Otoe County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Otoe County
Otoe County, Nebraska
Map of Nebraska highlighting Otoe County
Location in the state of Nebraska
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nebraska
Location of Nebraska in the U.S.
Founded November 23, 1854
County Seat Nebraska City
Address Otoe County Courthouse
1021 Central Ave.
P.O. Box 249
Nebraska City, NE 68410-0249
Phone: 402.873.9505

Otoe 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

Otoe County, Nebraska Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Otoe County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1904 1855 1904 1854 1855 1855

County Courthouse

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


Parent County

1854 Otoe County was created 23 November 1854 from Cass and Pierce(old) Counties. County seat: Nebraska City [2]


The county was formed in 1854 and named after the Otoe Indian tribe.[3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

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


Populated Places [4]

  • Burr
  • Douglas
  • Dunbar
  • Lorton
  • Nebraska City
  • Otoe
  • Palmyra
  • Syracuse
  • Talmage
  • Unadilla

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
NEGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Nebraska Cemeteries
Billion Graves
See Nebraska Cemeteries for more information.


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".
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 Otoe 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.



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



Early migration routes to and from Otoe 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


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.

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.

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


  • 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

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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Otoe County, Nebraska page 433, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otoe_County,_Nebraska accessed 09/29/2016
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Otoe County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otoe_County,_Nebraska, accessed 1 August 2016.
  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).