NGS Research in the States Series: Nebraska

ngs23“Early native inhabitants roamed the tall-grass prairie, establishing camp villages along the clear streams and leaving behind anthropologic traces of their homes. The wide Platte River carried the early fur traders and foreign explorers, and the nineteenth-century pioneer wagon trains traveled along its grassy banks.

Agriculture has led Nebraska’s economy since the state’s beginning. Ranching is dominant in the sandy-prairie central and western regions, while farming has thrived in the eastern third of the state. In the larger towns and cities manufacturing has become the second-leading economic activity. Tourism, which showcases the state’s natural river scenic byways, historic sites, parks, and outdoor trails, has also become an important economic activity. Nebraska’s rural community societies and museums, county courthouses, historical sites, and library districts welcome the visitor with records still largely intact and accessible.”

Beginning in 1987, the National Genealogical Society began publishing a series of state guides in the organization’s magazine, the Quarterly. These guides were later re-issued as special publications designed to support genealogical research in each state. NGS Research in the States Series: Nebraska was written by Roberta King, and is summarized here:

Like other NGS Research in the States guides, this volume on Nebraska begins with a short, historical summary of the state and its inhabitants. Understanding the largely rural nature of the state, the reader comes to understand the value of rural research skills needed in finding ancestral data within the state.

The guide outlines and describes the expected resources available for research, from libraries and archives, to courthouses and vital records. There is also a list of biographical sources and information on Ethnic records. Ethnic information not only includes several Indian tribes, as would be expected, but also major European ethnic groups found in the state, including, Czech, German, Irish, and Jewish information. See the Table of Contents below for a complete list of information found in the book.

About the Author

Roberta ‘Bobbi’ King is a native Nebraskan (3rd generation), with extensive experience in researching rural and small town courthouse records. She has authored many articles on homestead research and continues to teach and write on rural research from her current home in Colorado.

Table of Contents

History and Settlement

Geography and Early History

Archives, Libraries, and Societies

  • Nebraska State Historical Society Library and Archives (NSHS)
  • National Archives at Kansas City, Missouri
  • Nebraska State Genealogical Society
  • American Historical Society of Germans from Russia
  • Other Libraries
  • Museums and Historical Societies
  • Other Societies and Museums

Major Resources

  • Atlases, Gazetteers, and Maps
  • Biographical Sources
  • Brands
  • Cemeteries
  • Censuses and Census Substitutes
    • Territorial Census
    • Federal Census
    • State Census
    • City Census
  • City and County Directories
  • County Research
  • Court Records
  • Judicial System
  • Ethnic Records
    • African American
    • Czech
    • German
    • Irish
    • Jewish
    • Native Americans
  • Land Records
    • Preemption Records
    • Homestead Records
    • Late Land Records
  • Military Records
    • Military Forts in Nebraska
    • Civil War
    • Spanish-American War
    • World War I
    • World War II
  • Naturalization Records
  • Newspapers
  • Probate Records
  • Religious Records
    • Baptists
    • Catholic (Roman)
    • Congregational
    • Lutheran
    • Mennonite
    • Methodist
    • Presbyterian
  • School Records
  • Vital Records
    • Birth and Death Records
    • Marriage Records
    • Divorce Records
  • Women of Nebraska
  • Conclusion


These guides are an excellent resource for state by state research. Available guides, including NGS Research in the States Series: Nebraska are available from Family Roots Publishing.

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