Friday, April 30, 2010

J Sterling Morton - contributions to family history

Many of us in Nebraska still observe the original Arbor Day (and Earth Day) on April 22, the birthday of J. Sterling Morton, the founder of the holiday. Officially, the holiday is being observed in Nebraska today.

J. Sterling Morton also left some wonderful resources for genealogists with ancestors in Nebraska. There were several editions of his Illustrated History of Nebraska, in which he collaborated with Albert Watkins. These editions include a wealth of biographies of early Nebraska pioneer families.

It was in one of these books that I first discovered my great-great-great grandfather and the county of origin of my Kelly ancestors in Ireland.

If you have some 19th century Nebraska ancestors, you may find some great information in one of these books. Even better, they are available on Google books!

Illustrated History of Nebraska - 1913

History of Nebraska - 1918

Nuckolls County Nebraska genealogy resources

The Superior Public Library in Superior, Nebraska has a variety of genealogy resources available for public use. The library's card catalog may be searched online.

The library's web site states they do not check out their genealogy materials, but they will do look-ups. A microfilm reader is available and copies are $.35.

Other resources of interest to genealogists:


Superior has had a number of town newspapers. At different times these newspapers were in print, some during the same time, Superior Sun, Superior Daily Journal, Superior Weekly Journal and the Superior Express. The Superior Express was started in January 1900 and is still in print today. The library has microfilm of these newspapers from Feb 28, 1888 to present.

  • Nuckolls Country Cemetery Records thru 2003.
  • Nuckolls County Marriages Book 1, index.
  • 1870-1910 Nebraska Census records for Nuckolls and Thayer counties.
  • Federal Census 1880-1930 for Nuckolls and Thayer counties.
  • Early Superior school index.
  • Nuckolls County Obituaries.

Superior is only 2 miles off the Kansas border so the library also has a few records from Kansas:
  • 1870-1920 Kansas Census for Jewell, Jefferson, Kearny counties.
  • Index to Jewell County Marriage records from June 1871 - August 1927.
  • Jewell County Cemetery Records.
  • Some Jewell County Birth Records
 Family Records

 These are family records in book form. These can be found in the card catalog under "genealogy" or "family name".

Library Hours

1:30 - 5:30 PM
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Monday - Friday

10:00 AM to Noon
1:30 - 5:30 PM

Closed Sunday

Phone: (402)879-4200

Ken Burns kicks off the opening of the National Archives exhibit "Discovering the Civil War"

Ken Burns, the documentary filmmaker who brought the Civil War to life for so many of us, joined the National Archives in opening a press preview of the National Archives' latest exhibit: Discovering the Civil War.

The exhibit aims to make the Civil War "strange again." While you'll find Manassas and Appomattox, you're just as likely to run across a letter from the Confederate government seeking recognition from Pope Pius IX, or see a facsimile of two separate versions of the 13th amendment--one that outlawed slavery, and one that did not.

Part One of the exhibit runs from April 30, 2010 through September 6, 2010.

Related video:
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns

2011 Nebraska State Genealogical Society conference

Mark your calendar now for May 6 and 7, 2011 and plan to attend the annual meeting and convention of the Nebraska State Genealogical Society in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

The conference will be hosted by the Otoe County Genealogical Society.

Visit to Quilt Museum a must-stop for visitors to Lincoln Nebraska

Many of us treasure the family heirloom quilts that have been passed down to us through the generations. If a research trip will be bringing you to Lincoln, Nebraska, schedule time to visit the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. The museum is located on the northwest corner of 33rd and Holdrege Streets (1523 North 33rd Street). There are rotating exhibits from the museum's collection and you will no doubt be awed and enchanted by the quilts that have been brought together in this magnificent museum.


Tues.-Sat. 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Sun. 1-4:30 P.M.

Closed Monday,major holidays and during University WINTER break shutdown.

