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 the new password will be indicated on the next “Westward Into Nebraska” newsletter they receive in August.

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 genclass@aol.com, or Bob Anderson at omahabob@cox.net.

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 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.

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.

Colorful “Omaha Newspapers” Chart

Now Available for Download

Society member Karen Tippets, whose microfilm extraction work is responsible for most of the almost 120,000 listings that appear on the Omaha Obits  web site, has put together and made available for download, a colorful “Omaha Newspapers” chart. This horizontal bar chart is in PDF format, and lists all 48 newspapers that have been published in Omaha since 1852 to the present. The chart also shows the years that each of the 48 papers were in publication. (Trivia: Omaha’s first newspaper, the “Western Bugle”, was in business from 1852 to 1853.)

To view or download this chart, click  Small green HERE.