Clay County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Nebraska
Clay County
 

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

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County Facts
County seat: Clay Center
Organized: February 16, 1867
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Adams  • Fillmore  • Hall  • Hamilton  • Nuckolls  • Thayer  • Webster  • York
See County Maps
Courthouse
NebraskaClayCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Nebraska highlighting Clay County svg.bmp
Adoption


County Information

Description

The county seat for Clay county is Clay Center. The county was named after Henry Clay, a famous American statesman, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century.[2] Clay County was part of the Louisiana territory and therefore ruled by both the French and the Spanish in its early history. After the Louisiana Purchase and the formation of the State of Nebraska in 1867, Clay County was formed on February 16, 1867. By 1871 the westward migration brought families from the eastern seaboard of the United States to the open prairies of Nebraska and Clay County. In the 1870s two railroad came to Clay county and with them came many immigrants, including a large colony of Germans from the coastal regions of Russia, British and Irish immigrants eager to homestead the prairie land. [3]

County Courthouse

Clay County Courthouse
111 W. Fairfield Street
Clay Center, NE 68933
Phone: 402-762-3651
Clay County Website

County Clerk has birth and death records 1917-1918, marriage and land records from 1871 and military records 1921.
Clerk District Court has divorce and naturalization records.
County Court has probate records. [1]

Clay 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
1871 1871 1871 1860

Record Loss

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

Boundary Changes

Henry Clay.JPG

Populated Places

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

Cities

  • Clay Center
  • Edgar
  • Fairfield
  • Harvard
  • Sutton

Villages

  • Deweese
  • Glenvil
  • Ong
  • Saronville
  • Trumbull (partial)

Unincorporated communities

Eldorado Verona

Census-designated place

  • Inland

Townships

  • Edgar
  • Eldorado
  • Fairfield
  • Glenvil
  • Harvard
  • Inland
  • Leicester
  • Lewis
  • Logan
  • Lone Tree
  • Lynn
  • Marshall
  • School Creek
  • Sheridan
  • Spring Ranch
  • Sutton

History Timeline

Resources

Bible Records

Biographies

Business, Commerce, and Occupations

Cemeteries

Cemeteries of Clay 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 165
1870 54 −67.3%
1880 11,294 20814.8%
1890 16,310 44.4%
1900 15,735 −3.5%
1910 15,629 −0.7%
1920 14,486 −7.3%
1930 13,571 −6.3%
1940 10,445 −23.0%
1950 8,700 −16.7%
1960 8,717 0.2%
1970 8,266 −5.2%
1980 8,106 −1.9%
1990 7,213 −11.0%
2000 7,039 −2.4%
2010 6,542 −7.1%
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 Clay 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

Directories

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups

Funeral Homes

Genealogies

Guardianship

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 Clay 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

Neclay.png

Migration

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

Military Records

Revolutionary War

Civil War

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

For information on Nebraska newspapers, see Nebraska Newspapers.

Nebraska Newspapers Online

Nebraska Newspaper Catalogs

Obituaries

Other Records

Periodicals

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 - Clay - 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.

Birth

Marriage

Online Marriage Records Indexes and Images

Death

Divorce

Research Facilities

Archives

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.

Libraries

  • Clay Center Public Library
    117 W Edgar St
    Clay Center, NE 68933-1427
    Phone: 402-762-3861
    Fax: 402-762-3861 (call first)
    Email: claycenterlibrary@gmail.com
    Library Director: Cheryl Green

Museums

Societies

County, Township and City Societies

Websites

  • NEGenWeb
  • USGenWeb project. May have maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county. Select the state, then the county.
  • 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

References

  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. http://genealogytrails.com/neb/clay/ accessed 09/29/2016
  3. Kansas Collection Books
  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, "Clay County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_County,_Nebraska, accessed 29 July 2016.
  6. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in Oregon National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. National Park Service, "(Auto Tour Route) Maps" in California National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/cali/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).
  8. National Park Service, "Auto Tour Route Maps" in Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail at http://www.nps.gov/mopi/planyourvisit/maps.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).