REBECCA WINTERS GENEALOGY SOCIETY
40TH ANNIVERSARY—May 1968-2008
by Wanda Henkel, President
Who are you? Are you sure? What was it grandfather said about being born in a sod house? He said someone -- I forget who--fought in the Civil War and lost an arm. I wonder why he thought an ancestor came to this continent on the Mayflower? Was he correct: He once kidded Grandmother about a "hoss thief" relative of hers. (She never talked about such a thing.)
It was questions such as this that prompted a group of ten women to meet in February of 1967. They found a wealth of help in each other---- exchanging information on where to find records and trading books and ideas. Elections were held. President—Wanda Henkel; Vice President—Mary Anders; Secretary—Betty Sipp; Treasurer—Pat Osborne. The first four meetings were held in members’ homes in the afternoon. When several gentlemen asked to join, the meetings were changed to evenings and met at the Scottsbluff Public Library. The Charter date was delayed for a year so more people could be included. On May 9, 1968 , 20 people from Torrington , WY to Bridgeport , NE met and the name "Rebecca Winters" was taken -- thus honoring all pioneers. A direct descendant of hers, the late Elwood Winters of Salt Lake City, Utah, has been an honorary member since the beginning of the organization.
The Rebecca Winters Genealogical Society was set up for the purpose of providing an organization to aid individuals: in learning to develop accurate genealogical research, in collecting and preserving historical documents and in establishing a genealogical library for members and the public.
In 1971, the society sponsored the printing of the Mitchell Valley School 's seventh and eighth grade project "The History of Mitchell Valley". The Scottsbluff library had three books of the 1790 United States census, the remainder of the set was purchased by the club.
The club subscribes to several publications. In addition to historical quarterlies and "The Genealogical Helper", the following resources have been placed in the genealogical section at the public library: a micro-filmed index of Nebraska censuses, index to the DAR Library at Alliance , numerous books on research, family histories, passenger lists and a surname file. Individual members place their own books with the Society for public use at the library. Everything in this section is for the use of the general public.
Each meeting of the organization has a program directed to assisting and aiding members with their family research, to recording the information they gather and to finding the dates they still need. Programs are given by members as well as people from neighboring and distant towns.
The Society published a Surname Index which was exchanged with other clubs who have also published such books and sent them to libraries across the country. Other publications can be found under "Publications".
The first purchase by the Society was an LP: "Climbing Your Family Tree The Sound Way". That record seems to have gone with other records the library used to have that could be checked out.
Little did we know "way-back-then" that we would have a membership of people from WA, OR, CA, AZ, NM, MI, KY, CO and at one time a lady in the nation of Jordan . Nor could any of us have even guessed the Society would continue as strong and healthy as it is now in its 40th (really 41st) year. With such strong, willing workers as we have, the Society will continue for some time to come. To keep up with the "times", we are now making available CDs on history and genealogy.
We strive to be a public-minded and a contributing member of the community.
Mary Anders; Tisa Anders; Marge Bakken*; Helen Bostwick*;
Henrietta Christy*; Lois Fairfield; Winifred Flock*; Wanda
Henkel; Estelle Laughlin*; Iva Lyda*; Violet McCabe*; Rena
Maxwell*; Maxine Nelson; Paula Nelson; Pat Osborne; Marianne
Putman*; William Putman*; Marge Reisig*; Betty Seip*; Helen
Terhune*; Eula Whelan*; Betty Yount*