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Headstone for G.W. Patton in Ritchie Cemetery

A Preview:  What's in the Pipeline

Most of our work has focused on the people buried at Ritchie Cemetery, identifying not only who they were, but also learning what we could about the lives they led.

Examples of topics to be covered include:

  • Summary information and detailed lists related to burials, including name, date of death, gender, age, race, birth state, cause of death, occupation, and last place of residence

  • Family groups represented at Ritchie, and their migration origins (where they lived before moving to Kansas)

  • Potential burials

  • Source documentation for each person reviewed

  • A closer look at the Ritchie individuals and households enumerated in the Tennessee Town Census, a neighborhood survey conducted by the Central Congregational Church circa 1899

  • Notable subgroups, such as veterans and former slaves

  • A spotlight series featuring some of the people at Ritchie and/or their family members, including anecdotal mini-stories and short bios

Some of the topics will be addressed in both blog posts and stand-alone dataset pages. As new posts and pages become available, links to the major ones will be added below.

Belle Slaughter, Topeka, Kansas

Meet Belle Slaughter, an Exoduster who came to Topeka from Kentucky. Belle was a passionate woman of faith.


Stay tuned...there's a post in the works about her. 

About that "28" in the header

It comes from this grave marker fragment found at the cemetery, and refers to the "days" portion of the person's age at the time of death.  (click to enlarge)

Grave marker fragment at Ritchie Cemetery in Topeka, Kansas

The "28" serves as a small symbol and reminder of the people buried at Ritchie who remain unknown.  


Thousands of African Americans came to Kansas in 1879 (and soon thereafter) as part of the Exoduster migration, the first large-scale exodus of Blacks from the South after the Civil War. Many of the Ritchie burials were Exoduster migrants, their descendants, or other family members. 

Do you have ancestors at Ritchie?  

If so, please get in touch!

The People

302 burials documented as of January 2021

(includes 12 later reinterred elsewhere)

Recent Posts About the People of Ritchie

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