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Historical Newsletter

January/February 2000


"Indians, Soldiers, and Bureaucrats: A New Look at Old Foes" will be the theme of the Third Fort Robinson History Conference April 27-29, 2000, at Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, Nebraska. The conference is cosponsored by the Society and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Previous conferences were held at the fort in 1995 and 1997.

The 2000 conference will feature papers by leading scholars of military and Native American history, living history demonstrations, and an authors' book-signing session. The Fourth U.S. Artillery Brass Band of Denver, Colorado, will present concerts and artillery demonstrations, and there will be tours of Fort Robinson's historic sites and buildings. Dr. Douglas Scott of the Midwest Archeological Center, National Park Service, will be the banquet speaker and will discuss recent findings from an archeological survey that confirmed the site of the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre.

In addition to sponsorship by the Society and the Game and Parks Commission, support for the conference has been provided by Ron Parks, the Dawes County Travel Board, the Museum of the Fur Trade, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, and the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. To receive a registration form, contact the Society at P.O. Box 82554, Lincoln, NE 68501-2554 or call 402-471-6548.

(image) Fort Robinson, 1878. NSHS-RG1517:15-2


Cynthia Monroe retired in December after more than thirty-eight years as a state employee. She began work in the Nebraska Brand Committee office in 1961 and continued with that agency until 1994, when the brand office was moved to Alliance. She was state brand recorder, 1969-94. In 1995 Monroe joined the Society's Library/Archives staff, and has worked in the reference room since then.

Cynthia's valuable contributions to the work of the Historical Society are not limited to her brief tenure as a paid employee. She began volunteering in the Society's library in 1977, assisting others who shared her interest in genealogy. In 1987 she was elected to the first of two, three-year terms on the Society's governing board, and was president of the Society from 1989 through 1991. Cynthia plans to continue working as a Library/Archives volunteer following her retirement.


The Nebraska Museums Association presented several awards during its annual meeting, held October 22 in Lincoln. The Hugh H. Genoways Award of Achievement was presented to Karen O. Janovy, curator of education, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, and assistant professor of museum studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The award is named in honor of Dr. Hugh H. Genoways, the Nebraska Museums Association's founder and first president, and the former director of the University of Nebraska State Museum. Janovy administers educational and interpretive programs designed to improve the public's understanding of the Sheldon's collection of fine art, and oversees one of the most highly respected and active docent programs in the country.

Awards of Recognition were presented to (1) Agnes L. Smith, curator, Washington County Historical Association Museum, Fort Calhoun, for her years of service as a volunteer and staff member; (2) the Banner County Historical Society Museum, Harrisburg, for the "A Sharing Opportunities and Resources" (SOAR) program for fourth-graders in which students experience a day in the life of a pioneer student in the 1880s in the Nebraska Panhandle; (3) the Dodge County Historical Society May Museum, Fremont, for "A Day in the Past" program, a living history experience for fourth-graders.

For more information about the Nebraska Museums Association and its activities, please contact John Schleicher, Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, 800-833-6747.


This year's film series features eight films produced during Darryl F. Zanuck's career, first at Warner Brothers, and then as head of 20th Century-Fox Studio. A native of Wahoo, Nebraska, Zanuck began as a scenario writer for silent films and found his first early success as the scriptwriter for dog star Rin-Tin-Tin in the 1920s. By 1927 he was head of production at Warner Brothers and by 1935, at the age of thirty-three, he was head of 20th Century-Fox, Hollywood's biggest studio. Zanuck is known for creating adult films with controversial themes. The series, titled "The Wahoo Kid" in Hollywood: Darryl F. Zanuck Presents, features a mix of box office successes and film classics. All films will be shown at the Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln, at 2 P.M.

January 23   I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)
Zanuck's Warner Brothers' years are represented by this scathing indictment of a southern chain gang, starring Paul Muni.

January 30   Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)
The profitability of 20th Century-Fox in the 1930s was due largely to Shirley Temple, the star of this film.

February 6   How Green Was My Valley (1941)
This story of a coal mining family in Wales won the Academy Award for best picture.

February 13   A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
Omahan Dorothy McGuire teams with director Elia Kazan to bring the Nolan family of Brooklyn to life.

February 20   Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
Gregory Peck pretends to be Jewish in order to expose anti-Semitism in this Academy Award winner for best picture.

February 27   Pinky (1949)
Zanuck explores racial prejudice in this film about a black woman who tries to "pass" as white.

March 5   All About Eve (1950)
The winner of seven Academy Awards and one of the best comedy-dramas ever, this film deals with the theater and those who toil in it.

March 12   The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
A Zanuck entry in the science fiction genre, this film with anti-fascist overtones is a warning to earth's inhabitants.



