Begin your genealogical research at the Gage County Museum. The Gage County Historical Society has a willing staff available to guide people in finding Gage County relatives.

The people of Gage County were and are today an important part of the growth and prosperity of the county. Early settlers and later homesteaders made Gage County home, planting hardwood trees, orchards and building substantial homes. Gage County, Nebraska was listed as a destination point at Ellis Island. Several different ethnic groups made Gage County home — just a few of these groups included German, Danish, Russian and Welsh. (See Great Plains Welsh Heritage Project based in Wymore, Nebraska.)

Gage County came alive when the Burlington Missouri railroad built a line from Lincoln to Beatrice in 1871. The Union Pacific arrived in 1879 and the Rock Island in the 1880's. With the expansion of the railroads came immigrants looking to start a new life on the fertile farmland in Nebraska.

Early Gage County homesteaders were the Kilpatrick brothers who contributed in a big way to railroad building and Western expansion. Working as railroad contractors, the brothers built over 3,339 miles of rail line west of the Mississippi River, plus 34 miles of water pipe line, two reservoirs for a privately owned company, and a tunnel and reservoir for the United States Government.

Gage County Historical Society Research and Use Policy.

For more information, call 402-228-1679 or email

 Oliver Joy family

Research Collections

The Gage County Historical Society's research collections offer a whole host of other possible options to guide researchers in their quest. Some of the resources include:

Historical books for staff to research:

  • History of Nebraska by A.T. Andreas. 1882.
  • Portrait and Biographical Album of Gage County by Chapman Bros. 1888.
  • History of Gage County by Hugh Dobbs. 1918.
  • Gage County History by Gage County Historical Society. 1983
  • Beatrice City and Farmers Directories: 1886, 1888 (no Farmers directory), 1890, 1892 (incomplete), 1896, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1909, 1911, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1941, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1954 on

Other resources:

  • Cemetery records throughout entire county
  • Marriage records 1907 and earlier
  • Extensive photographic collection including people, houses, buildings, businesses, street scenes, etc.
  • Obituaries filed according to name
  • Other newspaper clippings filled according to event, business, industry, etc.

Gage County Historical Society Research and Use Policy.

For more information, call 402-228-1679 or email