Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Nebraska

In my part of the state we are having mostly dry weather, cold mornings and warmer days. Will we make it until the end of 2010 without a blast of winter? For those traveling I hope this weather continues until 2011.

My wishes for you at Christmas time are good times, blessings of the season and good luck in genealogical research now and into 2011.

Ruby Coleman ... a Nebraskan by choice and a South Dakotan by birth!

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Home for Soldiers and Sailors

In the late 19th century there were two homes established in Nebraska where soldiers and sailors could live, receive care and support. The Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home, aka Burkett, at Grand Island was established in 1888 and is still currently in use. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at Milford was established in 1895 and existed until 1939. The Milford home is now the location of the Southeast Community College.

Veterans were eligible for admittance if they were honorably discharged. They also had to be disabled and without support or unable to earn a living. Veterans had to have served in the regular, volunteer or militia forces mustered into federal service. After World War II most homes were converted to veteran hospitals. Many also provided assistance and housing for widows and orphans.

The Prairie Pioneer Genealogical Society of Grand Island, Nebraska has included the cemetery records for the Grand Island Soldiers and Sailors Cemetery in Volume 2 of their published cemetery records. The book is available at various Nebraska and also in book form and on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The NEGenWeb project for Hall Co., Nebraska also has a listing of burials in the cemetery. In 1915 Vantine's 1915 Directory of Grand Island included a listing of those in the Nebraska Soldiers and Sailors Home. This also is found at the Hall County NEGenWeb site. The Index of Milford Cemeteries is useful in locating veterans who lived in the home at Milford and are buried there.

It is a good idea to extend your research of veterans to these areas. Some veterans remained in the homes until their death and others were removed to other areas.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nebraska and World War I

The Great World War (World War I) began in August of 1914, but the United States did not enter the conflict until 6 April 1917. The Armistice was signed in 1918 at the eleventh hour, eleventh day of the eleventh month. Thus, we celebrate Veteran's Day on November 11th.

While the war did not last as long as many others, there were still American who were involved in the war including Nebraskans. There was nothing great about the Great World War which has been followed by many other wars and conflicts. Soldiers lost their lives, were dismembered or came home suffering from gas poisoning.

The Nebraska History & Record of Pioneer Days Volume II No. I (part 2) contains a listing of Nebraska's Dead during World War I. It can easily be searched online. The facts are also there. There were 349 killed in action; 207 died of disease; 160 died of wounds; 19 reported dead in an accident; 16 reported dead. This makes a total of 751 soldiers from Nebraska.

Nebraska Alumni Killed in WWI as taken from The Cornhusker, 1919, Vol. 13, University of Nebraska is also online. This contains a list of names with links to further information and photographs.

There are draft registration cards available on such in such places as Ancestry.com. However, you will also find draft lists published in newspapers or draft cards for Nebraskans at Nebraskans in the Great World War (WWI).

If your ancestor survived World War I, he may be shown on the 1930 U.S. Census with WW in one of the boxes. Keep in mind that men registered but never served.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Omaha Fall Workshop

The Greater Omaha Genealogical Society (GOGS) will be conducting a fall genealogy workshop on Saturday, October 30th at the Nebraska Methodist College, 720 N. 87th St. in Omaha, Nebraska. The workshop begins at 9:15 a.m.. If you register before October 20th it is $30 for non-members and $20 for GOGS members. After that date or if you walk-in it is $40 for non members and $30 for GOGS members. An interesting slate of programs will fill the day.

Land Records - presented by Lynne A. Farr, PhD. and Emeritus Professor, College of Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Oral Histories by storyteller Lucille Saunders

Organizing Your Files by Cyndy Salzmann

What You Can Do With a Digital Camera by Jeff Ramsell of Rockbrook Camera in Omaha

If interested in the workshop, contact Merrily Staats of the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society, 4617 N. 93rd Street, Omaha, NE 689134 or e-mail gogsworkshop@radiks.net.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Family History in Alliance NE

In celebration of Family History Month, the Knight Museum and Sandhills Center's Heritage Room will have volunteers available to help visitors each Tuesday in October from 1 to 5 p.m. The Heritage Room is a great place to begin your research if you are interested in Alliance, NE, Box Butte County or even the panhandle of Nebraska. The museum is located at 908 Yellowstone Ave. in Alliance.

