Auction Treasures!

One of our volunteers at the Center, Barb Goldman and her husband Bob, attended a local auction where a picture of a little boy was going to be put up for bid.  The picture was obviously quite old and she thought it would look great hanging in her family room, problem was the boy in the picture wasn't in her or her husband's family so being the genealogist that she is, she felt the right thing to do was to use her skills and attempt to find the family that this little fella belonged to and get him home.  She secured the picture by offering the highest bid and promptly set out to discover who this little boy was, fortunately written in pencil on the back was a name and date....Walter Adam Sullivan, 2/14/1898.  Now that he had a name, he had to have family!  Putting what info was available from the back of that picture into Ancestry.com, a possible match showed up.  Contact was attempted with the woman who had added the info on Ancestry.com, and she answered the correspondence right away and a photo of the picture of Walter was emailed to her.  The next contact was with a woman from Tombstone, AZ, and she was in tears.  Walter was her grandfather, and she knew the picture as she recalled seeing it hang on the wall in her grandfather's home.  The picture was mounted on cardboard and very fragile.  It already had some stains, missing areas and cracks.  It just so happened that Barb's husband Bob was planning a trip to Tucson to visit family, arrangements were made for Bob to meet up with the granddaughter and reintroduce her to her grandfather's picture.    

A lot of circumstances had to be just right for this to have turn out the way it did.  #1. The granddaughter had only recently added the info on her grandfather to Ancestry.com. #2. Barb & Bob just happened to attend the auction where the picture was for sale.  #3. The family who had been in possession of Walter had bought him at a sale and just that week given up on finding his family and took him to the auction.

Congratulations to Barb and Bob for their successful research and for their kindness and willingness to see this picture returned to its rightful family.  Our volunteer staff members are the best, they are kind, generous and truly love helping people with their research or any other projects we come up with collectively.

New Special Projects Volunteer

Please welcome Rhonda Brower aboard as our newest special projects volunteer.  Rhonda will be working with our ever expanding obituary collection.  Right now Rhonda plans to work from home indexing the obituaries that have printed from the Gering Courier newspaper microfilm.  Thank you for joining us Rhoda, we look forward to working with you!

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Genealogy Roundtable Forum: Sept 2014

The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center conducts a monthly Genealogy Roundtable Forum on the third Saturday of each month at 1:30 pm. Topics vary in subject matter and length of presentation but are always followed up by a question & answer period. The programs are free and open to the public.

Former Sheriff and lifelong Nebraska panhandle resident, Jim Lawson, will be our guest speaker for the September 20th forum.  Jim is 40 year veteran of Scotts Bluff County Sheriff's office at Gering, Nebraska and served twelve of those years as county Sheriff.  During his tenure he worked in many capacities including administration, communications, patrol and the WING Drug Task Force.  Jim is certified by the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center as a Law Enforcement Officer, Supervisor and Manger.  He has completed over 4,000 hours of specialized training in twelve states.  Jim is a 1969 graduate of Mitchell High School, he went on to receive an Associate of Science degree in criminal justice at Western Nebraska Community College and then continued his education to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Justice Studies from Chadron State College.  Jim is also a past President of the Nebraska Sheriffs' Association. Jim's presentation will contain some CSI (Crime Science Investigation) research information.  Jim will also discuss how and where to search for other information and records in the legal system, such as law enforcement personnel records including details of an officer's work history, Awards, memberships, vitals (height, weight, color of hair, eyes, etc.).  Jim will also discuss family court concerns like divorce, lack of family support, cruelty to family and result of charges made against someone, older records on adults and children who went to institutions due to health, safety, abuse or mental illness, and finally what happened to unwed mothers when the family didn't want them, and what happens to a child if the mothers no longer wants or can't take care of them.  If you are curious about any aspect of the legal system this is a forum you don't want to miss!

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A big THANK YOU! to Elfrieda Martin for speaking to us for our August roundtable forum.  Frieda told some wonderful stories and relayed some experiences most people can't imagine.  Frieda also brought some show & tell items that were quite a surprise to most in attendance.  One of the items in her collection was an x-ray image of her chest that was taken in 1953 when she entered the United States.  The x-ray was taken as a means to prove Frieda didn't have tuberculosis and therefore able to continue on her journey into the country.  Frieda really seemed to enjoy sharing her knowledge and unique insight of that important time in the history of our world as was evident by her eagerness to answer any questions that were posed to her.  Frieda concluded her program by leaving everyone with an open invitation to come see and visit with her at the Mitchell Care Center.

A quote from one of the staff members at the Center, "she is such an interesting person and a joy to be around"

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What's New:

The following items have been added to our collection and are located in the Carole Tucker Reading Room:

• Nebraska's Fatal Air Crashes of WWII
                         - c2010 - by Jerry Penry  - 320p

• Victory Hill School, 2002 all school reunion book
                        
 - c2002 - by - ??p

• History of Kent, Nebraska: 1874-1978
                         - c1978 - by Pearl Boag, Floy Fletcher & Charlotte Peters  - ???p

• The Business Farmer's Country Cookin': vol. 1
                         - c1993 - by Business Farmer Printing, Inc., Penny Yekel, Publisher - 93p

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Contributions & Donations:

We wish to gratefully and publically acknowledge the recent research material donations and financial contributions by the following individuals and/or organizations.  Their support is extremely important to us and we truly appreciate their generosity.

• Sioux County Historical Society

• Leona Keener

• Ruth Brosius

• Rhonda Brower

 **The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center was incorporated in the state of Nebraska in 2004 as a not-for-profit, public genealogy and local history research library.  Funding provided primarily through donations**

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Collection Highlights:

As promised in the last issue of the newsletter, below is a link to a PDF file of our entire city directory collection.  The list contains the year and name of the focus town, list of the other towns included in the directory, the sections of the directory, the bar code number and some notes if applicable.  Please keep in mind that the city directories are part of our reference collection and therefore not available for borrowing, however the directories are in our open stacks and can be perused at anytime.

WNFRHC City Directory Collection

If you have an extra city directory that would fill one of the holes in our collection and you're willing to part with it, we would love to add it to our holdings.  Please feel free to contact any volunteer at the Center.