KEARNEY, NE — As Buffalo County nears its 150th birthday, locals are getting the chance to record their family’s role in its history.

The Buffalo County Historical Society is working on a book to celebrate the county’s sesquicentennial next year and is including a section on family histories. Community Engagement Director Broc Anderson says it’s important to record family backgrounds so stories don’t get lost.

“With writing it down and being published somewhere where it can be recorded and appreciated for the next 150 years, it allows people in the future to understand where we’re coming from and where we are today,” Anderson said.

On Tuesday, Anderson hosted an informational session teaching people how to research their family history. He recommends using the Kearney Public Library, Trails and Rails Museum and free online resources to get started.

“We want to engage the larger Buffalo County community in trying to get people excited about remembering their roots, remembering how we became founded as a community, but also where they’re coming from as individuals,” Anderson said.

He says you don’t need generations of local ancestors to participate. All family history submissions are welcome as long as there’s a Buffalo County connection. He moved to Kearney a few years ago and is making his submission about why his family chose to come to Buffalo County.

“People about 50 to 60 years from now are going to want to know what made Kearney such an awesome place to live,"  Anderson said. "Why was this the place to be?”

The historical society has already received about 100 submissions. All family histories must be sent in by the end of the year.