From 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 28th the museum will provide table space for people to bring and share their family treasures, memorabilia, old photographs and genealogy items. It will be interesting to see all of the items that spell out family and genealogy! The entry area of the museum already contains memorabilia and signs about the events.

At 7 p.m. Ruby Coleman (that's me!) will be speaking about "The Sisters Next Door." Actually the title of my speech is "Writing About Ancestors, Neighbors, Friends and Murderers." Focus will be placed on a recent article that I wrote for Internet Genealogy which pertains to the unique and mysterious story about two former residents of Alliance, NE.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about genealogy and share in what can be accomplished, how to research and have a lot laughs and fun the evening of October 28th.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nebraska Event News

Mark your calendars for a genealogy event in October, which is Family History Month. You will enjoy attending!

The North Platte Genealogical Society will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, October 16th in the North Platte Public Library, 120 West 4th Street, North Platte, NE. The event will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join us in the genealogy collection on the second floor of the library for informative guidance through the books at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. "Begin Your Genealogy" will be presented by Ruby Coleman in the meeting room at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. In addition, there will be genealogy displays in the meeting room. The North Platte Genealogical Society will be serving cookies, coffee and tea.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Good Friend and a Genealogy Friend

While I have many genealogy friends, Charlene was a special genealogy friend. There was nobody quite like her. From the first time I met her, I knew that she was a determined genealogist, zealous to not only discovering her own ancestry, but that of others. I first met Charlene about thirty years ago.

Charlene became interested in answering queries about people who had lived in Lincoln Co., Nebraska. She was active in the North Platte (NE) Genealogical Society and until her health began to fail she was johnny-on-the-spot to help with projects and never missed a meeting. Charlene amassed a great collection of information and documents on the history and genealogy of Lincoln County. If somebody had a question, they asked Charlene. She spent a good deal of time over the last few years researching historical characters for the cemetery tours. Most recently she had helped with information on the Civil War soldiers buried in the North Platte Cemetery.

She was born 25 September 1932 to Clyde and Gladys Nation Graham in North Platte and passed away on 5 September 2010 here in North Platte. She leaves children and grandchildren, great grandchildren and other relatives. In addition, Charlene leaves a void in our genealogy society and the hearts of all of us. We'll miss you Chod!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Civil War Weekend

In conjunction with Rail Fest in North Platte, NE, there will be Civil War activities. The theme for 2010 cemetery tour is Civil War Treasures Cemetery Tour, sponsored by the North Platte Public Library Foundation. In addition there will be a Civil War Re-Enactment and Demonstrations. What a fun filled weekend this will be! Tickets can be purchased at the North Platte Public Library, 4th & Vine in North Platte. They are $10 for adults 16 and older; children free with accompanying adult ticket purchase. At the event they are $15 for adults 16 and older; children free with accompanying adult ticket purchase. These are the events:

Thursday - September 16, 2010 7 to 9 p.m. Non-walking tour presentation
North Platte Community College, south campus on State Farm Road

Sunday - September 19, 2010 1 to 5 p.m. Walking Tour at North Platte Cemetery
Rodeo Road

Saturday - September 18, 2010 1 to 5 p.m. Civil War Re-Enactment and Demonstrations
Gettysburg, The First Day
Lincoln County Historical Museum, 2403 N. Buffalo Bill Ave.
ticket to cemetery tour gets free admission to the re-enactment

Come to North Platte for a glimpse of the Civil War past! It should be a fun filled weekend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Lives of Our Ancestors

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society and the Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE will be presenting a full day genealogy program on Saturday, 9 October 210. This is in celebration of Family History Month and features noted speaker John Philip Colletta, PhD. He lives in Washington, DC where for twenty years he had conducted workshops for the National Archives and taught courses for Smithsonian Institution. Colletta lectures nationally and is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy, Historical Research at Samford University and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Colletta's topics include Assembling and Writing a Narrative Family History; Turning Biographical Facts into Real-Life Events: Building Historical Context; Our Spectacular Library of Congress: An overview with Research Examples; Understanding Archives: What They Are and How to Use Them.

