Monday, October 31, 2011

A Pioneer Gone - William D Kelly - 2nd great grandfather

A local Nebraska obituary for my great-great grandfather, William D. Kelly, had been elusive to me until last evening. To date, all I had discovered was a death notice in the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press, a city where he had lived thirty years before his death.

Unfortunately, the digital image leaves much to be desired, but I have transcribed it to my best ability at this time. I also referred to the St. Paul obituary as some of the language was similar. The St. Paul article gave his date of death as February 3, 1896, which, according to the Lincoln Evening News, would have been the date of his funeral.

His railroad contracting work was referred to as being west of the Mississippi in the Lincoln article. The St. Paul article stated his work was west of the Mississippi and south of Missouri.

In genealogy, one always has to keep looking.

Below is my transcription, with a few words still escaping me.


William D. Kelly Dies at His Home Near Greenwood.

William D. Kelly died this morning at his home near Greenwood at the age of sixty-two. The deceased was born in Ireland, and, coming to this country at an early age spent some of his life in the west. As a railroad contractor he was very successful and took part in the construction of some of the principal lines west of the Mississippi. Though a --- adventurous man he was devoted to his home. He was enterprising and progressive -- a typical -- Mr. Kelly’s health had been failing rapidly for several months and the end was not unexpected. He died fortified by the last rites of his church and surrounded by his children. His wife had gone before him several years since. Of his children, his daughters, Mrs. John Fitzgerald, Mrs. M. J. Langdon, Mrs. Ode Rector and his son Thomas live in this city. His sons, Daniel, Michael, John and William Jr live on their farms near Greenwood. The funeral will be from the pro-cathedral at 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

Source: Lincoln Evening News, Lincoln, Nebraska
31 Jan 1896, page 1

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Open Discussion Weekend - What Did You Do During Family History Month?

As Family History Month comes to a close, it's a good time to reflect on what we did to further our family history research or make contributions to the genealogy community. Here's a summary of some of the things that I did during October:

  • Attended a day long workshop and research opportunity at the Cass County (Nebraska) Historical Society Museum in Plattsmouth. Part 1   Part 2
  • Participated in the Family History Fair sponsored by the Lincoln-Lancaster County (Nebraska) Genealogical Society. I shared information on genealogy blogging and demonstrated the Flip-Pal scanner.
  • Attended the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society fall conference featuring Paul Milner.
  • Actively promoted the Nebraska Genea-Peeps group on Facebook. Join us!
  • Got caught up on the last few episodes of Geneabloggers Radio.
  • Continued organizing my genealogy digital files in my Dropbox folder.
  • Honored my Irish heritage by attending a concert by Celtic Thunder.
  • Renewed my subscription to
  • Purchased and installed Family Tree Maker 2012 and synched my family tree with
  • Bought a new desk chair for my genea-cave (with luck, it might get assembled this weekend!)
  • Discovered some images to go along with previously discovered records on
  • Discovered some cousins in the yearbook pages on
  • Corresponded with some people with common relatives via
  • Scanned family photos and documents
  • Visited the grave site of my 2nd great grandparents at Calvary Cemetery here in Lincoln. Sometimes I just have to go there for a few minutes to get centered and focused. It works.
  • Discovered confirmation of deaths in the newly posted Connecticut records database at
What were the highlights of YOUR family history month? Feel free to share your comments below.

Nebraska Genealogy Events - November 2011

Genealogy events - historical presentations - and other items of interest to the genealogist. Events are in Nebraska (or close by!).

Submit your Nebraska genealogy event to

For recently added events, view these blog posts.

Date & Location

On Exhibit through November 1, 2011 – January 28, 2012
Cass County Historical Society Museum
646 Main Street
Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Grandma’s China Cabinet

November 3, 2011
6:00 pm auction
7:00 pm dinner
Cass County Historical Society Museum
646 Main Street
Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Cass County Historical Society Museum annual meeting.
Program: General Ulysses S. Grant – portrayed by Dr. Tom King

November 4, 2011
7:00 p.m.
LDS Family History Center
11027 Martha St
Omaha, Nebraska
GO-PAF meeting
Program to be announced

November 8, 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: “They Went West” Early U.S. Migration Routes by Water, Trails, and Rails. Did you ever find the ultimate book containing your family’s history – only to discover that your branch “went west” and there was no other information provided? Such is the case for many of our families that left eastern states to travel across this vast country to finally settle in the plains states. Phyllis Ericson will lead an exploration of the reasons for migration, the main routes used, and strategies for tracing the migrations of our ancestors.