Native American human remains of nineteen individuals and grave goods discovered by the Society at various construction sites between 1937 and 1992 were reburied in the Barneston, Nebraska, cemetery on November 27, 1999. The remains are from five archeological sites near Barneston and other locations in eastern Nebraska occupied by the Otoe and Missouria Tribes between 1700 and 1881. As part of the Society's Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) obligations, The Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma asked for and received exclusive repatriation rights to these remains and wished that they be reburied in their ancestral homeland.


By Cindy Drake, Library Curator

Church Records

The most important Christian church records used by genealogists include those of baptisms (christenings), marriages, and funerals. They are considered primary source documents and may be used before and after the time periods that states, counties, or cities required vital records. Before you attempt to locate your ancestors in church records you should review county histories for the establishment dates and names of area churches. Most church records are filed with the church, but if a church disbanded they might have been given to a neighboring church, a church archives at the state or national level, or the local or state historical society. One source to check for addresses and phone numbers of religious archives and organizations is "Ethnic and Religious Organizations and Research Centers," which is Part 3 of The Genealogist's Address Book by Elizabeth Bentley (4th ed.). Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet has a link for Religion and Churches at http://www.cyndislist.com/religion.htm which includes a listing of libraries, archives, and museums as well as other links to this topic.

The types and format of church records vary depending upon the denomination. Catholics and Lutherans record baptisms carefully in church ledgers with the name of the person baptized, the names of his or her parents, the date and place of birth, and the date of baptism. The same is done with marriage records, but the content may vary with some listing only the bride, groom, and date and others listing the witnesses' names. The same is true for death and burial records. One church or denomination may record only the name and date of death, while others may provide birth dates and birthplaces. Vital records may be located in other church records such as confirmation records, membership rosters, and church census records, as well as in religious newspapers.

A good website for learning more about church records is Lesson 17 of RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees at http://www.rootsweb.com/~rwguide/lesson17.htm. An excellent published source is Chapter 6 (pp. 149-70) in The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (rev. ed., 1997), edited by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking, which is titled "Research in Church Records," by Richard W. Dougherty. It is also available on the web at http://www.ancestry.com/home/source/src145.htm. Another published source on church records is Chapter 20 (pp. 423-63) in The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy (2nd ed.), by Val D. Greenwood.

The NSHS Library/Archives no longer microfilms Nebraska church records. Reference Information Guide No. 6, "Nebraska Church Records in the Manuscript Collections of the Nebraska State Historical Society," lists all church records we currently have in our collection. This guide may be requested from our reference staff. Church records included in the above guide that appear on microfilm are available on interlibrary loan through your local library with our standard prepaid fee of $5.

New Acquisitions of Interest to Genealogists

Back in Those Days, by Ruth E. B. Anderson. (Borg and Anderson family in Dixon County.)

The Holm Family: Three Generations, compiled by Bill Beck. (Family in Custer County.)

The Kunz Family, compiled by Linda R. Newberry. (Dettman, Gustin, Hettrick, Kaczmarek, Swarts, and Meyerhoff families in Cass and Kimball Counties.)

Lainson Family History: History of the Lainson Family of England, United States of America, Canada and Australia, compiled, researched, and written by Geraldine T. L. Clement. (Lainson, Faunce, and Guill families in Adams, Douglas, Burt and Otoe Counties.)

The Root Family Story, by [Gad B. Root]. (Family in Saline County.)

Family History of Joseph Anton Sand (Joseph Sand): A Nebraska Pioneer, Immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1838, compiled by Paul F. Sand. (Family in Otoe County.)

A Guide to Research for Butler County, Nebraska, [compiled by Rosalyn Chmelka] and published by the Nebraska State Genealogical Society.

The Story of My Life, by Eula Jean M. H. R. Nowels. (Hering, Russell, and Seaman families in Red Willow County.)

[Ign. Klima, Sr. Family Album], by [L. G. Klima]. (Czech American family in Valley County.)

Vencil Krikac Family, by [L. G. Klima]. (Czech American families of Krikac and Klima in Custer and Valley Counties.)

The Laytons: A Westering Family, by Mike Layton. (Layton and Barger families in Scotts Bluff and Custer Counties.)
Phelps County, Nebraska, Marriages, compiled by Dick and Marjorie Dyas.

Vojtech Klima Family, by [L. G. Klima]. (Czech American families of Tvrdik, Klema, Voracek, Klima, Puffer, and Vsetecka in Valley and Custer Counties.)

Thomas Vodehnal Family, by [L. G. Klima]. (Czech American families of Vodehnal, Kluna, and Sich in Valley County.)


