Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nebraska Masonic History

On 3 October 1855 the Grand Lodge of Illinois chartered Nebraska Lodge No. 184 at Bellevue. The first Masonic meeting occurred on 3 April 1855 on the second story of the Old Trading Post at Bellevue, Nebraska Territory. This was owned by Peter Sarpy. Members of the Omaha tribe lived in an adjoining room. Peter Sarpy was the first candidate to be initiated in 1856. Acting upon his petition, members of the lodge were forced to use an empty gallon pickle jar and small gravel stones.

The following year the Giddings Lodge No. 156 at Nebraska City was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Missouri. In 1857 Capitol Lodge No. 101 in Omaha was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Iowa. The same year the three lodges in the Territory of Nebraska organized a Grand Lodge. members from Nebraska City walked to Omaha for the event.

By 1861 the membership growth was slow, partly because of the poor economy. Many of the old members had left for the gold fields. More of a depletion of members occurred as some left to fight in the Civil War. The Masonic Lodges eventually realized growth and renewal by the admission of Nebraska Territory as a state and with the influx of new settlers after the war.

An excellent book that gives chronological information on Masonic events in the state is A Sesquicentennial History of the Grand Lodge of Nebraska 1857-2007 by Russell G. Reno, published in 2007 by Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., Inc. of Richmond, Virginia.

The Masonic Grand Lodge of Nebraska's web site contains lodge information, along with location and links if they have a web page. If you have ancestors who belonged to a Masonic lodge in Nebraska, you may be able to gain more information by contacting either the Grand Lodge or a lodge to which he belonged. In your request, be sure to supply information on your relationships to the subject, along with a brief explanation as to why you are seeking the information.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Genealogy Workshop in Omaha

The Greater Omaha Genealogy Society is sponsoring a workshop on Saturday, October 24th. It will begin at 9 a.m. at the Nebraska Methodist College, Josie Harper campus. Doors open at 8:15 a.m. There will also be a bake sale and lunch will be served at a nominal fee.

There will be presentations about wills and probate records, Civil War pensions and a panel discussion to discuss some of the attendee's research problems. If you wish to submit a research problem, it must be done with your registration, explaining what you have researched and what you know about the problem. There will also be an Antiques Roadshow type event where attendees can bring family heirlooms and learn more about them.

Click here to download a registration flyer for the workshop.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Family History Month in North Platte

October is Family History Month. The oldest organized genealogy society in the state of Nebraska is the North Platte Genealogical Society and members are celebrating the month in style!

There is a display on the first floor of the North Platte Public Library, 120 West 4th in North Platte, Nebraska. Volunteers are staffing the genealogy collection in the library, which is on the second floor. Dates are ...
Monday, Oct. 5th 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 9th 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 12th 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 15th 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
The volunteers are prepared to help researchers with the questions and assist them in locating books, microfilm and microfiche housed in the library. Collection Organization Tours are being held on:
Saturday, Oct. 17th 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Monday, Oct 19th 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 22nd 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Fall Genealogy Seminar will be held on Saturday, October 10th. Ruby Coleman (Yours Truly) will be presenting the seminar from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mid-Plains Community College south campus. The cost is $20; pre-register by calling 308-535-3714. The topics are Clicking Your Way to Genealogical Success (free Internet sites) and Vital Records & Substitutes.

The Genealogy Help Desk will be held on Wednesday, October 21st from 6 to 9 p.m. in the North Platte Public Library Meeting Room. There will be genealogy displays and volunteers available to help with genealogy problems; guests are very welcome. There will be prize drawings at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; must be present to win.

This should be a fun filled month to celebrate genealogy.