Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wyandotte County Kansas, Records

Naturalization and Immigration

Wyandotte Couty Courthouse, Kansas City, Kansas

Finally made headway with the Wyandotte County Courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas. a3Genealogy now has access to the original Naturalization and Immigration ledgers at the courthouse for clients.

Must Preserve the Records
As researchers we all want historical records and ledgers to be preserved. But, we also need these historical documents to be accessible, even if it is in digital format or microform. Not all records have been microfilmed or digitized. Yet, like many county courthouses, Wyandotte County has enforced a rule that the public can no longer directly handle the ledgers. I can understand this, as I have seen the results of years of mishandling these valuable documents.

In order to preserve the books, an appointed volunteer from the Wyandotte County Unified Government pulls requests periodically. Although this solution works in theory, in reality it has been less than acceptable for many reasons:

  1. Hired researchers and professional genealogists want to ensure quality and completeness if not by doing the researcher themselves, then by a reputable peer.

  2. It is frustrating requesting a Naturalization Petition Record and only receiving the Declaration (even though the Petition was in the adjacent book.

  3. Professional genealogists and hired researchers need proper citations, and a log/report/review reporting which books were searched (positive or negative)

  4. Hired researchers/professionals are often working under a time agreement.

Why Hire a Researcher When the Service is Free?
A full understanding of the ever changing immigration and naturalization provisions as they were implemented in the county, the state, and at the Federal level and an understanding of the workings of the County and District Court systems allows the researcher to thoroughly search within all the relevant records. Plus, the client deserves (and has paid for) a properly documented final report with the relevant documents or information on a negative search.

The Solution
The Wyandotte County Courthouse has agreed that along with their current system of pulling records, a3Genealogy may also have access to the original records as needed for those who need professional services.

Kathleen Brandt

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