November 8, 2011
12:00 noon
Cass County Historical Society Museum
646 Main Street
Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Brown Bag Series: Grandma’s China Cabinet; speaker: Douglas Duey
It is always a surprise to see what Dr. Duey will bring from his personal collection. This program will most likely include some China and Porcelain and will tie in with the museum’s exhibit “Grandma’s China Cabinet.”

November 10, 2011
6:30 p.m.
Southeast Community College Continuing Education Center
301 S. 68th St Place
Lincoln, Nebraska
Taught by Marcia Stewart
See Page 24 of course catalog

November 16, 2011
7:00 p.m.
Crown Pointe Retirement Center
2820 S. 80th St
Omaha, Nebraska
Speaker: GOGS member Brenda Smith will talk about the first Omaha Police Chief, Webber Seavey.

November 17, 2011
12:00 Noon
Nebraska History Museum
15th and P Sts
Lincoln, Nebraska
Presenter: Don Schaufelberger

November 19, 2011
1:30 p.m.
West Nebraska Family Research and History Center
1602 Avenue A
Scottsbluff, NE

Judy Leafdale ~ Immigration from Norway and the
sailing ships they used.

November 30, 2011
6:30 p.m.
Wednesdays through Dec 7.
Southeast Community College Continuing Education Center
301 S. 68th St Place
Lincoln, Nebraska
Taught by Marcia Stewart
See Page 24 of course catalog

Friday, October 28, 2011

Minnie Welch Kelly's Autograph Book

Here is a quick view of my great grandmother's autograph book, which is a glimpse of her journey from Waterbury, Connecticut to Greenwood, Nebraska. It includes scans of each page and my transcription of the document. Minnie Welch Kelly's autograph book - Subscriber Home Pages

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Open Discussion Weekend - The Name's The Same

I believe that all genealogists have experienced the frustration of discovering information about people who have the same name as our ancestors. At the time of the discovery of the document or newspaper article, we really aren't sure if this is our ancestor or cousin or not.

A couple years ago, I dismissed a huge cache of articles on because I mistakenly thought "this prominent person could not have possibly been a member of our family!" About six months later, I learned that this person was, indeed, related. I had to back track and rediscover those articles all over again. And with this particular subscription service, their contracts with the various newspaper database and image suppliers aren't always renewed. That means that a later search on this site may mean that the articles are no longer available.

Up for discussion and comment: What do you do with information you discover on someone who may or may not be related? Do you save a copy for further research? Do you dismiss it? If you keep the information, how do you track or file it? Do you use the information as a method of ruling out a possible event that is not connected to your research subject?

In a couple situations where people living in the same vicinity have the same name as one of my relatives, I have done the online census searches on Ancestry on "the other guy" as a means to rule out that it is "my guy." When some confusion may exist, I add a note to my guy's profile on Ancestry, along the lines of "My guy, the farmer, should not be confused with the other guy, who was a banker who lived in the neighboring town at the same time."

What is your research approach when the name's the same? Please share your insights in the Comments section below.

NOTE: Not two minutes after I originally posted this, I received an email from with a link to this article: Which Guy Is Mine? Creating a Profile to Identify Your Ancestor.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coming Around Full Circle - or - Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

I always seem to be going back to my favorite source of family history information - old newspapers. I subscribe to at least four online databases that provide newspaper articles. A recent search on family surnames turned up something I haven't seen in, dare I admit it, 37 years?

What I discovered is an article that I wrote for the Omaha World Herald's Magazine of the Midlands. This Sunday supplement ceased publication several years ago, which is sad. The magazine's editor, Hollis Limprecht, was freelancer friendly and published several of my articles over the years. This was the first and was published February 24, 1974.

It should come as no surprise that the focus of the story is not only history, but history in Cass County, Nebraska, where many of my family roots are. When I visited Elmwood Public Schools on a work assignment, I was pretty excited to see the students getting excited about the history of their community. The inspirational teacher behind the local history project was Mary Skalak. Sadly, Mary died a year ago this month.