Related book:
500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work (500 Series)

Brown Bag Lecture: Taking Care of Your Family's Heirloom Photographs

Learn how to best care for your family photographs at the next Brown Bag Lecture sponsored by the Nebraska State Historical Society on May 20.

Lecture description: Your family's photographs are important, precious pieces of history and they deserve special attention. Learn how to better care for various types of 19th and early 20th century photographs. From Daguerreotypes and tintypes to glass plate negatives and cabinet cards, I will talk about how to preserve, store, and indentify your family's heirloom photographs. A picture is worth a thousand words. Learn what you ancestor's photographs are waiting to tell you.

The presenter will be Karen Keehr, photographs curator at the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Bring along your lunch for the free session:
May 20, 2010
12:00 noon
Nebraska History Museum
Blackman Auditorium
131 Centennial Mall North
15th and P Streets
Lincoln, Nebraska
Other upcoming topics are:
June 17 - What Remains?: Archaeology at the Beaver Creek Trail Crossing Site

July 15 - Wearing the Hempen Neck-Tie: Lynching in Nineteenth-Century Nebraska

August 19 - My Two Friends - Mari Sandoz and John Neihardt (presented by Ron Hull)

September 16 - Presenting Frightmares Since 1958 - A History of Nebraska's Creature Feature Hosts

October 21 - Memory Quilts

November 18 - 50 Years of history from the Archives of NET (another presentation by Ron Hull)

December 16 - Background and dedication of Abraham Lincoln Statue

If you can't make the lectures in person and are in the Lincoln area, you can view them on Time Warner Cable Channel 5

You don't live in Nebraska? Videotapes of the lectures may be borrowed from the Historical Society. Click here for details.

The Bellinger family history as related by John William Bellinger

As it was told to me, my great grandfather, John W. Bellinger, had been looking into the Bellinger family history. In the papers that were passed down to me were some newspapers that carried the family history research that had been done by Lyle Frederick Bellinger. My mother told me that her "Grandpa Bell" (as he was called affectionately) was always looking for some kind of get rich quick scheme. I have a few of his old oil stock certificates. As this letter indicates, he assumed the family would come into some money from the Herkimer/Mohawk Valley Bellingers in his old age. This was in a letter written by him March 12, 1934 and recopied by his daughter, Sina Harriet Bellinger Kelly (my grandmother). This also appeared in Joy Deal Lehman's book, The Bellingers of Greenwood, Nebraska in 2001.

"As told by my grandmother, she came to Nebraska with us. she was 97 years old when she died in 1874. So you see she was born at the close of the Revolutionary War. I was 20 years old. She told how the John Bellingers fought. We had two war vessels laying in Sockets Harbor [sic]. Wasn't finished yet when three English war vessels came across from Canada. Ours wasn't moured [sic] yet when they seen them coming. They rushed on our boats with a John Bellinger leading with hat in hand yelling like an Indian. Giving orders and sunk two of them and the other one got away and went back to Canada.

"My grandmother's name was Eva Clapsaddle. She told of lots of depridation done by the Indians. There was a woman with a little baby running to get away from the Indians and they killed her and cut her breasts off so the baby couldn't nurse. She said the baby was bloody all over trying to nurse. The Indians stuck a bayonet through it and was dancing around holding it up in the air.

"One of my ancestors John Bellinger owned a large track [sic] of land south of the Mohawk river some 22,000 acres, laid between Little Falls and Utica. . . then he leased it to the German Reformed Church for 99 years. In his will stated it was to go to the nearest heris and if they couldn't be found they should have it as long as timber grew and water run. Grandmother said it would come to us in our old days. The papers were all left with the Old Church . . . "

What do you do when the name's the same?

Probably one of my biggest frustrations (other than hitting those brick walls!) is having a family member with a name similar to that of a famous person. For example, one of the people I research frequently is man named John Fitzgerald, famous in his own right as one of the wealthiest men in Nebraska in the late 1880s. Whenever I do online searches about this man what do I get - millions of references to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Sure, there are ways to tell a search engine to eliminate those results that include the word "Kennedy" (just type "-Kennedy"). But what if I'm also looking for a business relationship between my John Fitzgerald and a man named Kennedy? Sometimes, I just think "oh, forget it!"

