Old Historical City, County and State Maps of Kansas

Our collection of old historical maps of Kansas span over 150 years of growth. View Kansas Maps such as historical county boundaries changes, old vintage maps, as well as road / highway maps for all 105 counties in Kansas.

Maps of Kansas

Most historical maps of Kansas were published in atlases. The Kansas Territory, was organized on May 30, 1854 and the State of Kansas was created as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. States bordering Kansas are ColoradoMissouriNebraska and Oklahoma.

1886 Map of Kansas

1886 Map of Kansas

The first European to set foot in present-day Kansas was the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, who explored the area in 1541.

In 1803, most of modern Kansas was acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

Southwest Kansas, however, was still a part of Spain, Mexico, and the Republic of Texas until the conclusion of the Mexican–American War in 1848, when these lands were ceded to the United States.

From 1812 to 1821, Kansas was part of the Missouri Territory.

Several types of maps are useful for genealogists. The Kansas State Historical Society’s volume 8 of Transactions contains a good map series, which clearly shows how Kansas counties were developed.

There are approximately 21,000 architectural drawings and maps included in the Kansas State Historical Society’s collection. The maps came from various sources, including individuals, railroads, government agencies, and map publishers.

Map of Kansas State designed in illustration with the counties and the county seats

Map of Kansas State designed in illustration with the counties and the county seats

Researchers can obtain information based on time periods and locations. A list of Kansas towns that no longer exist, known as the Kansas Dead Town List, is also available.

The Kansas Department of Transportation can provide researchers with access to the General Highway Maps, which are organized according to the name of each county.

Those maps mark all of the following important landmarks and information: Cemeteries, Churches, Land Holdings, Township and Range Lines, Section Numbers, Water Courses, Other Important Structures.

Solving Research Problems with a Kansas Maps – If you have started your family research, you might have experienced trouble with trying to identify Kansas city borders and names that have changed over the course of time. This can make it difficult to understand where your ancestors’ information is kept.

Because Kansas historic maps were usually commissioned by the county seat, they often display information about the county, including town names. Reading a Kansas map from the time period you are researching can help tremendously in solving these problems by leading you to the correct town records. It can also give you other leads, such as the location of city directories or old post offices in Kansas.

Choosing the Best Kansas Map – If you have a large source of maps to choose from, try starting with the area where your ancestors resided and looking for the maps with the most detail.  You can determine a lot by seeing if the area was still rural or more developed, and how far it was to the nearest city.  This can shed light on your family’s lifestyle and occupation. Were they farmers who lived in the country, or merchants who traveled often to a nearby city?  A map can give you an idea of what occupations were possible.

Map of Kansas County Formations 1855-1893

This Interactive Map of Kansas Counties show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from the creation of Kansas in 1855-1893.

Kansas contains 105 counties; 28 other counties have existed but are now defunct due to name changes, reorganizations, or mergers and splits.

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Kansas County Formation Years

