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Free access offered to selected state archives

Thursday, January 19, 2012

TOPEKA -- The Kansas Historical Society Wednesday announced a partnership with Ancestry.com that will allow individuals with a valid Kansas driver's license free access to more than 8 million Kansas records on the popular family history website.

Users can access Kansas State Census Records from 1865-1925 (years ending in "5"), Civil War Enlistment Papers of Kansas Volunteer Regiments (1862, 1863, 1868), Russell County Vital and Probate Records, selected World War I manuscripts, and the United Spanish-American War Veterans certificates collections, a news release said.

Users can visit kshs.org/ancestry and enter their name, date of birth, and Kansas driver's license number. The number is authenticated, and the user is directed to ancestry.com.

"This partnership allows genealogists, historians, and other researchers access to records with genealogical information otherwise only available when visiting the State Archives in Topeka," Pat Michaelis, state archives director, said in a news release. "Our thanks to the Kansas Department of Revenue for its assistance with the driver's license validation process that makes this partnership possible."

Ancestry.com Inc. is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.7 million paying subscribers. Over 8 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 30 million family trees containing 3 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, Ancestry.com offers localized websites designed for nine countries that empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history, the release said.

Researchers can access the full version of Ancestry.com at the State Archives Reading Room at the Kansas Historical Society, 6425 SW Sixth Ave., Topeka.

The Historical Society's digital portal, Kansas Memory (kansasmemory.org), provides digital access to almost 200,000 images of photographs, artifacts, diaries, letters, maps and other printed materials. A portion of the Historical Society's Kansas newspaper collection can also be found online at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov. Additional research collections are available at the State Archives Reading Room.



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