Vol. 48 No. 3 - September 1995
by Cindy S. Drake
To begin this new column, I'd like to get ideas from Society members on genealogy issues you would like me to address. Would you like to read "how to do it" tips on researching Nebraska ancestors? Would you like information on sources we have to expand your research on the background of your Nebraska ancestors? The Societys function is to preserve Nebraska history. This includes helping genealogists research ancestors who resided in this state. Your Nebraska ancestor may have originated from a foreign country or other state. We will attempt to provide information via guidebooks and advice on how to undertake the next phase of your research. We cannot make available all the sources you need to do research from states besides Nebraska or other countries.
Reference Reminder. If you plan to visit the Library/ Archives to do research on Nebraska ancestors, or don't know how to contact us by mail with your questions, request "A Guide to Resources in the Library/Archives." This brochure is written for all researchers, and provides the basics for Nebraska genealogical research in the Library/Archives. According to Ann Billesbach, head of reference, plans are underway to update the guide to serve specific researchers, including genealogists. This column may include quotes from this source and other handouts published to address certain topics.
New Acquisitions of Interest to
From Sweden to Nebraska: Anderson and Norling, Ancestors and Descendants, compiled by Nancy Motzkus.
My Nebraska Territory Ancestors, by Darlene J. Miller (Craige Family)
The Society public records staff continues to provide more Nebraska county marriage records microfilmed by the Latter-Day Saints Church since the project started in 1994. Contact the Library/Archives staff for current information. Some patrons have questioned why LDS is only microfilming marriage records. According to Steve Wolz, public records officer, LDS representatives wanted to microfilm marriage records first, in keeping with their own list of priorities. We hope other types of records will be filmed later.
Editor's Note: Cindy Drake, library curator, will provide genealogy tips in the newsletter on an irregular basis. Mrs. Drake has compiled several local history publications because of her interest in genealogy. Genealogy became a personal hobby following her employment at the Society in 1977 She has presented numerous genealogy programs with major focus on various aspects of genealogical research. Her current interest is in helping teachers and other groups with genealogy programs for children and young adults.
Vol. 48 No. 4 - October 1995
by Cindy S. Drake
Some questions have been raised about the transfer of non-Nebraska genealogy library material to Union College in 1992 and 1993.
The Union College library is located at 3800 South 48th Street in Lincoln. The Society's transferred material joins the Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society's library collection. The NSHS Library/ Archives Reference Room at 15th & R still has sources from other states, such as census indexes, state and county histories, and guidebooks. To complement this material, genealogies and material from lineage and military service groups remain in the NSHS library.
The Society has an excellent collection of pre-1850 census indexes for states east of the Mississippi River. There are also some later census indexes for states west of the Mississippi. General guidebooks are available to direct researchers to sources for research in other states and foreign countries. Current plans include using donations to purchase updated manuals to improve this area. These purchases will concentrate on states and countries that were former homes of Nebraskans in the late 19th century. Non-Nebraska history material consisting of county and state histories (The Pennsylvania Archives Series) will be paged from the closed stacks area. The only access to this material is by checking the Library Subject Catalog for the states being researched. This collection also includes current historical publications exchanged with other state historical organizations.
Lineage and military service groups material (Daughters of the American Revolution [DAR] and Grand Army of the Republic [GAR]) was kept in the Society repository when the material contained information about the Nebraska chapters and their members. Usually, the Civil War regimental rosters are with the state's genealogy material.
Over three thousand genealogies/family histories are remain in the Society stacks. To locate this material check the family name in the library Subject catalog. Genealogies donated to the Society are added to the collection when at least one family has former or present residents of Nebraska.
A general bibliography of the material mentioned is available. Contact Cindy Drake at the Society and request "Genealogical & Historical Research Material at the Nebraska State Historical Society." Questions about specific materials transferred to Union College may also be answered.
After the Society resources are exhausted, check out what is available for the next phase of research. The Society may have the source readily available.
