Genealogy & Local History

The Topeka Room has the resources for local historians and genealogists, to discover their family connections as well as the stories of Topeka and Shawnee County’s people, places and events.

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Recent Posts

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Win Sweet Prizes in the Youth Indexing Competition

Topeka teens ages 14-18 can become historians and win awesome prizes by competing in our Youth Indexing Competition. The grand prize winner receives a Surface Tablet. Read on for the details.

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Reviving the Past through Art

A play on historical art at the Sabatini gallery Aug 14 – Sept 27.

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Promote Your Organization at the Neighborhood Fair

Make sure your community organization is part of the Neighborhood Fair Sept 12.

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Juneteenth Watch Party

Juneteenth is the African American celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation and the actual freeing of the last slaves in South. The Library will hold a Watch Party to celebrate the 150th Anniversary.

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The Lundgren Family, by Photographer Paul Stang

Research Your Roots with a World of Resources

Genealogy enthusiasts, rejoice! The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is now a designated FamilySearch affiliate library–and that means that the world’s largest repository of free genealogical records is within your reach.

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They can’t tear that down!!! Topeka Worth Saving Endangered Property

Troubled by the scheduled tear downs of historic buildings around Topeka? At their regularly scheduled meeting, The Local Landmarks Commission discusses the “Topeka Worth Saving Endangered Property Program”. There will be a review of the status of those currently listed, a discussion of those added in 2015 and highlight properties that might needed added in […]

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The Lytles of Tennessee Town

John and Mary Ann “Mollie” Lytle were both former slaves who had moved from Tennessee to Topeka with their young family in 1882. Their children would leave a legacy of success in the fields of law and law enforcement.

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Exodusters in Topeka

During and shortly after the end of the Civil War in April of 1865, African Americans began migrating into Kansas and surrounding states in large numbers. Learn how Topeka responded to this influx of new immigrants.

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Samuel Reader: Civil War Veteran

This April marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. This post is the second of four which highlight ties between Topeka and Shawnee County and national movements during and after the Civil War. By the 1870’s over 20,000 Union Civil War veterans resided in Kansas. Locally, many veterans joined their regional Grand […]

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A Land of Soldiers: Kansas and Civil War Veterans

This April marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. This post is the first of four which highlight ties between Topeka and Shawnee County and national movements during and after the Civil War. Chances are, if you have a male ancestor that came to Kansas in the late 19th century […]

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Get Fired Up for Family History

Get inspired to find your family’s story with Barbara McTygue Scanlon, Genealogy Specialist for the Kansas City Irish Center, as part of our library’s Celtic Celebration on March 29 from 2-5. Her presentation contains Irish history, how-to genealogy help and—in the Irish fashion—a few good laughs.

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Immerse Yourself in Celtic Culture

The pipes are callin’! Join us in a celebration of Celtic culture through music, dance, poetry, displays of genealogy and more, 2-5 pm March 29.

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