Below is what Hollis wrote about me in his preface to this issue of the magazine. Some things never change. I'm still interested in history. I'm still interested in Cass County, and I'm still writing about it.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Around the Blogosphere - October 16

Here are several of my favorite blog posts from around the blogosphere this week. While some of these are not specific to genealogy, they do offer topics of relevance to genealogists.

9 Reasons to Publish an eBook by Ben Barden on Quick Blog Tips. If you are a blogger and aren't reading Ben's blog, you need to be.

Another post that focusing on writing has to do with NaNoWriMo - on The Ginger Jewish Genealogist. Do you think you can write a book in a month's time? That's what NaNoWriMo is about - and November is the month. Maybe your book doesn't have to be a novel, but about family history. The idea is to get it in gear and write!

Paula Stuart-Warren offers a perspective on Budget Choices in Life and in Family History on Paula's Genealogical Eclectica.

Dan Curtis is a professional personal historian and has a blog that genealogists and geneabloggers should subscribe to. This week he provided links to 20 articles about interviewing techniques. I always lament the fact that my college journalism coursework focused on reporting, writing and editing, but in four years, there was no mention or instruction on how to conduct an interview. It's certainly a lot more than writing out your questions ahead of time.

Randy Seaver is my genea-angel of the week with all of his posts about the new 2012 Family Tree Maker. While I haven't read every one all the way through (yet), I will - because, for a change, I want to avoid some mistakes by just clicking through a lot of buttons and not know what I'm doing. Randy provides a compendium to all of his articles about FTM 2012 in one post.

And - another Nebraska genealogist has joined the blogging world. Please visit Marcia Stewart's blog about her Turpin family on Turpin Traces. Marcia teaches beginning and intermediate genealogy classes at Southeast Community College here in Lincoln. And as a former student, I can tell you she is very good at it!

Paul Milner was a hit at the GOGS conference in Omaha

Paul Milner
speaking in Omaha, Nebraska
Family History Month has been so jam packed with genealogy activities that I have been on the go all month - with even more coming up next weekend. Yesterday was the fall workshop sponsored by the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society (GOGS) on Scottish and British Family History Research.

The workshop presenter was Paul Milner, a professional genealogist and lecturer. He has specialized in British Isles genealogical research for more than 30 years.

I have no Scottish ancestors (that I'm aware of) and the ancestors from England go back to the Mayflower and have been pretty well researched already. As a result, I knew very little about research in these countries. Always an eager learner, I took away a lot of new information from his workshops. He did reference some Irish immigration, so that was definitely of interest and use for my research.

Milner discussed the Push-Pull influences - factors that were pushing people out of Scotland. Pull influences were what brought many Scots to America. It was no surprise that the Push influences were based on a poor economy, lack of housing and lack of food. Pull influences included the possibility of obtaining land, and letters from family encouraging the folks back home to join them in America.

Favorite "sound bites" from the workshop:

  • You cannot assume that if your emigrant was part of the migration [1725-27] that they automatically came from the north of Ireland.
  • Assumptions are fatal in genealogy.
  • Follow the minister if you can't find your ancestor - Quite often, the minister decided to move on and much of his congregation followed.
Just a few of Milner's recommended books and web sites:
It was definitely an educational - and fun - day! I enjoyed reconnecting with several of the genealogists who I've met over the last couple years. I still haven't quite adjusted to people introducing themselves and telling me that they heard me speak somewhere. But I guess I can get used to that!

I definitely give Paul Milner five stars (out of five!) as a genealogy speaker!

Visit the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society on the web

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More Nebraska Genealogy-Cemetery Events coming up!

Ashland Cemetery Tour - October 15, 2011

The Ashland Historical Society will hold a cemetery walk on Sunday afternoon, October 16 at 2:00 p.m. Participants will meet at the Ashland Cemetery directory and will tour two cemeteries.

The event is free and open to the public.

Judi Schamp, a founding member of the Ashland Cemetery Directory and Improvement Committee, will discuss the history Saunders County's largest cemetery and lead the tour.

People will then carpool to Carr Cemetery; also known as Clear Creek Cemetery, which is two miles north of Ashland. Melanie O'Brien will discuss the history of the cemetery, which is the oldest in Saunders county.

