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Nebraska Genealogy

Nebraska became a state in 1867, but they did not officially begin collecting birth and death records until around 1904. Prior to 1904, there are some county-based documents that can only be accessed by contacting each county office.

Nebraska Vital Records

But for all birth and death records after 1904, you can make a request through the Vital Records office of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Marriage records are also held by this department.

Now, all vital records are kept confidential for 50 years during which time only close relations can make a records request. That means only the person on the record, their parents or children, or a spouse can make a request. After 50 years, the files become public domain and you can order any one you wish (which makes it easier for Nebraska genealogy studies). When ordering recent documents, you will have to provide proof of your relationship.

The Health and Human Services website has the forms you can download, and you will have to provide all the names, dates and locations to identify the record you want. Along with that information, you also have to include copies of your own ID and proof of relationship (for recent records). There are also search fees involved.

The cost for a birth record is $12, and both marriage and death records are $11 each. You can pay in cash if you visit the Lincoln area office in person (and you will get your documents right away). Sending through the mail will mean a check or money order, and you will have a few weeks of waiting before you get your papers.

You should also note that the fees are not refundable, so take care when filling out the forms to provide as much accurate information as possible so the records you want can be located.

Nebraska State Historical Society

After your search for official vital records is done, you can broaden your Nebraska genealogy search to the State Historical Society for more options.

Their collection of material includes thousands of photographs, maps, manuscripts and government records. They also have archived newspapers, prison records, cemetery records, old city directories, and records for land deeds. You can search a great deal of their collection through the search features of their website in order to locate the records you want.

The library is located in Lincoln and the research room is open from Tuesday until Friday and limited services for Saturdays.

Nebraska Genealogy Groups

For a little more independent genealogy study, you can get in touch with one of the many Nebraska groups dedicated to history and genealogy. For the whole state, you can choose from either the Nebraska Genealogy Society or the Nebraska Historical Society. The state-wide groups have workshops, conferences, their own publications and private research materials that can be invaluable.

Counties most often have their own smaller groups if you prefer to focus on just one area of the state. They have fewer resources (usually) but are better at targeting your interest to one geographical region.

State Resources Sites 

  • A Guide to Nebraska Genealogy   genealogy look ups, societies, genealogy publications available from genealogical societies and individuals, lost female ancestors queries, and related links for genealogy research in Nebraska 

Birth Records



  • Chase County, Nebraska  Informational site on Chase County, NE history, including obituaries, early settlers, pioneer schools, early Post Offices, Mills, and Chase County High School graduates, and Chase County Historical Society Museum.






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