Another family member I'm researching is John Kelly. Whenever I research him online, I get thousands of results on the brother of Princess Grace (nee Kelly) of Monaco, whose name was John Kelly. This search also yields results on Gene Kelly, the actor/dancer/producer. As much as I loved his work on screen, he's not one of my Kellys!

There are also several current day authors with the same name as family members I am researching from the 19th century.

I'm curious how other researchers deal with situations when the name is the same. What are some successful techniques that have worked for you to weed out the hundreds of thousands search results when doing online research.

Please share your comments below.

A software tool I can't live without

Even with the use of specific genealogy software that is essential to tracking my ancestors and printing reports, I absolutely could not get along without a handy little package from Microsoft called OneNote. OneNote serves as an electronic filing cabinet for all those notes, to do lists, internet resources, screen captures - you name it.

In OneNote, you can set up as many "notebooks" as you want - say for example, one notebook per surname. If you find some information on a web site, you can "print to OneNote" for future evaluation or just to save the information. You can title each page, by subject, in every notebook. You can take screen captures to collect information for research - and the software even has the capability of converting text in a graphic into searchable text. What does that mean? You are able to search EVERYTHING that you have saved in OneNote in a matter of seconds to locate information on a certain individual, for example.

Each page you have in OneNote can also be printed as an Adobe pdf file that you could email to a fellow researcher when sharing information.

OneNote can be purchased as a standalone product or as part of a suite of products. I have it as an integral part of Microsoft Office Home and Student (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote). The 2010 versions of both are scheduled to be released shortly.

The standalone version is reasonably priced (the 2010 version is less than $80), which makes it well worth the convenience and time savings in being able to organize a variety of digital files and images.

To learn more about this tool, click on the links below.

Microsoft OneNote 2010

Using Microsoft OneNote 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 Home & Student

Thursday, April 29, 2010

ourFamilyology announes affiliation with FamilySearch

The following news release is from ourFamilyology

April 28, 2010 -- ourFamily•ology ( announced today its certified affiliation with FamilySearch, the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources. This affiliation will provide access to millions of genealogical records that are invaluable to genealogists as they perform their ancestry research to build their family tree.

OurFamily•ology is a web-based genealogy software program that is now a certified FamilySearch affiliate. “This affiliation will allow subscriber’s to conveniently search, access, and add genealogical records from FamilySearch into a subscribers website through ourFamily•ology. We are excited to offer this feature to help our members build well documented family trees. We look forward to developing more features with FamilySearch,” said Brandy Sacco, Founder and President.
“Both new and experienced genealogist alike will find this website easy to use and an extremely useful tool for source research and documentation,” said Gordon Clarke, FamilySearch Developer Network Manager.

ourFamily•ology is the only family tree builder that offers a simple, visual progress and accuracy rating guide. For the first time, genealogists will easily gain a sense of ‘the big picture’ of where they are and what they should work on next within their family tree. It also includes an optionally ever-present status chart, with a color-coded reliability and progress indicator to gauge the completeness of your family tree as well as provide a clear road map of what you should work on next – all at a single glance.
OurFamily•ology Web-based Features Include

• Subscription includes two websites, one for entering information and another for visitors to view your family tree

