NEGenWeb Project - County Unknown
Statewide feature search for NE
The following is a BEGINNING of a list that we will continue to expand over time.
It includes most of the features (populated places, streams, rivers, lakes, churches, cemeteries, etc.) that are named on GNIS. Ranch names have been taken from that source & indexed by the surname (without the initial for the given name). We added places named in the 1915 "Past & Present of Platte County", some township names from census extracts & other locations we have sought for our own genealogy. It includes the "post office file" (see below).
We eliminated numbered schools and a few other things, so see the bottom of this page for the GNIS link if you are looking for more information.
We hope to eventually have all the township names for every county, both historical and current. So far, that part of the list is NOT complete.
The historical listings (places no longer in
existence) are not complete. Do not take dates given for
historical locations as absolute. Another source for place
names is the 1895
Atlas by Pam Rietsch. It includes locations that
have since become obsolete.
Include: feature name, feature type, county, & dates of existence, if known.
Other notes -
Many early "post offices" were located at a stage stop or a farmhouse. The post office "name" might continue long after the post office moved - sometimes across a county line. The same "name" could be given to an entirely different place after a post office was discontinued.
When the railroads were built, the companies established "sidings", usually at regular intervals along the tracks. The names given to those sidings did not always agree with local usage and in some cases there were disputes about the proper postal address.
When "rural free delivery" was established about 1905, a number of rural post offices were discontinued.
Some Nebraska locations are "communities" - there never was a post office. These were often identified by the name of a church, a creek, etc. Some of those place names still appear in local newspapers.
People might identify themselves by land location or by post office. If the latter - the post office might be a town located across the county line, the closest point of trade to their farm location.
The "post office file" was found by Mr. Bill Wever while researching at NSHS, Lincoln. There are indications that the author of that file is not known (handwritten notes in margins "who did this?"). One page says "includes list from postal guides & Searcy". There is a copy of a newspaper article about Prof. Don Searcy of Kearney, who "collects" abandoned towns of NE (It was written by Dean Terrill of Southeast Nebraska Bureau. This newspaper clip does not include the name or date of publication.) The file also includes copies of file cards. We would like to credit someone for their work, so if you have any clues about who assembled the "post office file" and left it at NSHS, please let us know!
15 Jul 1998 note from Steve Leypoldt - " That publication would be the Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper. Dean wrote for them for years. ... He only retired a few years ago."
A terrific aid for Nebraska genealogists & historians is "Perkey's Nebraska Place Names" by Elton A. Perkey. Order a copy from NSHS, and keep it with your research materials.
You must wonder what GNIS is - so take a look and play a while. Use the following website to search for locations and while there, try your surname as well. You might get a surprise! GNIS is not limited to Nebraska, so dig out those other place names & experiment. (We have been informed that there is a schedule for future additions to the GNIS listings, and it includes townships for all the NE counties over the next 3 years. A few townships are already identified.)
© 1998-2007 for NEGenWeb Project by Ted & Carole Miller