Nebraska Church Records
|Nebraska Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
- 1 Historical Background
- 2 Information Found in the Records
- 3 Finding the Records
- 3.1 Look for online records.
- 3.2 Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.
- 3.3 Consult available finding aids.
- 3.4 Correspond with or visit the actual churches.
- 3.5 Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.
- 3.6 Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.
- 4 Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.
- 5 Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor
- 6 References
Historical Background[edit | edit source]
Information Found in the Records[edit | edit source]
To effectively use church records, become familiar with their content. Click on these links to learn about a specific record type:
Finding the Records[edit | edit source]
Look for online records.[edit | edit source]
Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:
Indexes[edit | edit source]
- 1875-1899 - Nebraska, Church Records, 1875-1899 at FamilySearch — index
- 1855-1995 - Nebraska, Marriages, 1855-1995 Index only.
- 1855-1908 - Nebraska, Marriage Records, 1855-1908, ($), Index and images
Dutch Reformed[edit | edit source]
- 1639-1989 - U.S., Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989, index and images, incomplete.($)
- 1856-1970 - U.S., Dutch Christian Reformed Church Membership Records, 1856-1970, index and images, incomplete.($)
Presbyterian[edit | edit source]
- 1701-1970 - U.S., Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970, index and images, incomplete.($)
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
- 1800-1947 - U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish American Church Records, 1800-1947, index and images, incomplete.($)
- 1781-1969 - U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969, index and images, incomplete.($)
Germans From Russia[edit | edit source]
- Odessa3.org - This site contains German-Russian emigrant ancestry in pocket settlements in mid-west states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Contains transcribed minutes of meetings, membership lists (some with parentage listed), birth, deaths, and marriages.
Quaker (Society of Friends)[edit | edit source]
- Nebraska Monthly Meeting: Quaker Records, ($), index
Other Collections[edit | edit source]
Look for digital copies of church records in the FamilySearch Catalog.[edit | edit source]
- The Family History Library (FHL) has a substantial collection of original church records and transcripts on microfilm for churches in the United States.
- Online church records can be listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the state, county, or town.
- If you find a record that has not yet been digitized, see How do I request that a microfilm be digitized?
- Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations.
- To find records:
- a. Click on the records of United States, Nebraska.
- b. Click on Places within United States, Nebraska and a list of counties will appear.
- c. Click on your county if it appears.
- d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- e. Click on Places within United States, Nebraska [COUNTY] and a list of towns will appear.
- f. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
- g. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
- h. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. . The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.
Consult available finding aids.[edit | edit source]
These aids generally provide lists of records that are known to exist and information on their location.
Correspond with or visit the actual churches.[edit | edit source]
Some records are still held in the local churches. Contact the current minister to find out what records are still available.
- Make an appointment to look at the records. Or ask the minister of the church to make a copy of the record for you.
- To find church staff available, you might have to visit on Sunday.
- Ask for small searches at a time, such as one birth record or a specific marriage. Never ask for "everything on a family or surname".
- A donation ($25-$40) for their time and effort to help you would be appropriate.
- If the church has a website, you may be able to e-mail a message.
- See the Letter Writing Guide for Genealogy for help with composing letters.
- Each denomination page offers an online address directory of local churches for that denomination.
Check the church records collections in archives and libraries.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been deposited for preservation in government archives or in libraries. Watch for links to digitized, online records offered by the archives. Some archives provide research services for a fee. For others, if you cannot visit in person, you might hire a researcher.
Here you will find archive information unique to the state. Many more archives are kept by denomination. For denominational archives, go to Searching for Church Records by Denomination.
History Nebraska: Nebraska State Historical Society[edit | edit source]
1500 “R” Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68501
- Nebraska Church Records at History Nebraska
- Research and Reference Services
- Genealogy Guide
- Research Guides
- A Guide to German Sources At the Nebraska State Historical Society
Lutheran[edit | edit source]
Early congregations and pioneers are described in Charles F. Sandahl, The Nebraska Conference of the Augustana Synod. (n.p.: Nebraska Conference, 1931); FHL Collection film 1036240 item 3
Midland Lutheran College
900 North Clarkson
Fremont, Nebraska 68025
Phone: (402) 941-6252
- This collection has both Augustana materials and records from the German Nebraska Synod, part of the former United Lutheran Church in America.