• Build your family tree on your own or collaboratively with family members

• Invite visitors to view your family tree with required passwords
• Set which fields for living people are viewable for visitors
• Update genealogical details for the same person in multiple files with one click
• Easily attach sources, photos, notes, etc. to multiple family members
• Receive warnings and reports for probable data issues
• Track changes with transaction reports
• Options to add multiple parents; marriage and child parent relationships
• Add your own custom events and LDS Ordinances
• Track the accuracy and completion of your family tree with a unique color-coded Progress Rating Chart that is setup by the user based on what facts they want to track
• Search, access, and add genealogical records from FamilySearch
Visit ourFamily•ology at the National Genealogical Family History Conference in Utah, held at the Salt Palace Convention Center April 28th – May 1st. We can be found at booth 827 in the GenTech Hall.
About FamilySearch
The Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU)—doing business as FamilySearch—is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources; these resources may be accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.
About ourFamily•ology
ourFamily•ology is a security conscious, Web-based provider of genealogy tools to help you build and organize a precise family history and a reliable family tree that can be shared with family and friends. For more information, please visit

Professional genealogists group grows to more than 2,000 members

The following news release is from the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).

April 28, 2010 – Today at the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Salt Lake City, the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) announced that it has just surpassed the 2,000-membership mark. As the world’s leading professional organization of family history and related professionals, the APG supports professional genealogists throughout the world.

More Information

The APG has experienced steady growth in membership since its founding more than 30 years ago. With 23 local chapters in the U.S. and Canada, the organization supports a variety of professions within the field, including researchers, librarians, editors, archivists, lecturers, event planners and more.

Core Facts

Visitors to this week’s National Genealogical Society Family History Conference may learn more by visiting the APG booth, number 314. Booth volunteers are available to answer questions regarding how to hire a professional genealogist, use the APG online directory of professionals, and become a professional genealogist. Visitors will also find a list of APG members who are giving lectures at the conference.


“This milestone comes at a time when interest in genealogy is mushrooming, as both a pastime and a profession. Recent television shows like NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” and PBS’s “Faces of America” have helped raise awareness and stimulate interest from a broader audience. This increase in interest is leading more people to hire genealogists and we’ll need more professionals in the field. APG helps professionals develop their skills and build their networks, while promoting standards and ethics.”Laura Prescott, president of the Association of Professional Genealogists

Company information

About the Association of Professional Genealogists
The Association of Professional Genealogists (, established in 1979, represents more than 2,000 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers, and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy, local, and social history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries.

300 million names to be added to this week

FamilySearch President Jay Verkler said 300 million more names will be available online this week through the LDS Church's family history service. Verkler made the announcement to applause at Wednesday's opening session of the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference in Salt Lake City.

Read the complete story from Deseret News.

Search at

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Genealogy Research in the Year 2060

For a great laugh, you've got to read this article from Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter. website launches today

The following is a News Release from is a new genealogy bookmarking site for genealogists and hobbyists to share blog posts, articles, news and other information with each other. Launching today, the site has a similar purpose as many popular online social news sites, but it is focused exclusively on family history and genealogy. is entirely free for users.

Submit Stories for Others’ Benefit and Read Articles Deemed Helpful
Articles are published at by members who read a useful article and “Submit” it to the site. At launch time, the content also includes RSS feeds of top-rated genealogy blogs. As articles are submitted, users vote for the stories they like best. Stories with the most votes are moved from “Upcoming News” to “Published News” on the home page.

To read the posts that are most popular in the genealogy world, visit the home page. Or for Genealogy News, Help for Beginners, Genealogy Blog posts, information about Conferences, or other topics, just select your desired Category to read relevant information.
To discuss a specific area of interest with other genealogy enthusiasts, visit the Groups page and select your desired topic, or create your own.

Why Build simplifies the process of finding helpful genealogy-specific articles. Read what you choose: top-ranking articles or all the current news. also helps readers find blogs with relevant information. At, you’ll see a snapshot of each article. To read the full content, link to the story itself. You’ll then be able to navigate through the writer’s own site and see other information they’ve published.

About the Developer, was founded in 1999 by Alan Eaton. The company is focused on providing valuable internet services to all genealogy enthusiasts. The company’s flagship site,, is focused on matching and merging all of the separate family trees created by genealogists into one single unified worldwide family tree. is an entirely separate web site that enables members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to quickly and easily identify ancestors needing temple work. is privately held, based in Springville, Utah and has approximately 35 employees.

All trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
Claire LaBeaux, 801-491-0335 x275

Digitize those family treasures before it's too late.

They are stuffed in shoe boxes. They are stacked on shelves. They are shoved in the back of the sock drawer. They are old family photographs, video tapes, cassette tapes, 8mm films and letters. And they need to be digitized before it is too late.

Linda Berg Sharp and Kathleen Lyon Webb shared some great ideas for preserving your family's past at the BYU Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy in Salt Lake City this week.

To learn about all of their great tips, read the report by Michael DeGroote on Mormon

Monday, April 26, 2010

Spike Lee's journey in the season finale of Who Do You Think You Are

Be sure to watch Who Do You Think You Are for the season finale featuring Spike Lee this Friday evening, then check out the companion book to the series by Megan Smolenyak:

Ancestry magazine available on Google books

As if having thousands of books available online with information I can use in my family history research wasn't enough, I just learned that back issues of Ancestry magazine are also available for online reading at Google books.

Check it out here.

Today's Journal Star tells of man's search for his Czech heritage

From the April 26, 2010 Lincoln Journal Star newspaper:

Louis Meyer, 91, always wanted to know exactly where his grandfather came from. He has been looking for answers for years, but after he wrote a letter to the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International (CGSI) seeking assistance, he found out a lot more.

Read the full story of tracing Mr. Meyer's ancestors.

Where did they live?

I often find it rather amazing that I'm actually able to locate where some long lost relatives lived in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sure, some of the addresses no longer exist, some have been torn down and replaced by something else. But, even so, I've had fairly good luck in locating their former residences.

Before a "drive by," I look up the address on the Lancaster County Assessor's web site. You can type in the street number and address and find out if the house still exists. If it does, you can even see a photograph of the residence.

If you are looking for a Lancaster County, Nebraska residence where your long lost relative may have lived, visit the Interlinc web site.

On History TV: America - the Story of Us

Last night was the premiere of the new History channel series, America - The Story of Us. What I saw was pretty impressive; I look forward to watching the episodes in their entirety.

For those of us with several generations in America, it's a nice way to put our family histories in perspective with American history.

Tune in to the History channel on cable. For more information, visit the web site.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food for Thought - recipes from the relatives

I was cleaning out some old recipe books a couple years ago, planning to recyle some of them to a charity. Thank goodness my father looked through them because he discovered that one that was slated for donation was a 1950 cookbook compilation from the American Legion Auxiliary in Hardy, Nebraska, where much of our family resided for several decades. As I looked through it, not only did I find familiar names, but photographs of several family members who contributed recipes for the publication. I'm going to have to try this cake recipe some day! It sounds good!

Some of this week's favorite web sites

Here are a few web sites that I definitely recommend:

Script Tutorials - resources for old handwriting and documents. Are you having trouble interpreting some of the old handwriting styles? This site, managed by the Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University, offers tutorials on how to read those old documents - in German, Dutch, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Virtual Calendars - I don't think that a research day goes by that I don't use this resource to identify dates referenced in newspapers. Do you find an obituary that says only that someone died "last Tuesday" and doesn't give the date? Start with the date of the newspaper, then go to this site and view the calendar for that month and year. You can determine what date was "last Tuesday."

Missouri Digital Heritage - if you are doing any research at all in Missouri, you need to check out this web site. It even has a treasure chest of digital versions of death certificates - all for free. It doesn't get much better than that. It was named as one of Family Tree Magazine's 101 best web sites in 2009.

The Minnesota Historical Society is another of my favorite sites. I've located death records and have been able to order copies of death certificates for a reasonable price.

Closer to home, the Nebraska State Historical Society just keeps getting better all the time. The site has a fantastic blog you must check out! The April 23, 2010 entry deals with the Great Sheedy Murder Trial of 1891, a story that has surfaced frequently in my research on great-grandfather Dan Kelly's brother-in-law, John Fitzgerald.

