Divorce records from all over the U.S are sometimes difficult to find online. They are another hidden gem of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.
What can you find in these records? Obviously the dates and location of the divorce proceeding, the date and location of the marriage, the woman’s maiden name, names of minor children, and the reason for the divorce. The reason can not only provide another part of your ancestor’s story but also may lead to more clues, especially in the case of desertion, where you may be able to find the location that the “deserting” party moved to.
WARNING: Some of the information in the Divorce Petitions may be difficult to read. There may be shocking claims, especially related to your ancestors’ physical and emotional cruelty, or other behavior. Be prepared.
In most cases, I did not include the links to County Courts, where most divorce records are now processed and the documents held. But these divorce documents for most states are partially held in either state archives or county clerk records. So you may wish to avail yourself of these county clerk and court archives, especially those that can be searched online.
Note: Please be aware that if you find a desired divorce record in an index, that the holder of the actual materials (e.g., archive, county court, etc.) may charge a small fee to send you a copy of the material itself.
Note: Some of the links listed below take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital. Make sure that you are logged in to the site so that the collections that are browsable from anywhere will be displayed.
Below are links to the state’s divorce record and index collections that are available for free online.
(Updated March 2021; recently added links are in BOLD):
- Atchison County Civil Appearance Dockets 1861-1919 ; Court Journals 1886-1918; Case Files (Divorce only) 1859-1917
- Barber County, Divorces
- Bourbon County, Divorces
- Cherokee County, Divorces
- Coffey County, Divorce Packets, 1861-1917
- Crawford County Divorce Cases, 1867-1917 ; Indexes 1867-1985
- Douglas County District Court Journals, 1863-1920
- Douglas County, Divorce Packets, 1864-1917
- Elk County Divorce Files, var. 1875-1917
- Franklin County Divorce Index, 1858-1917
- Franklin County Divorce Case Packets, 1860-1917
- Geary County Court Records, 1861-1921
- Greenwood County Divorce Case Files, 1857-1914
- Harvey County Divorces, 1877- 1917; Index to Divorces 1877-1917
- Jackson County Civil Appearance Dockets, 1858-1919; Divorce Case Files, 1859-1917
- Jackson County District Court Journals, 1861-1919
- Jefferson County Court Records, 1858-1982
- Jefferson County, Divorces
- Johnson County, Divorce Packets, 1860-1917
- Leavenworth Court Records, 1855-1918
- Marshall County Civil Court Case Files (only Divorces), 1863-1917
- McPherson County Divorces Index 1871 – 1917
- McPherson County Divorce Case Files, 1871-1917
- Miami County Divorce Announcements
- Miami County Civil and Domestic Case Packets, 1857-1917
- Nemaha County Divorce Case Files, ca. 1857-1917
- Norton County, Civil Case Files, 1886-1941
- Norton County, Probate Case Files, 1877-1935
- Osage County Divorce Case Packets, 1861-1917
- Pottawatomie County Civil Case Files (only Divorces), 1862-1882
- Reno County Miscellaneous Divorces
- Reno County, Divorces
- Riley County Divorce Case Files, 1859-1917
- Rush County Divorce Records,1877-1915
- Saline County Divorce Records, 1866-1916
- Sedgwick County Divorces Index 1871 – February 1888
- Sedgwick County Divorce Records, 1871-1917
- Wabaunsee County Court and Divorce Records, ca. 1857-1923 ; Index, 1876-1927
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
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