Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nebraska Genealogy Events - May 2011

Many events are in store for Nebraska genealogists in May! If you have an event you would like listed, email me. For a full listing of upcoming Nebraska genealogy and history events, click here.

Date & Location
May 5 – 12, 2011
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Southeast Community College
Continuing Education Center
301 S. 68th St Place
Lincoln, Nebraska
Intermediate Genealogy: Research Your Family Tree

Taught by Marcia Stewart and Cynthia Monroe


SCC Course Catalog (see page 21): note: the catalog incorrectly lists this as a morning class.

May 6, 2011
7:00 p.m.
LDS Family History Center
11027 Martha St
Omaha, Nebraska
GO-PAF User Group

May 6 – 7, 2011
Nebraska State Genealogical Society Annual Conference

Featured speaker: Gail Blankenau
Introduction to German Parish Records
Keeping Up With the Jones …and Smiths
Using Land Records
Rich Resources for Poor Ancestors

Also on the program:
Dr. Sara Crook
- She will be portraying Barbara Kagi Mayhew and discussing the Mayhew family's activities with the Underground RR.  A tour of the Mayhew cabin museum will be part of the Friday evening activities.
Curt Wolbert – Research at the Nebraska State Historical Society
Dean Podell – Notable Nebraskans During the Civil War

$75 for both days; $40 for single day admission

May 10, 2011
7:15 p.m.
Lower Level Theater
Dick Admin. Bldg.
Union College Campus
3800 So. 48th St. Lincoln, Nebraska
Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society: Tour the LLCGS Library, a treasure worth exploring.
LLCGS members have added useful resources that are being combined with gifts from the Nebraska State Historical Society and placed among Union College references available at the Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library. Bring along a notebook to jot down references you'll want to come back and check after our tour. We'll divide up into groups to facilitate group sizes where everyone can see and hear. We'll learn about books, periodicals, atlases, indexes and a variety of resources.

May 18, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Crown Pointe Retirement Center
2820 South 80th St
Omaha, Nebraska

Program to be announced

May 19, 2011
12:00 Noon
Nebraska History Museum
15th and P Sts
Lincoln, Nebraska
Presenter: Dr. James Hewitt

May 21, 2011
9:15 a.m. – noon
Mormon Trail Center
3215 State Street Omaha, Nebraska

Part 1: Black & White and Read all over: Using newspapers and interlibrary loan to research your family. Part 2: Jumping the Water: Hints for finding just where in the old country your ancestors came from, using US records.

May 21, 2011
1:30 p.m.
West Nebraska Family Research and History Center
1602 Avenue A
Scottsbluff, NE

Nancy Sato - Japanese culture and migration to western
Nebraska and a review of Rev. Hisanori Kano’s book,
Nikkei Farmer on the Nebraska Plains

May 26, 2011
6:30 p.m.
Knight Museum and Sandhills Center
908 Yellowstone Avenue
Alliance, NE

Heritage Seekers
Gleaning Information from Death and Cemetery Records.

Presented by museum directo  Becci Thomas. As caretaker of most of the Box Butte County genealogical records, Becci will cover the many aspects of using the different types of death records and why they are so important to the genealogist and historian alike. Contact:   or   Cheri Hopkins:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Genealogy and Land Records Conference: Beatrice, NE - July 15-16, 2011

On July 16, 2011, I will be speaking at the Genealogy and Land Records Symposium in Beatrice, Nebraska. Click here for a program and registration form.

Happy Easter from !

Susan on Easter
"Back in the Day"

Many of us are old enough to remember getting dressed up for Easter. Complete with a little hat and white gloves! I have no idea why my Mom would have dressed me like this if I was going hunting for Easter eggs. Maybe they weren't made of chocolate back then because I would have been a mess!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere April 22

Here are some of my favorite posts from the genealogy blogging community this week:

What Do You Mean It Isn't Free from the Minnesota Family Historian is an excellent discourse on the value of genealogical services and information and the actual behind-the-scenes costs.

Along the same lines, Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers was quite transparent in sharing information regarding making money in the genealogy field. Those who have a dream of doing genealogy as a full-fledged career may have their eyes opened to this economic reality. It is not as easy as Thomas makes it look!

Also weighing in the topic of making money in genealogy were Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy and James Tanner of Genealogy's Star.

My Top 3 Bits of Advice for Blogging from Marian's Roots and Rambles

How to Create Online Content Like an Immortal Renaissance Artist from Copyblogger (not a genealogy blog, but excellent advice for the digital writing community)

Dear Myrtle has an excellent piece on the Bureau of Land Management and researching land records.

