Wayne County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Wayne County

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

County Facts
County seat: Wayne
Organized: March 4, 1871
Parent County(s): unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Cedar  • Cuming  • Dixon  • Madison  • Pierce  • Stanton  • Thurston
See County Maps
Location Map
200px-Map of Nebraska highlighting Wayne County svg.bmp

County Information


The County was named for Anthony Wayne. The County has Wayne as its seat and the County was created 1870. The County is located in northeast area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse

Wayne County Courthouse
510 N. Pearl Street
P.O. Box 248
Wayne, NE 68787-1939
Phone: 402.375.2288
Wayne County Website

County Judge has marriage, probate and court records from 1871.
Clerk District Court has divorce records.
County Clerk has land records from 1870.[1]

Wayne 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 1871 1904 1871 1870 1871 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 Wayne County, Nebraska:[4]

  • Altona
  • Carroll
  • Hoskins
  • Sholes
  • Wakefield
  • Wayne
  • Winside

Several towns in Wayne County's early history no longer exist. LaPorte had nearly 300 citizens at one time and was home to a temporary courthouse until the railroad chose a different route. Towns such as Taffe, Logan City, Apex, Melvin, Weber and Spring Branch no longer exist.

History Timeline

Additional Information

Anthony Wayne
Wayne County was organized by a proclamation of Governor David Butler in the fall of 1870.[5] Wayne County, like the City of Wayne, was named for the Revolutionary War hero General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745-1796).[6]


Bible Records


Business, Commerce, and Occupations


Cemeteries of Wayne 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.  %±
1870 182
1880 813 346.7%
1890 6,189 661.3%
1900 9,862 59.3%
1910 10,397 5.4%
1920 9,725 −6.5%
1930 10,566 8.6%
1940 9,880 −6.5%
1950 10,129 2.5%
1960 9,959 −1.7%
1970 10,400 4.4%
1980 9,858 −5.2%
1990 9,364 −5.0%
2000 9,851 5.2%
2010 9,595 −2.6%
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 Wayne 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 Wayne 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

Knox CountyCedar CountyDixon CountyDakota CountyPierce CountyThurston CountyMadison CountyStanton CountyCuming CountyNE WAYNE.PNG
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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 - Wayne - 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.


  • Wayne Public Library
    410 N Pearl St # A
    Wayne, NE 68787
    Phone: 402-375-3135
    Fax: 402-375-5772
    Email: llofgren@cityofwayne.org
    Director: Lauran Lofgren



  • Wayne County Genealogical Society
    c/o Nancy Sutton
    220 Sherman
    Blair, Wayne, NE 68787
  • Wayne County Historical Society
    7th & Lincoln Streets
    PO Box 408
    Wayne, NE 68787
    Phone: 402-375-3885
    Email:director@wchamuseum.com; curator@wchamuseum.com


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, "Wayne, Nebraska," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Nebraska accessed 8/27/2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wayne 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, "Wayne County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Nebraska, accessed 2 August 2016.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Nebraska accessed 09/29/2016
  6. "Anthony Wayne," Wikipedia.