Phelps County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Phelps County
Phelps County, Nebraska
Map of Nebraska highlighting Phelps County
Location in the state of Nebraska
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nebraska
Location of Nebraska in the U.S.
Founded February 11, 1873
County Seat Holdrege
Phelps County Nebraska Courthouse.jpg
Address Phelps County Courthouse
715 5th Ave
P.O. Box 404
Holdrege, NE 68949
Phone: 308.995.4469

Phelps 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

Phelps County, Nebraska Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1877 1880 1873 1886

County Courthouse

County Clerk has marriage and land records. County Judge has probate records. Clerk District Court has divorce records. [1]


Parent County

1873 Phelps County was created 11 February 1873 from Kearney County. County seat: Holdrege [2]


Phelps County is located on the high table-lands, or upland prairies, on the divide between the Platte and the Republic Rivers. It is bounded on the north by Dawson and Buffalo, on the east by Kearney, on the south by Harlan and on the west by Gosper. [3] The county was formed in 1873 and named after William Phelps, an early settler in the area.[4]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

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


Populated Places [5]

  • Holdrege
  • Atlanta
  • Bertrand
  • Funk
  • Loomis
Unincorporated communities
  • Clyde
  • Sacramento
  • Westmark
  • Anderson
  • Center
  • Cottonwood
  • Divide
  • Garfield
  • Industry-Rock Falls
  • Laird
  • Lake
  • Prairie
  • Sheridan
  • Union
  • Westmark
  • Westside
  • Williamsburg

Neighboring Counties



Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
NEGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
NEGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Nebraska Cemeteries
Billion Graves
See Nebraska Cemeteries for more information.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 2,447
1890 9,869 303.3%
1900 10,772 9.1%
1910 10,451 −3.0%
1920 9,900 −5.3%
1930 9,261 −6.5%
1940 8,452 −8.7%
1950 9,048 7.1%
1960 9,800 8.3%
1970 9,553 −2.5%
1980 9,769 2.3%
1990 9,715 −0.6%
2000 9,747 0.3%
2010 9,188 −5.7%
Source: "".
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 Phelps 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 Phelps 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 Phelps 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 - Phelps - 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


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), Phelps 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).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Phelps County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Nebraska, accessed 1 August 2016.
  6. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map II" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. "Oregon California Trails Association" at (accessed 18 July 2011).
  8. "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at (accessed 18 July 2011).