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The 
Santa Fe
Trail

 

Introduction

Road Trip

Internet Resources

Image Gallery

 

 

Introduction

Introduction

 

       The Santa Fe Trail was an historic 19th century transportation route across southwestern North America connecting Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. First used in 1821 by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880. At first an international trade route between the United States and Mexico, it served as the 1846 U.S. invasion route of New Mexico during the Mexican-American War. After the U.S. acquisition of the Southwest, the trail helped open the region to U.S. economic development and settlement, playing a vital role in the expansion of the U.S. into the lands it had acquired. The road route is commemorated today by the National Park Service as the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. A highway route that roughly follows the trail's path through Colorado and northern New Mexico has been designated the Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byway.

     The eastern end of the trail was in the central Missouri town of Franklin on the north bank of the Missouri River. The route across Missouri first used by Becknell followed portions of the existing Osage Trace. West of Franklin the trail crossed the Missouri near Arrow Rock, after which it followed roughly the route of present-day U.S. Route 24. It passed north of Marshall, through Lexington to Fort Osage, then to

Independence. Independence was also one of the historic "jumping off points" for the Oregon and California Trails.

West of Independence, in the State of Missouri, it roughly followed the route of U.S. Route 56 to the town of Olathe. The section of the trail between

Click on the thumbnail map to view a full-sized image

Independence and Olathe was also used by imigrants on the California and Oregon Trails, which branched off to the northwest near Gardner, Kansas.

     From Olathe, the trail passed through the towns of Baldwin City, Burlingame, and Council Grove, then swung west of McPherson to the town of Lyons. West of Lyons the trail followed nearly the route of present-day Highway 56 to Great Bend. Ruts in the earth made from the trail are still visible in several locations (Ralph's Ruts are visible in aerial photos at (38°21′35″N 98°25′20″W / 38.35959264, -98.42225502).[1] At Great Bend, the trail encountered the Arkansas River. Branches of the trail followed both sides of the river upstream to Dodge City and Garden City.

     West of Garden City in southwestern Kansas the trail has a complex network of branches. One of the branches continued to follow the Arkansas upstream in southeastern Colorado to the town of La Junta. At La Junta, the trail continued south into New Mexico to Fort Union at Watrous. This branch was known as the Mountain Route.

Road Trip

Road Trip

If you have traced your 18th or 19th century ancestors to any of the counties listed below it is quite possible that they traveled to that location along this migration route.  Therefore you may find additional relevant information about your ancestral lineages by taking the following road trip through these localities.

COUNTY (Road Trip Segment)

COUNTY (Road Trip Segment)

COUNTY (Road Trip Segment)

Barton County, KS (5)

Bent County, CO (8)

Carroll County, MO (1)

Cass County, MO (2)

Chariton County, MO (1)

Chase County, KS (3)

Cimarron County, OK (12)

Clay County, MO (2)

Colfax County, NM (9,10,13)

Cooper County, MO (1)

Crowley County, CO (8)

Dickinson County, KS (4)

Douglas County, KS (2)

Edwards County, KS (5,6)

Finney County, KS (6,11)

Ford County, KS (6)

Franklin County, KS (2)

Geary County, KS (3)

Grant County, KS (11)

Gray County, KS (6)

Hamilton County, KS (7,11)

Harding County, NM (13)

Haskell County, KS (6,11)

Hodgeman County, KS (6)

Howard County, MO (1)

Huerfano County, CO (9)

Jackson County, KS (2)

Jefferson County, KS (2)

Johnson County, MO (1)

Johnson County, KS (2)

Kearny County, KS (7,11)

Kiowa County, KS (6)

Lafayette County, MO (1)

Las Animas County, CO (9)

Leavenworth County, KS (2)

Lyon County, KS (3)

Marion County, KS (4)

McPherson County, KS (4)

Miami County, KS (2)

Mora County, NM (10,13,14)

Morton County, KS (11,12)

Morris County, KS (3)

Osage County, KS (3)

Otero County, CO (8)

Pawnee County, KS (5)

Pettis County, MO (1)

Prowers County, CO (7,8)

Ray County, MO (1)

Reno County, KS (5)

Rice County, KS (5)

Rush County, KS (5)

Saline County, MO (1)

Saline County, KS (4)

San Miguel County, NM (14)

Santa Fe County, NM (14)

Seward County, KS (11)

Stafford County, KS (5)

Stanton County, KS (11)

Stevens County, KS (11) ±

Shawnee County, KS (3)

Texas County, OK (12)

Union County, NM (12,13)

Wabaunsee County, KS (3)

Wyandotte County, KS (2)

± = Counties where our direct ancestors were either, born, married, died or known to have resided.