In addition to the featured speaker there will a unique music recital and lecture on Woody Guthrie's place in the history of American folk music. This will be presented by Nebraska Humanities Scholars, Mike Adams and Professor Kathryn Benzel.

Make plans now to attend The Lives of Our Ancestors. It will be held at the SCC Continuing Education Center, 301 S. 68th St. Place, Lincoln, NE from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 9th; cost $50. Check in begins at 8:30 a.m. The tuition includes conference materials and lunch. Deadline for enrollment is October 1st.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nebraska Family Maps

Some of the best book of maps, known as Family Maps, are published by Arphax Publishing of Norman, Oklahoma. The books are available for many states, including Nebraska. The counties available for Nebraska are Arthur, Blaine, Garden, Garfield, Grant, Hooker, Logan, Loup, McPherson, Scotts Bluff, Sioux and Thomas. The books are authored by Gregory A. Boyd.

The maps show the original settlers (first owners) who purchased the land. You will be able to see the exact location of the land, neighbors as well are cemeteries, rivers and streams.

Each book is available as hardbound, spiral-bound and most recently as paperback. There are links on the Arphax Publishing web page to a listing of surnames for each volume. From the web page you can also check out examples in PDF format.

The books are well worth the price, particularly if your ancestor was an original settler in the location.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blogging about Nebraska

If you enjoy reading blogs, you will want to read the Nebraska State Historical Society's blog, Nebraska History Blog. There are some very interesting links and You Tube connections on the blog.

Some of the July posts on the blog include Lincoln's Fatal Flood, July 6, 1908; Lazy Days of Summer; In Search of Lost Graves; From I-Scream to Eskimo Pie and "Judge Lynch" in Nebraska.

Did you know that the Eskimo Pie was invented by a man from Nebraska? Christian K. Nelson was a graduate of the University of Nebraska and former Thedford, Nebraska schoolteacher. In 1921 he developed that yummy vanilla ice cream and chocolate dessert. It was originally called the I-Scream Bar and a year later renamed Eskimo Pie. Next time you eat an Eskimo Pie, think of Nebraska!

Have fun following this excellent blog about Nebraska.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cradle Days in York County

In November of 1937 a book was published containing historical sketches of York Co., Nebraska. It was published by The York Republican newspaper and reprinted in 1976 by the York County Historical Association. The book has long been out of print.

My father, who lived in York County, often referred to the book and I am sure read and reread it many times. It is now on my bookshelf. However, if you are less fortunate to have the book in your possession, you will be able to read it online at York County, Nebraska ... a chronicle of its people and communities.

It is full of stories about early settlers and pioneers. Some of the chapter titles include "Stalwart Pioneers from Wisconsin", "Grasshoppers, Frogs and Cyclones", and "Early Days on Lincoln Creek."

The book is a good read!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Researching in Washington Co., Nebraska

The first settlements in the Nebraska Territory were along the Missouri River, the east border of what would, in 1867, become the state of Nebraska. Therefore, if you have ancestors who were in Nebraska early, begin looking at that area along the Missouri River.

Washington County, which is along the Missouri River, was an original county formed in 1854. It was one of the eight original counties proclaimed by acting Governor Thomas B. Cuming. Over time there were three different county seats ... Fort Calhoun, DeSoto and finally Blair which is the current county seat.

To study more about the history of Washington County, I suggest checking out the Washington County Historical Association's web page. You will find links and a good deal of information. Perhaps a trip to their museum should be put on your schedule.