Tour of Young Cemetery near Plattsmouth - October 15 and 16, 2011

"Ghosts of a Pioneer Cemetery Tour 2011" will be given at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. October 15 and 16 at Young Cemetery near Plattsmouth, Nebraska. This rain-or-shine walking tour takes about an hour. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance at Antiques Off Main in Plattsmouth or by contacting Leigh Jean Koinzan at 402-296-2942 or

To get to Young Cemetery from the Omaha area, drive southbound on US Highway 75 south of Plattsmouth to Young Road. Look for the cemetery tour directional sign. Turn East onto Young Road. Go a short distance, again watching for the cemetery tour sign. Turn left onto Young Lane. You will see another sign. Parking is limited, so carpooling is recommended. Restroom facilities are not available.

Storytellers from OOPS (Omaha Organization for the Purpose of Storytelling) and other "ghost characters" dressed in period costumes will tell stories about the residents of this 1855 cemetery.

For more information visit

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Western Nebraska Family History Month Event this Saturday

Press release from the West Nebraska Family Research and History Center via Floyd Smith III

In recognition of National Family History Month, the West Nebraska Family Research & History Center at 1602 Ave A in Scottsbluff will be having two programs with discussion sessions on Saturday, October 15th.  The first program will start at 9:30am and will be presented by Dennis Kramer of Dugan-Kramer Funeral Chapel.  Mr. Kramer will discuss the benefits of writing your own obituary and tips on how to do it.  Mr. Kramer will also address mortuary records and the information they contain.  The second program will begin at 11:00am and will be presented by Janet Gifford and Ann Herbel.  Their program will focus on DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) membership, the application process and the documentation required to apply for membership and research assistance options available for those interested in joining the DAR.  A question and answer session will follow each program.  The sessions are free and open to the public.  Staff will available all day to answer your genealogy and local history questions.  Questions about the schedule or the topics of discussion can be directed to 308-635-2400 or

Monday, October 10, 2011

Around the Blogosphere - October 10

There have been so many great and informative genealogy blog posts recently - so many, in fact, that I've really had to just skim the surface in my blog reading. Truth is, I've read three books this week, so the blog reading took a bit of a back seat. However! Here are some of the blog posts that I enjoyed recently.

I enjoy reading about and seeing how other genealogists organize their work. While done out of necessity, Greta Koehl shared her story and photos of drying out some documents after having 26 inches of water in her basement. I think I would have just run away! See A Proper Place for Sentiment on Greta's Genealogy Blog.

Another peek in a genealogist's closet as provided by Michelle Goodrum of The Turning of Generations. Her post: Progress on the Archival Closet on Sorting Saturday.

My friend, Diana Ritchie, of Random Relatives is working on her goal of 15 minutes of writing every day. Her goal was inspired by our other friend, Lisa Alzo, at the FGS conference this year. Read What I've Been Doing for 15 Minutes Every Day! Diana also wrote another great post called I Just Received a Letter From My Great-Great Grandfather.

Another of our mutual friends (thanks to the Family History Expo in Kansas City last year), Jenna Mills, has been on a long time search for her grandmother and great-grandmother, who have been elusive for quite some time. I've been following Jenna's progress and took an interest since they were in Amherst, Nebraska for a while. Jenna reports the latest update on her Desperately Seeking Surnames blog. posted an article that I enjoyed about U.S. Presidents in the Census. In the census, they were just like everybody else, except for their occupation: President of the U.S.

If you haven't seen this yet, you definitely need to check out Joan Miller's gynormous family tree on Luxegen Genealogy and Family History.

Paula Stuart-Warren has laid the groundwork for what could evolve into the next genealogy meme. With October being Family History Month, Paula makes some suggestions for activities we can all do to help further our research. Read Paula's blog post and come November 1, post on your blog what YOU did during Family History Month. I've done so much already that I had to relax and unwind a couple days before the next group of activities begin!

After seeing the photos of DearMYRTLE (Pat Richley-Erickson) wielding a pitchfork at the FGS conference, I could hardly wait to read the rest of the story. She shares it (and more photos) in Back Story: Get Off the Fence and Start Writing.

Being able to "meet" other genealogy bloggers whether in person or in the virtual world is always great fun. Barbara Poole of Life From the Roots met up with bloggers who were on the Legacy Family Tree cruise at the New England Historic Genealogical Society last week. She shared her experiences and photos in Meeting Bloggers I've Not Met Before.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Favorite Teacher

I'm not even real sure how the memory of my first teacher, Miss Bess Bowen, popped into my head this afternoon. She was my teacher in kindergarten, first and second grade in the 1950s in a small rural school. Three grades were in one room.

