A Mexican Immigrant Woman

Book Signing Event, June 30th

Former Scottsbluff resident, Eduardo Hernández Chávezas, will be in town and available at the West Nebraska Family Research & Hisotry Center on Saturday, June 30th at 10:00am to sign and discuss his book, Elvira: A Mexican Immigrant Woman. The memoir is the intriguing personal story of Elvira C. Hernandez (née Elvira Chavez), a girl whose family fled Chalchihuites, Zacatecas in 1916, at the height of the Mexican Revolution, seeking safety and a livelihood in a land once alien, now native.
Ever intent on finding a more gainful life, Elvira’s father uprooted his family, moving them to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. She provides heartrending accounts of this fateful move to what would be an onerous existence as laborers in the sugar-beet and potato fields. There, even the children would work alongside the adults.
As a result, Elvira herself labored in the fields during all of her youth and for most of her adult life. She describes ruefully her family’s continual efforts to scrape out a living and to become full members of the strange and inhospitable society they encountered there.
Elvira was to live in Scottsbluff for the rest of her life. After her husband’s premature death, she dedicated herself to community service, first working with a community-action program that advocated for migrant farmworkers, then creating a center for elderly Mexican- and German-American women, and eventually serving as a ‘foster grandparent’ in a daycare center for small children until her retirement at age 89.
In recounting this story of her life, Elvira consistently projects a firm sense of personal courage, determination, and dignity, qualities that she displays from a very early age.
Elvira’s memoir is the compilation into a coherent narrative of hundreds of hours of tape recordings made by her son, Eduardo Hernández Chávez, who also grew up in Scottsbluff and is an Assoc. Prof. of Linguistics, Emeritus, from the University of New Mexico.


Genealogy Roundtable Forum: July 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.

We do not have a forum scheduled for July just yet but we are working on one.  Once details have set they will be posted on our website under GenForum on the menu bar.



Thank you to Genny Escamilla from Genny's Sewing and Crafts in Scottsbluff for presenting her program on the history of wedding dresses on Saturday, June 19th.  Genny brought with her several dresses to display while discussing how the color, style and ceremonial importance have changed and evolved throughout history.  The oldest dress on display was a completely hand-made and hand-sewn wedding dress from ca1790 which has a direct connection to a family that settled in the Scottsbluff area.

An article on the 1790 wedding dress is being written for a future newsletter.


What's New:

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

• History of Petersburg, Nebraska : Q125 (1887-2012)
           c2012 - Petersburg Community Club - 496 pgs

• The Forgotten 500 : The untold story of the men who risked all for the greatest
                                         rescue mission of World War II
          c2007 - by Gregory A. Freeman - 313 pgs

• Sailors to the end : The deadly fire on the USS Forrestal and the heroes who fought it
          c2002 - by Gregory A. Freeman - 451 pgs

• The Deserters : A hidden history of World War II
          c2013 - by Charles Glass - 380 pgs

• Walt Whitman's Civil War
          c1960 - by Walter Lowenfels (editor) - 336 pgs

• The Civil War : In the words of its greatest Commanders
          c2002 - by A.L. Long - 400 pgs

• 1863 : Turning point of the Civil War
                         : Chancellorsville / Gettysburg / Vicksburg / Chickamuga / Chattanooga
           c1998 - Introduction by James McPherson - 360 pgs

• Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl : Written by herself
           c1987 - by Harriet A. Jacobs - 306 pgs

• Amazing Women of the Civil War : Fascinating true stories of women who made a difference
           c1999 - by Webb Garrison - 288 pgs

• Ulysses S. Grant : Personal Memoirs
           c1998 - Introduction and Notes by James McPherson - 674 pgs

• The Negro in the Civil War
            c1953 - by Benjamin Quarles - 379 pgs


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.

• Judi Widmaier

• Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society

• Northwest Genealogical Society

 **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**


FamilySearch Adds 2 Billionth Image of Genealogy Records

Salt Lake City, Utah:  In your quest to discover your family history it might be time to take another look at FamilySearch’s online offerings. The genealogy giant’s free online databases of digitized historical documents have now surpassed 2 billion images of genealogy records with millions more being added weekly from countries around the world. Nonprofit FamilySearch, a global leader in historical genealogy records preservation and access, announced the milestone back on 23 April 2018.
Last September FamilySearch transitioned from its microfilm circulation services to a new digital model that makes its massive genealogical records collections more broadly and readily accessible online.  This announcement reinforces FamilySearch's continuing commitment to grow online genealogy resources. FamilySearch currently adds over 300 million new images a year online from its microfilm to digital conversion services and it's field operations efforts.

As a reminder, the West Nebraska Family Research & History Center is a FamilySearch Affiliate Library which has access to some digital content and records that are not accessible to home users.


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 fpetersen@firstierbanks.com.

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 museum@cityofalliance.net.

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 king43993@gmail.com.


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