September meeting

Our September meeting will be held at 1 p.m. on September 8, due to the Labor Day holiday. We will present potential names for officers for 2014-2015. Voting for officers will be held in the monthly meeting on October 6.

We will also ask for updates on projects for the Family History Month display in October. If you have volunteered to have something for this, let us know how you are progressing.

Online resources

There are many online resources for family history research, both pay and free. Some pay sites have ways you can access them for free.

Heritage Quest can be accessed through the Fort Dodge Public Library, if you have a library card there. Go to the library’s website, click on Online Resources in the menu bar near the top and scroll down to Heritage Quest. The first time you click, it will ask you to enter the bar code from the institution that referred you. That means enter your library card number. Then you can access Heritage Quest.

At a Family History Center, you can access several pay sites for free. This only works on the computers that belong to that center, as they have special software that registers the computers for those sites. These sites include:

  • 19th Century British Library Newspapers digital archive
  • Newspaper Archives
  • Alexander Street Press, American Civil War
  • ArkivDigital Online
  • Find My Past
  • Fold3
  • Heritage Quest Online
  • Historic Map Works Library Edition
  • Legacy Stories
  • Paper Trail
  • World Vital Records

Note: The Family History Center in Fort Dodge is currently closed while they are waiting for new computers.

A good place to start looking for resources is Cyndi’s List. It is described as “A comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.” You can browse categories or do a search to find what you are looking for, and then go to the actual site. It’s like a card catalog for online genealogy resources. is a free site with a lot of resources. There are several ways to search: by name in records or submitted genealogies, through a card catalog, and by region are a few. You can register for free and keep your family tree there, as well. If you are registered, you can upload photos (they are open to public view), stories and documents.

This is only a short list, but it’s a good start.

August meeting

We meet at 1 p.m. on the first Monday of every month except when that Monday is a holiday. So our next meeting is Aug. 4. The September meeting will be on Sept. 8.

Our meetings are held in our room (Room 134) of the Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave. The public is welcome.

July meeting

The next meeting of the Webster County Genealogical Society will be at 1 p.m. on July 7 in Room 134 of the Fort Dodge Public Library, 424 Central Ave. The public is welcome to attend.

We will have some news about a project that will make some research easier.

What’s up? Ancestry was down and associated sites (Rootsweb and Find a Grave) were down for Monday, part of Tuesday and intermittently today due to a DDoS attack. Think of it like a bunch of people all dialing the same phone number at the same time (and keep dialing for a period of time) to make the lines busy, while people with legitimate reasons for calling aren’t able to get through.

There’s a post about it here.

The site is still slow, but should be back to regular service soon.

If you aren’t sure whether a site is down just for you or for everyone, try this site: or (those are both the same site).

Type the web address in the box and hit Enter on your keyboard. The site sends a message to the site you are trying to access and tells you if it was successful or not.


At just before 5 p.m. June 18, Ancestry was down (still/again). Rootsweb was down, but Find a Grave was working.

Czech heritage


We had a gentleman stop by the society’s room today looking for information on how to research Czech genealogy.

I’m no expert.

We looked up some names in the Czech obits 1937-1980 book. The index lists the deceased, as well as others listed in the obits, such as survivors and pall bearers.

I also found a couple of sites that can help you get started researching Czech family history.

Get started with Czech genealogy
5 Places to Begin a Search for Czech Ancestors

Last year, I attended the Czech picnic in Fort Dodge. It was a happy accident. I was delivering Messenger bound books to Marion Pliner for indexing. She insisted that I stay and attend the picnic. It was a nice event.


I haven’t heard when the next Czech picnic will be, but if you have Czech ancestry and want to find out more, it could be helpful to connect with others with similar interests.


This table was full of family history items brought in for people to look at.


Open house is today!

Check out the resources at the Webster County Genealogical Society.

Check out the resources at the Webster County Genealogical Society.

We’re having an open house at the Fort Dodge Public Library from 10 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. today. The library closes at 2 p.m on Saturdays.

Come on over and visit with us about family history. The Webster County Historical Society will also be open during the same time.

There will be refreshments.

And photo scanning. You can bring in family photos and we will scan them and save them to your USB drive or email them to you.

A four-generation photo.

A four-generation photo.