Brown County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Brown County

Guide to Brown County, Nebraska ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Ainsworth
Organized: February 19, 1883
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Blaine  • Cherry  • Keya Paha  • Loup  • Rock
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Nebraska highlighting Brown County svg.bmp

County Information


Brown County is located near the northern border of the state and its county seat is Ainsworth.[2] Brown County was named for two members of the legislature who reported the bill for the county's organization.[3]

County Courthouse

Brown County Courthouse
148 W. 4th Street
Ainsworth, NE 69210-1696
Phone: 402-387-2864
Brown County Website

County Clerk has marriage and land records from 1883, naturalization records 1884-1922 and military discharge records from 1919.
County Judge has probate records.
Clerk District Court has divorce and court records.
County Superintendent of Schools has school census records from 1883. [1]

Brown County, Nebraska Record Dates

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1883 1883 1883 1900

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Boundary Changes

Populated Places

The following are locations in Brown County, Nebraska:[5]

  • Ainsworth
  • Johnstown
  • Long Pine

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Brown County, Nebraska online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Nebraska Cemeteries for more information


Census Records

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 4,359
1900 3,470 −20.4%
1910 6,083 75.3%
1920 6,749 10.9%
1930 5,772 −14.5%
1940 5,962 3.3%
1950 5,164 −13.4%
1960 4,436 −14.1%
1970 4,021 −9.4%
1980 4,377 8.9%
1990 3,657 −16.4%
2000 3,525 −3.6%
2010 3,145 −10.8%
Source: "".

Federal Censuses were taken for Nebraska starting in 1860. For links to Federal census indexes, see Nebraska Census.

For tips on accessing Brown County, Nebraska Genealogy census records online, see: Nebraska Census.

State Census Records

Church Records

Church records vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Nebraska denominations, view the Nebraska Church Records wiki page.

Court Records


Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes



Land and Property Records

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Nebraska Land and Property for additional information about early Nebraska land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse, where records are currently housed.

For more information see Nebraska Land and Property

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Brown County, Nebraska Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Nebraska Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers

Cherry CountyKeya Paha CountyRock CountyThomas CountyBlaine CountyLoup CountyNE BROWN.PNG
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Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship


For information on Nebraska newspapers, see Nebraska Newspapers.

Nebraska Newspapers Online

Nebraska Newspaper Catalogs


Other Records


Probate Records

In most counties in Nebraska, probate records have been kept by the county judge. They include wills, fee books, claim registers, legacy records, inheritance records, probate ticklers, and dockets. The records are available at the county courthouse.

The FamilySearch Catalog lists films of probate records. To find the records for this county, use the Place Search for Nebraska - Brown - Probate records.

Online Probate Records

School Records

Tax Records

Nebraska tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. There may be gaps of several years in the records.

Vital Records

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.





Research Facilities


Family History Centers

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.





  • Brown County NEGenWeb
  • USGenWeb
  • FamilySearch Catalog - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records

Research Guides


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Nebraska. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. accessed 10/26/2016
  3.,_Nebraska accessed 10/26/2016
  4. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 452-465. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Brown County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Nebraska, accessed 29 July 2016.