Genealogy Roundtable Forum: Jan 2019

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.

Kukas, Russia

Al Kukas, a first generation American of Germans from Russia descent will discuss his family's name and the town from which its derived from, Kukas, Russia.  Originally recruited and welcomed into Russia in the 18th century, the Germans were promised the freedom to use their own language while maintaining their religious beliefs and holding on to the understanding that they were exempt from military service.  Over time the German people found increasing hardships and with changes in Russian politics, the government took back some of the privileges granted; economic conditions grew poor, and there were a series of famines. These conditions led to German mass migrations from Russia.  Like many Germans from Russia, Al's parents left the Volga region of Russia in the mid-nineteen teens and came to America.  Al's father was the first to come to the U.S. in 1913 and his mother and two sisters came in 1914.  Al will discuss why the family couldn't all come together at the same time and he will tell many stories that have been handed down from generation to generation, some quite humorous and some not so much.  If you have Germans from Russia in your family you'll want to see and hear this program.


North of the Platte, South of the Niobrara Book Signing Event, February 10th

Author Bryan L. Jones will be visiting us here at the Research Center on Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 1:00 pm for a book signing event of his latest work, North of the Platte, South of the Niobrara : A little further into the Nebraska sand hills.

Filled with adventurous writing, sharp scrutiny, meticulous and audacious use of language, North of the Platte, South of the Niobrara: A Little Further into the Nebraska Sand Hills winds around its subjects the way the rivers and creeks of the Great Plains twist around humps of prairie grass, ranches and rock outcroppings.  The ambitious goal of author Bryan Jones was to create a fresh understanding of the Nebraska Sand Hills from the inside. Surely he has done that, and more. He reflects with almost unbearable poignancy on war and its consequences, and with fierce advocacy on two beloved Nebraska poets. He brings humor and occasional cynicism to reflections about “the metaphysical and metaphorical aspects” of the Sand Hills, Ted Turner and other newcomers, the Sandoz family and other old-timers and a considerable chunk of Western history.

This event will take the place of our regularly scheduled February Genealogy Roundtable Forum.


Remembering World War I

100 years ago, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, The Armistice ended WWI. It’s likely that someone in your family tree was among the millions of brave men and women around the world who left their homes to fight for their country in the Great War. Do you know their story?  Draft and service records from World War I can be a rich source of information about your ancestors, including physical descriptions, vital information, and details about their involvement in the war. Discover the part your ancestor played in the war to end all wars, preserve their legacy, and find out how it lives on in you.

WWI Time Line: A Brief History

World War I began on July 28, 1914, when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.  Russia and Germany soon joined the conflict, followed by Britain, France and Italy.  On April 6, 1917, the US declared war on Germany, and 2.8 million men were drafted to fight. Over the course of the next eighteen months, more than sixty million troops worldwide and 4 million US troops were involved. By the end of the Great War on November 11, 1918, the violence across Europe resulted in an estimated thirty-seven million casualties and more than sixteen million deaths (including both civilians and military personnel).

Timeline, images and original text provided by FamilySearch.  Permission to republish provided.


What's New:

The following items have been recently added to our collection.  Most items, once cataloged, can be located in the Carole Tucker Reading Room:

• Denver's Riverside Cemetery : Where history lies
           c2006 - by Annette L. Student - 322 pgs

• Coleridge Diamond Jubilee : 1883-1958
           c1958 - by the Coleridge Diamond Jubilee Committee - 84 pgs

• From there to here : an autobiography
           c1997 - by Esther Pullar - 388 pgs

• and cattle ate the school : very early Nebraska school history
           c1967 - by Beth S. Bohlin - 32 pgs

• A treasury of Alaskana : The Alaska Story
           c1977 - by Ethel A. Becker - 183 pgs

• The Restoration of the Cherry Grove-Mann Cemetery : Including information on the Mann family
           c1997 - by the Olin, Iowa FFA - 128 pgs

• 1948 Plainsman : Nebraska Wesleyan University annual
           c1948 - Marjorie Johnson (editor) - 108 pgs

• 1949 Plainsman : Nebraska Wesleyan University annual
           c1949 - Audrey Schultz (editor) - 204 pgs

• 1950 Plainsman : Nebraska Wesleyan University annual
           c1950 - Al Wilder (editor) - 188 pgs

• 1973 Plainsman : Nebraska Wesleyan University annual
           c1973 - John Lomax (editor) - 224 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

• Shirley Weihing

• Connie King

 **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's Top Record Collections of 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (8 January 2019), In 2018, FamilySearch added hundreds of millions of searchable free images and indexes of historical records from all around the world. The records came from locations such as Germany, Sweden, France, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Mexico, and the United States. We thought we'd summarize those countries with the largest volume of new records and images for you.  FamilySearch now has over 8 billion free names and record images.

CountryRecords and Images
South Africa1,029,108
United Kingdom3,264,935
United States Census11,779,223
United States-- Native American Census Rolls1,974,407
United States-- Alabama4,115,533
United States-- California6,055,650
United States-- Georgia1,224,740
United States-- Illinois1,041,748
United States-- Kansas1,609,914
United States-- Kentucky1,561,926
United States-- Michigan1,570,493
United States-- New York4,194,464
United States-- New York Passenger Arrival Lists
(Ellis Island), 1892-1924
United States-- New York Passenger Lists
(Castle Garden), 1820-1891
United States-- New York Passenger and Crew Lists                   
1909, 1925-1957>
United States-- North Carolina7,023,969
United States-- Ohio1,077,187
United States-- Oklahoma5,848,398
United States-- Pennsylvania1,236,748
United States-- Vermont2,401,944
United States-- Veteran's Administration3,099,585
United States-- Virginia6,236,808
United States-- West Virginia1,158,909

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.


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