I credit Miss Bowen with my love of learning and being able to spell and write and do math. You've heard of the book, "All I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten." In the case of Miss Bess Bowen, that was so true. She taught you, and she taught you well.

As a four year old starting in public school in the 1950s, I knew that Miss Bowen was a grandmotherly type, even though she had remained single all of her life. It was only by doing a little bit of online research that I learned that she was 72 years old when I first met her in kindergarten!

I admit to being a bit of a teacher's pet and recall her getting after my third/fourth grade teacher for not recognizing my intelligence and ability to the extent that Miss Bowen had! Ha! Well, that was how I felt at age eight. I had become very attached to Miss Bowen and it was hard for me to move on to a different (first year) teacher for third grade!

As I look over the census records showing Miss Bowen throughout her career, I recall such fond memories of her. The newspaper articles about her from the 1920s and 1930s tell of her work with her young pupils.

In 1916, she went home to Avoca, Iowa to spend the month of August with her parents and other family members. In 1922, she was awarded her teachers' certificate from the University of Nebraska.

In 1926, she and another delegate to the convention of the National Education Association left for Philadelphia before spending a week in Washington, D.C. and going on to New York City to take summer classes at Columbia University. By 1930, she was an officer in the state education association.

In 1937, her students gave some reviews concerning early pioneer life. The pony express, and the early school and home were compared with present day life. Oh! Wouldn't she enjoy sharing stories about our pioneer ancestors!

And in 1950, she served as a census enumerator! Why do I sense that her spirit is looking over my shoulder as I type this?!

Greenwood School, Greenwood, Nebraska - This school building housed grades K - 12 when Miss Bowen was my teacher. My Mom also attended this same school. My great-grandfather, Daniel Kelly, served on the school board (long before I was born!).

Miss Bowen kept in touch with me for many years after I was under her tutelage. She always wanted to know how my education was going. I remember reading in the newspaper that had she passed away - although I don't remember exactly when it was. To this day, when I look back over my education, I still feel that the foundation she provided during those first three years gave me what I needed to succeed in school and in life.

Do you have fond memories of a teacher from your past? If so, please leave a comment below.

note: references are from articles that appeared in the Lincoln Star, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1916 - 1950.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History is a series of writing prompts sponsored by Geneabloggers and created by Amy Coffin of the We Tree genealogy blog. This blog post was first published on on June 11, 2010.

Nebraska Genea-Peeps Group on Facebook

Are you a genealogist living in Nebraska? Do you research your Nebraska ancestors? If so, I'd like to invite you to join a Facebook group called Nebraska Genea-Peeps:

It's a group for genealogists living in or researching in Nebraska. You can ask questions, share research tips and Nebraska resources. At some point, we hope to plan some informal in-person get togethers, ride sharing to events or day-long research trips or do some cemetery hopping.

Recently, someone posted a request for help in finding an obituary for her grandfather, and within a few minutes, we discovered a source for the obituary, which she was able to order online.

We also post upcoming genealogy events. Come join in!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are UK - Len Goodman of DWTS

From the UK's version of Who Do You Think You Are - featuring Len Goodman of the US's Dancing With the Stars and the UK's Strictly Coming Dancing.

Family History Weekend at Homestead National Monument

October is Family History Month. Homestead National Monument of America along with Family Search and the Nebraska State Genealogical Society will be hosting two genealogy workshops on October 15 and October 16, 2011 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the monument's Education Center. The purpose of this event is to encourage you to discover your family history. "Without passing down our family histories, all that has happened to bring us where we are today might be forgotten," says monument Superintendent Mark Engler. 

Special guest Laureen Riedesel, Director of the Beatrice Public Library, will give a special introduction on October 15, 2011 at 2 p.m. and will be available afterwards to answer any questions. So bring your family histories, documents, and questions to the monument as these workshops will help guide you in your search.

These workshops are free and open to the public. There will be information booths and resources available to the participants on both days. Everybody is welcome, whether you are just beginning or have been doing family history for years; these workshops will benefit your research.

