Ethnic Groups of Nebraska

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This entry was originally written by Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, FUGA, FASG and Dwight A. Radford for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
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the Nebraska Family History Research series.
History of Nebraska
Nebraska Vital Records
Census Records for Nebraska
Background Sources for Nebraska
Nebraska Maps
Nebraska Land Records
Nebraska Probate Records
Nebraska Court Records
Nebraska Tax Records
Nebraska Cemetery Records
Nebraska Church Records
Nebraska Military Records
Nebraska Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Nebraska Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Nebraska Naturalization
Ethnic Groups of Nebraska
Nebraska County Resources
Map of Nebraska

Native American

There are four tribes historically in Nebraska that have tribal offices today—Omaha, Santee Sioux, Ponca, and Winnebago. Each has its own reservation served through the State of Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, the state’s liaison between the tribal governments and state government. Other tribes on the border with other states are served from reservations and agencies elsewhere.

The U.S. Government generated many records on the Nebraska tribes, although only the four tribes with headquarters in Nebraska will be mentioned here. Agency records include censuses, school records, and enrollment records. Most of these records are at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and the NARA in Kansas City; however, a few are also at the NARA in Denver and in Fort Worth. The FHL has microfilm for many of them as well.

Some tribes, like the Santee Sioux, were relocated twice prior to being relocated in Nebraska, so their records cover agencies in several states. Outlined in the following chart are the Indian agency, years of the particular collection, the NARA location, and the existence of post-1885 censuses.

Tribe Agency Time Period DC/NARA Census
Omaha Upper Missouri Agency (1824–37) DC no
Omaha Council Bluffs Agency (1837–56) DC no
Omaha Omaha (Winnebago) Agency (1867–1946) DC/KC yes
Omaha Nebraska Agencies (1876–80) DC no
Ponca Upper Missouri Agency (1824–59) DC no
Ponca Paqwnee (Ponca) Agency (1871–1964) DC/FTW yes
Ponca Santee Sioux (Flandreau) (1892–1957) KC yes
Santee Sioux Saint Peters Agency (to 1870) DC no
Santee Sioux Santee Sioux Agency (1871–76) DC/KC yes
Santee Sioux Nebraska Agencies (1876–80) DC no
Santee Sioux Flandreau School (1873–1951) DC/KC yes
Santee Sioux Winnebago and Yankton (1867–1955) DC/KC yes
Winnebago Wind River Agency (1898–1955) DEN yes
Winnebago Prairie du Chien Agency (1824–42) DC no
Winnebago Turkey River Subagency (1842–46) DC no
Winnebago Winnebago Agency (1826–76) DC no
Winnebago Nebraska Agencies (1876–80) DC no
Winnebago Omaha (Winnebago) Agency (1861–1955) KC yes

Ethnic Groups

Czech bibliographical materials can be found in the archives at the Nebraska State Historical Society and in general stacks at Love Library on the University of Nebraska campus, which has a policy of not assisting in genealogical queries. These materials must be searched by the individual.

A special census of Germans from Russia living in Lincoln (1913–14) is available on microfilm at the Nebraska State Historical Society and the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. A transcription is also on the Internet at