Who is Mrs. Wyman?

This is Mrs. Wyman.

How do I know?

Mrs Wyman










Because my grandmother made a very clear note on the photo.

It confused me. As far as I know there are no Wyman families in our tree. I looked at plat maps to see if the name was one of a neighbor. I did not see the Wyman name anywhere near the Vodraska farm.

Was she a friend or a school teacher? Maybe the wife of someone who bought cattle or grain from some of my family members?

I just don’t know. I looked in the census records and did find one Viola Wyman  (Wife of W.H. Wyman) in Lincoln county, which borders Ellsworth county. She was born in 1862, so this could be her.

There was also a Wyman in Saline county, which also borders Ellsworth county. Her name was Lillie Wyman. She was married to Moses Wyman and was born in 1853.

I wish I knew who this lady was, because I’d love to share this photo with her family. Even if the photo is not the best quality.

Do you know Mrs. Wyman? Leave a note in the comments and let me know who she is!

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Kansas State Census Records Free at Ancestry.com

If you are doing research on your Kansas ancestors, you are bound to run onto the Kansas Historical Society (KHS) website. It has quite a bit of information available, but the information on the census records were not available unless you went there in person. Since I am doing my research from afar, I could not visit. The Ancestry website has the records, but to access them I had to pay. At the time, there was no option. Now you can get to the Kansas State Census Records free! (**if you have a Kansas driver’s license or ID**)

The Kansas State Archives has partnered with Ancestry.com to make genealogical records available to Kansas State residents for free!

It is pretty simple and easy to do. Best of all, access is instant! All you need is a computer, internet connection and your Kansas Driver’s License. (Don’t worry, they do not store your driver’s license number. You will have to verify it each time you access the records through the KHS portal.)

How to Access Free Kansas State Census Records



  • Click on the Verify your Kansas driver’s license link. This will take you to the following page.


  •  This brings you to the Kansas Historical Society page on Ancestry.com. From this page you can choose which document you want to search for.



Easy as 1-2-3!!!

What Records Are on the Kansas Historical Society page of Ancestry?

According to the KHS website, the following records will be available through their partnership with Ancestry:

Kansas State Census Records (1865-1925—taken every 10 years for each year ending in “5”)

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Prior Service Records, 1859-1935

Civil War Enlistment Papers of Kansas Volunteer Regiments, 1862, 1863, 1868

Grand Army of the Republic, Bound Post Records, 1866-1931

Naturalization Abstracts, 1864-1972

Russell County Vital and Probate Records (J. C. Ruppenthal Collection)

Vital Records Abstracts

World War I, Kansas Veterans, Manuscript Collection no. 49


Additional Information on the Kansas Historical Society-Ancestry Partnership

The federal census records are not available for free online through this site. If you want free access records other than those listed above, you will have to either pay the Ancestry membership or access the website at almost any library or on location at the Kansas Historical Society.

This is a great service for Kansans who do genealogy, so take advantage of it.




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What is the Correct Spelling of Bartunek?

How many ways can Bartunek be spelled?

Researching immigrants tends to be an exercise in frustration  patience. I am not sure if the spelling changes are due to clerical errors, language differences or the fact that my relatives just wanted to make their last name easier to spell, but there seem to be as many spellings of their names as their are documents. The spelling of Bartunek is one of the things that has made tracing my genealogy difficult.

I have been spending some time working on the mysterious Bartunek side of the family. I have made some progress of the family from the time they came to the United States. I have searched state census records, federal census records, and even ship records.

In the process of finding the trail of the Bartunek’s migration from Bohemia to the states, I have found a whole lot of spellings of the name. Some don’t even remotely resemble the last name Bartunek, other than the fact that the name starts with a B!


For example, in the manifest for the Senator Iken, coming from Bremen, Germany in June of 1867, the last name is spelled as Bartevirieg. I am pretty sure this is Josef Bartunek, for a number of reasons I will talk about another time.

Bartunek ship manifest Senator Iken





Of course by the time the 1870 Federal Census rolled around, the name was different. This time it was Baldonek. Again, for various reasons, I am sure it is Josef Bartunek.

Bartunek 1870 Federal Census




And by the time 1900 rolled around, the name was Barbanicke (per the indexing) or Bartanicke. Of course by this time, my grandmother Mary was already married to Joseph Vodraska. I know these are my relatives, because they were in Ellsworth County, Kansas. Mary Bartunek was already married to Joseph Vodraska and was neighbors to her parents.

Bartunek 1900 Federal Census



I think there are several other spellings of Bartunek out there, but I am too lazy to go into them now. I did want to share some of the variations. Is it any wonder people hit brick walls and give up? I am so happy I have persisted and found some great information, though!


Posted in Bartunek, Family History, Surnames | 1 Comment