Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Homecoming: The Impact on Nebraska Veterans

What is the impact of a homecoming on a soldier?  It can produce lasting effects.  NET 1 in Nebraska will be presenting Homecoming: The Impact on Nebraska Veterans on November 10th, 14th and 17th.  It will air at 9 pm CT on the 10th and 14th and at 11 p.m. CT on the 17th.

NET News talks with veterans from different wars, military experts and a psychologist to examine the issue.  They also look at a second homecoming some sixty years in the making for Nebraska Korean War veterans.  The Heartland Honor Flight project gives those veterans an opportunity to visit the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.

Did you know that those "honor flights" were conceived by Nebraskans?  Bill and Evonne Williams worked on the idea around their kitchen table and over the past seven years, a series of trips has made veterans' dreams come true.

More information can be found at the NET web site.  Mark your calendars because you will not want to miss this presentation.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


This will be a real treat for the eyes! NEBRASKA Land & Sky is a 60 minute program that will air on Monday, August 11, 2014 at 7 pm on NET 1.  Living in this state for many years, I can't wait to see the sweeping views that the program promises to bring to the viewers. 

From high above the land and down on-the-ground, the documentary traces Nebraska’s history and legacy. Featured stops include Willa Cather’s childhood home in Red Cloud, Nebraska’s majestic and rugged landscapes around Wildcat Hills in the Panhandle and the vibrant cityscapes of eastern Nebraska.  Homage is given to Nebraska’s ranchers and farmers, the state’s culture, recreation and exciting moments in Nebraska sports history. A British aerial photographic team, Skyworks, joined the NET crew on their statewide journey to film and archive Nebraska’s vast landscapes and hidden places from above. Skyworks specializes in top-end aerial filming, creating footage and shows for broadcasters all over the world, including National Geographic, PBS and the BBC. “NEBRASKA Land & Sky,” funded in part by the Nebraska Tourism Commission and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, is a production of NET Television. 

Watch the Preview Link.   Then mark your calendar for the viewing times on NET 1.  They are 

Monday, August 11th at 7 pm CDT on NET 1
Monday, August 11th at 10 pm CDT on NET 1
Wednesday, August 13th at 9 pm CDT on NET 1


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Researching in Nebraska

As vehicles whiz through Nebraska, passengers proclaiming there is nothing to see, the trail travelers had all the time in the world to view their surroundings.  Some left diaries or journals and the accounts differed, probably according to the weather or the personality of the writer.  Eventually people began staying in Nebraska, paving the way for the great state it is today.

From one end of the state to the other, and north and south, there are great repositories of records.  Nebraska became a state in 1867 and while not like the early 1600s records of New England, records of the 1860s do exist.

The Homestead Act brought a huge influx of people to the state, particularly after the Civil War.  Records and complete files of land secured by this act can now be found online at Fold3.

For more than a glimpse of how to do research in Nebraska, I have written the book Genealogical Research in Nebraska, revised edition.  It contains 537 pages, thousands of URLs and genealogical plus historical information.  The chapters are ...

Nebraska Settlement and Statehood
Trails, Roads and Forts
Ethnic Groups and Settlements
Native Americans
Courts and Records
Land Laws and Records
Nebraska's Large Repositories
Census Records
Religious Records
Steamboats and Railroads
Orphan Trains
Wars and Military Records
Farming, Ranching and Records
Federal Records of Nebraska
Nebraska Counties
Nebraska Publications and Histories
Family History Centers
Maps, Atlases, Directories and Gazetteers

The book sells for $32.95 plus $5.00 postage and handling.   It is spiral bound and the most up to date compilation about doing research in Nebraska.  It can be ordered online at Genealogy Works.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Nebraska Stories on NET 1

Living in Nebraska, I have developed an appreciation for the landscape, the geography, the history and the people who have devoted their energy and lives to make this a great state.

The Nebraska Stories February episode will be one Nebraskans should watch.  It airs on Sunday, February 9th at 9 pm (central time) on NET 1.  It will be repeated on Friday, February 14th at 7 pm (central time); Saturday, February 15th at 9:30 pm (central time); Friday, February 21st at 7:30 pm (central time) and Sunday, February 23rd at 6 pm and 10:30 pm (central time).

This will be a very interesting episode that you won't want to miss.  Two of the featured stories are the Wildcat Hills and The Forgotten War.

The Wildcat Hills are an interesting formation eight miles south of Gering in the Nebraska Panhandle.  A rangeland ecologist will take us on a walk through the hills which loom up from prairie land to form crags and rocks along with trees and other plants.

