Tri-City Genealogical Society Using AI to Help Genealogists

Please join us for Tri-City Genealogical Society’s March General meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13.  The presentation will be at the Richland FamilySearch Center located at 1314A Goethals Dr.  Entrance is down the ramp from the parking lot that is to the north of Dairy Queen.  The presentation will also be on Zoom so you can join in from the comfort of your own home.  See below for the Zoom link.

  The March presentation will be by Thomas MacEntee.  Thomas is a professional genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community.  A handout will be available upon request.

  The subject of the talk will be Translating, Transcribing and Summarizing Documents Using AI (Artificial Intelligence): Learn how to harness the power of artificial intelligence to assist in translating, transcribing, and summarizing a variety of genealogy records. A handwritten baptismal record from the 1800s? No problem. A faded newspaper obituary? No problem. We’ll cover the best AI platforms as well as how to craft a solid prompt to get you the results you need.

  RootsTech 2024 starts on February 29 and continues through March 2.  There is still time to sign up to view the online presentations.  The free registration page can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2s3u9tx2 .  Free registration gives online access to 200+ online sessions, keynote sessions, syllabi and handouts and the opportunity to chat online with other attendees. 

  Thank you to everyone who has already joined TCGS for 2024.  For those who would like to join, the online application can be found at https://tricitygenealogicalsociety.org/q/join/join_renew/ and a printable application can be found at https://tricitygenealogicalsociety.org/q/wp-content/uploads/2023TCGSBrochure.pdf .

Topic: TCGS General Meeting March 13 at 7 p.m.

Time: Mar 13, 2024 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

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Meeting ID: 878 3652 2633

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Sue McNeil Named One of WSGS’s Outstanding Volunteers in 2023

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 600 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2023 award recipients and learn why they received the 2023 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Today we’re introducing Sue McNeil, Washington, who was nominated by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS).

Sue is currently a volunteer librarian at SVGS. She also serves as the SVGS webmaster (a board position), working with our webpages, other web-related activities, as well as emailing meeting notices and other important information to the membership. This past year, she was also the featured speaker at a number of educational presentations for SVGS.

Prior to the Covid outbreak, Sue’s involvement in the Northwest Genealogical Conferences was integral to their success. She spearheaded the designing and ordering of banners and printed materials such as flyers, brochures, postcards, and the all-important syllabus.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Info@wasgs.org. Please type “Volunteer Award” in the subj

Yakima Valley Genealogical Society U.S. Draft Records of the Civil War, WW1 & 2

Yakima Valley Genealogical Society

General Meeting

Saturday, March 2, 2024

10:00 a.m. 

Y.V.G.S. Library

Speaker: Ruth Anglin

Subject: U.S. Draft Records

Ruth will be giving a presentation on the information you will find in the U.S. Draft Records of the Civil War, World War 1 & 2. Come and find how beneficial Draft Records are to your ancestry.

Yakima Valley Genealogical Society

1901 S. 12th Avenue

Union Gap, WA 98903

Phone: (509) 248-1328

Email: yvgs@yvgs.net

Let’s Talk About…… Archives & BeeHives

I’ll admit I’m stretching a bit here, but I did catch your attention, didn’t I?

ARCHIVES. What comes to mind when you hear or read that word? Records? Information? Papers? Ledgers? Books? Rolls? Files? History? Information? All of the above??

What IS an archive: “It’s a collection of historical documents or records providing information bout a place, institution or group of people.” 

In other (crazy comparison) words, it’s a place where genealogists find honey!!

There are probably a dozen archives that you might-could access to find the family information you’re seeking. Every U.S. state has archives and most of the world’s countries do too. They’re not like public libraries…. walk in, check the catalog, pull a book off the shelf and away you go. Archives are places where history is stored. We can access it but it stays safely guarded away. 

Lucky for us, there are most usually finding aids for most any archive. (Good grammar, eh?) 

Here in Spokane we have the Eastern Washington State Historical Society archive housed in the Joel E. Ferris Library at the MAC. If you have Inland Northwest ancestors, make an appointment and GO. If you live in Central or Western Washington, go visit YOUR archives!

We also have the Washington State Library Digital Collections and the Washington Rural Heritage memory project (aka archive). Ever heard of the Northwest Digital Heritage (for WA and OR)? Of course we have the Eastern Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives out in Cheney. 

Here’s maybe a new one for you: ArchiveGrid. This is a collection of over 5million “archival material descriptions …… harvested from the web.” These documents are described as “historical documents, personal papers, family histories and more.” Try it, you just might find the “honey.” 

