Wayne County, Nebraska Genealogy

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United States
Wayne County
Wayne County, Nebraska
Map of Nebraska highlighting Wayne County
Location in the state of Nebraska
Map of the U.S. highlighting Nebraska
Location of Nebraska in the U.S.
Founded March 4, 1871
County Seat Wayne
Address Wayne County Courthouse
510 N. Pearl Street
P.O. Box 248
Wayne, NE 68787-1939
Phone: 402.375.2288

Wayne 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

Wayne County, Nebraska Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1871 1870 1871 1871

County Courthouse

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


Anthony Wayne
Wayne County was organized by a proclamation of Governor David Butler in the fall of 1870.[2] Wayne County, like the City of Wayne, was named for the Revolutionary War hero General "Mad" Anthony Wayne (1745-1796).[3]

Parent County

1871 Wayne County was created 4 March 1871 from unorganized territory. County seat: Wayne [4]


Boundary Changes

Record Loss

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


Populated Places [5]

  • 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.

Neighboring Counties



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


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".
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 Wayne 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 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



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 - Wayne - 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

  • Wayne County Genealogical Society
    c/o Nancy Sutton
    220 Sherman
    Blair, Wayne, NE 68787


  • 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

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), Wayne County, Nebraska page 435, At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Nebraska accessed 09/29/2016
  3. "Anthony Wayne," Wikipedia.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Wayne County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_County,_Nebraska, accessed 2 August 2016.