Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nebraska State Government Resources for Genealogists

Today's Tip will focus on genealogy resources available on the State of Nebraska's official government web sites. While many of the government pages merely provide links to other online resources, there are a few gems to be found along the way. If your genealogy has any Nebraska ties, I hope you'll find a couple resources you may not have seen before.

A couple years ago, the State of Nebraska revamped its online presence to this dynamic site that was intended to serve as a portal to all state government services in one location. Personally, I find it cumbersome and much too difficult to find what I'm looking for most of the time. If I need to find something quickly, I've learned to go to Google to search within this site. To save you some time and frustration, here are some of the pages of interest to genealogists doing research in Nebraska.

A starting point is a list of links of Genealogy resources: - the links are the usual fare for genealogy researchers and most are general information, not specific to Nebraska (Ancestry, Cyndi's List, FindAGrave . . .)

The State of Nebraska offers free access to Heritage Quest if you are a resident of the state. Your Nebraska driver's license number will get you into this database. Access to eLibrary is also available with a password you can obtain through your Nebraska public library.

Privacy issues have limited access to some records for genealogists. The basic procedures for obtaining records is on the Health and Human Services web site. The state rules and regulations for release of records for genealogical purposes is in Chapter 3 of Nebraska Administrative Code 174. You have better access to records if you are a certified historian or a an enrolled student of history working on a specific project or an employed member of the news media.

Information about where to obtain birth, marriage, death and divorce certificates is on this page, although it is primarily a list of links to external sites.

The State Library Commission hosts a blog which announces different libraries in Nebraska as each attains an online presence. You can subscribe to this blog in your RSS reader to receive updates. Here are a couple examples of the libraries on the site:

This page has links to libraries in Nebraska, links to their social networking sites, and indicates if they have WiFi access or a catalog online. This is a good starting point for your local research.

Nebraska Memories is another government web site operated by the Nebraska Library Commission. Subtitled "Making Nebraska's Past Unforgettable" you can browse or search a variety of digital images on such categories as portraits, sports, music scores, animals, maps, government, education, business, disasters and more. I can easily get lost on this site for quite a while.

If your research leads to a famous Nebraskan, there are several links on this page. I have to toot my own horn a little bit since the page links to my web site (another of my passions in addition to genealogy).

The Nebraska State Historical Society provides a wealth of information and resources online. Since I've already written a blog post about their resources, I'll direct you to that post rather than repeat it here. But here is a link to the Society's page about doing genealogy research.

If you are researching property in Nebraska, here's a nice 60 page guidebook with a lot of great tips. A link in this book took me to an interesting map labeled "Ghost Towns of Cass County" as well as a 1908 map of Lancaster county. Even if you don't have a Nebraska connection, this publication also serves as a good resource on land and property research. This publication may just be the best "Easter egg" that I discovered while surfing sites to include in this post. It's a pdf file that you can download.

You can search court cases, but you need to get a User ID and password. Presently, the fee is $15 per search.

The Secretary of State's office has some information that may be of value to researchers, although this information may be more recent in nature. One of the databases is on registered voters, which I've used a time or two.

The Unclaimed Property division of the State Treasurer's department might yield results on missing relatives. This is a searchable database of money sitting around in bank accounts or safe deposit boxes. Whoa, Nellie! I just found a listing for less than $300 for one of my Dad's aunts who died in 1982. I told you that you might find something here!

I hope these links provide Nebraska researchers with a few resources they may not have seen before. If you come across other gems or links on any State of Nebraska government web site, please share them in the comments section below.


  1. Great post Susan, I need to bookmark several of the links you listed!

  2. Hope one of the sites turns up something on your Nebraska family, Jenna!