Experiencing the 40th Nebraska State Genealogical Society Conference

April ConferenceThree weeks ago on a rainy, cold weekend I drove to the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln to join over 200 other family history aficionados who attended the annual Nebraska State Genealogical Society Conference. The organizers were able to book D. Joshua Taylor of Genealogy Roadshow  as the main presenter, and more than a dozen other enthusiasts shared their Previewsuccesses, stories, and suggestions with attendees.

Seventeen sessions were offered by these generous individuals during the two-day conference; I’ll focus today on the three sessions that were most helpful to me.

Joshua Taylor began the conference with his presentation

“Beyond Belief: The Wealth of Genealogical and Historical Societies”.  A few gems that he said are housed in many historical societies include:

  • Locations of records in their area – go to the society first to find out whether most of the primary information is at the society, courthouse, library, or one of the churches.
  • Local Newspapers – can have indexes of obituaries, and microfilms of newspapers.
  • Landmark anniversaries of local churches
  • Handwritten obituaries.

After an impressive catered lunch, three simultaneous sessions were offered during Friday afternoon. Joshua Taylor ended the first day of the conference with:

“The Modern Genealogist: Timesaving Tips for Every Genealogist”. He divided his presentation into three areas – research tips, technology tips, and organization tips. Two of his research tips were to use templates to keep your information consistent and take advantage of the many webinars available to increase your knowledge of accessing information. Two of his technology tips were to use a second computer monitor and to save images in a TIFF or JPEG format.  Two of his organization tips were to divide each project into small segments that can be completed at one sitting, and make use of spreadsheets (which can be easily rearranged if the initial format proves cumbersome).

Cornhusker Ballroom

Nebraskan Gail Blankenau presented one of the Saturday afternoon sessions,

Researching Nebraska Online”. Gail introduced the attendees to seven websites that are available which have valuable information about your Nebraska ancestors, four databases that are available through Nebraska Archives, and distributed a list of over 20 Nebraska newspapers that are available online.

In addition to the seventeen sessions, there were also numerous vendors available. Some vendors were groups of a particular ethnic background (Czech, Welsh), some from a particular county, some had steampunk articles or Nebraska art work for sale.

Making new friends, listening to interesting stories, and learning about procedures that have worked for others was a stellar way to spend a rainy spring weekend. This conference is held annually in late April, and I hope to attend in Columbus in 2018!

Four of the websites shared during Gail’s presentation:


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