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Thurston County, Nebraska

Thurston County

Thurston County was founded on March 28, 1889 from Blackbird County and Omaha Reservation. You see, the county was named in honor of John Mellen Thurston, a U. S. senator from Nebraska.

Currently the Thurston County Seat is located in Pender and also the county government website is

Places adjoining Thurston County are Dakota County  (north), Woodbury County, Iowa  (northeast), Monona County, Iowa  (east), Burt County  (southeast), Cuming County  (southwest), Wayne County  (west), Dixon County  (northwest).

Cities and towns situated in Thurston County consists of Emerson, Macy, Pender, Rosalie, Thurston, Walthill, Winnebago.

Townships located in the county include Anderson, Blackbird, Bryan, Dawes, Flournoy, Merry, Omaha, Pender, Perry, Thayer, Winnebago.

Thurston County has Federal Census Schedules to assist in researching your family tree. Federal Population Schedules exist for 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940. Mortality Schedules are available for 1860, 1870 and 1880 . Industry and Agriculture Schedules exist for 1860, 1870 and 1880 . The Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. There are free downloadable and printable census forms to help with your research.

Thurston County Society and Family History Resources

A list of Thurston County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Thurston County Courthouse and Government Records

Researchers often fail to notice the great importance of Thurston County court, probate, and land records as a resource of family history and genealogy information. Buried away in Nebraska courthouses and archives just about everywhere could be the aspirations and frustrations of the many Nebraska citizens. The chances are excellent that your particular ancestors have left a in-depth record of at least quite a few facets of their lives in the Thurston County court records. Even if your forefathers is not referred to in a Court case, give some thought to all of the other procedures which could have lead to him or her appearing in court records.

Make sure you speak to the clerk's dept to determine hours, mailing address, fees and other specifics just before visiting or asking for information because of many times changing contact info. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The data files are readily available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. Many workers will help people in obtaining the materials, but it is up to the individual to complete the research.

The following details denotes exactly what marriage, birth, death, land, probate, and court records are typically in Thurston County. The dates suggested below tend to be the first noted records data in this county.

From 1857—89, Thurston was part of the Omaha Reservation.
  • Thurston County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 106 5th St, Pender, NE 68047
    • Phone: (402) 385-2152
  • Thurston County Clerk is responsible for Marriage Licenses and can also be expected to hold delayed birth registrations. Other records of interest to the researcher include military discharges, voter registrations, estray notices, marks and brands, physician’s registers, farm and ranch names, and school registers.
    • Marriage Records: 1855
  • Thurston County Register of Deeds is responsible for maintaining and securing the land records of the county. The duties include preserving of old land records and maintaining records that have been recorded which include, warranty deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, plats and any other documents that affect a specific piece of land in the county.
    • Land Records: 1882
  • Thurston Clerk of Courts is duties include misdemeanor cases, including traffic, preliminary hearing in felony cases, civil cases involving less than $45,000, small claims involving less than $2,400, probate, guardianship, conservatorship, adoption, and eminent domain and function as juvenile courts.
    • Probate Records: 1895
    • Court Records: 1886 
  • Nebraska Office of Vital Records has copies of birth, marriage, divorce and death records. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Nebraska for current fees and application process. Birth, marriage, and death records are connected with central life events.

Thurston County Links

The following are web links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relating to Thurston County. A majority of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Professional Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a fee. This is merely a list that has been gathered or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site over another. Feel free to submit your own preferred Thurston County genealogy or family history related sites.

Thurston Co. NE Books, Newspapers & Publications

Thurston Co. NE Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Thurston Co. NE Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Thurston Co. NE Census Records

Thurston Co. NE Cemeteries & Church Records

Thurston Co. NE Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Thurston Co. NE General and History Websites

Thurston Co. NE Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Thurston Co. NE Military Records

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