Reference Reminder: The Library/Archives hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call in advance (402-471- 4751) to have manuscripts or public records available for the weekends. The Union College library is closed on Saturdays, however, contact them (402-486-2514) for hours on other days.
New Acquisition of Interest to
Relatives We Never Knew: A Family History of Ancestors and Descendants of Robert Daniel Warnke and Marian Esther Warnke Kistler compiled and revised by Robert D. Warnke and Marian Esther (Warnke) Kistler.
Vol. 48 No. 5 - November 1995
by Cindy S. Drake
Using Newspapers in Genealogical Research
Newspaper obituaries are one secondary source to use when beginning family research. If obituaries are not readily available within a family collection, use the following steps to locate them:
First, find the date and location of residence at the time of your ancestor's death.
Second, is a death certificate on file for the ancestor? In Nebraska, statewide birth and death records are not available in most cases until after 1904. (These are on file with the Bureau of Vital Statistics, not the historical society).
Third, are cemetery records/tombstone transcriptions available for that community or county? The NSHS Library/Archives Reference Room includes tombstone transcriptions from various counties in Nebraska. If the death date is not located from one of these sources, local sources such as church records and funeral home records might exist that provide a date.
Once the death date has been established, locate the existence of newspapers for the locality where the ancestor lived. (Next month, Part 2)
Reference Reminder: 'The staff of the Archives/ Library will answer mail requests for information when the requests are specific, clearly stated, and limited in scope. A $5.00 minimum fee is required before research is started. Requests should be limited to three searches per letter and only one letter at a time should be sent requesting searches. When you receive a response to one letter, you may send another request for three searches."
The previous paragraph is quoted from A Guide to Resources in the Library/Archives and is available upon request. For more advice on Nebraska genealogical research provided by mail from the Library/Archives Reference staff, request the Reference Information Guide entitled Genealogical Services.
New Acquisitions of Interest to
Genealogy of the Blanding Family, compiled by Leonard Clark Blanding. (This title includes families from Howard, Gage, and Greeley Counties).
The Genealogist's Handbook, by Rayrnond S. Wright.
Seward and Related Families and We Remember Carroll, by George C. Seward.
Still Family History: Six Generations of Descendants of Ebenezer and Susanna Still of Wayne County, New York, compiled by Joy Deal Lehmann. (This title includes families from Hall, Antelope, Lancaster, Furnas, and Otoe Counties).
Vol. 48 No. 6 - December 1995
by Cindy Drake
Use of Newspapers in Genealogical Research
Now that the death date for your ancestor is established, how do you locate newspapers for the date you need to find an obituary?
In Nebraska, the NSHS Library/Archives has the largest collection of Nebraska newspapers available in the state. These newspapers (available on microfilm) are in the Library/Archives Reference Room for in-person use or by interlibrary loan to a local library.
To locate newspapers in other states, identify if the state has a major repository for newspapers, and if a guide to its holdings exists. Request the availability of indexes for their newspapers. In the NSHS Library/ Archives, a list of known indexes to Nebraska newspapers is available.
For several years I updated a bibliography entitled "Use of Newspapers in Genealogical Research." This source contains a section on the availability of newspapers in other states. Contact me for a copy of the last update completed in October 1990.
Since 1973 the United States Newspaper Project has attempted to locate newspapers published in each state, inventory collections, and microfilm originals. In many states, researcher access to these newspapers was made possible by this project.
This concludes a two-part introduction to newspaper research. Specific questions about the use of newspapers in genealogical research will be addressed in this column upon request.
Reference Reminder: The NSHS Library/Archives lends microfilmed copies of Nebraska newspapers, if the Society did the filming. Up to two reels of microfilm at a time may be loaned for a two-week period. The prepaid fee is $5 per order (two reels). Newspaper microfilm must be requested on standard Interlibrary Loan forms OIL) or on library letterhead. The film must be used in the borrowing library. As of January 1, 1996, the fee will increase to $5 per reel. Copies of the Society Interlibrary Loan Policy are available upon request. A list of all newspapers that can be loaned is available on microfiche for $5, prepaid.
