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As October is Family History Month, now is a great time to start exploring your family history and organizing what you find. With resources at Columbus Public Library, you can trace your family tree, scrapbook your family heritage, digitize family photos and record family stories online.

Columbus Public Library provides access to a variety of online genealogy resources as well as microfilm reels of The Columbus Telegram dating back to 1860. Our online resources can be accessed via our website, www.columbusne.us/library, by clicking Genealogy from the E-Services menu.

Ancestry Library Edition is one resource that is only available within the library. Ancestry can be used to search census records, birth, marriage, death, and military records and passport applications. Ancestry recently partnered with the website Find A Grave, which consists of photos of grave markers, biographies and other information submitted by volunteers. Now this information will be included in your ancestry search to eliminate the need for searching as many independent sources.

Heritage Quest Online is another resource for searching census data. This resource, however, can be accessed wherever internet is available. Heritage Quest also has family history books that can be searched, genealogy and local history articles, records from the Revolutionary War Era Pension & Bounty-Land Warrant Application files and other government document sets.

World Vital Records is another great resource that can be accessed in the library and at home. This collection includes census records, military and voter lists, Social Security death index, and family trees and photos from the website MyHeritage.com, and more.

The Obituary Index is a great place to start looking for family history if any relatives were residents of the Columbus area. This is an index of obituaries in The Columbus Telegram. The obituaries can then be found and printed from microfilm or CD at the library.

NEGenWeb Project focuses on Platte County genealogy, but does include links to surrounding counties. This locally maintained site provides links to military and veteran information, online books, cemetery information, churches, schools and so much more that can help with your family history research.

Once you have learned about your family history, you can use one of the 25 public access computers in the Columbus Public Library to record the story of your family’s journey to the United States online at https://www.immigrant-nation.com/. The Immigrant Nation project exists to share the stories of immigration that have shaped our nation, whether they happened generations ago or in the last few years.

Create your own digital archive of family history using our new multifunction copier/scanner/fax. Photos can be copied ($.25 for color, $.10 for monochrome) so you can scrapbook pictures while still preserving the original. You can also easily scan photos and documents to a jump drive or send the files to your email address.

For help regarding these and any of our digital resources, call the Columbus Public Library at 402-564-7116 or stop by and see us at 2504 14th St.

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