Big News!

For the last several months we have been working on a deal with the Nebraska State Genealogical Society to host and become home to their entire microfilm collection.  On July 12th we took possession of basically the first half of the collection which consisted of 551 rolls of newspaper microfilm.  Plans are in the works to go get and take possession of the rest of the approximately 554 rolls of microfilm.  311 of those reels will also be newspaper microfilm and the remaining 243 reels will be misc. records on microfilm.  The misc. records can be anything from church records to various vital records such and marriage records, birth & death register records, etc.  The misc. records films may also contain other important records of value to genealogists and other history researchers.  Please feel free to come in to check out this important collection.

 A list of the entire collection will be provided in the newsletter at a later date after a complete inventory has been done.


Genealogy Roundtable Forum: July 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.

Elfrieda Martin, 89, formally of Germany, then Scottsbluff and currently Mitchell at the Mitchell Care Center will be talking about what it was like growing up in Berlin, Germany at the start of and during World War II.  Frieda came to America in 1953 and has vivid memories of what it was like being a small girl during the war and how she and her family were treated by the Germans soldiers, then the Russian soldiers and finally the allied forces.  Frieda will also talk about her trip to the U.S., her parents, how she met and then married her husband and her children.  This forum will be a unique glimpse into pre and post war Germany and the lives of the people that were affected the most.

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A BIG Thank You to Micky Hara and Nancy Sato for presenting their program on the Japanese Friendly Circle Club, a local Nisei women's club based at the Japanese Hall in Scottsbluff.  Micky started the program by discussing the words used to identify each Japanese generation in America, Issei: 1st generation; Nisei: 2nd generation; Sansei: 3rd generation; and Yonsei: 4th generation.  Micky went on to discuss the research she did for her newly published book; Issei: The First Generation: Japanese Immigrants to Western Nebraska.  Micky then discussed her plans for the next book she would like to publish.  Nancy Sato continued the forum by discussing the Japanese Hall on Ave. C and Railway Ave. in Scottsbluff, their monthly meetings on the first Saturday of each month and their annual fundraiser in November to support the hall.


What's New:

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

• Issei: The First Generation: Japanese Immigrants to Western Nebraska
                         - c2014 - by Miyeko "Micky" Hara - 119p

• Kaes Family History
- c2008 - Gerald "Jerry" Kaes - 27p

• Bell Family History
                         - c2008 - Gerald "Jerry" Kaes - 23p


Contributions & Donations:

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

• Miyeko "Micky" Hara

• Gerald "Jerry" Kaes

• Cheri Hopkins

• Joan Johns

 **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**


Collection Highlights:

Over the next several issues of the newsletter we will be providing links to PDF files of our Polk City Directory collection, our Scottsbluff area phonebook collection and finally our out of area phonebook holdings.  In the mean time, we would like to briefly discuss the difference between city directories and phonebooks and what a researcher can expect to find in each. City directories have been published by more than one company for well over 100 years however the most popular and most well known city directory publisher is R.L. Polk & Co.  The R. L. Polk & Co. was founded by Ralph Lane Polk in 1870 in Detroit, Michigan as a publisher of business directories. In 1872, the company first published a City Directory, for Evansville, Indiana, plus a listing of post offices in nine states. Additional directories followed in the ensuing years as the business grew.[1]  Every genealogist has an ancestor that proves to be particularly elusive. City directories can help family history researchers find success in tracking down these "lost relatives." Since many of them are published annually, city directories can give historical perspective on a family's residence within a particular community. They can also identify when and where they moved into a city, list a spouse's name, a resident's occupation and/or place of work, and even narrow the possible date ranges of an ancestor's death. City directories can also serve as an effective substitute for the 1890 U.S. Census. In addition, they have perhaps their greatest value with more contemporary ancestors, especially those who lived after the 1930 census.[2]  Phonebooks like city directories can be quite useful in pinpointing an ancestors residence at a particular time and in a specific place however phonebooks generally only list the head of household or the name of the person the phone number is issued to.  Also, phonebooks only came in existence with the invention of the telephone unlike city directories which predate the telephone.  Phonebooks were not meant to last and therefore printed on thin, low quality paper unlike the Polk City Directories which were printed on much better and higher quality paper stock.  Phonebooks certainly have a place in genealogical research collections but their value is not as well recognized as that of the city directories.