The following list consists of interesting titles from or about Nebraska we were pursuing through online auction houses, rare book dealers, and donation requests. For various reasons we were unable to acquire them for our collections. If you are aware of the availability of other copies of these titles please contact Library Curator Cindy S. Drake at 402-471-4786 or e-mail to: nshs05@www.nebraskahistory.org.

Bicentennial Cook Book of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church of Elwood, Nebraska, 1975.

Columbus, Nebraska, Illustrated, Francis H. Nichols, Publisher, [1902].

Cooking Fun Community Cookbook, by ORI Elementary School staff members, parents, students, and friends, Bennet, Nebraska, 1980.

Forbears' Fareing: A Family Record of the Occupation of America, by Otis Dunbar Richardson, 1970. (Chapter on MacCuaigs in Nebraska, etc.)

Max Geisler Bird Company of Nebraska Catalog, 1914-1915.

My Glimpses of Family Past, by Ron Kennedy. (Kennedy, Smith, French, Turner, Van Epps, families etc., traced through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska.)

Kaleidoscope Pictures, by Brenda Groelz (Phillips, Nebraska: Gray Wind Publishing, 1992). (Quilt designs)

Odes, Hymns and Songs of the G.A.R.: One Hundred Popular Ballads of the War: Songs That Were Sung on the March, Around the Campfire, and in the Prison, By the Loyal Men of Freedom's Grand Army, compiled by James H. Kyner, 1882. (We have the 1880 ed.)

Tried and Tested Recipes, contributed by members and friends of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Wayne, Nebraska, 1926.

Vasomotor Control, by Dr. M. B. DeJarnette, Nebraska City, 1931.


The thirty-second annual Dakota Conference on History, Literature, Art, and Archaeology will be presented by the Center for Western Studies May 25-27, 2000, at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The theme is "The Future of the Northern Plains: The Northern Plains of the Future." Paper title, a one-paragraph summary, and a one-paragraph presenter biography should be sent to the Dakota Conference, Center for Western Studies, Box 727, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD 57197 by January 31, 2000. For further information contact Harry F. Thompson, conference director, at above address; tel: 605-336-4007; fax 605-336-4999; e-mail: hthomps@inst.augie.edu; homepage: http://inst.augie.edu/CWS/


January 16: Sunday at the Museum series, "The Evolution of the Decoy," by Roger Hohensee, waterfowl and shorebirds carver. 2 P.M., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. For information contact the Neihardt Site at 1-888-777-4667.

January 20: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, "The Dull Knifes Family of Pine Ridge," by Joe Starita. Meet at Holiday Inn, Ninth and P Streets, Lincoln, 6:30 P.M. Call Margaret Allington, 488-5698, for reservations (required).

January 20: Omaha Corral of Westerners, "The Fontenelle and Cabanné Trading Posts," by Richard E. Jensen, NSHS senior research anthropologist. Meet at DC Centre, 7117 Jones Circle, Omaha, 6 P.M. Call Bob Savage, 391-3252, for information and reservations (required).

January 20: Brown Bag Lecture, "Just Plains Dirt: Sod Houses in Nebraska," by Carol Ahlgren, architectural historian, National Park Service. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

January 23: Zanuck Film Series: I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932). 2 P.M., Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public. Seating is limited.

January 30: Zanuck Film Series: Poor Little Rich Girl (1936). Time and location as above.

February 6: Zanuck Film Series: How Green Was My Valley (1941). Time and location as above.

February 10: Lincoln Corral of Westerners, program on Kit Carson, by Tom Dunlay. Time and location as above.

February 13: Zanuck Film Series: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945). Time and location as above.

February 13: Sunday at the Museum series, "Prairie People, Prairie Plants," by Kay Young, Lincoln area author. 2 P.M., John G. Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft. For information contact as above.

February 17: Omaha Corral of Westerners, "Gen. Victor Vifquain, Nebraska's First Medal of Honor Winner," by Jeffrey Smith, History Department, Bellevue University. Meet as above.

February 17: Brown Bag Lecture, "African Americans in Adams County, Nebraska," by Rick Wallace, independent scholar, Lincoln, Nebraska. 12 noon, Museum of Nebraska History, Fifteenth and P Streets, Lincoln. Free and open to the public.

February 20: Zanuck Film Series: Gentleman's Agreement (1947). Time and location as above.

February 27: Zanuck Film Series: Pinky (1949). Time and location as above.

In observance of Martin Luther King Day, the Society headquarters, the Museum of Nebraska History, the Ford Conservation Center in Omaha, and all historic sites, except Neihardt and Cather, will be closed Monday, January 17.
Call for holiday hours at the Neihardt Site (402-648-3388) and Cather Site (402-746-2653).
The same closing schedule will apply for Presidents' Day, Monday, February 21.

December 1999 Issue

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