Kearney County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Kearney County

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

County Facts
County seat: Minden
Organized: January 10, 1860
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Adams  • Buffalo  • Franklin  • Hall  • Harlan  • Phelps  • Webster
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Nebraska highlighting Kearney County svg.bmp

County Information


The County was named for Fort Kearny. The County has Minden as its seat and the County was created 1860. The County is located in south central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Kearney County Courthouse
424 N. Colorado
Minden, NE 68959-0339
Phone: 308.832.2723
Kearney County Website

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

Kearney 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 1873 1872 1873 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 Kearney County, Nebraska:[4]


  • Minden


  • Axtell
  • Heartwell
  • Norman
  • Wilcox

Unincorporated communities

  • Keene
  • Lowell
  • Newark


  • Blaine
  • Cosmo
  • Eaton
  • Grant
  • Hayes
  • Liberty
  • Lincoln
  • Logan
  • Lowell
  • May
  • Mirage
  • Newark
  • Oneida
  • Sherman

Ghost town

  • Dobytown

History Timeline

Additional Information
Note the city of Kearney is in BUFFALO county, NOT Kearney county.


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Kearney 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 474
1870 58 −87.8%
1880 4,072 6920.7%
1890 9,061 122.5%
1900 9,866 8.9%
1910 9,106 −7.7%
1920 8,583 −5.7%
1930 8,094 −5.7%
1940 6,854 −15.3%
1950 6,409 −6.5%
1960 6,580 2.7%
1970 6,707 1.9%
1980 7,053 5.2%
1990 6,629 −6.0%
2000 6,882 3.8%
2010 6,489 −5.7%
Source: "".

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

For tips on accessing Kearney 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 Kearney 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

Buffalo CountyHall CountyPhelps CountyAdams CountyHarlan CountyFranklin CountyWebster CountyNE KEARNEY.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


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

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 - Kearney - 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.


  • Kearney Public Library
    2020 1st Ave.
    Kearney, NE 68847
    Director: Matthew R. Williams
    Phone: (308) 233-3282; (308) 233-3281; Fax: (308) 233-3291
  • Jensen Memorial Library
    443 North Kearney
    P.O. Box 264
    Minden, NE 68959-1767
    Phone: 308-832-2648
    Fax: 308-832-1642




  • 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Kearny, Nebraska," in,_Nebraska" accessed 8/22/2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Kearney 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, "Kearney County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Nebraska, accessed 1 August 2016.
  5. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map II" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  6. "Oregon California Trails Association" at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at (accessed 18 July 2011).