Buffalo County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Buffalo County

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

County Facts
County seat: Kearney
Organized: March 14, 1855
Parent County(s): Original county[1]
Neighboring Counties
Adams  • Custer  • Dawson  • Hall  • Howard  • Kearney  • Phelps  • Sherman
See County Maps
Location Map
Map Buffalo County Nebraska.png

County Information


The county was created in 1855 by legislation and later fully organized in 1870. It was named after the then-prevalent buffalo herds. Buffalo County was named for American bison.[2]

County Courthouse

Buffalo County Courthouse
P.O. Box 520
1512 Central Ave.
Kearney, NE 68848
Phone: 308-236-1228
Buffalo County Website

County Clerk has marriage records from 1872.
County Judge has probate and court records from 1872.
Clerk District Court has divorce records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [1]

Buffalo 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[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1904 1872 1904 1872 1870 1872 1854
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in late 1904. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

  • 1855 Buffalo County was created by legislation in 14 March 1855 as an original county and fully organized in 1870.
  • County seat: Kearney[1]

The records are in the county record office.

Populated Places

The following are locations in Buffalo County, Nebraska:[4]



Unincorporated communities

Census-designated places


History Timeline

Additional Information

Buffalo Bill Ranch, Buffalo County Nebraska.jpg


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Buffalo 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.  %±
1860 114
1870 193 69.3%
1880 7,531 3802.1%
1890 22,162 194.3%
1900 20,254 −8.6%
1910 21,907 8.2%
1920 23,787 8.6%
1930 24,338 2.3%
1940 23,655 −2.8%
1950 25,134 6.3%
1960 26,236 4.4%
1970 31,222 19.0%
1980 34,797 11.5%
1990 37,447 7.6%
2000 42,259 12.9%
2010 46,102 9.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

For tips on accessing Buffalo 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

Buffalo County houses a District Court and a County Court. The District Court issues writs and orders, collects and disperses child support fees, keeps court records, and records court proceedings.The County Court handles probate, civil, criminal and traffic cases.

  • Buffalo County District Court
    P.O. Box 520
    Kearney, NE 68848
    Phone: 308-236-1246
  • County Court of Buffalo County
    1512 Central Ave,P.O. Box 520
    Kearney, NE 68848
    Telephone: 308-236-1228


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 Buffalo 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

Custer CountySherman CountyHoward CountyDawson CountyGosper CountyPhelps CountyKearney CountyAdams CountyHall CountyNE BUFFALO.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Early migration routes to and from Buffalo County for European and African American settlers included:

Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

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 - Buffalo - Probate records.

Probate records are held and created by the Buffalo County Court listed in the County section on this page.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of Buffalo County probate records 1906-1956 housed by the North Platte Genealogical Society in North Platte, Nebraska. As of April 2010 the society has an internet address but no web content.

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.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of Buffalo County marriage records 1896-1993 housed in the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Buffalo County Courthouse.





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.




  • Buffalo County Historical Society Trails and Rails Museum
    P.O. Box 523
    710 West 11th St
    Kearney, NE 68848-0523
    Phone: 308-234-3041
    Email: bchs.us@hotmail.com
    The Trails and Rails Museum at 710 West 11th St. in Kearney houses their collection. The Society's archives have county atlases for various years, family papers from a few families, family histories, marriage records beginning 1872, probate records from 1872, newspapers published in Kearney and Shelton, naturalization records, school census records, Kearney water company records from 1887-1893, and more.
  • Fort Kearney Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 22
    Kearney, NE 68847
    Phone: 308-234-6708
    The Fort Kearney Genealogical Society was organized in 1978. It has in its own collection, or has access to early school records, cemetery inventories, census and Soundex records, microfilms of the Kearney HUB and other county newspapers, land patents, marriages, delayed birth records, naturalizations, early probates, etc. It publishes a quarterly journal titled Buffalo Chips. They are happy to do look-ups in their own archives and libraries and at the courthouse.
  • Ravenna Genealogical and Historical Society
    P.O. Box 33
    Ravenna, NE 68869
    Phone: 308-293-9200
    Email: mrussell@nctc.net
  • Flatwater Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 373
    Gibbon, NE 68840
    Phone: 308-468-5656; 308-468-6142


  • 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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_County,_Nebraska accessed 10/26/2016
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Buffalo County, Nebraska. Page 428-435 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 417-420.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Buffalo County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_County,_Nebraska, accessed 29 July 2016.
  5. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map II" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at http://www.oregonpioneers.com/OTMap2.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).
  6. "Oregon California Trails Association" at http://octatrails.micromaps.com/ (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at http://lds.org/gospellibrary/pioneer/pioneerstory.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).