Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as a person’s birth date and place; names of family members, including maiden names; education; occupation; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research about early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.
The Nebraska State Historical Society has the best collection of published biographies. There is no statewide biographical index or major manuscript collection. State, regional, and county histories often have biographical sections.
Some representative biographical encyclopedias for Nebraska are:
- Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska. Chicago, Illinois: Alden Publishing Company, 1912. FHL film 1000179; similar volumes are on FHL film 1000180.
- Baldwin, Sara Mullin and Robert Morton Mullin. Nebraskana: Biographical Sketches of Nebraska Men and Women of Achievement. Hebron, Nebraska: Baldwin Company, 1932. FHL film 1036245 item 4.
- Sheldon, Addison Erwin. Nebraska: The Land and the People. Three Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company, 1931. FHL book 978.2 H2s; FHL film 1000180. Volumes 2 and 3 are biographical.
- Morton, Julius Sterling et al. Illustrated History of Nebraska. Three Volumes. Lincoln, Nebraska: Jacob North and Co., 1905-13. FHL film 1036256. The Nebraska Historical Society has an every-name card index to these volumes on microfilm.
The Nebraska GenWeb has a large online collection of books available for viewing, which include biographies, state, county and town histories. Browse the titles by subject or location at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/resources/OLLibrary/
See the United States Biographies page for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also the Nebraska "History" and "Genealogy" sections for additional sources. You may wish to explore biography, history and genealogy sections in the wiki at county levels also.
Biographies can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local or county histories with biographical sketches on residents. Additional resources for Nebraska biographies may be found in the Nebraska-Biography topic page of the Family History Library catalog (FHLC).