How about InternetArchive? This is an American digital library that has quickly become a major destination to those researching their family history online. InternetArchive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, websites, music and much more. To use this site, you sign up for an account and then can download material to your account (your computer) to use at your leisure. Ah, the honey is there, no??

Click to the Society of American Archivists and download their free “Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research.” 

Glen McNay Named One of WSGS’s Outstanding Volunteers in 2023

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 600 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2023 award recipients and learn why they received the 2023 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Today we’re introducing Glen McNay of North Bend, Washington, who was nominated by the Eastside Genealogical Society (EGS).

Glen has been a generous volunteer to EGS with time and talent. This year Glen took on the treasurer position mid-year. He updated the financial report, clarified the on-line donation process and worked with board members on a new deposit process. Glen took on these new duties while he was already performing the webmaster duties. As webmaster, Glen continued to update the EGS website. He also implemented Google Workspace and trained board members on its use.

Glen creates and runs the announcement slides for EGS monthly meetings and often volunteers for those extra jobs. As an EGS member, Glen participates in society activities engaging the wider community. He actively welcomes and advises the new attendees. His contributions at board meetings are thoughtful. He has expertise in computers that he shares with board members.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Info@wasgs.org. Please type “Volunteer Award” in the subject line.

Let’s Talk About…. Gold Rush Ancestors?

 This 33-cent stamp, issued in 1999, commemorated the California Gold Rush. Did you have an answer who “went west” to make his fortune…….. but didn’t…… and possibly was never heard from again? 

I won’t recount the history of how gold was discovered; that’s easy finding-reading. I will explain that those eager gold seekers from the East who managed to make it to California by the end of 1849 numbered about 90,000. 

Life in the gold fields was pretty rough; mining work was hard and most finds were minimal. Within a year or two many gave up and, if they had the means, returned home.

The fall 2009 issue of New England Ancestors, carried an article on this topic, written by Nancy Peterson, CG. I quote:

“No official documents collected the names of fortune seekers who traveled to California. No comprehensive governmental passenger lists recorded the names of the fortune seekers who sailed to California via Panama or San Francisco. We learn of journeys to the gold fields from diaries and letters, from California newspaper listings of new arrivals, and from reminiscences written many years later. Newspapers “back home” often printed news and letters from the California-bound adventurers.”

The article continued, “Perhaps the most comprehensive resource about the Overland route is J.S. Holliday’s The World Rushed In. This book is based upon accounts by more than 500 men about their westward journeys and early lives in California. The book’s sources serve as an excellent starting point in the search for these emigrants.”

Certainly, there are other resources to be found; use Google. Check out CyndisList and the FamilySearch.org/Wiki. 

At the conclusion of her article, Peterson states: “for a comprehensive well-annotated source covering all aspect of the gold rush, see Kenneth N. Owens, Riches for All: The California Gold Rush and the World, published in 2002. I just checked (Dec 2023):

Heritage Quest Research Library Cindi’s List in Practice

Cyndi’s List in Practice Sometimes overwhelming to beginners and sometimes underused by veterans, Cyndi’s List is a research tool that is robust with resources helpful in everyone’s research.  Using specific examples for beginners, as well as more advanced researchers, we will explore the site and point out how to make the most of the categories and the links found within. Cyndi Ingle, a genealogist for more than 43 years, is a creator and innovator behind the award-winning and globally recognized CyndisList.com. Cyndi is an expert in using technology for genealogy, research in the US and bringing together traditional methodology with organization, computers, software and the Internet.  March 7, 2024

11:00 AM to NOON


ZOOM $20 Members

$25 Non-members


Go to hqrl.com 
and click on the HQRL Store.
Be sure to sign in as a member to receive the discount. Finding Your Female Ancestors with M. Diane Rogers is scheduled for March 27, 2024.  More information coming soon!
Along with information regarding the re-opening of the library!
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Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Digital Archives

Saturday, March 2 DIGITAL ARCHIVES
  (EWGS Meetings) 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Hybrid Meeting at The Hive –
2904 E Sprague Ave,
Spokane, WA 99202

Digital Archives with guest speaker Robert Perret
A comprehensive presentation by the new Eastern Branch Manager of the Cheney Archives, Robert Perret. He will cover navigating digital archives, the Washington State Archives and what’s new at the Cheney Archives.
DOOR PRIZES AND RAFFLES AND OUR NEW  “DDD” fund.
Drop a Dollar in our “fund can”  when you attend the meeting and get a chance to win 50% of the fund.  Must be present to win!  Great opportunity to support EWGS and win some extra pocket money.