Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society members vote to disband the society

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 marked the final meeting of the Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society in Scottsbluff after 50 years of existence.  Like many local genealogical societies across the country, the RWGS has experienced a steady decline in memberships and an inability to attract new, younger members who seem more interested in doing their research online rather than taking advantage of collaboration opportunities that exist in a local genealogical society setting.

The RWGS members that were able to attend the April 11th general membership meeting voted 6-3 in favor of disbanding the society and surrendering their charter by May 31, 2018.  A committee was formed to explore all the federal and state requirements for discontinuing operation of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and to develop a plan to fulfill and expedite the process.  By-laws were consulted, letters were written, meetings were held and now it appears everything is in-line to complete the mandate by the end of the month.

The Lied Scottsbluff Public Library was offered and has accepted the RWGS collection as a whole with the understanding that any items they wish to discard would be offered to the West Nebraska Family Research & History Center (WNFRHC).  WNFRHC was offered and has accepted the RWGS publications inventory with reprinting and publishing rights included.  The RWGS disbandment committee has gathered a nearly complete set of society records including society yearbooks, scrapbooks and newsletters and will be having those documents digitized and kept in an online archive.  The original documents will be available to reference and perusal at WNFRHC.


The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center will be on-hand with scanning equipment and 8gb flash drives to scan both photos and documents for those that are interested in digitizing some of their family records and/or pictures.  The scanned files will be archived at both the Hull Community project website and saved to a flash drive to be given to the family that provides the originals.


Genealogy Roundtable Forum: May 2018

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.

 Family Treasures:

                   Show & Tell

The West Nebraska Family Research & History Center will host its monthly genealogy roundtable forum on Sat. May 19th at 1:30pm.  The featured speaker for this forum is EVERYONE!  We are inviting our regular patrons and the public in general to bring a treasured family item to show while discussing the importance of the item and how the item became part of the family.  What 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.



History of Banking in Scottsbluff

Hod Kosman, Chairman, President and CEO of Platte Valley Companies and a third generation banker from Scottsbluff presented his program on the History of Banking in Scottsbluff on Saturday, April 21st.

Hod shared his extensive knowledge and unique perspective of the rich and colorful history of banking and especially in the North Platte Valley.  Hod included his family history information and how and why his family chose Scottsbluff to start a bank and the various changes in the banking industry over years.  Hod talked about banking after the great depression in 30’s as he displayed some old banking documents such as old bank notes, currency and coins.


Ft. Laramie to Ft. Pierre Trader's Road program

Jon Nelson of Rapid City will be the guest speaker at the Tuesday, May 22 meeting of the Goshen County Historical Society and will discuss the old trader’s road between Ft. Laramie and Ft. Pierre mapped by Lt. Gouverneur Kemble Warren, a member of the elite Corps of Topographical Engineers. Warren mapped the trail in 1855 while serving as an engineer for General Harney during the punitive expedition against the Brule Sioux. Nelson will show Warren material consisting of maps, sketches and journal entries that are kept in the National Archives in Washington, DC, the cartographic section of the National Archives at College Park, MD and the New York State Library in Albany, New York.

Jon Nelson Bio:  Jon is a co-author of “Crossing the Plains with Custer,” an award-winning narrative detailing the travels of the controversial Black Hills Expedition of 1874 led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. Jon and his co-authors meticulously researched the pre-settlement period of the Black Hills region for more than a decade before publishing one of the most comprehensive accounts ever written of the Black Hills Expedition. The book received the 2016 Jay D. Smith award from the Little Bighorn Associates, the 2010 G. Joseph Sills Jr. award from the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association, and was also a Western Writers of America 2010 Spur Award Finalist. Jon is presently assisting with the publication of a multi-volume Encyclopedia of Trade Goods published by the Museum of the Fur Trade. He is also working on a book documenting the Plains Indians as metal workers. Jon and his wife Joanne reside in Rapid City.


What's New:

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

• 1952 Kennel : Gering High School Annual
          c1952 - by (editor) - ?? pgs

• 1953 Kennel : Gering High School Annual
          c1953 - by (editor) - ?? pgs

• 1954 Kennel : Gering High School Annual
          c1954 - by (editor) - ?? pgs

• 1955 Kennel : Gering High School Annual
          c1955 - by (editor) - ?? pgs

• 1956 Kennel : Gering High School Annual
          c1956 - by (editor) - ?? pgs

• 1972 Kennel : Gering High School Annual
          c1972 - by Colleen Kautz (editor) - 144 pgs

• 1973 Kennel : Gering High School Annual
          c1973 - by Mary Ann Rupp (editor) - 144 pgs

• 1959 Longhorn : Wood Lake High School Annual
          c1959 - by Jean Gardiner (editor) - 32 pgs

• 1996 Scottsbluff/Gering City Directory
          c1996 - R.L. Rolk & Co.

• 1997 Scottsbluff/Gering City Directory
          c1997 - R.L. Rolk & Co.

• The Czar's Germans : with particular reference to the Volga Germans
          c1978 -by Hattie Plum Williams - 236 pgs

• George Aldrich genealogy : volume 3
          c1977 -by A. James Aldrich - 272 pgs

• Life of Sitting Bull : and the history of the Indian War of 1890-91
          c1891 - by W. Fletcher Johnson - 606 pgs

• The Riddle-Beavers families : of Botetourt Co., Virginia, Highland Co., Ohio, Decatur and Page Cos., Iowa; including Cook, Rader, Bender/Painter, Harshbarger, Ammen, Ranck and other related families
          c1981 - by the Beavers-Riddle Family Association - 409p


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.

• Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society - Scottsbluff, NE

• Plains Genealogical Society - Kimball, NE

• Nancy Haney & Jack Preston

• Edwyna Weber

• Ray Richards

• Judi Widmaier

• Jane Burk

 **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**


Panhandle Genealogical Societies

Plains Genealogical Society (PGS)

The PGS meets on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Kimball Public Library.  Information about the society, their meetings and their programs can be e-mailed directly to Freddie Petersen, society President, at

Heritage Seekers genealogy group (HSGG)

The HSGG meets on the third Thursday of each month usually at the Knight Museum in Alliance.  Information about the group and their programs can be directed to the Knight Museum staff at

Cheyenne Co., Genealogical Society (CCGS)

The CCGS meets quarterly (Jan-Apr-Jul-Oct) on the third Thursday at 2:00pm at the Sidney Public Library.  Information about the society, their meetings and their programs can be directed to Jan King at

Northwest Genealogical Society (NWGS)

The NWGS no longer actively meets as a society.  A couple of members meet occasionally as a group to maintain the society charter and update their bookkeeping.

Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society (RWGS)

The RWGS has disbanded and no longer meets as a society.  Research material previously published by the society is now being produced and sold by the West Nebraska Family Research & History Center.  Society records are being digitized and will be kept in a an online archive for future reference.


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