The city of Wichita issued death certificates from 1887 until 1911 since the state of Kansas did not require them until July 1911. These are now available for you to see and obtain a copy courtesy of a special project completed by the Wichita Genealogical Society.
Sarah Morrow, a dedicated Wichita-based genealogist, took on the task of compiling the information from over 10,000 death certificates ranging from 1887-1911. When her health kept her from finishing this project, Laura Fitz & Rosie Wiley picked up where she left off, and with their consent we are now able to offer this database to you!
Did you know that if you died somewhere else and were to be transported to Wichita to be buried, paperwork was required and a new death certificate was issued in Wichita? This is true. So just because they have a Wichita, KS death certificate does not necessarily mean they died here. Transportation reports were required also, which can give you important information about your ancestor's circumstances.
These death certificates and supporting statements are available on microfilm in the Wulfmeyer Genealogy Center in the Main Library in Wichita. You can visit the library for a copy or you can send a query to WGS, for $5 along with the name, date, and certificate #, and we will send you a copy of the death certificate and all supporting documents if there are any.
Check out the Death Certificate databases listed at the end of this page and see if one of your ancestor's death certificate is listed (1887 to 1911).
What Can You Learn?
The death certificate information requirements changed over the years. From 1887 through 1899, the forms only included information about the deceased person. Beginning in 1900 through the 1911, the death certificates contain information about the deceased's parent(s), including their birthplaces. Typical information may include:
- Death, date, and location
- Sometimes the specific address where they lived.
- Cause of death
- Place of burial
- Parents' names and their place of birth
- And miscellaneous info
It shoud be noted however, not all records incuded data in each category, as it may not have been required for early certificates or unknown by whomever filed the death certificate.
Beginning in 1911, death certificates were required by the state of Kansas. Therefore, Wichita ceased issuing them. Death certificate requests from 1911 forward should be made to vital records for the State of Kansas. Of special note: The Wichita death certificates are only for Wichita burials; this does not include areas in Sedgwick County outside of Wichita.
Records Available and How to Use Them
The following list of PDF reports are sorted alphabetically within each report. You can use this information (Year, Name, and record number) to find a copy of the actual death certificate on one of seven reels of microfilm at the Wichita downtown city library. Or, you can order a copy from the Wichita Genealogical Society, by using the instructions listed above. The reports contain a lot of information and have small type. You may wish to download (save the PDF) to your computer, and then with your PDF reader zoom in closely to search for ancestors. Also, your web browser can be zoomed in closely to make the type larger.