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Welcome to the Nebraska family history research page. Here you'll find record collection links, history, and genealogy resources to help you trace your Nebraska ancestors.
Nebraska is right in the center of the country, and this position is what allowed so many people migrating around the country to pass through, and even to settle down. This is a state with an interesting history, and one in which genealogists can find a lot of strong material. We will look briefly at the ways to best seek out information for Nebraska genealogy projects, and identify some of the best resources in the state.
Towards the end of the 17th century French fur traders came to Nebraska for the first time. Eastern Nebraska was part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. It was explored from 1804 to 1806 by Lewis and Clark. Then, from 1812 to 1813, the Oregon Trail was blazed across the region by Robert Stuart. However, it wasn't until 1823 that the first permanent settlement was created by white settlers at Bellevue.
In 1848, after the Mexican War, a treaty was signed giving the western part of Nebraska to the United States. In 1865, Omaha became the site of the Union Pacific's transcontinental railroad project. As of 1937, Nebraska was the only state that , had a one-house legislature. It's members were and still are elected without any division of parties.
Nebraska was organized as territory on May 30, 1854 and entered the union as the 37th state on March 1, 1867. It has 93 Counties. The capital is Lincoln and the official state website is www.nebraska.gov.
Nebraska isbordered by Colorado (southwest), Iowa (east) , Kansas (south), Missouri (southeast), South Dakota (north), Wyoming (west). It has a land area of 147,046 square miles making it the 4th largest state, only three states—Alaska, Texas, and California have an area larger than Nebraska’s. Nebraska's 2010 population was 1,826,341 and the largest cities (2010) are Omaha, 408,958; Lincoln (Capital), 258,379; Bellevue, 50,137; Grand Island, 48,520; Kearney, 30,787; Fremont, 26,397; Hastings, 24,907; North Platte, 24,733; Norfolk, 24,210; Columbus, 22,111.
Nebraska's name is from an Oto Indian word that means "flat water" (referring to the Platte River, which means "flat river" in French). The state nickname is " Cornhusker State" or " The Tree Planters' State" . The State Motto is " Equality before the law ".
A Basic Approach for Nebraska Genealogy Research - Let's start with the basics – where to search for Nebraska genealogy materials. The most common approach is to use the computer to find out where archives and information have been "digitized" and made available online. Many museums, libraries, and organizations have gone to great lengths to make materials available, and it is essential that someone beginning a search for Nebraska genealogy information take the time to learn which of the resources can be found right from home.
When you take the time to identify the information at hand, you save time and energy that might have been wasted on a trip to an archive. When the material does require a visit to a resource, the computer can still help to ensure that the materials you need for Nebraska genealogy are actually at the site in question.
Identifying which of your materials for Nebraska genealogy are available online, and which demand a trip to a library or archive must be seen as the essential step in beginning the search for Nebraska genealogy data.
General Records for Nebraska Genealogy Data - You will see that public records are the most commonly and widely available. These are often online or at least listed in the site's collections. You can often find all of the records under specific headings that include:
The Primary Sources for Nebraska Genealogy Information and Materials - The following sources will direct you to the information needed for Nebraska genealogy research:
This is where you may order birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even through an online form.
Additional state and local records can be found at the Nebraska State Historical Society, 1500 "R" Street, P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln, Nebraska 68501; Telephone: 402-471-4751; Website: http://www.nebraskahistory.org/lib-arch/index.shtml. A large number of collections, including digital archives, make this a top-notch resource for anyone searching for Nebraska genealogy information. There are government records, photographs, manuscripts, and even sound recordings.
Also, consider using the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Resources Genealogy page at http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/ced/genealog.htm.
Finally, these websites give researchers a tremendous amount of state-specific details for those in search for Nebraska genealogy data.