Kansas Map Abbreviations

  1. unorg. = unorganized
  2. g. = gained
  3. w. = with
  4. fr. = from
  5. atmt. = attachment
  6. exch = exchanged
  7. nca.= non county area
  8. ch. = changed
  9. Al – Allen
  10. An – Anderson
  11. At – Atchison
  12. Bbr – Barber
  13. Bo – Bourbon
  14. Bro – Brown
  15. Btn – Barton
  16. But – Butler
  17. Chs – Chase
  18. Cke – Cherokee
  19. Clk – Clark
  20. Clo – Cloud
  21. Cly – Clay
  22. Cof – Coffey
  23. Com – Comanche
  24. Cow – Cowley
  25. Cqa – Chautauqua
  26. Cr – Crawford
  27. Cyn – Cheyenne
  28. De – Decatur
  1. Di – Dickinson
  2. Don – Doniphan
  3. Dou – Douglas
  4. Ed – Edwards
  5. Eli – Ellis
  6. Elk – Elk
  7. Eth – Ellsworth
  8. Fi – Finney
  9. For – Ford
  10. Fr – Franklin
  11. Ge – Geary
  12. Ghm – Graham
  13. Gly – Greeley
  14. Gnt – Grant
  15. Gov – Gove
  16. Gry – Gray
  17. Gwd – Greenwood
  18. Ha – Haskell
  19. Ham – Hamilton
  20. Hod – Hodgeman
  21. Hpr – Harper
  22. Hvy – Harvey
  23. Ja – Jackson
  24. Je – Jefferson
  25. Jew – Jewell
  26. Jo – Johnson
  27. Ke – Kearny
  28. Kin – Kingman
  1. Kio – Kiowa
  2. Lab – Labette
  3. Lan – Lane
  4. Lcn – Lincoln
  5. Le – Leavenworth
  6. Lnn – Linn
  7. Lo – Logan
  8. Ly – Lyon
  9. McP – McPherson
  10. Me – Meade
  11. Mia – Miami
  12. Mit – Mitchell
  13. Mrn – Marion
  14. Mrs – Morris
  15. Msl – Marshall
  16. Mtn – Morton
  17. Mty – Montgomery
  18. Nem – Nemaha
  19. Neo – Neosho
  20. Nes – Ness
  21. No – Norton
  22. Osa – Osage
  23. Osb – Osborne
  24. Owa – Ottawa
  25. Pa – Pawnee
  26. Ph – Phillips
  27. Po – Pottawatomie
  28. Pr – Pratt
  1. Ra – Rawlins
  2. Rce – Rice
  3. Ren – Reno
  4. Rep – Republic
  5. Ril – Riley
  6. Ro – Rooks
  7. Rsh – Rush
  8. Rsl – Russell
  9. Sal – Saline
  10. Sc – Scott
  11. Sdn – Sheridan
  12. Sed – Sedgwick
  13. Sew – Seward
  14. Sha – Shawnee
  15. Sm – Smith
  16. Smn – Sherman
  17. Snn – Stanton
  18. Std – Stafford
  19. Su – Sumner
  20. Svn – Stevens
  21. Th – Thomas
  22. Tr – Trego
  23. Wab – Wabaunsee
  24. Wal – Wallace
  25. Was – Washington
  26. Wic – Wichita
  27. Wil – Wilson
  28. Wo – Woodson
  29. Wy – Wyandotte

Kansas County Map of Road and Highway’s

The Kansas D.O.T. Highway Department has prepared a series of 2010 county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.

These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download

Old Historical Atlas Maps of Kansas

This Historical Kansas Map Collection are from original copies so you can see Kansas as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago.

Some Kansas map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Kansas researcher.

  • 1886 Map of Kansas and Missouri – This map shows States of Missouri and Kansas. Territories and Townships are separated by color and boundary line. Some landmarks of interest include the Great Saline River, Republican Fork, Nisheoba River, Smoky Hill Fork of the Kansas River, Big Blue River, Little Blue River, Saline River, and the Great Namcha River. Also includes roads, Railroads, and part of Nebraska. Towns are featured in this map are Leavenworth, Kansas City, Fort Scott, Randolph, Fayette, Grand Pass, Grantville and Chillicothe.
  • 1886 Map of Kansas – This map shows counties such as: Cheyenne, Rawlins, Decatur, Norton, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, Graham, Rooks, Osborne, Wallace, St. John, Gove, Trego, Morris, Osage, Anderson, Elk, Jefferson, and many others. Also includes roads, Railroads, and part of Nebraska. Towns are featured in this map are Howard, Winfield, Sedan, Montgomery, Burlington, Topeka, Westmoreland, Marlon, Wakeeny, Hays City, Stockton, Lincoln, Abilene, Holton, Leaven, and several other cities and towns throughout Kansas (KS).

External Kansas Map Links

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