Genealogy Road Trip

This “Genealogy Road Trip” is divided into segments that require between 1 and 2 hours of driving time.

The entire 900 mile journey should take approximately 15 hours to drive at 50 miles per hour.  Within each segment you will find links to resources* that will assist you in planning a successful and enjoyable experience.  The following maps are designed to show a close-up view of the counties and communities along this migration route.  Relevant county seats are designated with a, beginning and end points of each segment are noted with a  and historical sites with a . 

Additional information that will assist with the planning of a “road trip” along the SANTA FE TRAIL follows:

·        Follow the Santa Fe Trail, explore it's history, and check out a calendar of events along the trail to celebrate it's 175th anniversary.

·        Travel the Santa Fe Trail through several states. Visit towns, forts, and rest stops along the way...includes side trips, too.

·        Follow the Santa Fe Trail of Dreams. Immerse yourself in the past for weeks, sampling the numerous historic sites and hunting for out-of-the-way, original wagon ruts.

·        Follow the Santa Fe Trail through Colorado.

·        Other links to The Santa Fe Trail

 

SEGMENT 1

 New Franklin, MO -

 Levasy, MO

SEGMENT 2

 Levasy, MO –

Globe, KS

SEGMENT 3

 Globe, KS –

Delavan, KS

SEGMENT 4

 Delavan, KS –

Mitchell, KS

SEGMENT 5

 Mitchell, KS –

Ardell, KS

SEGMENT 6

 Ardell, KS –

Holcomb, KS

SEGMENT 7

Mountain Route

 Holcomb, KS –

West Farm, CO

SEGMENT 8

 Mountain Route

West Farm, CO –

Bloom, CO

SEGMENT 9

 Mountain Route

Bloom, CO –

Hebron, NM

SEGMENT 10

 Mountain Route

 Hebron, NM –

Watrous, NM

SEGMENT 11

Cimarron Route

Holcomb, KS –

Rolla, KS

SEGMENT 12

 Cimarron Route

Rolla, KS –

Clayton, NM

SEGMENT 13

Cimarron Route

Clayton, NM –

Watrous, NM

SEGMENT 14

Watrous, NM –

Santa Fe, NM

 

SOURCES:  (1) Wikipedia;   (2) The USGenWeb Project;   (3) National Register of Historical Places

Segment 1

SEGMENT 1

New Franklin, MO -  Levasy, MO

Driving Distance = 87 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Carroll County, MO

Carroll County, MO

Carroll County, MO

Chariton County, MO

Chariton County, MO

Chariton County, MO

Cooper County, MO

Cooper County, MO

Cooper County, MO

Howard County, MO

Howard County, MO

Howard County, MO

Johnson County, MO

Johnson County, MO

Johnson County, MO

Lafayette County, MO

Lafayette County, MO

Lafayette County, MO

Pettis County, MO

Pettis County, MO

Pettis County, MO

Ray County, MO

Ray County, MO

Ray County, MO

Saline County, MO

Saline County, MO

Saline County, MO

Segment 2

SEGMENT 2

Levasy, MO – Globe, KS

Driving Distance = 91 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Cass County, MO

Cass County, MO

Cass County, MO

Clay County, MO

Clay County, MO

Clay County, MO

Douglas County, KS

Douglas County, KS

Douglas County, KS

Franklin County, KS

Franklin County, KS

Franklin County, KS

Jackson County, MO

Jackson County, MO

Jackson County, MO

Jefferson County, KS

Jefferson County, KS

Jefferson County, KS

Johnson County, KS

Johnson County, KS

Johnson County, KS

Leavenworth County, KS

Leavenworth County, KS

Leavenworth County, KS

Miami County, KS

Miami County, KS

Miami County, KS

Wyandotte County, KS

Wyandotte County, KS

Wyandotte County, KS

Segment 3

SEGMENT 3

Globe, KS – Delavan, KS

Driving Distance = 85 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 2.00 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Chase County, KS

