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Polk County, Nebraska Genealogy

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Guide to Polk County, Nebraska ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

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County Facts
County seat: Osceola
Organized: January 26, 1856
Parent County(s): York and unorganized territory[1]
Neighboring Counties
Butler  • Hamilton  • Merrick  • Platte  • Seward  • York
See County Maps
Courthouse
NebraskaPolkCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
200px-Map of Nebraska highlighting Polk County svg.bmp
Adoption


County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County was named for James K. Polk. The County is located in east central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Polk County Courthouse
400 Hawkeye Street
P.O. Box 276
Osceola, NE 68651
Phone: 402.747.5431
Polk County Website

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

Polk County, Nebraska Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1904 1871 1904 1870 1870 1870 1854
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in late 1904. General compliance by 1920.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[4]

Cities
Villages
Unincorporated communities
Townships
  • Canada
  • Creek
  • Hackberry
  • Island
  • Osceola
  • Plate
  • Pleasant Home
  • Stromsburg
  • Valley


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Polk County, Nebraska online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Nebraska Cemeteries for more information

 

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 19
1870 136 615.8%
1880 6,846 4933.8%
1890 10,817 58.0%
1900 10,542 −2.5%
1910 10,521 −0.2%
1920 10,714 1.8%
1930 10,092 −5.8%
1940 8,748 −13.3%
1950 8,044 −8.0%
1960 7,210 −10.4%
1970 6,468 −10.3%
1980 6,320 −2.3%
1990 5,668 −10.3%
2000 5,639 −0.5%
2010 5,406 −4.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

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

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

State Census Records

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Polk 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[edit | edit source]

Nance CountyPlatte CountyColfax CountyButler CountySeward CountyMerrick CountyHamilton CountyYork CountyNE POLK.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Migration[edit | edit source]

Early migration routes to and from Polk County for European and African American settlers included:

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.


Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

World War I[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For information on Nebraska newspapers, see Nebraska Newspapers.

Nebraska Newspapers Online

Nebraska Newspaper Catalogs

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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 - Polk - Probate records.

Online Probate Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Rootsweb
  • USGenWeb
  • FamilySearch Catalog - The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Nebraska.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Polk, Nebraska," in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polk_County,_Nebraska accessed 8/22/2018
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Polk County, Nebraska. Page 428-435 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 417-420.
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Polk County, Nebraska," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polk_County,_Nebraska, accessed 2 February 2019.
  5. Jim Tompkins, "The Oregon Trail 1841-1848 Map I" in Oregon Trail Landmarks at OTMap1.jpg (accessed 18 July 2011).
  6. "Oregon California Trails Association" at http://octatrails.micromaps.com/ (accessed 18 July 2011).
  7. "The Pioneer Story: The Mormon Pioneer Trail" in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/pioneer-trek (accessed 18 July 2011).

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