February General Meeting

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 will be our next general meeting.
It starts at 6:30 at the Josie Harper Methodist Nursing
College at 87th & Burt. Our speaker will be local author Kira Gale.
The topic will be “Why Didn’t His Two Best Friends, Thomas Jefferson
and William Clark, Investigate Meriwether Lewis’s Death?” Kira will
have an article on this topic in the May issue of “We Proceeded On” the
quarterly publication of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Association.
Her book, “Meriwether Lewis: the Assassination of an American Hero and
the Silver Mines of Mexico” was published in 2015.

FREE Genealogy Classes

Every third Saturday of the month from January to June

Mormon Trail Center
3215 State Street, Omaha
9:15 to noon  (doors won't open until 9:00)

Please register at genclass@aol.com or call Merrily at 
402) 706-1453  The classes are free, we just need to know 
how many handouts to make.

January 16, 2016 Class #1
Getting started or re-motivated:  If you are just 
starting out, have hit a brick wall, or waiting for 
something to get you re-motivated, then maybe getting 
back to the basics will help.  Missed the class? Here 
is the handout:  2016 class 1

February 20, 2016 - Class #2
Part 1:  Vital records for the vital events of their 
lives.  Vital records are some of the best and most 
essential records for a well documented family history.  
Part II:  Substitutes for vital records.  Where to go 
when vital records aren't available.

March 19 - Class #3
Making sense of the census - Using U.S. & International 
censuses to map a family's progress.  Federal and state 
censuses can fill in the gaps when vital records don't 
exist, and show how your ancestors moved from place to 

April 16 - Class #4
Part I:  Familysearch.org and the Familysearch Family 
Tree:  becoming the world's go-to place for family history.  
Learn how to use the vast materials of the LDS Family 
History Library.
Part II:  Our favorite websites:  We will go over some 
of the websites that we use the most.

May 16 - Class #5 Hands on Genealogy Research in books 
and film.  This class will be held on the third floor at 
the W. Dale Clark Library.  215 S. 15th Street.  Learn 
what is available in the downtown library.  Not everything 
is on the internet.  We have almost 9,000 genealogy books 
and lots of microfilm to do research in.

June 18 - Class #6 Hands on Computer Searching Techniques  
The library's computer Lab to be determined later.  We 
will learn techniques on how to search for those elusive 

To download a flyer: - 2016 GOGS Class flyer.

Members Only site – Password Change

July is the beginning of a new year for the society, which means that access to the Members Only site has a new password as of today (6 Jul 2015). Members will want to renew their membership soon, as they will receive the new password upon renewal.

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 genclass@aol.com

See us on Facebook!

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

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 click on the “downloads” link at the top of this page.   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.

NARA “Request Pertaining to Military Records” form

NARA standard form 180, “Request Pertaining to Military Records”, is available for downloading on this site. Go to the blue download box in the right-hand side bar.