Chase County, KS

Chase County, KS

Geary County, KS

Geary County, KS

Geary County, KS

Lyon County, KS

Lyon County, KS

Lyon County, KS

Morris County, KS

Morris County, KS

Morris County, KS

Osage County, KS

Osage County, KS

Osage County, KS

Shawnee County, KS

Shawnee County, KS

Shawnee County, KS

Wabaunsee County, KS

Wabaunsee County, KS

Wabaunsee County, KS

Segment 4

SEGMENT 4

Delavan, KS – Mitchell, KS

Driving Distance = 91 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Dickinson County, KS

Dickinson County, KS

Dickinson County, KS

Marion County, KS

Marion County, KS

Marion County, KS

McPherson County, KS

McPherson County, KS

McPherson County, KS

Saline County, KS

Saline County, KS

Saline County, KS

Segment 5

SEGMENT 5

Mitchell, KS –Ardell, KS

Driving Distance = 91 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 2.00 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Barton County, KS

Barton County, KS

Barton County, KS

Edwards County, KS

Edwards County, KS

Edwards County, KS

Pawnee County, KS

Pawnee County, KS

Pawnee County, KS

Reno County, KS

Reno County, KS

Reno County, KS

Rice County, KS

Rice County, KS

Rice County, KS

Rush County, KS

Rush County, KS

Rush County, KS

Stafford County, KS

Stafford County, KS

Stafford County, KS

Segment 6

SEGMENT 6

Ardell, KS – Holcomb, KS

Driving Distance = 94 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Edwards County, KS

Edwards County, KS

Edwards County, KS

Finney County, KS

Finney County, KS

Finney County, KS

Ford County, KS

Ford County, KS

Ford County, KS

Gray County, KS

Gray County, KS

Gray County, KS

Haskell County, KS

Haskell County, KS

Haskell County, KS

Hodgeman County, KS

Hodgeman County, KS

Hodgeman County, KS

Kiowa County, KS

Kiowa County, KS

Kiowa County, KS

Segment 7

SEGMENT 7

Mountain Route

 Holcomb, KS – West Farm, CO

Driving Distance = 90 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

    

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Hamilton County, KS

Hamilton County, KS

Hamilton County, KS

Kearny County, KS

Kearny County, KS

Kearny County, KS

Prowers County, CO

Prowers County, CO

Prowers County, CO

Segment 8

SEGMENT 8

Mountain Route

West Farm, CO – Bloom, CO

Driving Distance = 83 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Bent County, CO

Bent County, CO

Bent County, CO

Crowley County, CO

Crowley County, CO

Crowley County, CO

Otero County, CO

Otero County, CO

Otero County, CO

Prowers County, CO

Prowers County, CO

Prowers County, CO

Segment 9

SEGMENT 9

Mountain Route

Bloom, CO – Hebron, NM

Driving Distance = 90 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Colfax County, NM

Colfax County, NM

Colfax County, NM

Huerfano County, CO

Huerfano County, CO

Huerfano County, CO

Las Animas County, CO

Las Animas County, CO

Las Animas County, CO

Segment 10

SEGMENT 10

Mountain Route

 Hebron, NM – Watrous, NM

Driving Distance = 87 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Colfax County, NM

Colfax County, NM

Colfax County, NM

Mora County, NM

Mora County, NM

Mora County, NM

Segment 11

SEGMENT 11

Cimarron Route

Holcomb, KS – Rolla, KS

Driving Distance = 90 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.75 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Finney County, KS

Finney County, KS

Finney County, KS

Grant County, KS

Grant County, KS

Grant County, KS

Hamilton County, KS

Hamilton County, KS

Hamilton County, KS

Haskell County, KS

Haskell County, KS

Haskell County, KS

Kearny County, KS

Kearny County, KS

Kearny County, KS

Morton County, KS

Morton County, KS

Morton County, KS

Seward County, KS

Seward County, KS

Seward County, KS

Stanton County, KS

Stanton County, KS

Stanton County, KS

Stevens County, KS

Stevens County, KS

Stevens County, KS

Segment 12

SEGMENT 12

Cimarron Route

Rolla, KS – Clayton, NM

Driving Distance = 100 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 2.00 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Cimarron County, OK

