Howard County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Howard County

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

County Facts
County seat: St. Paul
Organized: March 1, 1871
Parent County(s): Hall [1]
Neighboring Counties
Buffalo  • Greeley  • Hall  • Merrick  • Nance  • Sherman  • Valley
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Nebraska highlighting Howard County svg.bmp

County Information


Howard County is located in the fertile Loup Valley near the center of the state. The County has St. Paul as its seat. The county was formed in 1871 and named after the Union General Oliver Otis Howard.[2]

County Courthouse

Howard County Courthouse
512 Indian Street
P.O. Box 25
St. Paul, NE 68873-1642
Phone: 398.754.4343
Howard County Website

County Judge has marriage, probate, court, land and naturalization records, 1872 and divorce records from 1873. [1]

Howard 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 1872 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

Populated Places

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


  • St. Paul


  • Boelus
  • Cotesfield
  • Cushing
  • Dannebrog
  • Elba
  • Farwell

Unincorporated communities

  • Dannevirke
  • Nysted

Census-designated place

  • St. Libory

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Howard 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.  %±
1880 4,391
1890 9,430 114.8%
1900 10,343 9.7%
1910 10,783 4.3%
1920 10,739 −0.4%
1930 10,020 −6.7%
1940 8,422 −15.9%
1950 7,226 −14.2%
1960 6,541 −9.5%
1970 6,807 4.1%
1980 6,773 −0.5%
1990 6,057 −10.6%
2000 6,567 8.4%
2010 6,274 −4.5%
Source: "".

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

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.


  • Records of the American Lutheran Church, St. Paul, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).

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 Howard 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

Valley CountyGreeley CountyBoone CountyNance CountySherman CountyMerrick CountyBuffalo CountyHall CountyHamilton CountyNE HOWARD.PNG
About this image
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for more resources


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 - Howard - 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.




  • Howard County Historical Society
    Indian St
    P.O. Box 1
    St Paul, NE 68873
    Phone: 308-754-4901; 308-754-4192


  • 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.,_Nebraska accessed 09/29/2016
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Howard 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, "Howard County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Nebraska, accessed 1 August 2016.