Source: Homestead National Monument of America, October 2011 e-newsletter

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (almost) - Family History Fair

Family History Fair
Lincoln-Lancaster Genealogical Society
Lincoln, Nebraska - October 2, 2011
photo used with permission of Phyllis Erickson
Sunday's Family History Fair sponsored by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society was a huge success! More than 30 exhibits, vendors and demonstrations contributed to our knowledge of how to do our family history.

I shared information about genealogy blogging and showed folks how to use the Flip-Pal mobile scanner.

Thanks to LLCGS for inviting me to participate. I had a great time!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Day at the Museum - Part 2

Deciding that I shouldn't hog the microfilm reader at the Cass County Historical Society Museum yesterday, I moved on to the Portrait and Biographical Album of Otoe and Cass Counties, Nebraska. What is nice is that the Museum has a bound copy of a reprint of this book that was published by the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society in 1977. If a researcher wants any pages photocopied, the museum staff will get the fragile original out of its protective box and make the copies for you.

I didn't locate any biographies of my kin in the book, but I recognized plenty of names. So I marked the pages that had biographies of the names I recognized as the pioneers buried at Sheffer Pioneer Cemetery between Greenwood and Ashland, Nebraska. One of my acquaintances on FindAGrave is a descendant of these pioneers, so I thought I could share the information should he need it.

While the curator was making copies, she recognized one of the names since she had recently been doing some research on Civil War veterans buried in the county. She said she had his obituary and asked if I'd like a copy. Sure! Why not? Maybe my FindAGrave friend could use it. As I mentioned in Part 1, I didn't want to leave empty handed, and it didn't matter if what I found wasn't about my family!

I have gathered quite a bit of information about a court battle over moving the remains of Edward Cagney from the Fitzgerald plot in Calvary Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska to the cemetery in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. The case went to the Nebraska Supreme Court which decided his mother had the right to move the remains, which had been interred about 10 years. It's a fascinating story which I will write about in depth at a later time.

The Museum has fairly detailed lists of interments at the local cemeteries and all I had to offer was that it was probably in the Catholic cemetery. This turned out to be Holy Sepulchre. With help of the museum staff, these entries were located.

Cemetery Listings for Edward Cagney and his brother, John J. Cagney

Cemetery Listings to Catherine Fitzgerald Cagney McEntee
and her second husband, Charles McEntee
This also notes that Catherine's information is on the Cagney stone.

Cemetery Directory showing the location of the Cagney/McEntee Lot
Additional information discovered: Charles McEntee's parents, Michael and Bridget,
are also buried here. Confirmation of Bridget's maiden name as Edoff.

My next field trip to Plattsmouth will definitely include a visit to Holy Sepulchre cemetery to photograph these gravestones. No, they are not my direct line, but it certainly makes for an interesting family history story! And I love a good story.

A Day at the Museum - Part 1

For many weeks I've been eagerly awaiting my visit to the Cass County Historical Society Museum in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. It has been a few decades since my last visit and after six years of staying busy with online research only, I was ready to get back into on-site research. 

Both sides of my mother's family - the Kellys and the Bellingers - were early settlers and long time residents of Greenwood, Cass County, Nebraska. My great grand aunt, Mary Kelly, married John Fitzgerald, a railroad contractor, banker, millionaire and they lived in Plattsmouth, Greenwood and Lincoln.

I've been researching the Fitzgerald line of the family for a long time. Because of their 'celebrity' (for lack of a better word), I have more information than I really know what to do with. But it has proven time and time again how important it is to research siblings. From a newspaper article of Mary's recollections I learned of the wagon train journey that my ancestors made from St. Paul, Minnesota to the Dakotas and returning East along the Missouri River until the family settled in Omaha and Council Bluffs, and later, in Greenwood. Researching the Fitzgeralds has given me a wealth of information about my Kellys.

The October 1 workshop sponsored by the Cass County Historical Society Museum provided a unique opportunity that combined two excellent lectures on beginning genealogy by my new friend and genealogy buddy, Gail Blankenau, as well as time to research many of the resources available at the museum. Gail and I first met when we both spoke at the Land Records and Genealogy Symposium in Beatrice, Nebraska in July.