New Acquisitions of interest to
Search: A Handbook for Adoptee and Birthparents, compiled by Jayne Askin.
Czech Immigration Passenger Lists: Volume VI, compiled by Leo Baca. (We also have Volumes IV & V).
Swedish Pioneers on the Western Kansas Prairie: The Sandstedt, Stenholm, Johnson, Lindquist, Peterson, Lundberg, and Glad Families, compiled by Brent Alan Mai.
The Society's Library/Archives Division has received a total of $243.50 (as of November 1, 1995) toward the purchase price of $542 for the following titles: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1991-1995, Cumulated Supplements and Passenger and Immigration Lists, Bibliography, 1538- 1900. Donations are still being accepted by the NSHS Foundation, 408 Lincoln Center Building, 215 South Centennial Mall, Lincoln, NE 68508-1813. Donations are tax-deductible. Please designate the donation for "Passenger and Immigration Lists Index."
Vol. 48 No. 7 - January 1996
by Cindy Drake
During the next few months this column will be devoted to Nebraska census records and their use in genealogical research.
Nebraska Population Census Records, 1854-1856 (Part 1).
The first census for territorial Nebraska was taken in 1854. The area was divided into districts since counties had not been formally established. The information compiled was based on the pre-1850 (i.e. head of household name only) federal census taken every ten years since 1790. This included the name of the head of the household, the individual's birthplace and occupation, and statistics about the number of males and females in the household. Names of individuals besides the head of the household were not given.
The 1855 and 1856 censuses contained the same information as that of 1854. However, in 1855 Nebraska was divided into eight counties; by 1856 the territory consisted of fourteen counties.
The original territorial census records for Nebraska are held by the NSHS Library/Archives. They have not been microfilmed. Between 1935 and 1941 the Nebraska Genealogical Society transcribed the census information and published the material in its quarterly, the Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record. The annual index to this quarterly serves as a name index to these published census records.
Reference Reminder. As with other books in the Library/Archives, the issues of the Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record for the territorial census material are
not available on interlibrary loan. Copies of Reference Information Guide No. 2 (entitled Nebraska Territorial Census Enumerations, 1854-1857) can be provided by request. This leaflet lists the districts or the counties which appear in each issue of this quarterly. Reference staff will check the annual indexes to this publication with the prepaid fee of $5 per search.
New Acquisitions of Interest to Genealogists.
African American Genealogical
Sourcebook edited by Paula K. Byers (Gale Research).
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. 1991-95 Cumulated Supplements ... by P. William Filby.
Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography, 1538-1900 edited by P. William Filby.
Some Connecticut Trumbull Data edited by Minnie Tiedgen & Kendall P. Hayward. (Trumball family in Thayer & Lancaster County, Nebraska).
Vol. 48 No. 8 - February 1996
by Cindy Drake
Nebraska Population Census Records, 1860-1869 (Part 2)
The 1860 census for territorial Nebraska was the first federal census taken for this territory. The Nebraska 1860 census contained more detailed information (as did the 1850 census for the eastern states). It included the names of all individuals in the household, their sex, age, place of birth, occupation, and other general statistics. An excellent source for information given on every federal census record from 1790 to 1910 is Chapter 1 of Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives, published in 1982.
Two indexes exist for the 1860 Nebraska census: 1) an NSHS card index (which is only available on microfilm) and 2) an index published by Accelerated Indexing Systems (A.I.S.) in 1978.
Territorial law approved in 1864 (amendments, 1865) and a state law in 1869, directed the counties to take an enumeration of the population. These two census laws were repealed in 1885.
The only surviving 1865 censuses are those of Otoe and Cuming Counties. The Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record published these census records (as mentioned in the previous column). The Deborah Avery Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution published transcriptions of the 1865 census for Lancaster County. The chapter included this census in a volume devoted to the census records of this county from 1856 to 1874. The 1865 census included the names of all individuals in the household, also ages, sex, and birthplace.
