Save the date Friday, September 26, 2014

The 6th Annual Library Lock-in will be on Friday, September 26, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, at the W. Dale Clark Library.   More details will be in the August and September newsletters.

No meeting in July

Our August meeting will be held at the Mormon Trail Museum.  We will be having a tour and root beer floats.  As we nail down more information, it will be posted.   Save the date for August 13.  Which is the second Wednesday.


See us on Facebook!

We have finally added a facebook page. You can find it under “Greater Omaha Genealogy Society”.
Come check it out.

Upcoming Classes at the OPL Libraries

Registration is required for all classes: call 402-444-4826 or go to Go to the calendar under “Events & Programs.” Check the calendar for more information and updates! New classes are added all the time. To log into an OPL computer, attendees must have an OPL library card and know their PIN.
First Fridays, 9-11am—Millard Branch—G.O.G.S. helpers.
Second Fridays, 10-noon—Abrahams Branch—G.O.G.S. helpers.
Genealogy Work Groups: Join genealogy enthusiasts to work on your personal research and exchange tips with others. Experienced G.O.G.S. helpers will be on hand to offer help as you explore your family roots!

Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors—Gail Blankenau.
Don’t give up on your less-fortunate forebears!  This lecture explores special record sets that will help you to track your impoverished ancestors, including poorhouse records, tax lists, warnings out, court records and more.  The class is on Saturday, July 19, 11am-12:15pm, at the W. Dale Clark Library downtown (Meeting Rooms 2 & 3).  To register, call 402.444.4826, or click the link and select the July 19 date:

 Exploring FamilySearch—Martha Grenzeback.
Learn how to use the leading free genealogy website to explore your roots! This is a hands-on introduction to searching records and using the FamilySearch catalog. There are two identical sessions, on Saturday, August 23 (2:00-3:15), and Wednesday, August 27 (6:00-7:15). Both are at the W. Dale Clark Library downtown and parking will be free at both times. Classes are in the computer training lab so spaces are limited! Register early! You can bring your own Wi-Fi enabled laptop if you prefer – the Library’s Wi-Fi is available. To register, call 402.444.4826, or click the link and select the August 23 or August 27 date:

PAL: A New Tool for Genealogists

When researching for ancestors, what do you do when you come across a name you think may be an ancestor, but are not certain? Do you add it to your genealogy data base anyway? Do you write it down in a note book? Do you just pass it by?

Terry, our society “techie”, has developed a handy Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, formatted especially for situations like that. Now you can keep all your “maybe/maybe-not” names in one place, without cluttering up your genealogy database or keeping a list of them in a note book. Functional and attractive, the spreadsheet is very simple to use. In it you list the name of the suspected ancestor, pertinent information such as birth, marriage, and death date, and who in your genealogy database you suspect this person might be related to. The database also accepts whatever notes you may wish to enter about the suspected ancestor. The system is named PAL, short for Potential Ancestors List. Each potential ancestor you enter into your PAL database will have a “PAL number”. In your genealogy database, you will keep track  of which of your ancestors might possibly be related to someone in your PAL database by indicating the PAL #  (or the PAL # and the name of the suspected ancestor), in the notes section of that ancestor in your genealogy database. This essentially ties the two databases together. You can list all your “possibles” in PAL, keeping your main genealogy database clutter-free. And if you do prove a suspected link, the information is right at hand in PAL and easily transferred to your main genealogy database.

PAL has room for 2,000 name entries. Instructions for using PAL–should you need any–are located on the same Excel worksheet to the right of where you enter information about possible ancestors.

PAL is a FREE download from this website–just scroll down to the blue download box in the right sidebar.  There are two versions of PAL—one for Microsoft Excel 2007-2010, and one for earlier Excel versions.  All the column headings, etc. in PAL are protected so that you can’t change any of them by accident. However, if you are knowledgeable in Excel and think you’d like to tweak PAL to suit your own needs, the “unprotect sheet” command does not require a password, so have at it.

Milestone Acheived

The eleven genealogy information web sites (Omaha Obits, Omaha Marriages, et al.) that are sponsored by Greater Omaha Genealogical Society and are maintained primarily by society members Karen and Terry Tippets, this morning achieved a combined total count of over one-half million listings. Years of extracting the information from microfilms of old Omaha newspapers have been spent in achieving this goal.

Kudos to Karen for the thousands of hours of work she has donated in achieving this milestone! Tech Tips

What does the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society have in common with Their TechTips web site has published an article writtne by our newsletter editor and computer guru, Terry Tippets. The article, titled “Going Digital At The Cemetery”, gives pointers and advice on how to shorten the time it takes for groups or genealogy societies to read a cemetery and get that information onto a data base. According to the TechTips staff, the article has generated “a lot of positive feedback” from readers. The article is an expanded and updated verson of the one that appears on this website. If your group or society is planning a cemetery reading project, this article will help you shorten the time of the project. Click on the following link to read the article: