Sunday, March 11, 2012

Plan to Attend 1940 Census Celebration on March 25 in Lincoln

Tracing one's family history is hotter than ever right now. Much of that is due to the popularity of television programs such as NBC's Who Do You Think You Are and Faces of America on PBS. It's not just celebrities who can trace their roots - anyone can learn how to find their ancestors.

On April 2, 2012, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will provide free online access to the digital images from the 1940 census for the first time. Beginning genealogists can jump start their research by looking at images from the 1940 census. Census records are not released until 72 years after the census takers went door to door to find out information about American households. Genealogists may find themselves, their parents or grandparents shown in the 1940 census records.

Locally, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society (LLCGS) is hosting a 1940 Census Celebration kick-off event on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at Walt Branch Library, 6701 South 14th Street, Lincoln. The featured speaker will be Lori-Cox Paul, director of Archival Operations at the National Archives in Kansas City. She will talk about the release of the census records and what individuals can do to help index the records to make them searchable by family history researchers. She will also share tips on how to browse the images before the indexing project is complete by knowing the census enumeration districts to look in.

The 1940 Census Celebration will feature music of the 1940s, exhibits and memorabilia. The event is being co-sponsored by the Nebraska State Historical Society.

Among the types of information included in the 1940 Census records are the names of each person living in a household, the street address, if the home was owned or rented, the value of the home, age at last birthday, occupation, marital status, place of birth, education level completed, birth place of the father and mother and many other tidbits of information. This information becomes a gold mine for the genealogists as a way to find clues to connect one generation to the next.

All LLCGS monthly programs are free and open to the public. For more information contact Judi Cook, Program Chair, 402.483.1239 or visit the LLCGS web site.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Keeping Up With Susan

As Daylight Savings Time nears, I definitely feel as though I am ready to Spring Forward! The last few weeks have been an incredibly busy time for me. I thought I'd share some of what I've been up to.


This Sunday, March 11, 2012 I will be speaking about genealogy blogging at the monthly program of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society (LLCGS). The meeting begins at 2 p.m. at Walt Branch Library in Lincoln. The following Sunday, March 18, I will be on hand to provide some one-on-one technical assistance to help genealogists create their own blog. I hope that a few members will be interested enough to show up! Same time, same place.

On March 25, 2012, LLCGS will be having an orientation session/kick-off celebration for the 1940 Census. Lori Cox-Paul from the National Archives is scheduled to talk and a lot of other exciting events are in store. Our program chair, Judi Cook, is doing a bang-up job pulling this all together. I may be bringing some 1940s music and probably demo the promotional videos that have been developed for local societies to use to promote the release of the census and the indexing project. I've even managed to squeeze in some time indexing some World War I registration records.

And while speaking about LLCGS, I've been very busy as the new volunteer publicity chair, establishing our society's presence in the social networking sites. We now have a Facebook page, a blog, a page on Google+ and a Twitter feed. Please feel free to visit any of those sites and sign up to follow LLCGS! LLCGS debuted its new web page in January. Al Harlow and his team are doing a great job of maintaining the site and Judi is keeping everyone updated with all of the notices of meetings and education opportunities. After consuming so much from the genealogy community for so long, it really feels good to give something back. And LLCGS has a lot of great members to work with.

Lincoln 55+

It's hard for me to believe that I've been writing for the Lincoln 55+ Seniors Paper for a year now! My latest article on Internet resources for genealogy appears on page 14 of the Spring issue.

Kindle for Genealogy

I really didn't have enough to do, so about three weeks ago, I set up a Facebook group for we Kindle Fire Freaks (and users of the older Kindle, with a few Nook folks there as well). The group is called Kindle for Genealogy. We got quite a few members right off the start, then Cyndi Howells of Cyndi's List added our group to her ever growing list and now there are more than 100 of us sharing information about ebooks, apps, tips and tricks. If you're a Kindle user, come on over and join the party!

For my day-job, I'm embarking on about 15 training workshops across the state during April and May. By the time it's over, we should have trained about 500 people. So, no, I am NOT doing any genealogy speaking during those two months!

Just in case you were wondering why I haven't blogged as much lately, it's certainly not because I've been laying around watching soap operas and eating bon bons. With the state conference coming up in Grand Island in May, the Family History Expo in Kearney in September, and then Hank Jones speaking at the LLCGS conference in Lincoln in October, it's shaping up to be a fantastic, genealogy-filled year!

Hope to see you somewhere down the road . . .

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society's New Blog

It's now official. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society has a blog!

The blog will include information about upcoming events, genealogy news, projects sponsored by the Society, links to research resources and much more.

The LLCGS blog is just one more method of connecting with members, potential members and the public. The society has a web site at with many resources and searchable databases. The Society's library collection (nearly 5,000 titles) can also be searched online.

Please visit the blog and sign up to follow.

Disclosure: I'm the publicity director for LLCGS and maintain the LLCGS blog.