Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Nebraska ... a great state to research

Nebraska is where I live.  It's also the land that people passed through on their way somewhere else, normally to the west coast, places like Utah and California and Oregon.  Some who were disappointed in the west came back, and some people came here to stay.  The Homestead Act provided land for those who needed it and thus supplied our state with people.  

Researching in this state is different than other states.  For one thing, if you know where you ancestor(s) married, you may be able to locate the marriage record on which, most of the time, the names of parents are shown, along with mothers' maiden names.  A great bonus!  

Unfortunately people are not going to find birth and death records in courthouses.  If they are there, they are minimal in content and years.  This means you will need to obtain them from the state Vital Records office in Lincoln, NE.  Information on ordering them, along with downloadable forms can be found at vitalrec.com.   Birth and death records were recorded on a state basis starting in late 1904.  This does not mean every physician or clerk complied.  

The best place to locate records in Nebraska is at the Nebraska State Historical Society, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE.  Be sure to check out their resources and indexes at the web page.  They have an extensive collection of newspapers, photographs and manuscripts.  

To locate some excellent web pages pertaining to Nebraska history, geography and genealogy, check out Linkpendium.  A number of obituaries can be found at O'Bits of Nebraska.  Another excellent place to look for obituaries in Nebraska is at Newspaper Obituaries on the Web. 

If your ancestor settled on the plains of Nebraska, you definitely need to use the Library of Congress web page, Prairie Settlement.  This contains Nebraska photographs and family letters, 1862-1912.   An excellent place to locate maps of early Nebraska territory and state can be found on Internet at Nebraska Counties, 1854-Present.  

It's a nice state to call home.  Because of Nebraska's rich history, it's a great state in which to do genealogical research.  

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