Thursday, February 21, 2013

Looking for Families of Civil War Veterans - a collaborative effort

A few days ago, KMTV in Omaha ran a piece on the Bellevue, Nebraska Cemetery Committee and their desire to place tombstones for seven unmarked graves of Nebraska Civil War Veterans at Bellevue Cemetery. It caught my interest and I posted the link to my Facebook wall. That generated quite a bit of chatter and included another Facebook friend from Omaha reaching out to the woman interviewed in the story.

We had so much chatter that we moved the conversation to the Nebraska Genea-Peeps group on Facebook - a small but active group of Nebraska genealogists and others who have ties to family in Nebraska.

Before you could blink an eye, our group of Nebraska genealogists was on task - pooling our resources and scouring our various subscription sites and Googling like crazy. We were determined to help find living relatives of these seven Civil War veterans. Other people involved in the project joined the task. Several of our Nebraska Genea-Peeps group adopted one of the seven and worked in tag teams to locate information.

By the end of the day, we were posting documents we had discovered, obituaries found and names of possible living family members. To say we were obsessed is an understatement. By the end of the day, we probably had well over 100 posts/comments on the page and we made our discoveries. A couple of the women worked their clues via Twitter conversation.

This morning, we have some strong leads as well as some brick walls. So we are going back to square one to start over on those. This is such an exhilarating and exciting project to collaborate on! We're having such a good time - and also testing our genealogy research skills.

It's just another example of how the power of social media really works in genealogy.

If you have Nebraska family ties or just want to join in on the project, please come visit our Nebraska Genea-Peeps group on Facebook! A splendid time is guaranteed for all!

Thank you to all of the awesome Nebraska genealogists for their contributions to this random act of genealogical kindess!


6 comments:

  1. Wow, that is very cool. Hope we see an update that you've found family for all of them!

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    1. You can count on an update, Debi! Now we are looking forward to being present at the ceremony when the tombstones are placed!

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  2. What a nice project for the newly formed group and makes good use of everybody's free time. I'm wondering tho, if the graves are unmarked, how do you all know the names of these veterans? Good luck with this very interesting project. Please let us know how it turns out.

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    1. The cemetery has records on the names of the veterans. Now, we have learned, that once this task is complete, they will move on to another cemetery and we'll be working on that one, too!

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  3. Oh the power of genealogists "on a mission!" There is nothing that can stop them!

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    1. Isn't that the truth! The power of community!

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