The Forgotten War will be interesting to anyone whose relatives served in the Korean War.  This episode follows a group of Nebraska Korean War veterans on their visit to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC.  This is a great opportunity to experience the war through the eyes and words of those who saw action there.

There are other segments within the episode also including a talk with young Jack Hoffman who made the famous Husker touchdown run in 2013.  There is also a segment of a piano "experiment" conducted in Omaha.

You can watch a preview of the episode on the Nebraska Stories web site for NET.  Make this a night of learning and enjoyment with NET 1.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Nebraska ... get ready for the Family History Expo

The Midwest Family History Expo will be held September 6th and 7th at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney, Nebraska.  This is the second year the Expo has been at this location.  Nebraska genealogists will find it a rewarding experience.

The Holiday Inn Convention Center is located at 110 South Second Avenue in Kearney.  Check out the web site for how to contact the hotel for room reservations.  You can register online for the Expo and save money.  The full registration is $69 ... a real bargain considering that gets you in for two days of lectures by top-notch genealogists and presenters.  If you pay at the door, it is $99.

James L. Tanner is the keynote speaker.  He will be presenting an entertaining message, Top 10 Techniques:  Fishing for Ancestors & Other Persons of Interest.  During the two days, you can attend classes ranging from how to use the flip-pal, using the FamilySearch catalog, finding German ancestors,  researching Swedish ancestors, the state and territorial census, land records to military records.

There will be vendors and door prizes.  Plan on meeting old friends and making new genealogy friends.     This is a great event to get you jump-started with your research.  This is definitely the place for genealogists!!

See you in Kearney ... yes, I am one of the presenters.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Capitol Masterpiece Documentary

The Nebraska State Capitol Building towers over the city of Lincoln and projects an image of the spirit of the pioneers who traversed the plains and the people who have built this great state.  Towering 363 feet above the three story base, The Sower rises above a gold-tiled dome.  Over all the building measures 400 feet, making it the second tallest United States statehouse in the nation.  The Nebraska capitol design is unique in that it is not like the traditional federal dome found in other statehouses.
Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln, Nebraska

Inside there are stunning sculptures, mosaic, carvings and artwork.  These all pay homage to the natural and human history of the state.  The design of the capitol was selected in a 1920 nationwide competition and completed in 1932.  From the outside of the building throughout the inside, a story is told.

NET (Nebraska's PBS station) will be telling that story as Nebraska's Capitol Masterpiece on August 5th at 7 p.m. (on NET1 and NETHD) and on August 8th at 7 p.m. (on NET1 and NETHD).  Viewers will watch the state capitol building take shape from creation to completion.  Be sure you take time to watch the trailer for Capitol Masterpiece, then set your TV to watch the program in its entirety.

People in Nebraska are proud of their state capitol building, so it great to show it off in this documentary.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nebraska - The History Harvest

The History Harvest is a new learning initiative in the Department of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  It is a student-centered, team-oriented collaboration of community-based projects.  They are using digital technologies to share the artifacts as well as their experiences of the past,  ordinary life.  Community members are invited to bring and share their treasures, such as photographs, letter, objects, stories, etc.  Their goal is to provide a new foundation of publicly available material for historical study.

There are three communities available for browsing on their web page.  They are North Omaha, Nebraska City and Lincoln Refugee Communities.  In each of these communities there are collections that can be browsed and enjoyed.

Many people probably do not realize that Ralph Orduna who was born in Omaha enlisted in the US Army Air Corp during World War II and became a fighter pilot as one of the Tuskeegee Airmen.  He flew multiple recon and bomber escort missions.  The collection from this outstanding Nebraskan was brought to History Harvest by Philip Orduna Reis.  You can learn more about Orduna by going to the History Harvest web page, but also watching a You Tube video.

Who wouldn't love to locate an everyday farming records notebook for an ancestor?   Betty Stukenholtz shared this item and more for the Nebraska City Community of History Harvest.  The three pages from the notebook, dated about 1890,  represent everyday records that a farmer kept, revealing his interactions with workers and neighbors.  It belonged to Betty's great grandfather who emigrated from Germany and farmed in Richardson County, Nebraska.

There are family history interviews, such as that of Betty Wilberger who shared papers and stories about her family from Axtell, Nebraska.   One of the rare documents of the turn of the 20th century railroad was the drover's ticket.  You can view one in Wilberger's collection.  A drover was a person overseeing the transportation of cattle.

Become a part of the past by browsing these excellent collections, brought to you through the efforts of the UNL Department of History.  It is worth your time to see what is available and also determine if you are digitally preserving your artifacts.