Sunday, August 19, 2012

Coming Around Full Circle

My first blog post on was on Sunday, December 13, 2009. I had written blogs before and knew of their ability to show up in online search results. That is the reason I started the blog - because I wanted to see if some long lost relatives might find the blog and be able to provide some missing information for my family tree.

That first blog post was titled Obituary for Evelyn Gibbons of Atlantic, Iowa. She was the former Evelyn Bellinger, daughter of Henry Bellinger and Alvena Johansen. She was my mother's first cousin. I had found a listing in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Evelyn Gibbons, but I wanted to confirm that this was the same person as my family member. An obituary was needed.

In March of 2011, her great granddaughter discovered the blog post and left a message confirming some information. The obituary, however, was still elusive.

Until yesterday.

I was at the Omaha Public Library yesterday for a talk by my friend, Gail Blankenau, and had planned a few lookups to do in the Genealogy Room on the third floor of the W. Dale Clark Library. I grabbed the "Gi -" card catalog of Omaha area obituaries and there it was - Evelyn's obituary - at long last.

Evelyn Bellinger Gibbons' Obituary
Omaha World Herald
March 27, 1995
Omaha Public Library
I snapped a photograph of the obituary, then used an iPhone app called Genius Scan, to create the following image:

Evelyn's obituary as seen by Genius Scan

The card catalog also had obituaries for Evelyn's two sons, John and Bernie Lee. I had previously discovered the obituary for her husband, Clifton.

At last, there is some closure to my very first blog post.

The link to this post is


  1. Yea Susan! 2 1/2 years, is really not bad!! So...I guess you are done with genealogy now? :)

  2. LOL - yeah, what Jenna said! But what a great story...because it just shows, once again, how important libraries, court houses etc are to our research.

  3. Ah, my partners in genealogy crime, you two are very funny! LOL. Of course, the obit was there in the library the whole time; it just took me a while to get there to find it! Moi? Done with genealogy? Not quite!

  4. Susan, You've just made it a whole lot easier for the next person who wants to find Evelyn.

  5. Thanks, Jill! It's my goal to leave as many breadcrumbs around as I possibly can!

  6. Wonderful results! And definitely a few breadcrumbs for others... one never knows when the genealogy bug will bite some relative! Thanks for sharing your neat scan from your iPhone, too!

  7. Glad you like the iPhone app, Celia. I'm thinking about doing a blog post on this app with some more examples.

  8. Great post, Susan. Has several elements to keep each of us moving forward, each in our own way! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

  9. Thanks, Dr Bill, I always appreciate your feedback.

  10. Breadcrumbs are good - and you're NEVER done with genealogy ;-) Jo

  11. This is amazing... What made you start your blog with a search for Evelyn's obit? She was my great grandmother. Her son Bernie was my grandfather and I am the only child of his eldest daughter Sheila.. I think I have been bit by the family history bug and am excited to start researching and find out where it leads me... Thanks for all your work.

    1. Brittney - so glad that you found my blog! I'm looking forward to getting together with you and your mother so we can share some notes and possibly some family photos. I'm glad we live close together so we can actually make an in person connection in Omaha sometime!