There are some useful web pages on Internet that pertain to genealogical research in Washington County. Be sure to check out the Genealogy Trails History Group for Washington County. You will find online data, such as marriages for 1856-1898 and the 1927 school souvenir book.

The Washington County Genealogical Society's web page has useful maps and information on townships plus cemeteries. They also have suggestions for furthering your research and joining their society.

Be sure to visit the web page of the Blair Public Library. If you are visiting the area, they have local and family histories, cemetery records, death and marriage information, plus the Blair newspaper on microfilm.

At home on your computer, you can search the Blair City Cemetery Burials. You can also search the entire county for burials. The Washington County Genealogical Society link has an excellent map and listing of the cemeteries.

There is much more, so start snooping through Washington County and see what you can find. Have fun!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Research - Sidney, Nebraska

Traveling in Nebraska this summer? You should visit the Sidney Public Library if you are in western Nebraska. Located at 1112 12th Avenue in Sidney, the library's summer hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day are Monday-Thursday 9 am to 6:30 pm and Friday, Saturday 9 am to 6 pm.

The library houses the extensive genealogical collection of the Cheyenne County Genealogical Society. They also have microfilm of the Sidney Sun and Telegraph newspapers from 1873 to the present.

The history of Sidney and the surrounding area is interesting. The area was a passage way for many major trails west, such as the California-Oregon Trail, Overland Trail and the Sidney-Deadwood Trail. Sidney was a major outfitting stop when gold was discovered in the Black Hills. It became a division point for the Union Pacific Continental Railroad in 1867. This resulted in the establishment of Fort Sidney which was a working fort from 1867 to 1894. It is estimated that in 1876 and 1877, 1,500 people arrived and departed Sidney daily going to the Black Hills. Many brushed elbows with famous people such as Wild Bill Hickok, Butch Cassidy, Sam Bass and Calamity Jane.

Begin your search in the Sidney Public Library, explore Sidney and have fun with the history of western Nebraska.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nebraska Maps

Old and new maps enhance genealogical research. Who doesn't like maps? If you are researching in Nebraska, be sure to check out the map collection at the University of Texas at Austin online.

They are in JPG or PDF format. The collection also contains a Lincoln 1901 map, Nebraska City 1920 map and one for Omaha in 1920. It is interesting to see how small Omaha was in 1920.

There are many maps available at the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) Map Library. These include county maps and historical maps. Some are large, so be prepared for the time they may take in downloading.

Links to Nebraska maps, some plat and township maps, can be found at NebraskAccess. Some of these are in the early part of the 1900s.

Have fun locating Nebraska maps on Internet. They will add interest to your genealogical research!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pioneer Women of Nebraska

People researching Nebraska history and genealogy often marvel at the survival and stamina of pioneer women. I prefer to call them prairie mothers. Fortunately there are diaries and journals that these enduring women left for posterity.

Emma Slocum's great grandson, David L. Runner, has transcribed her dairy. She was born 18 October 1868 in Green Co., WI. In the early 1880s her family moved to Boone Co., NE, settling on a farm near Petersburg. At age 18 Emma began keeping a diary which reveals school life, friends, neighbors and also sad events, such as the death of her father in January of 1888. In November of that year, Emma, her mother and some of her brothers left Nebraska and moved to Marion Co., OR.

In 1915, Mrs. Anna Knox wrote of her pioneering adventures for The Lincoln Star newspaper. She was 90 years old, living with a daughter in Hastings. However, her accounts pertain to pioneer days near Nebraska City. She tells about hard times, with her own kind of spirit and optimism.

These are only two such publications on Internet. Books have been written about women's journals and diaries. Keep looking, you might even find one written by your ancestor!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Nebraska Mailing Lists

Mailing lists are a great way to communicate about common interests, such as a specific county in Nebraska. If you are researching in Nebraska, consider joining one or more of the lists.

