LDS Microfilm Rental is Going Away!!

Most everyone knows by now that we are an LDS Affiliate Library and one of the perks of being an affiliate library is the ability to rent microfilm directly from the LDS in Salt Lake City.  Below is a letter we received on June 26th...



On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch will discontinue its microfilm distribution services. This change is the result of significant progress made in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts and the obsolescence of microfilm technology. Online access to digital images allows FamilySearch and its affiliates to reach more patrons faster and more efficiently. Affiliates may continue to provide access to their microfilm holdings already on loan from FamilySearch, while offering access to online copies as they become available.

FamilySearch is a global leader in historic records preservation and access, with billions of the world’s genealogical records in its collections. It began the transition to digital preservation years ago, not only in converting its microfilm, but also in replacing its microfilm cameras with specialized digital equipment.

FamilySearch has now digitally reproduced the bulk of its microfilm collection—over 1.5 billion images so far—including the most requested collections based on microfilm loan records worldwide. The remaining microfilms should be digitized by 2020, and all new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment.

Digital images of historical records can be accessed today in three places on under Search. Records includes historical records indexed by name or organized with an image browse. Books includes digital copies of books from the Family History Library and other libraries. The Catalog includes a description of genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, etc.) in the FamilySearch collection, including millions of online images not yet available in Records or Books. For navigation help, see Finding Digital Images on

Transitioning from microfilm to digital will enable more library patrons to access FamilySearch's growing digital content and enjoy a simplified experience. FamilySearch will continue to offer access to records through affiliate libraries, including new digital access to many of the records that are currently restricted from viewing at home. More information about this upcoming access opportunity for affiliate libraries will be communicated to you in the coming months.

The last day for ordering microfilm will be August 31, 2017. Due to limited supplies, large quantity orders to increase library collections cannot be accommodated. Please limit orders to microfilms requested by patrons.

After microfilm ordering ends, affiliate libraries may continue to maintain microfilm collections already on loan from FamilySearch, with the option to return microfilm that is available online or otherwise not being used by patrons, or to retain it for now. Libraries may also retain microfilms that are not yet available digitally.

For more information, see Digital Records Access Replacing Microfilm.


So, if you want access to, or feel the need to have access to an entire roll of a particular microfilm instead of just specific images from a particular roll of microfilm now is the time to order it as an Extended Period rental.  If you need help ordering the film please stop in and let us know and we'll do what we can to help.


Genealogy Roundtable Forum: Jul 2017

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.

Robert Zemanak: Let's talk about DNA!

Our friend and DNA guru Robert Zamanek is here again to discuss the always intriguing topic of DNA for family history research.

For those new to the idea of DNA testing for genealogical purposes or those that are familiar with the concept of having their DNA tested to help prove and/or disprove a family connection and whether that’s even possible, this program is for you.  Mr. Zemanek will discuss the very basics of DNA testing for genealogical purposes and in the process he will answer some of the common questions individuals have about DNA testing.  Robert will explain what are considered realistic expectations of the results individuals receive back from a DNA testing company, how to interpret the results and the next steps, if any, you should consider after you’ve had a chance to digest all that information.  For example, should you explore specific surname projects or perhaps contribute to regional projects.

Mr. Zemanek will take the time to explain the various terms associated with DNA testing such as Autosomal DNA, X chromosomal DNA, Y chromosomal DNA, Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and the difference between them all, Haplogroups or subgroups, and test markers.

Robert will also provide a list of reputable places for attendees to further their research on the subject of DNA testing for genealogical research.  This program is in no way meant to be the only means for you to receive information on DNA and genealogy, however it is meant to help you understand the basics about the subject while giving you the tools to explore the topic in a more informed manner.



KKK in Nebraska : Jeanie Knudtson

Our sincerest appreciation goes to Jeanie Knudtson for presenting her program on the KKK in Nebraska, and especially in the panhandle region for our June 2017 genealogy roundtable forum.
Much to our surprise Jeanie was able to find out quite a bit about the KKK and their presence in the panhandle of Nebraska through news articles and various advertising campaigns they had during the 1920's.  Through her research Jeanie discovered a newspaper article that specified the meeting place of the Klan as Brown's canyon south of Mitchell.  Jeanie was also able to obtain a current membership application and other bits of details we didn't suspect even existed in today's world.  After her presentation several people spoke up about experiences they had as kids or told about hearing their parents and grand parents talk about the Klan when they were growing up.  This was a very interesting topic to say the very least.


Family Treasures: Show & Tell

The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center hosted its monthly genealogy roundtable forum on Sat. May 20th at 1:30pm with a slight twist from our normal format.  Instead of having just one featured speaker we invited everyone who came to bring an old treasured family item to show while discussing the importance of the item and how the item became part of the family.  We saw some very interesting items such as a really old family tapestry, a couple of binders full of birthday cards, valentines cards, get well cards and other occasion cards and heard some great storiesWhat makes an item a family treasure? Its value or its story? What about that dusty family heirloom you have in your attic, or that quirky antique you picked up at a garage sale and just can't part with?  What secrets would these items tell if they could?  Need help putting a date on an old family treasure?  Bring your item with you and we'll do what we can to help estimate the age, if not, we're sure you'll receive plenty of opinions and possibly some valuable information about your item.  Examples of treasured family items are old letters, photo's, dishes, household items, jewelry, and/or any items precious to you and your family.


How to Search our website

There seems to be some confusion about how and where to search for information on our website so let's try to clear that up.

There are actually two separate and distinct search functions that a person can use while looking for information on our website. The first and most likely place to "get a hit" for the search terms you are wanting to use is with the Database Search option on the sliding menu (the menu with pictures).  If you choose to do a search through the Database Search function you will be shown a list of everything we have in our various databases that we've posted online. That's not to say it's an all inclusive list of every resource we have here at the center, but instead it's information we have put into one or more various databases for online access.

The second search option is to enter your search terms using the search form and button in the right hand sidebar. If you search through the sidebar you will ONLY be given results of your search terms that appear in an article or other type of published page on this website. Using the sidebar search DOES NOT access any of our online databases we have built and maintain. For example, if you are looking for an obituary for John Doe, you would use Database Search to see if we have it. The only way John Doe would appear in a search from the sidebar is if we are mentioned as a memorial gift recipient in his obituary, we would then post the obituary as an article on the site which would yield a positive search result from the sidebar search function.

I hope that helps you understand the two search functions on our website and that your time spent on our website is productive rather than frustrating.


What's New:

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

• The Ancestors of H. Roy Bentley
                 - c1996 - by James C. Bentley - 620p

• The Mountain Man's sketch book : vol 1
                 - c1976 - by James A. Hanson & Kathryn J. Wilson - 48p

• The Mountain Man's sketch book : vol 2
                 - c1984 - by James A. Hanson & Kathryn J. Wilson - 48p

• The Longhunter's sketch book
                 - c1983 - by James A. Hanson - 48p


Contributions & Donations:

We wish to gratefully and publicly acknowledge the recent research material donations and/or financial contributions by the following individuals and/or organizations.  Their contributions and support is paramount to our success and we truly appreciate their generosity.

• West Florida Genealogy Library - Pensacola, Florida

• Judi Widmaier

 **The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center was incorporated in the state of Nebraska in 2003 as a not-for-profit, public genealogy and local history research library.  Funding provided primarily through donations**


R E M I N D E R !

Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society (RWGS)

The RWGS meets the second Wednesday of each month usually at the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library.  Newsletter items can be e-mail directly to newsletter editor and society secretary, Jeanie Knudtson at


We use and recommend Legacy
Family Tree
genealogy software.
Standard version is FREE