March meetings cancelled

NOTICE:  The GOGS Board of Directors has decided to cancel all GOGS activities and meetings for the month of March 2020. This includes the following:
     March 18th Member meeting
     All Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings
     Saturday training classes at the Mormon Trail Center

The free class that was scheduled for March 21 and April 18 have been cancelled due to the Mormon Trail Center being closed.  If you have registered, we will contact you to let you know when the classes will begin again.  If you haven’t registered, please do so and we will let you know when and where we will be meeting the next time.


Free Classes – Mar. 16, 2020

Flyer: GOGS Spring classes 2020 FLYER

Saturday, January  18, 2020—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.

Saturday, February 15, 2020—Class 2
Vital Records & Substitutes:  Vital records are some of the best and most essential records for a good, documented family history, but in the US, most vital records didn’t start until the early 20th century.  What are common records that you can use before that time to serve the same purpose.

Saturday, March 16, 2020—Class 3
Making sense of the census:  Learn to use the essential records for US research (and many foreign countries), and how to put the pieces together by using all of the censuses available.

On-line trees, fact or fiction:  A quick look at on-line trees and how to decipher their information.

Saturday, April 18, 2020—Class 4
Family Search & Family Tree:  Becoming the World’s Go-to-place for Family History.  Learn how to use widespread US & international records without leaving Omaha, and in some cases, without leaving the comforts of home.

Saturday, May 16, 2020—Class 5
Hands-on Genealogy Research in Books and Film:  Join us on the 3rd floor genealogy room at the W. Dale Clark Library.  215 S. 15th Street.  Learn what is available in books and microfilm.  Not everything is on the internet.  We are often buying new books and film and have about 10,000 books available to use.

Saturday,  June 20, 2020—Class 6
Hands-on Computer Searching Techniques:  We will be in the W. Dale Clark Library lab, learning techniques on how to search your own computer.

Please pre-register so we know how many handouts to prepare.

*Classes are held from 9:15 am to Noon, January through April at the
Mormon Trail Center,
3215 State Street, Omaha,

in the downstairs classroom.  (Doors do not open before 9:00 am.)

May at the W. Dale Clark Library  215 S. 15th Street. Third floor genealogy room.

June at the W. Dale Clark Library  215 S. 15th Street. In the small computer lab downstairs.

To pre-register: call Merrily at 402-706-1453, or to pre-register.

Are you interested in joining the society?

Click on the downloads tab at the right for a membership form with meeting information included.


Regular Meeting – March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020 – John O’Keefe – Sandhills Ranchers and Homesteaders

April 15, 2020 – Nancy Archdekin – Planning your research trip

May 20, 2020 – Church Records Research

June 17, 2020 – Danish Library Archives

July – no meeting

August – Offsite meeting to be announced

These meeting are located at Josie Harper Nursing College – 87th & Burt on the third floor.


Funeral Pamphlets

We have a little project going with the library.  We have started collecting funeral pamphlets and they will be available in the file cabinet in the genealogy room.  Here is a listing of what is available so far.  This is a .pdf file.

Funeral pamphlet database 6-1-19

If you have funeral pamphlets that you would like to donate, you can bring them to a meeting or send them to:

ATTN: Karen Jackson
P.O. Box 4011
Omaha, NE 68104-0011

If you live out of town, please email me at and let me know who you are interested in. I have scanned all of the ones on the database and will email them to you for no charge. Check often because I will be updating the list periodically.

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.