Each mailing list has its own rules. Be sure to read them thoroughly before you subscribe. You can subscribe to have messages delivered individually to your e-mail box or by digest where they are grouped together. If the mailing list is very active, consider joining in the digest format. Before subscribing to a list you can search or browse the archives. Information you need may already be in the archives. Be sure your posts pertain to the county and not some other state or county.

Check out the Nebraska Mailing Lists by county and also topics, such as cemeteries, Czechs, census look-ups and more. It's fun and eventually you may have a good deal of information in your e-mail box.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nebraska at WorldCat

Genealogists need and want books, but many times they don't go the distance in finding them. Of course, there's Google Books and other sites on Internet that are helpful. However, if you directly to the Nebraska listing on WorldCat, you'll be pleased at what turns up.

There are about 759 results. Some are journals, periodicals, books and even CDs. There are general Nebraska records, family genealogies, census and records by counties.

Click on the item of interest to learn more, such as the author, number of pages and printing. If you enter your zip code and click "Find Libraries," you will be taken to a list of libraries that have the item. Some may be close to home, but if not, supply your librarian with the information and see if it can be obtained on interlibrary loan.

An example of a family history is Recollections and Connections: from Ohio to Nebraska by Louise Mathews Harris, published in 2006. Under the details section I see that it pertains to the Mathews family. The only place WorldCat has located it is at the Seo Automation Consortium in Caldwell, OH. Click on that and you'll learn more about their digital catalog and download center.

The Valley View Cemetery: Holt County, Nebraska compiled by Stanley Lambert and Joyce Taylor is listed. If this interests you, it is available in the Omaha Public Library. This may be a book that is not available on interlibrary loan. If this is the case, consider having your librarian secure specific pages from the index. Yes, it's indexed, as I saw that information under "Details."

It's time to have fun ... Nebraska fun ... with WorldCat.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Conference Time

It is almost time for the Nebraska State Genealogical Society's 33rd Annual Conference which will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 23rd and 24th in Norfolk, NE. The location is the Holiday Inn Express, 920 South 20th Street in Norfolk.

The featured speaker is Paula Stuart-Warren, CG of Minnesota. She is very knowledgeable about genealogical research, particularly in this part of the United States. Her topics are:

The WPA Era: What it Created for Genealogists
The Three Rs: Reading, "Riting" and Research in School Records
Where are the Records they told me to check?
Finding Ancestral Places of Origin
Railroad Records and Railway History: Methods for Tracking
Organizing Your Genealogical Materials

Additional speakers are Russell Lang, Judy Carlson and Jeff Kappeler. There will even be a demonstration on "witching for graves."

Download a PDF file of the brochure as it is not too late to get registered for this excellent.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nebraska Disasters

In the course of your research, you may have found or heard about an ancestor being involved in some type of accident or disaster. Perhaps it was just a rumor or they may have lived to tell the story.

Nebraska/GenDisasters is a great web page for information on everything from train accidents to fires and tornadoes that occurred in this state. There are 27 pages of links to articles about disasters. Some of these include a tornado that was at Fort Kearny in June of 1859, the Omaha Dewey Hotel Fire in February 1913, a Lincoln, NE train wreck in August of 1894 and a collision of trains at Indianola in May of 1911. There is usually further information, sometimes news articles, names of people involved and photographs.

If you are interested in the history of Nebraska, this is also a great web site to check. The home page provides links to browse by disaster, states, years and more. Check it out!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nebraska Free Lookups

Ever wish you could access all kinds of records for Nebraska? There is hope if you spend some time checking out web pages and then preparing queries for lookups. Many of them are free just for the asking.

GenaSearch hosts Nebraska Free Genealogy Look Ups. The people performing these tasks are volunteers. They will check offline resources. Be sure you follow the directions.

Is there a book or information you need in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, but can't get there? FHC Angel Lookup Requests may be what you need. Volunteers will try to help!

Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) is a well known site and has proven helpful to many genealogists. Be sure you read the guidelines for making requests. After reading that you will be directed to a listing of volunteers. Many counties in Nebraska have volunteer listings ... anything from public record lookups to photos of tombstones and more.

This is a great way to find information you need but cannot access at the time of your research. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nebraska State Historical Society Opening

Mark your calendars! The Library and Archives portion of the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln, Nebraska will be opening on March 9th. This is great news for those of us who been without their resources for what seems like ten years. Actually it has been fourteen months of construction and renovation.

The regular hours for using the Library and Archives will apply. They are Tuesday-Friday 9 to noon and 1 to 4; Saturday 8 to 5. You will want to visit the Nebraska State Historical Society web page for more details. They have a new leaflet in PDF format which you can download and read before returning to do research in the newly renovated room.

The Nebraska State Historical Society is located at 1500 R Street in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is wise to also plan ahead for parking as it is on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. There are parking garages not too far away and metered parking (if available) along R Street.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nebraska Memories

Nebraska Memories is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska historical and culture heritage materials. They are then made available on Internet. It is administered by the Nebraska Library Commission.

Currently there are over 3,500 digitized items with growth each month. There are eleven Nebraska institutions participating in the project. The materials generally range in date from the 1890s to the 1970s. Here you will find photographs, artifacts, papers, manuscripts, maps, audio files and documents. There are no actual genealogical resources. However, there is a significant amount of valuable resources that genealogists can apply to their research.

A search can be performed by specific collections or by all collections with a variety of words or combinations. You can also browse by all images, topics (such as railroads, portraits, towns and more), an entire collection or by location.

Make some time in your schedule to explore this extremely interesting and helpful web site. I hope you will find something of interest. Be sure to check back for new additions.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nebraska Obituaries

Locating obituaries or indexes to obituaries can be helpful, particularly if they are online. Columbus and Norfolk, Nebraska Historical Obituaries are indexed.

The Columbus (Platte County) obituaries are indexed from 1930-2006 from the "Columbus Telegram" newspaper. This is provided by the Platte Valley Kin Seekers of Columbus. They will research requests for a fee. Their charges are $5 for a copy of the newspaper obituary, which includes postage.

Norfolk (Dodge County) obituaries are indexed for a variety of years which are 1888-1918, 1940, 1944-1945, 1954, partial 1955-1956, 1957-1969, partial 1993-1994, partial 1997-1998. By using the index you can request a copy of the obituary from the Norfolk Public Library, 308 Prospect Ave., Norfolk, NE 68701. Their fee is $10 per obituary, with SASE.

Obituaries in both of these communities often pertain to people who lived close by the counties or community and those who had relatives in Columbus or Norfolk.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Omaha Genealogy Classes

Genealogy classes will be held January through June 2010 at the Mormon Trail Center, 3215 State Street in Omaha, Nebraska. The classes will be held each third Saturday morning at 9:15 a.m. and are free. Here is the schedule:

January 16th - My History Through the Ages (discussion of getting started, records at home, how to record the data, importance of documentation)

February 20th - Vital Records for the Vital Events of our Lives and Substitutes for Vital Records (find those important birth, marriage and death dates and places)

March 20th - Making Sense of the Census (focus on the US census, others will be mentioned)

April 24th (note: 4th Saturday) - Searching the World's Records Without Leaving Omaha (resources of Family History Centers, FamilySearch labs and FamilySearch)
Part 2 - Googling Your Ancestors (finding ancestors on the web)

May 15h - What's Hiding at the Courthouse? (vital records, public records and more)
Part 2 - The Name Game (naming customs and patterns, nicknames)

June 19th - What's Black and White and Read All Over? (historic newspapers and where to find them)
Part 2 - Cemetery Research (discovering more than names and dates on tombstones)

If you wish to attend, you should get your name on the list by calling 402-706-1453 or emailing Genehelper@aol.com. Start 2010 off right by learning more about genealogical research!