Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Society

Category: Arts/Culture/Humanities

This Year's Project: Technology Updates Need

About Our Organization

SWNGS  non profit formed in 1975 to:  1) create & foster interest in and unite persons interested in family history;  2) encourage the preservation of public and private records;  3) promote programs of education supporting the growth and development of family history and 4) contribute and maintain genealogical research materials and equipment in the SWNGS library for future generations.

Free internet access is available for online research.  We are 1 of only 4 Affiliate Libraries for Family Search Utah here in Nebraska. This allows our library users access to records in the SLC Library that are "restricted" to general public view.  So if this happens during your home research, you can view these records through the private servers of our SWNGS library.

We have the capability to scan and digitize old records and WELCOME area churches, clubs, etc to bring in their old record books to be housed at our library and a copy will be provided for your personal use via a memory stick.

Our library is available for on site research to everyone. We have books from around the world but specific interest ins Red Willow county and Chase, Dundy, Hayes, Hitchcock, Frontier, Gosper, Furnas and Phelps as well as the counties that border us in Northwest Kansas. Our library is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and the first Saturday afternoon.  Check out our NEW web site:

We house many original records. From the Red Willow Co. District Court books & Volume 2-9  marriage applications and certificates.

Vital records abstracted from newspaper microfilms include the McCook Democrat, Tribune, Republican and the McCook Daily Gazette.  These records are bound by years and contain births, marriages, deaths, family reunions, school reunions, etc.

We helped to regenerate the cemetery records to the best of our knowledge and are in the process of photographing Calvary Cemetery and Memorial Park.  Riverview Cemetery, most smaller rural cemeteries are on our web site.  If it's genealogically related, we likely house it in our library.   We would be happy to give your family history a home in our library too.

We teach genealogy classes at McCook Community College and at McCook High School Bison Days.

You are invited to visit, become a member as we are supported soley by membership dues and donations.  Your donations will help to house and maintain the records of McCook for future generations.  Please drop by our SWNGS Library in the Masonic Temple Building where we can personally "THANK YOU" for your donation and perhaps help you with your family history!

Current Project: Technology Updates Need

Being the sole repository devoted to preserving the Red Willow County records, etc.  we need to have the most up-to-date equipment accessible in our library.  

We will replace our outdated screen and projector system with a new big screen SMART tv.  This will allow access to current apps and provide more educational teaching presentations and genealogy lessons.

A need for two new laptops to more efficiently run our current large camera system and new individual scanner station.

We THANK YOU in advance for helping us to better meet the needs to retain the records for Red Willow county for future generations.

Please donate to the 2022 Big Give thru any of these options:

Donate directly by check to SWNGS during Big Give day, mail your donation directly to PO Box 156 McCook, or donate directly via our Paypal account.

Past Projects

  • Saving The Past For The Future Update Camera and Video Set Up Units

    Project Wrap Up

    Recent donations are providing the capability to convert pictures, slides, vhs to dvds. 

    A generous donation from the local church of Latter Day Saints provides a modern microfilm reader.

    A donation of an individual scanner unit to scan anything from photos to books is also available for personal use to visitors.

    Project Details

    We have two main areas in need of equipment updates.  An upgraded computer for our camera set up unit.  This unit allows us to photograph oversized books, plat maps and old personal family photos.  We have many people who bring in their old photos which can be touched up to the best possible ability thru our photo restoration software.  

    The second area is a completely different set up but still in need of a computer to convert old family slides, photos and vhs versions into the current digital format usable on most devices these days.

    Both of these units provide opportunities for us to help service the community of southwest Nebraska to preserve family heirlooms and keepsakes using the most current digital capabilities.

    As well this will also help to maintain records and provide local groups, organizations, churches, etc. to obtain a digital copy of their older record books and registers so they can be viewed and printed without constantly handling your original record books.

    We continue to work with the Courthouse, High Plains Museum and the many organizations and churches not only in McCook but also in the southwest Nebraska area from Furnas to Hitchcock, Hayes, Dundy up to Chase and Frontier and back to Gosper Counties.

    Your donations will help us provide the Southwest Nebraska community the ability to PRESERVE their photos and records using the latest digital basis possible.

    We thank you in advance for considering how your donation will greatly help to achieve this goal to maintain the past for the future generations!

  • New Location & Grand Re-opening Maintaining the Records

    Project Details

    Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to relocate the Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Library this year.  This came with many unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.  Those expenses include moving costs, new deposit, increased monthly rent, carpet cleaning and painting the new location.  Replace 3 bookcases and a couple of file cabinets but could use a few more. 

    Needless to say the search for a new location took several months and we are thankful for God's provision as we are now located at 322 Norris Avenue Suite 2-7 on the 2nd floor in the Masonic Temple Building.  We currently have a Facebook page and invite you to submit your genealogy questions or visit our newly rebuilt website at

    Lastly we need to purchase new banners, business cards, address labels to update our new address.  We are the only repository and group maintaining the records of McCook, Red Willow County as well as the other Southwest area counties.  Help us keep this library open.  We accept and would be happy to house any donations of your personal family history, cemetery records, photos, etc.  Feel free to stop by any Tuesday or Thursday afternoon or contact us to set up a special time for us to help you research your family history.  We have visitors from all over the United States.

    If you wish to donate from home feel free to donate to us thru Paypal using our email address which is:           or checks can be sent to:  PO Box 156, McCook  NE

    Better yet we invite you to drop by and check out our new location at 322 Norris, Suite 2-7, Second floor elevator available during the day of Big Give, November 5, 2020  from 1-4 PM.        


  • SWNGS Library Computer Upgrade

    Project Details

    Our current SWNGS library computers are all Windows 7 version which will no longer be serviced by Microsoft come January 2020.  Therefore, we need to replace our current computers with Windows 10 version computers.  These computers are used to house many original photos, forms and records.  Also our website is maintained via these SWNGS library computers.  We are looking to purchase new Windows 10 computers via downtown McCook merchants.  Our website space is currently donated locally by 20/20 Technologies and our wifi is currently donated locally by Wally Hampton.  Help us preserve the past for the future generations by continuing on with this immediate need and costly upgrade.  Your donations are very much appreciated.  Let's keep McCook alive and well for those searching past records as well as continuing to provide a service for those generations in the future.

$5,535 Raised So Far!
19 Donors
Legal Name: Southwest Nebraska Genealogy Society

322 Norris Avenue Suite 2-7 P.O. Box 156
McCook, NE 69001

(308) 350-0126

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