Cimarron County, OK

Cimarron County, OK

Morton County, KS

Morton County, KS

Morton County, KS

Texas County, OK

Texas County, OK

Texas County, OK

Union County, NM

Union County, NM

Union County, NM

Segment 13

SEGMENT 13

Cimarron Route

Clayton, NM – Watrous, NM

Driving Distance = 130 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 2.50 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Colfax County, NM

Colfax County, NM

Colfax County, NM

Harding County, NM

Harding County, NM

Harding County, NM

Mora County, NM

Mora County, NM

Mora County, NM

Union County, NM

Union County, NM

Union County, NM

Segment 14

SEGMENT 14

Watrous, NM – Santa Fe, NM

Driving Distance = 86 miles;   Driving Time = approximately 1.50 hours

 

Click on the map to view a full-sized image

General Profile

Genealogy & History Resources

Historical Sites

Mora County, NM

Mora County, NM

Mora County, NM

San Miguel County, NM

San Miguel County, NM

San Miguel County, NM

Santa Fe County, NM

Santa Fe County, NM

Santa Fe County, NM

Internet Resources

Internet 
Resources

The Google search engine

 button  and following web

sites    may     provide    you

with additional information

to assist with your research

about   this   topic. 

General Resources

·        American Migration Patterns

·        Migration Routes, Roads & Trails

·        Brethren Life: Migrations

·        Trails West - TNGenWeb

·        Historical U.S. roads and trails - Wikipedia

·        U.S. Historical Maps - Perry-Castañeda Collection

·        Early American Roads and Trails

·        Frontier Trails: A Brief History

·        MIGRATIONS.org

·        ROOTS / MIGRATIONS

·        American Migration Fact Sheets

·        Map guide to American migration routes,1735-1815

·        Migration Book Store

·        Early Migration Routes

·        The Overland Trail Links--Ancient Indian Trails

·        American Westward Expansion

·        Migration Message Boards – Ancestry.com

·        The African-American Migration Experience 

·        Migration Trailsmap of many U.S. trails

·        Migration Information & Maps By Ethnic Group

Topic Specific Resources

·        Santa Fe Trail - Wikipedia

·        Early American Trails and Roads  - Map sketches and descriptions of routes from Beverly Whitaker.

·        The Interactive Santa Fe Trail (SFT) Homepage 

·        SANTA-FE-TRAIL Mailing List  -For sharing ideas, adventures, questions, and answers regarding the Santa Fe Trail.

·        Spanish Colonial Research Center -Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

·        Santa Fe Trail Research Site  - History of The Great Highway of Commerce from Franklin, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico and the people who came across this trail. History of the forts, towns, trail sites and many pictures and aerial pictures of these places.

·        The Santa Fe Trail Center Larned, Kansas 

·        The Santa Fe Trail 

 

Download a free 2-page Fact Sheet

Link 1 (script)

about American migration routes

 

Family Historian's
Reference Library

The following Link will take you to our library of genealogy reference books.   Here you will find books about historic American roads, trails, and paths.  In addition, there are texts that pertain to ethnic and religion groups, history, geography as well as other books that will assist you with your research.

 

This Link will take you to our

collection of reference books.  

Image Gallery

Image Gallery

During our research we have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a variety of historic American roads, trails and migration.  Some of them are presented on this website because we believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of this topic as well as our ancestors past lives.

The Oldest House in the United States is

 located at Santa Fe, New Mexico

Use this LINK to see the “Image

 Gallerythat pertain to this topic.

If you have any photographs or maps or other images relating to historic American 
roads, trails and migration routes we would greatly appreciate hearing from you.

Free Image Search
help from Google

Use the power of Google™ to find more interesting images about this topic. This button will link you to the Google Images Search   page.   Enter   the   topic   you   are

searching in the box and click “Search Images”. At the “Images” display page you will see the image, as well as the website of which it is associated.

About this webpage

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-- This webpage was last updated on --

01 January 2012