Monday, November 9, 2009

Review - OBITS OF NEBRASKA Website

I found a new website yesterday called Obits of Nebraska that specializes in pre-1930s obituaries for people who died in Nebraska.  Having deep Nebraska roots, I thought I would give it a shot and see if they have any from Seward County.  Since it's such a rural county, there usually aren't any clippings from their newspapers, but it was free to search!

So I typed in WAITS, and sure enough there was my 2nd GGF William!  The listing showed his Name, Birth year, Death year, County, and the date of the publication.  So I was absolutely certain that it was MY William!  They have a handy "buy now" button right there that linked to their PayPal account, so I clicked away!

Obits of Nebraska charges $4.99 with 50 cents of each purchase donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society.  Considering what it would cost me to find this image myself, not to mention the time, I was happy to fork over $5 for it (and even happier that they donate 10% to NSHS)!

There was an error on the landing screen after my purchase, so I forwarded a copy of it to the email address they provided.

According to my PayPal receipt, my order went through at 2:25p on 11/8/09 (Sunday).  At 4:30pm the same day, I had an email from Barbara Starks along with a .pdf of William's obituary!  Two hours and 5 minutes on a Sunday afternoon.  Not too shabby!
Good afternoon, Kathy

Thank you for your support. Your selection for #20535, William Henry Waits is attached. If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact us
Our email office hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.  In addition, I have forwarded the error message you received on to technical support.

Thanks again,

Barbara Starks
O'Bits of Nebraska

I was happy to see that the image was labeled with the newspaper name, county, and date.  Very useful to include the Source!

Since the file was in .pdf format, I zoomed way out on the image until I could see the whole thing on my screen at once (without scrolling). Then I just clicked on the upper left corner of the image and dragged a box down to the lower right corner.  The right-clicked and selected "copy image". From there, I opened up Paint (which comes standard on almost everyone's computers these days), clicked "Edit" and then "Paste".  Then "Save As", named the file WAITS_William_Henry_1845_1927.jpg, then saved it.  Taa-Daaaaa!!  It's now a photo.  Now I just need to upload the photo onto my tree and I'm done!

I'm not sure why the file isn't sent as a .jpg file, but in reality it only added a few more steps to my process.

Obits of Nebraska has nine more WAITs on their website, some I recognized immediately and a few from Fillmore County which I don't think are related.  One of those is William's wife Elve and although I have a copy of her obituary, I may order it anyway.  This version of William's obituary was completely different than the transcript that I got from a cousin.  And much longer!

I played around with the Search button and decided to see if I could find ALL of the Seward County obituaries.  So I typed in "Seward" and it found 83 obituaries with Seward in them.  Eight of which I believe are related as well, so I'll probably be back to get those too!  A few just had Seward somewhere in their name, but the rest were all from Seward County.  As I mentioned, Seward County is pretty rural and considering that these are all pre-1930, I think that's an amazing number!

All in all, I'm very pleased with the quality, service, and helpfulness of Obits of Nebraska and will definitely be back for more!

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