For those looking to expand their genealogy education, learn about 140 free online genealogy research courses offered from FamilySearch. This comes from GeneaPress. 

Other recommended reading

Other bloggers also offer their recommendations and weekly highlights. Check their recommended reading lists:

Randy Seaver's Best of the Geneablogs on Geneamusings.

Greta's Follow Friday on Greta's Genealogy Blog.

Elizabeth O'Neal's Best Bytes on Little Bytes of Life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Open Discussion Weekend - What Drives Your Genealogy Passion?

It's no secret that we genealogists are passionate, obsessive, driven, enthusiastic, dedicated .... I could go on.

This weekend's question is: What drives that passion or obsession for you? Is it the whole idea of finding out who you are through the lives of your ancestors? Do you have one or two ancestors who really intrigue you?

How did you get started doing family history research and what was the trigger that got you hooked? At this point in your life, can you imagine ever stopping your quest for family history information?

What aspect of your family history research do you enjoy the most? For me, it's no question that I love researching old newspapers and walking in the quiet solitude of cemeteries.

Please share your Comments below.

Sunday's Obituary: John Laymon - My Civil War Ancestor

John and Eliza Laymon grave
Hardy Cemetery, Hardy
Nuckolls County, Nebraska
John Laymon was my great great grandfather
John J. Layman
Death has again entered our midst, and has taken another one of our dear old soldiers, who fought in the Civil War for our freedom. It is so true that Death loves a shining mark, and this time he laid his icy finger mark upon Uncle John Layman, as he was called by his friends and old comrades. Thus another home is broken and an aged companion left to mourn the loss of one who for sixty-one years has toild and labored by her side to make their home a resting place, that they might enjoy in their last days.
John J. Layman was born July 4, 1831, and died May 19, 1922. He is survived by his aged companion, Eliza Layman, one daughter, Mrs. Clara Pecht, of Hardy, Nebr. four sons, Tilson Layman, of Verona, Neb., Geo. W. Layman, of Republic, Kans.,  Herbert and Frank Layman of Sheridan, Wyo., fourteen grandchildren, three great grandchildren, two daughters, Ida Weir and Martha Layman, having departed this life before their father - Republic City News
Source: Belleville Telescope, Belleville, Kansas, June 1, 1922

Note: the correct spelling of the family name is Laymon. His headstone indicates his year of birth was 1838, rather than 1831. 1838 is consistent with census records.

John Laymon
Civil War Pension
John Laymon was a private in the Illinois Infantry, 91st Regiment.

John Laymon's military page on

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ashland Nebraska (Saunders county) Cemetery interments

Good news from the Ashland Historical Society in Ashland (Saunders county) Nebraska: an updated list of all cemetery interments is available online! View here.

Several of my kin are listed, so I need to make some notes!

Danish Immigrant Museum seeking information about lodge in Omaha

The Danish Immigrant Museum of Elk Horn, Iowa published this request regarding a Danish Lodge in Omaha in its latest newsletter. Can you help?

We’ve recently learned that there was a Danish lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows that purchased lots in Springwell Cemetery in Omaha in the early 20th century. We would like to obtain more information about this group.  If you have any photographs or information about it, or know where some might be found, please contact Michele at 877.764.7008.

Upcoming Events in Alliance, Nebraska

May 26, 20116:30 p.m.Knight Museum and Sandhills Center
908 Yellowstone Avenue
Alliance, NE

Heritage Seekers
Gleaning Information from Death and Cemetery Records

Presented by museum director Becci Thomas
As caretaker of most of the Box Butte county genealogical records, Becci will cover the many aspects of using the different types of death records and why they are so important to the genealogist and historians alike. For more information contact or Cheri Hopkins

June 11, 2011
Start time TBA
908 Yellowstone Avenue
Alliance, NE
The Heritage Seekers will host an all day driving tour of the 13 Box Butte County cemeteries.

Meet at the museum early and we will carpool to take the driving tour of these cemeteries, led by our museum director: Becci Thomas and other museum staff. Bring a sack lunch, drinks, comfortable shoes and a camera! This will be an all day excursion. Call 308-762-2384 for more info or email the museum at the following:

Information provided by Cheri Hopkins

Friday, April 15, 2011

Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere - April 15

Sometimes life interferes with the reading of one's blogs, so Around the Blogosphere has been AWOL for the last three weeks. Once my Google Reader hit 700 blog posts that I hadn't read, I had to give in, delete them and move on.

However, here are some of my favorite genealogy blog posts that I've read recently:

Organizing Family Photos: Getting Over the Hump by Melissa Mannon on ArchivesInfo.

Websites for Finding Vital Records and their Alternatives by Gena Phillibert Ortega on Gena's Genealogy.