Which brings me around to THE BEST interactive history site I've encountered in recent memory, Gilded Age Plains City. I challenge you to click that link and spend anything less than an hour looking around, following links and interacting with the site.

Paula's Genealogical Eclectica - this is Paula Stuart-Warren's fantastic blog. A fantastic blog from a fantastic person. I was fortunate to spend Friday and yesterday soaking up all of Paula's tips and research ideas at the Nebraska State Genealogical Society convention. Her blog offers more great ideas, resources and just plain fun.

And - I'm pleased to announce that has been added to the GeneaBloggers blog! With more than 900 genealogy blogs identified on the site, you can't help but find information on a topic you are interested in!

Family Resemblance

NBCs Who Do You Think You Are

Did you gasp as I did when Susan Sarandon held up the drawing of her grandmother Anita? My goodness! The resemblance was uncanny - and actually reminded me of Susan's role in the film, The Great Waldo Pepper.

Watch the moment again below.

Jeff Kappeler to Speak at LLCGS meeting on May 11

Jeff Kappeler of the Nebraska Humanities Council will be the featured speaker at the next meeting of the Lincoln Lancaster County (Nebraska) Genealogical Society meeting on May 11, 2010.

His topic is Ho! for America! Northern European Immigrants to the Midwest in the 19th Century.

His presentation is described as follows: The stories of our ancestors who settled Nebraska contain fascinating accounts of sacrifice, courage and endurance. The journey they made from the Old World to America was a difficult process that will be examined by Jeff in three parts: the decision, the journey and the adjustments required. Jeff’s presentation includes packing an actual immigrant chest and other essential baggage needed by our ancestors for the ocean voyage and the new life on the prairie. Mr. Kappeler is a Research Historian and Archivist and is sponsored in part by the Nebraska Humanities Council.

I heard Jeff speak at the Nebraska State Genealogical Society conference in Norfolk, Nebraska on Friday evening and can guarantee you that this presentation is one you must see and hear. He is extremely knowledgeable about his subject and a very interesting storyteller.

The meeting will be held at 7:15 p.m.

Lower Level Theater
Dick Admin. Bldg.
Union College Campus
3800 So. 48th St. Lincoln, Nebraska

For more information, visit the Society's web site.

Networking at Conferences and Meetings

Just as I do in my business life, I always carry genealogy business cards with me. In addition to my contact information and web site address, my card includes the main surnames I am researching, the Nebraska counties I am researching and the European countries where my ancestors lived. It sounds like a lot of information, but believe it or not - it all fits on the 2" x 3 1/2" card. It's nice to be able to hand these to people you want to stay in touch with.

Since not everyone has their own genealogy business cards, you can carry some blank cards with you. I use the same cards that I print my own cards on - Avery Ink Jet 8871. Grab a few of the blank pages, snap them apart and carry them with you. When you want to exchange email addresses or phone numbers and your new found friend doesn't have a card of their own, they can write out the information for you on the blank card you've provided. When you get home, you can file the card with the rest of your business card contacts.

This technique also works with Rolodex card inserts.

Of course - this is for those of us who still use paper and pens and who are not part of the Blackberry generation who can enter the information directly into their smart phone!

Every Genealogist Must Attend a Conference!

The following video from Roots Television makes it clear that "you don't have to be a celebrity to trace your roots." Included is a clip from Phyllis Erickson of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society.

You Can't Ignore the In-Laws - a long lost relatives success story!

Every few weeks, I go through the photo album that belonged to my great-grandmother, Mary (Minnie) Welch Kelly, who began her life in Connecticut and moved to Nebraska as a young woman in her twenties. That photo album, along with her autograph book and the autograph book of her sister, Nellie Welch, gave me the first real clues to the relationships in the Welch family.