Censuses for 1869 exist for Stanton and Butler Counties. These censuses give only the name of the head of the household, along with statistics on other individuals. The 1869 census was the last county census published in the Nebraska and Midwest Genealogical Record.
Only statistical abstracts, which do not list names of individuals, have been located for other counties that existed in 1865 and 1869. The NSHS Library/Archives holds these original abstracts.
Reference Reminder. Since all census records mentioned in this month's column are indexed, the reference staff will check these indexes for the prepaid fee of $5.00 per search. This fee includes a copy of the census information, if located. The NSHS Library/Archives will not interlibrary loan census records. For research on Nebraska federal censuses, contact your local librarian for institutions or organizations that will lend them to researchers.
As of February 5, 1996, the library/Archives Reference Room is open 9:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Monday- Friday. Weekend hours remain the same: 8-5, Saturday and 1:30-5, Sunday.
New Acquisitions of Interest to
Baker Family Record: A Genealogy of Many of the Descendants of John Baker Who Immigrated From England in 1737, compiled by Nola M. Karr.
Some Early Settlers of Green and Wahoo Precincts in Saunders County in Nebraska, compiled by Dottie Jo Ann Schiefelbein.
From the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania to the Platte Valley of Nebraska: The History and Genealogy of the Family of Mary Elizabeth Stiles 1630-1941, by Leopold H. Hoppe.
In December the NSHS Foundation reached its goal of raising $542 toward the purchase price of the following titles: Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1991-1995 and Cumulated Supplements and Passenger and Immigration Lists Bibliography, 1538-1900. The NSHS Foundation and the Library/Archives thanks the donors who made this goal possible: Mildred R. Goosman, Pamela McGovern Joy, Mary E. Mahoney, Dr. & Mrs. William Marsh, Iris L. Mueller (given in memory of Thelma M. Mahr), Dr. Martha Webb, and Mr. & Mrs. John Webster.
Vol. 48 No. 9 - March 1996
by Cindy Drake
Nebraska Population Census Records, 1870s (Part 3)
The Nebraska 1870 census was the first
federal census taken after Nebraska had become a state in 1867.
The 1870 census included the same information as that compiled in
the 1860 territorial census, along with additional statistical
One major index exists for the 1870 Nebraska census. Accelerated Indexing Systems published the Nebraska 1870 Census Index in 1985. In addition, E. Evelyn Cox began publishing transcriptions of the actual 1870 Nebraska census in 1979. Ms. Cox passed away before her project was completed. Only three volumes of her work are available. They include twenty-seven of the forty-three Nebraska counties in existence in 1870 and four Indian reservations.
As mentioned in the last column, an 1869 Nebraska law provided for a state enumeration of population, which was taken between 1869 and 1884. NSHS Library/Archives has in its collection the statistical abstracts compiled because of this law, but enumerations of population (with actual names of individuals) exist for only five counties. The counties, years, record group number, or library call numbers are: Cass County, 1876-82 (RG220); Dawson County, 1872 (RG217); Gage County, 1880 (RG200); Lancaster County, 1870, 1874, 1875, 1878, 1879 and 1880 (978.265/H62/Series #/v. 1-7); and Sarpy County, 1876 (RG209).
REFERENCE REMINDER: The Lincoln-Lancaster County Genealogical Society has provided census forms showing the column headings for the federal census. These are available in the NSHS Library/Archives Reference Room. The forms may be used when patrons want to record the data, but do not want to make a copy of the census record from the microfilm. The reference staff will not photocopy the forms for mail patrons.
New Acquisitions of Interest to
John and Mathilda Bangert Family Memories compiled by Barbara Bangert Alber. (Family in Webster County).
A Bradham Family History and Genealogy by Janet Bradham Brewster. (Family in Kearney and Cherry Counties).
Bloomfield, Nebraska Cemetery Book... compiled by Michael F. Heavrin.
