Buffalo County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Buffalo County
Buffalo County, Nebraska
Map Buffalo County Nebraska.png
|200px|Map of Nebraska highlighting Buffalo County ]]
Location in the state of Nebraska
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nebraska
Location of Nebraska in the U.S.
Founded March 14, 1855
County Seat Kearney
Address Buffalo County Courthouse
P.O. Box 520
1512 Central Ave.
Kearney, NE 68848
Phone: 308-236-1228
County Website

Buffalo County, Nebraska genealogy and family history research page. Guide to genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.


County Information

Buffalo County, Nebraska Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1870 1880 1870 1870

County Courthouse

County Clerk has marriage records from 1872. County Judge has probate and court records from 1872. Clerk District Court has divorce records. Register of Deeds has land records. [2]


Buffalo Bill Ranch, Buffalo County Nebraska.jpg

Parent County

1855 Buffalo County was created 14 March 1855 as an original county, and organized in 1870.
County seat: Kearney [3]


The county was created in 1855 and later organized in 1870. It was named after the then-prevalent buffalo herds. Buffalo County was named for American bison.[4]

Boundary Changes

The records are in the county record office.

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Populated Places [5]

  • Gibbon
  • Kearney
  • Ravenna
  • Amherst
  • Elm Creek
  • Miller
  • Pleasanton
  • Riverdale
  • Shelton
Census-designated places
  • Glenwood
  • Odessa
  • Poole
Unincorporated communities
  • Buda
  • Denman
  • Prairie Center
  • Saint Michael
  • Sartoria
  • Sweetwater
  • Armada
  • Beaver
  • Cedar
  • Center
  • Cherry Creek
  • Collins
  • Divide
  • Elm Creek
  • Gardner
  • Garfield
  • Gibbon
  • Grant
  • Harrison
  • Logan
  • Loup
  • Odessa
  • Platte
  • Riverdale
  • Rusco
  • Sartoria
  • Schneider
  • Scott
  • Sharon
  • Shelton

Neighboring Counties



Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
NEGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
Tombstone Project
Nebraska Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Nebraska Cemeteries for more information.
  • Buffalo County Cemeteries. Most of the county's cemeteries have been inventoried since around the year 2000 and posted on Rootsweb. There is an alphabetical list of burials, also a list by cemetery. Each Cemetery is listed by name, code, and township and range.
  • The cemetery for the Immanuel Lutheran Church is located about 3 miles Northwest of the town of Amherst. It's a small cemetery. Many of the headstones are for people of German descent.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 114
1870 193 69.3%
1880 7,531 3802.1%
1890 22,162 194.3%
1900 20,254 −8.6%
1910 21,907 8.2%
1920 23,787 8.6%
1930 24,338 2.3%
1940 23,655 −2.8%
1950 25,134 6.3%
1960 26,236 4.4%
1970 31,222 19.0%
1980 34,797 11.5%
1990 37,447 7.6%
2000 42,259 12.9%
2010 46,102 9.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".
State Census Records
Federal Census Records

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

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


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.


Buffalo County houses a District Court and a County Court. The District Court issues writs and orders, collects and disperses child support fees, keeps court records, and records court proceedings.The County Court handles probate, civil, criminal and traffic cases.

  • Buffalo County District Court
    P.O. Box 520
    Kearney, NE 68848
    Phone: 308-236-1246
  • County Court of Buffalo County
    1512 Central Ave,P.O. Box 520
    Kearney, NE 68848
    Telephone: 308-236-1228


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.

  • Buffalo County Register of Deeds
    P.O. Box 1270
    Kearney, NE 68848
    In Nebraska counties with more than 20,000 inhabitants, there is a separate office for the Register of Deeds. The Register of Deeds website has an alphabetical index to Buffalo County Land Patents compiled by the agency.

For more information see Nebraska Land and Property

Local Histories

Local histories are available for Buffalo 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



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


Revolutionary War
Civil War


For information on Nebraska newspapers, see Nebraska Newspapers.

Nebraska Newspapers Online

Nebraska Newspaper Catalogs


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 - Buffalo - Probate records.

Probate records are held and created by the Buffalo County Court listed in the County section on this page.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of Buffalo County probate records 1906-1956 housed by the North Platte Genealogical Society in North Platte, Nebraska. As of April 2010 the society has an internet address but no web content.

Online Probate Records

Points of Interest


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.

The Family History Library has microfilm copies of Buffalo County marriage records 1896-1993 housed in the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Buffalo County Courthouse.

Marriage Records

Online Marriage Records Indexes and Images

Societies and Libraries

County, Township and City Societies

  • Buffalo County Historical Society Trails and Rails Museum
    P.O. Box 523
    710 West 11th St
    Kearney, NE 68848-0523
    Phone: 308-234-3041
    Email: bchs.us@hotmail.com
    The Trails and Rails Museum at 710 West 11th St. in Kearney houses their collection. The Society's archives have county atlases for various years, family papers from a few families, family histories, marriage records beginning 1872, probate records from 1872, newspapers published in Kearney and Shelton, naturalization records, school census records, Kearney water company records from 1887-1893, and more.
  • Fort Kearney Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 22
    Kearney, NE 68847
    Phone: 308-234-6708
    The Fort Kearney Genealogical Society was organized in 1978. It has in its own collection, or has access to early school records, cemetery inventories, census and Soundex records, microfilms of the Kearney HUB and other county newspapers, land patents, marriages, delayed birth records, naturalizations, early probates, etc. It publishes a quarterly journal titled Buffalo Chips. They are happy to do look-ups in their own archives and libraries and at the courthouse.
  • Flatwater Genealogical Society
    P.O. Box 373
    Gibbon, NE 68840
    Phone: 308-468-5656; 308-468-6142


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. See Family History Center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.



  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 452-465. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Buffalo County, Nebraska page 428, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_County,_Nebraska accessed 10/26/2016
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Buffalo County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_County,_Nebraska, accessed 29 July 2016.
  6. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map II" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at http://www.oregonpioneers.com/OTMap2.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. "Oregon California Trails Association" at http://octatrails.micromaps.com/ (accessed 18 July 2011).
  8. "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at http://lds.org/gospellibrary/pioneer/pioneerstory.htm (accessed 18 July 2011).