Monday, September 21, 2009

The Nebraska Migrations Project

The Nebraska Migrations Project is not a new project, but it is worth checking out. Migrations is actually a stand alone project designed to further migration research and also develop a comprehensive database.

There are two parts to Migrations. The first is the Migrations Database. You can search this by name or place. The second part is a National Migration Links page with a table of state links. There are also some migration links to countries, such as England, Ireland and Germany. Because of the scope of the project, there are search engines for searching locations as well as surnames.

Information submitted to Migrations comes from genealogical researchers who are hoping to make connections with others researching the same family. Obviously the web site will not continue to grow unless people submit their migration information. If you desire to submit information, be sure to read the instructions thoroughly. You will still own the data submitted and it can be removed at your request.

There are 720 entries on the Nebraska Migrations Project. It was started in February of 2000. The database format is name, lifespan, such as 1861-1932 and origin. Once you click on a name of interest, there is more information, such as where born, additional notes along with migration steps and time frame that took them to Nebraska. There is also a clickable link to contact the researcher/submitter.

This is a project worth checking. Spend some time there and see what it is all about, then consider submitting your own data.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Genealogy Lock In

A Genealogy Lock In will be held on Friday, October 2nd at the Omaha Public Library, 215 S. 15th Street in Omaha, Nebraska. It is sponsored by the library and the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society (GOGS). On that evening after the library is locked, genealogists will be doing serious research. The doors to enter will be locked before 6:30 p.m. on October 2nd, so genealogists need to arrive before then. They can leave at any time, even though the Lock In ends at 9:30 p.m. In order to remain in the library after the doors are locked, genealogists need to have a name tag which they can secure by e-mailing,

There will be coffee and cookies to keep genealogists going for three hours of intense research. There will also be a donation jar to help pay the guard's salary. If you don't live in the Omaha Public Library's area (have a patron card), you and get a one-day guest card for $2. Cards from Council Bluffs or Lincoln libraries will be accepted. The card allows you to use the computers and receive five free copies.

Ahead of time it would be a good idea to check out the card catalog and have a research plan. Here are some good reasons why you should attend the Lock-In:
1. two librarians on duty to help genealogists
2. fourteen computers with and other genealogy web sites
3. over 8,000 genealogy books in the book room
4. marriage microfilm from about 20 Nebraska counties; mostly about 1900, but much later for Douglas and Sarpy counties
5. historical Omaha newspapers on microfilm
6. genealogy newsletters from over 125 genealogy societies around the country
7. complete set of Germans to America and other ethnic immigration book sets
8. complete set of Omaha City directories (and several other cities on microfilm)
9. obituary clipping file, 1977 through June 2008
10. naturalization index for Nebraska and some 60 plus Iowa counties (alphabetical)
11. Internet databases on several Douglas County cemeteries
12. church records from several Omaha historic churches - microfilm
13. historic clipping file on Omaha history and people (only accessible by asking librarians)
14. GO-PAF people available to answer genealogy computer problems
15. GOGS volunteers available to help solve genealogy problems

Sounds like fun. I bet at 9:30 there are some wanting to stay longer. I hope it is a great success.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Nebraska Regional Center Cemetery Records

After much litigation, the Hastings Regional Center in Adams Co., Nebraska has released photocopies of the cemetery records to the Nebraska State Historical Society and the Adams County Nebraska Historical Society.

The cemetery records also include corresponding plot maps for individuals buried in the Center Cemetery. From 1909 to 1959 there were approximately 751 patients buried there. A second listing abstracted from the medical ledger books between 1889 and 1918 for 399 patients was also provided. Both of these lists are in a PDF (downloadable/searchable) file at the Nebraska State Historical Society web site.

In 1887 the Nebraska legislature appropriated $75,000 for a "state asylum for the incurably insane" at Hastings, provided the city donate 160 acres of land. The city purchased the land one mile west of the city limits and eventually it was turned into 630 acres. The original building was a three story brick building with a tall central tower. Additions were completed through the years. The first patients were received on 1 August 1889. Forty-four were transferred from the "State Lunatic Asylum" in Lincoln, Nebraska. Through the years thousands of patients were received.

The name of the center changed through the years. In 1895 it was renamed Asylum for the Chronic Insane. In 1905 it was named Nebraska State Hospital and in 1915 to Ingleside Hospital for the Insane and eventually to Hastings State Hospital. The current name change occurred in 1971.

Tragically not everybody who was admitted was incurably or chronically insane. They may have suffered from hereditary disorders, change of life, stress, financial problems or domestic issues. It is sad to think that hundreds were buried there and for decades their place of burial was unknown. I hope that family will recognize their name and find them at last.