kansas Voter Registration. The databases are all accessible at Ancestry’s Kansas Family History Research page: See

Further reading:

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