Preserve it or lose it - Dear Myrtle - here's where I discovered the Light Impressions web site where I've ordered some archival storage containers that meet the PAT test.

Obsessed With Genealogy by Ruby Coleman on the You Go Genealogy Girls blog.

Are You Related to? by Deb Ruth (no relation to the Babe) on Adventures in Genealogy.

The Minute Men of 1861 by Barbara Poole on Life From the Roots.

Why Is there So Much Drama on FindAGrave by Kerry on Clue Wagon - be sure to read the comments in this fascinating discussion. We've all had varying experiences with this site, although mostly quite positive. Yes, sometimes there is drama there.

Dorothy Louise Harris - this is an excellent example of putting together a story timeline illustrated with photographs. From Dave Weller on Tree Rings.

What Makes a Good Memoir - Biff Barnes on Family History and Memoirs.

Other recommended reading

Other bloggers also offer their recommendations and weekly highlights. Check their recommended reading lists:

Randy Seaver's Best of the Geneablogs on Geneamusings.

Greta's Follow Friday on Greta's Genealogy Blog.

Elizabeth O'Neal's Best Bytes on Little Bytes of Life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History - Sports

Week 15 Challenge: Did you have a favorite sports team as a child? If so, which one and why? Do you still support the same teams?

This blog post was originally published on January 15, 2011.

Mickey Mantle at the plate
Municipal Stadium, Kansas City
August 19, 1962
my photo from the upper deck
No, Mickey Mantle was not one of my long lost relatives. But he played a big role in my early years. As I've written before, there are many baseball players in my family, including my father, my maternal grandfather, and two great uncles on both sides of the family. For whatever reason, the New York Yankees were my number one team. Today, I've expanded "my teams" to include the St. Louis Cardinals. So I've got a team in each league.

I remember listening to baseball games on the radio with my grandmother, Sina Bellinger Kelly. There was something about the name Mickey Mantle that resonated with me. At such an early age (under five), I really believe that I thought Mickey Mantle and Mickey Mouse were the same person! Anyway, I loved his name. Then I remember watching baseball games on our black and white television set.

Then came along the summer of 1961 and the home run race between the two Yankees, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. This season was expertly recreated in Billy Crystal's film 61*. I followed the home run race, read the box scores, and checked the statistics on a daily basis that summer. Being a huge Mickey Mantle fan, I wanted him to beat Babe Ruth's record. But as long as the record was broken by a Yankee, it didn't matter.

1962 rolled around and a dream came true for me. My grandparents, parents and I went to Kansas City's old Memorial Stadium to see the Yankees play the Kansas City Athletics on August 19, 1962. The Yankees were smokin' that day. Home runs were the norm. Mantle hit 3 for 4, including the seventh grand slam home run of his career. It was enough to see Mantle and Maris and the rest of the Yankees, but to see a grand slam! I was thrilled!

Between Mantle and Elston Howard, the two drove in 15 runs to beat the A's 21 - 7. Howard hit two home runs. It wasn't as if the A's were idle that day, either. Of 11 hits by the A's, four were home runs! No kid could ask for anything better than that!

Just as baseball is a big part of my lineage, it's still a big part of my life today (as a TV spectator anyway). Opening Day is April 1, 2011. It can't get here soon enough.

source: Beckley Post Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 20, 1962
Update for 52 Weeks: Oh yes, I still follow the Yankees! One of their relief pitchers, Joba Chamerlain, and I went to the same high school (oh, about 30-35 years apart). It's fun to keep an eye out for the home town boys who made it big. But I am also a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals (my Dad tried out for the team prior to enlisting in World War II). Pujols Rules! It's hard to believe, but I also like the Boston Red Sox (Yankees fans, do not attack me!), the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Chicago Cubs. Face it, if there's a major league baseball game on TV, it's on in the background.

About 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Amy Coffin of We Tree Genealogy has created a third year of blogging prompts for genealogy bloggers. The theme for 2011 i52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History. These are shared on the web site, hosted by Thomas MacEntee.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Loren Pospisil to speak at West Nebraska Family Research and History Center on April 16

From Floyd Smith III:

The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center is proud to announce that Loren Pospisil, Director of the Chimney Rock state historical site, will be the featured speaker for the WNFRHC Genealogy Roundtable Forum on April 16th at 1:30pm at 1602 Ave. A in Scottsbluff. Loren will describe the collection and holdings at Chimney Rock that may be beneficial to family researchers and local historians.  Loren will also discuss the Western Trails Project and subsequent Western Trails Database and the important information it contains.  For more information, please contact the West Nebraska Family Research & History Center at 308-635-2400.