Otoe County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Otoe County

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

County Facts
County seat: Nebraska City
Organized: November 23, 1854
Parent County(s): Cass and Pierce(old) [1]
Neighboring Counties
Atchison (MO)  • Cass  • Fremont (IA)  • Gage  • Johnson  • Lancaster  • Nemaha
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Nebraska highlighting Otoe County svg.bmp

County Information


The County was named for the Otoe tribe. The County has Nebraska City as its seat and the County was created 1855. The County is located in southeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Otoe County Courthouse
1021 Central Ave.
P.O. Box 249
Nebraska City, NE 68410-0249
Phone: 402.873.9505
Otoe County Website

County Clerk has marriage, divorce and court records.
County Judge has probate records.
Register of Deeds has land records. [1]

Otoe 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 1855 1904 1855 1854 1855 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

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[4]

Census-designated places

History Timeline


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Otoe 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 4,211
1870 12,345 193.2%
1880 15,727 27.4%
1890 25,403 61.5%
1900 22,288 −12.3%
1910 19,323 −13.3%
1920 19,494 0.9%
1930 19,901 2.1%
1940 18,994 −4.6%
1950 17,056 −10.2%
1960 16,503 −3.2%
1970 15,576 −5.6%
1980 15,183 −2.5%
1990 14,252 −6.1%
2000 15,396 8.0%
2010 15,740 2.2%
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 Otoe 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. Online Land Records

For more information see Nebraska Land and Property

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Otoe 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

Lancaster CountyCass CountyGage CountyJohnson CountyNemaha CountyMills CountyFremont CountyAtchison CountyNE OTOE.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Early migration routes to and from Otoe 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 - Otoe - Probate records.

ARCHIVES RECORD – This document lists the official records of Otoe County from 1855-1994 which reside on 144 reels of microfilm. The records are arranged into the following subgroups: 1) County Treasurer, 1858-1967; 2) County Assessor, 1858-1895; 3) County Board of Commissioners (no records); 4) County Clerk, 1855-1994; 5) Register of Deeds, 1854-1891; 6) County Court, 1867-1904; 7) District Court, 1855-1955; 8) Superintendent of Schools, 1934; and 9) School District Records, 1872-1938.

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.


  • Morton-James Public Library
    923 First Corso
    Nebraska City, Ne 68410
    Phone: 402-873-5609
  • Syracuse Public Library
    480 5th Street
    Syracuse, NE 68446
    Phone: 402-269-2336
    Email: sueantes@yahoo.com
    Librarian: Susan Antes
  • Talmage Public Library
    405 Main St
    PO Box 7
    Talmage, NE 68448-0007
    Phone: 402-264-3875
    Fax: 402-264-3715
    e-mail: talmagepl@jagwireless.net
    Director: Carol Fisher




  • 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, "Otoe, Nebraska," in https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Otoe_County,_Nebraska_Genealogy" accessed 8/22/2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Otoe 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, "Otoe County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otoe_County,_Nebraska, accessed 28 January 2019.
  5. 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).
  6. 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).
  7. 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).