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The password has now been changed on the “Members Only” page. Please email if you have any questions.

2014 Fall Seminar & Workshop – Oct. 24 & 25

featuring Gail Blankenau

Friday’s Seminar: Solving the Puzzle: Who Was My Family?
Genealogy 101: Hunting & Gathering. This session will help budding and experienced researchers begin or continue their family history journey.
Genealogy 102: The Journey. We will follow a family to demonstrate the use and evaluation of many of the sources mentioned in the hunting and gathering phase.

Saturday’s Workshop: Using Land Records in Genealogy Research
Break Through Brick Walls Using Land Records. Is your research hitting any walls?
Expand your quest to land records. This session will guide you through different
kinds of land records, and help you to prioritize and identify “high-value targets.”
Follow the Land. Move beyond Session 1 to topics including leaseholds, warrants, surveys, grants, homesteading, and other special situations you may encounter.
Tumbleweeds in the Window: Women Homesteaders and Genealogy. The 1862 Homestead Act provided women heads of family with an unique opportunity to own land in their own name. Follow three case studies of remarkable women whose life circumstances and homesteading goals were vastly different, but who shared even more—dreams of independence they made a reality.
Tracing Your Ancestors from the East Coast to the Midwest. Learn about census, tax, land, and other records that can help you follow your ancestors from the Eastern U.S. to the Midwest. This session includes a case study tracing a family from Massachusetts, to Rhode Island, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Missouri.

Scroll down to the download box for the registration forms.  Both flyers will print.  If you have any questions, email:




Pottawattamie County Oral History Project needs volunteers

The PCGS is embarking on a joint project with the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County:  Oral History interviews of Pott. Co. veterans, in compliance with the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.  Volunteers will also conduct oral history interviews of older Pott. Co. residents who were not in the military. Interview training will be provided.  Just think—besides preserving our elders’ important historical recollections, this experience can help you collect information from your own family members.  If you’re interested, contact Merrily at 402-706-1453 or, or Bob Anderson at

Indexing help needed for Omaha Bee

This can be done from home through Chronicling America!  The index will go on our website (since we also have these newspapers on microfilm at the library). Contact Merrily at 402-706-1453 or

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!

 New Writers Group!!
Sundays, 1:30pm—W. Dale Clark Library (Room 1)
Writing Family Stories. Join others to learn how to present your family’s story and get ideas from others. Contact: Tricia Piatt at 402-991-0412 or

Breaking Down a Brick Wall with a Photograph: A Case Study —Nancy Archdekin.  Sun., Oct. 12, 2:00-3:15pm—W. Dale Clark Library (Rms 2 & 3). Do you have a brick wall that you’ve found impossible to break down? Learn how looking at the problem from a different point of view can bring you success. A case study approach will demonstrate the process.

Cemetery Art and Symbolism — Donna Thomas. Sat., Oct. 18, 10:00-11:00am—Millard Library. Cemeteries are fascinating places brimming with family stories and rich histories. This event will begin with a presentation by genealogist Donna Thomas involving a genealogy craft for young and old alike. After the craft session, you’ll tour the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, guided by genealogist and cemetery guide John von Dohren. Bring the whole family!

Genealogy Photo Organization & Tips 101 — Phyllis Ericson. Sat., Oct. 18, 2:00-3:00pm—Swanson Library. It’s time to organize all those precious genealogy and family photos. If you have mounds of old photos in boxes and old albums or are overwhelmed with your family’s photos, this talk is for you. You will leave with photo scanning, labeling, editing, back-up and archiving tips you can use.

Researching Native American Ancestry —Janice Schultz.
Sat., Nov. 8, 2:30-3:45pm—W. Dale Clark Library (Rms 2 & 3).
Many people have a family tradition that Native Americans lurk in their ancestral background. Janice Schultz, former manager of the Midwest Genealogy Center, will help you begin your quest to discover your Native American ancestors! Even if you don’t have that heritage, you will find the historical background interesting.

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.