Friday, May 14, 2010

Featured Nebraska county: Sarpy County

Sarpy county is located in eastern Nebraska, just south of the Omaha metro area (Douglas county). It is also adjacent to Pottawatomie county, Iowa where Council Bluffs is located. The county is named after Peter Sarpy, an early fur trader in the area. The county seat is located in Papillion. Other cities in the county are Bellevue, Gretna,  LaVista and Springfield. Also located in Sarpy county is Offutt Air Force BaseSarpy county was organized in 1857. Bellevue was the original county seat, Papillion has been the county seat since 1875.

Your Sarpy county research may also lead you to neighboring towns in adjacent Nebraska counties, such as Saunders and Cass. Many of my ancestors and their affiliated families lived in several different cities and towns within about a twenty mile radius of Sarpy county. Depending on your own family's history, you may need to branch out into those adjacent counties as well. I'll explore those counties more in a future post.

If you're doing any research in Sarpy County, Nebraska, here are some resources that may be of use.

Museums in Sarpy County - here's a list of area museums from the Sarpy county tourism office. If you're planning a research trip, events and other activities are featured here.

Sarpy County Historical Museum - Bellevue - The museum features Native American artifacts, furnished period rooms, historical documents, and photographs relating to Sarpy county.

Sarpy County government - This site includes a property assessment lookup where you might find some information on homes where your ancestor once lived. There is a marriage license search from 1987 to present. You might just get lucky and find a connection!
Graveyards of Omaha - This site is an interesting resource on graveyards in Omaha and the surrounding area. Several Sarpy county cemeteries are featured. The web site is done by Marta Dawes, wife of my friend, Steve Dawes. I'm sure you'll enjoy looking around Marta's site.

Sarpy County cemeteries - listings on

Gary Speck's Ghost Towns of Sarpy county - if you're in the mood for a haunting, check out this site.

LDS Family History Library
12009 So. 84th St
Papillion, NE

Bellevue Public Library - The Bellevue Public Library has materials in both its reference and general collection to assist in genealogy research.  The interlibrary loan service can be used to obtain some materials that are not available directly at the library.

Papillion's Sump Memorial Library and the library's Facebook page.

A must-see museum for any visitors to the area is the Strategic Air and Space Museum. Among the many permanent exhibits include a variety of World War II aircraft, and a tribute to Nebraska astronaut Clayton Anderson of Ashland. It is a walk through aviation history.

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