Harlan County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Harlan County
Harlan County, Nebraska
Map of Nebraska highlighting Harlan County
Location in the state of Nebraska
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nebraska
Location of Nebraska in the U.S.
Founded June 3, 1871
County Seat Alma
Address Harlan County Courthouse
706 W. 2nd Street
Alma, NE 68920
Phone: 308.928.2173
County Website

Harlan 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

Harlan County, Nebraska Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1871 1871 1871 1871

County Courthouse

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


Parent County

1871 Harlan County was created 3 June 1871 from Kearney County. County seat: Alma [3]


Harlan County is located in the great Republican valley. [4] Founded 1871 accounts differ as to the county's namesake: either Thomas Harlan, or James Harlan, who was U.S. Secretary of the Interior between 1865 and 1866. [5]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

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


Populated Places [6]

  • Alma
  • Villages[edit]
  • Huntley
  • Orleans
  • Oxford (partial)
  • Ragan
  • Republican City
  • Stamford
Unincorporated communities
  • Mascot
  • Oxford Junction
  • Albany
  • Alma
  • Antelope
  • Eldorado
  • Emerson
  • Fairfield
  • Mullally
  • Orleans
  • Prairie Dog
  • Republican City
  • Reuben
  • Sappa
  • Scandinavia
  • Spring Grove
  • Turkey Creek
  • Washington

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 Cemeteries
Billion Graves
See Nebraska Cemeteries for more information.

St Paul's Lutheran Cemetery: Located 3 miles north of Republican City


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 6,086
1890 8,158 34.0%
1900 9,370 14.9%
1910 9,578 2.2%
1920 9,220 −3.7%
1930 8,951 −2.9%
1940 7,130 −20.3%
1950 7,189 0.8%
1960 5,081 −29.3%
1970 4,357 −14.2%
1980 4,292 −1.5%
1990 3,810 −11.2%
2000 3,786 −0.6%
2010 3,423 −9.6%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

State Census Records
Federal Census Records

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



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 Harlan 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



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 - Harlan - Probate records.

Online Probate 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.

Marriage Records

Online Marriage Records Indexes and Images

Societies and Libraries

County, Township and City Societies

  • Harlan County Historical Society
    General Delivery
    Orleans, NE 68966


  • Alma Public Library
    1114 2nd St
    Alma, NE 68920
    Phone: 308-928-2600

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), Harlan County, Nebraska page 431, 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. http://genealogytrails.com/neb/harlan/ accessed 09/29/2016
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_County,_Nebraska accessed 09/29/2016
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "Harlan County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_County,_Nebraska, accessed 1 August 2016.