Schiefelbein and Hanke Family History compiled by Dottie Jo Ann Schiefelbein. (Family in Saunders County).
"Our Portsche Ties"- A Compendium of Portsche Connections From Europe to the United States ... by Richard Lee Mann. (Family in Lancaster County).
Reiff to Riffe Family in America ... compiled by Fred J. Riffe. (Family in Saline, Nuckolls, Gage, and Phelps Counties).
Branches of the Family Tree: Whiting... compiled by Evelyn Ling Creech. (Family in Saunders County).
Vol. 48 No. 10 - April 1996
by Cindy S. Drake, Library Curator
Nebraska Population Census Records, 1880 (Part 4)
The Nebraska 1880 federal census includes the
same information as the 1870 census (noted in the March
Newsletter) along with some additional personal and statistical
material. The 1880 census is important to genealogists because in
addition to giving the birthplace of each individual, this census
also includes the nationality of the parents. The exact birthplace
is not given; normally only the country, state, or province is
provided. Using the 1880 census on microfilm for the entire state,
researchers compiled the transcriptions for several counties in
Nebraska and made them available in published form in the
Library/Archives Reference Room. Some counties now available are
Hall, Howard, Knox, and Red Willow.
The 1880 federal census includes an index known as the Soundex for each state. This card index is on microfilm and lists households that had children aged ten or younger. The researcher must first establish a code number for the surname of the family. The Soundex groups together surnames that sound similar but have variant spellings. Once the correct code is located, the index is listed in alphabetical order by the first name of the head of household. An advantage of this system is that a researcher can view under one code all individuals in the state that have the same or similar surnames, which may be useful if the census taker misspelled the surname or if the researcher is attempting to locate additional relatives. Individuals in the same household with different surnames are listed separately in the Soundex under the proper code for their surnames.
The Soundex card lists first the head of household. The card then follows with personal information from the census record on this individual. Next are listed the county and township, followed by the city, street, and house number for town dwellers. The rest of the Soundex card includes the names of other individuals in the household along with personal information. Besides the name of the county, the major information given on the Soundex is located in the upper right-hand comer of the card. This area includes the enumeration district (E.D.) number, and sheet (page) number and line, where the individual or family is listed on the census. With this combination of information the researcher can go directly to the census roll for the county and locate the individual or family.
Reference Reminder: The Library/Archives Reference Room has available the Soundex Daitch-Mokotoff Reference Guide. This title gives Soundex codes to over 500,000 surnames. If your surname is not listed in this source, a Soundex Coding sheet is available to code your individual surname.
New Acquisitions of Interest to Genealogists
Andersson: The American Descendants of
Nils Andersson and Christina Olsdotter: . . , compiled by Fred
J. Pearson. (Family in Douglas and Saunders Counties)
Bancroft Cemetery [Cuming County, Nebraska], compiled and published by Earlene Dixon Gardes and lone Nolting Dixon.
Unpuzzling Your Past: a Basic Guide to Genealogy, by Emily Anne Croom.
Vol. 48 No. 11 - May 1996
by Cindy S. Drake, Library
Nebraska Population Census Records, 1885 (Part 5)
According to the Guide to Genealogical Research in the National Archives, Nebraska was one of five states and territories to take an 1885 census. The Nebraska legislature approved this act on February 19, 1885. The census was required to be completed on or before June 1, 1885. The 1885 state census includes the same type of information as the 1880 federal census and is available on microfilm. Transcriptions for Dundy and Hitchcock were compiled and published, and are shelved in the NSHS Library/Archives Reference Room.
There is no complete index for the entire 1885 state census. The 1886 Nebraska Gazetteer and Business Directory listed businessmen by communities and farmers by counties in Nebraska. An index to the 1886 gazetteer was compiled years ago by volunteers, who typed on 3x5 cards the names of all the businessmen and farmers. The cards include post office address, county of residence, and a page number where the individual was listed in the gazetteer. The cards were arranged in alphabetical order and microfilmed for use in the Library/Archives Reference Room.