An earlier post on this blog back in January shared my success in identifying members of the Garrigus family - one of Minnie's other sisters, Agnes Welch, married Clarence Gregory Garrigus and they had two children, Alfred and Ethel.

Just last weekend, I discovered obituaries of Clarence and Agnes in the Hartford (CT) Courant newspaper. I knew that Clarence was an inventor as I had discovered one of his patent applications online. His obituary states, "With his wife, Mrs. Agnes Welch Garrigus, he developed the Universal Breadmixer in 1903. The couple used their kitchen as a laboratory."

The obituary goes on to say, "During the World Fair in St. Louis, Mo., in 1904, he passed out bread samples made from the recipe of his wife, who used the new mixer."

The bells in my head started to go off and I returned to great-grandmother Minnie's photo album once again.

Far right, Agnes Welch Garrigus with her son, Alfred Garrigus, at the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904.

I had previously identified Alfred from two other photographs in the album, so this elegant woman with him in the St. Louis photographs has to be his mother, Agnes Welch Garrigus.

Agnes Welch Garrigus and Alfred Garrigus

This photograph identifies the address of where the photograph was taken, but I haven't been able to determine what it says - yet.

This series of photographs in Minnie's album also includes the man who I believe is Clarence Gregory Garrigus.

Dan Kelly gives Clarence Garrigus a ride.

The photo album also includes photographs of the Garrigus family in Nebraska. I am inferring that the Garrigus family visited Agnes' sister, Minnie Welch Kelly, in Nebraska on the same visit to the West when they attended the World's Fair in St. Louis. In the photo above, my great-grandfather, Dan Kelly (Minnie's husband) is having a bit of fun for the camera by giving his brother-in-law, Clarence Garrigus, a ride in the wheelbarrow.

So - after all of these years, I am able to begin identifying the other family members in Minnie's photo album. And this was because I located the obituary of Clarence Garrigus that told about the 1904 trip to the World's Fair in St. Louis.

Follow all of the leads and clues that come your way - and don't ignore the in-laws!

NBC Renews Who Do You Think You Are for another season

From NBC:

"Who Do You Think You Are?" from executive producer Lisa Kudrow is averaging a 1.6 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49 and 6.8 million viewers overall in "most current" results for its season thus far. In preliminary results for last Friday, "Who Do You Think You Are?" won the 8-9 p.m. ET hour in adults 18-49, marking the first time any regular competitor in this slot has beaten an original episode of CBS's "Ghost Whisperer" in 18-49 rating since November 17, 2006. "Who Do You Think You Are?" has improved the time period by 23 percent in adult 18-49 rating versus NBC's average for the traditional 2008-09 season in "live plus same day" results.

If you've missed any of the episodes of "Who Do You Think You Are," you may view them here.

Nebraska State Genealogical Society meeting a success!

The 33rd annual conference of the Nebraska State Genealogical Society was held in Norfolk this weekend. Excellent sessions providing tips for finding your long lost relatives were given by Paula Stuart-Warren. Paula was a captivating speaker who held everyone's attention for two full days. Jeff Kappeler of the Nebraska Humanities Council presented an informative and entertaining lecture on what life was like for our immigrant ancestors.

The conference ended with a trip to Prospect Hill Cemetery for a demonstration of grave witching by Judy Carlson. With her two copper rods, Judy showed how she is able to determine the location of graves, if the deceased is male or female, and sometimes, the age of a child. I'm not one of the skeptics and I believe everyone found her demonstration quite interesting!

Judy Carlson demonstrates Grave Witching at the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Norfolk, Nebraska. Behind her (light green pullover) is conference speaker Paula Stuart-Warren.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Honoring Arbor Day in Nebraska

Arbor Day was created by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska in 1872. It was a day to be set aside for planting trees.

Check out the interactive history book about Arbor Day on the Arbor Day Foundation website and Mr. Morton's diary entry for Arbor Day in his journal on the Nebraska State Historical Society web site.