As always, Gail did an excellent job introducing genealogy to a group of relatively new genealogists. She asked how I could possibly learn anything from a beginner's class and I replied, "I've been a beginning genealogist for 30 years." Sorry - not an original line - I heard someone else say that once and thought it fits my situation. As genealogists, I believe we can always learn something new. And with eight pages of notes from Gail's lectures, I certainly did!

This has been a hectic week and I admit that I had not properly prepared for what research questions I sought answers for. But I had brought along my netbook and when it was time for research, I brought up my database on Family Tree Maker. I jotted down some significant dates that matched up with the newspapers available on microfilm at the Museum. I already knew that I would be returning for further research, but I sure wasn't going to go home empty handed.

With the microfilm of the 1896 Greenwood Gazette in place, I was hopeful of finding an obituary or death notice of my great great grandfather, William D. Kelly, the Irish immigrant. It was not to be found. But I'm going to look again when I have more time available. To date, I found an obituary for him in the St. Paul Minnesota Daily Globe. I was hoping to find something in the newspaper of the locale where he was living when he died.

Next on my priority list was to find a newspaper article about the marriage of my grandparents. Here's what I found on page 1 of the Greenwood Gazette, October 9, 1913:

By the Journal we see that Wm. Kelly and Miss Lina [sic] Bellinger are to live as one ... We wish the young people long life and happiness

Grandmother's name was Sina, but at least I found a newspaper article.

Related web sites:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Family History Fair - Lincoln NE - October 2, 2011

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society will host its Family History Fair on October 2, 2011 to celebrate Family History Month.

Location: College View Seventh Day Adventist Church, 48th and Prescott, Lincoln, Nebraska. Enter via 48th and Lowell. Allow extra time to navigate construction in the area.

Updated Agenda:

2:00-2:30  Heritage Room  Presentation by Phyllis Ericson
Ideas for finishing and sharing your genealogy and “Honoring Your Ancestors”.  She will have exhibits in the Heritage Room.

2:30 - 4:00 Visit the exhibits listed below in Fellowship Hall

3:30  Opportunity to visit LLCGS Library at Union College

Exhibits, Demonstrations:

1.     LLCGS programs, classes, membership info and forms
2.     Ethnic Foods to taste provided by LLCGS members
3.     LLCGS Library duplicate items for sale, free forms to pick up and information about library listings online
4.     Cindy Cochran “How I Went from Oklahoma to Friesland” (steps to find answers when doing research)
5.     Dave Cochran Ask Dave for a free search on Ancestry or “Find a Grave” using his iPad.
6.     Lincoln City Libraries info about genealogy resources
7.     Nebraska Library Commission info about using Heritage Quest and the Nebraska Memories Project
8.     Nebraska State Historical Society programs, resources, membership info
9.     Richard Douglass LLCGS speaker with publications for family reunions, ideas for photos, Picasa, etc.
10.  Marcia Stewart info about SCC genealogy classes, handouts with ancestor timeline forms and 1940 census forms and DVD presentation about Federation of Gen. Societies.
11.  NESGS Ne State Gen. Society- Rosalee Swartz programs, resources and Beatrice Library information
12.  Family History Center resources and classes
13.  Ron and Linda Kroon genealogy books and needlework
14.  Susan Petersen info about her blog “Long Lost Relatives”  and demonstration of a Flip-Pal scanner
15.  May Museum and Eastern NE Gen Society, Fremont NE information about resources
16.  Teresa Sullivan and “Indexers” demonstration of use of portable scanners, Plexiglas, computers and cameras to make digital copies.
17.  Denton Historical Society info about programs and projects
18.  Bob Stewart interesting collections related to our heritage and family history
19. European Food Store, Lincoln samples of European foods available for purchase here in Lincoln. Items can be purchased at the Fair.
20. Ideal Grocery samples and lists of ethnic foods available in Lincoln for holidays and all year long
21. Lila Garner Gen. publications and a novel by “Lyla”  Garner
22. Dewaine Alcorn DNA  DVD and information 
23. Germans from Russia AHSGR resources and programs
24.  Otoe County Historical Society resources and programs
25.  Wayne Casper Computer Education Center – Landing
26. Codicils in Wills to Preserve Genealogical Collections
27. Judy Shutts – Voices in Time, recording family histories
28. GOGS Greater Omaha Gen. Soc. Info about programs and October Conference
29. Gage County, Seward County, Stanton County  gen. info
30. John Belz, historical Lincoln articles