Methodist[edit | edit source]
- Nebraska Wesleyan University
Historical Archives United Methodist Church
5000 St. Paul Avenue
Lincoln, NE 68504
Phone: Phone: (402) 465-2175
Fax: (402) 465-2189
Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]
Diocese of Grand Island
P.O. Box 153
2708 Old Fair Road
Grand Isle, NE 68802
Phone: (800) 652-0004
- Contact the local parish for research requests.
The diocese includes the counties of: Arthur, Banner, Blaine, Box Butte, Brown, Buffalo, Cherry, Cheyenne, Custer, Dawes, Dawson, Deuel, Garden, Garfield Grant, Greeley, Hall, Hooker, Howard, Keith, Keya Paha, Kimball, Lincoln, Logan, Loup, McPherson , Morrill, Rock, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sherman, Sioux, Thomas, Valley and Wheeler.
Diocese of Lincoln
P.O. Box 80328
Lincoln, NE 68501-0328
Phone: (402) 488-0921
Sister Loretta Gosen Memorial Archives
3400 Sheridan Blvd
Lincoln NE 68506-6125
- Those who wish to do genealogy research may request a Sacramental Records Research Form, which allows for up to three people to be researched. There is research fee of $10 per form, whether one or three people are researched. Please note that only 80-year-old records of deceased persons may be released to the public. For requests that pertain to persons born after 1900, proof of death must be given (e.g. death certificate, obituary).
The diocese includes the counties of: Adams, Butler, Cass, Chase, Clay, Dawson, Dundy, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Furnas, Hamilton, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Jefferson, Johnson, Kearney, Keith, Lancaster, Lincoln, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Otoe, Pawnee, Perkins, Phelps, Polk, Red Willow, Saline, Richardson, Saunders, Seward, Thayer, Webster and York.
Archdiocese of Omaha
100 North 62 Street
Omaha, NE 68132-2795
Phone: (402) 558-3100
Fax: (402) 558-3026
- Contact the local parish with research requests.
The Archdiocese includes the counties of: Antelope, Boone, Boyd, Burt, Cedar, Colfax, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Holt, Knox, Madison, Merrick, Nance, Pierce, Platte, Sarpy, Stanton, Thurston, Washington and Wayne.
Correspond with genealogical or historical societies.[edit | edit source]
Some church records have been given to historical societies. Also, historical societies may be able to tell you where the records are being held. To find a society near you, consult these lists:
Next, go to the Wiki article for your ancestors' denomination.[edit | edit source]
There are frequently additional, nationwide or regional archives and online collections for each denomination. Find the article for your ancestors' denomination and follow the instructions there to access these sources.
|Wiki Articles for Records of Major Religious Denominations|
Carefully compare any record you find to known facts about the ancestor[edit | edit source]
You will possibly find many different people with the same name as your ancestor, especially when a family stayed in a locality for several generations, and several children were named after the grandparents or aunts and uncles. Be prepared to find the correct church records by organizing in advance as many of these exact details about the ancestor as possible:
- name, including middle name and maiden name
- names of all spouses, including middle and maiden name
- exact or closely estimated dates of birth, marriage, and death
- names and approximate birthdates of children
- all known places of residence
- military service details
Carefully evaluate the church records you find to make sure you have really found records for your ancestor and not just a "near match". If one or more of the details do not line up, be careful about accepting the entry as your ancestor. There are guiding principles for deciding how to resolve discrepancies between records that are seemingly close. For more instruction in evaluating evidence, read the Wiki article, Evaluate the Evidence.
References[edit | edit source]
- Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1972). FHL Book 973 K2ah.
- Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America, Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.