If a researcher does not know where an individual lived in 1885, the index usually narrows a search to the locality in the county, then the precinct can be searched on the census. Everts & Kirk's Official State Atlas of Nebraska of 1885 is an excellent source for locating the precincts for post offices that no longer exist.
REFERENCE REMINDER: The NSHS
Library/Archives does not interlibrary loan the 1885 Nebraska
state census. Microfilm of the Everts & Kirk Official State
Atlas of Nebraska of 1885 and the 1886 Nebraska Gazetteer and
Business Directory Index is available via our interlibrary loan
program. The charge is $5 per reel through your local library.
The American Genealogical Lending Library has the Nebraska 1885 state census on microfilm and will loan it to members of its lending library. For membership information, contact the library at P.O. Box 329, Bountiful, Utah 84011-0329.
NEW ACQUISITIONS OF INTEREST TO GENEALOGISTS
The Genealogist's Companion & Sourcebook by Emily Anne Croom.
Conrad Grote and Wilhelmine Schwalm Family compiled by Herbert E. Grote. (Family in Cass and Douglas Counties).
Early Milford People Stories: Old Newspapers Tell the Story 1864-1940 by Eldon Hostetler.
Kenneth Earl Werner and Allene Mae Carter Family History ... text by Kenneth Werner. (Family in Boone County).
Vol. 48 No. 12 - June 1996
NEBRASKA POPULATION CENSUS RECORDS, 1890 (Part 6)
The original 1890 census records for the
United States were destroyed or damaged by a fire in Washington in
1921. Less than one percent of this census is available for
scattered counties from across the country. (Counties and indexes
available are listed on page 25 of Guide to Genealogical
Research in the National Archives.) The 1890 census records
for Nebraska were destroyed.
Special schedules enumerating Union veterans and widows of Union veterans of the Civil War also were prepared with the 1890 census. The schedule for Nebraska survived the fire in 1921, and we call it the 1890 census of Civil War veterans and widows. This census includes the name of the veteran or his widow, his rank, company, regiment, dates of enlistment and discharge, length of service, current post office address, nature of any disability, and remarks. The census does not give the names of other family members. Accelerated Indexing Systems published an index to this census in 1987 entitled Nebraska 1890 (Special Census of Veterans). This index is available in the NSHS Library/Archives Reference Room.
Another substitute for the 1890 census is the Nebraska State Gazetteer, Business Directory and Farmers List for 1890-91. It is in the same format as the 1886 Nebraska state gazetteer (noted in the May Newsletter). A separate alphabetical index just by businessmen or farmers is not available for the 1890 gazetteer. Locating a businessman or farmer in the 1890 gazetteer (when the community or county is known) only verifies his post office address in 1890 since no additional information is provided in this source.
Additional notes for the 1880 and 1885 Nebraska census records: The NSHS Library/Archives Reference Room has a transcription of the 1880 census for Custer County. The Nebraska State Genealogical Society also has the 1885 census on microfilm and will loan it to members for a fee. For membership information, contact them at P.O. Box 5608, Lincoln, Nebraska 68505-0608.
REFERENCE REMINDER: As noted previously, the NSHS Library/Archives does not interlibrary loan any federal census records, including the 1890 census of Civil War veterans and widows. The 1890 Nebraska Gazetteer is on microfilm and available via our interlibrary loan program. The charge is $5 for this reel through your local library.
New Acquisitions of Interest to Genealogists:
Blazer Family Archives compiled by
John Allison Blazer. (Families in Antelope, Lancaster, Pawnee, and
Cory's of America: Ancestors and Descendants compiled by Al Bertus Cory. (Families in Cass, Hall, and Red Willow Counties).
A Student's Guide to African American Genealogy by Anne E. Johnson.
A Student's Guide to Polish American Genealogy by Carl S. Rollyson.
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 for NSHS at their request and with their approval by T& C Miller