GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News


Thursday Evening

E-News, Edition

21 June 2018

For more information visit, contact us at, or call our library at 503-963-1932. We love hearing from you!

For a complete GFO CALENDAR click here.

Also, if you missed your free copy of our monthly Insider for May 2018, you’re in luck because we saved you a copy HERE. Simply scroll down at THIS page and click on the Insider 2018 May issue.

Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!

Family Tree Maker SIG 2

The Family Tree Maker Users’ Group would like to find a person to come talk to them about using “Citations and Source” templates within the Family Tree Maker application. The group has been using MacKiev’s 2017 edition of Family Treemaker.

They’re hoping to have this content explored at either their August, September, or November meetings.

Interested? Email Joyce at


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Friday Serendipity

Crista Cowan is The Barefoot Genealogist, and does the FABULOUS Ancestry YouTube videos…. and she does one every single Wednesday. The first week of the month she does “What’s New At Ancestry.” Even if you cannot watch Crista live each week, her videos are posted on YouTube and anybody can go watch at anytime. Cool!


Surname story:  Last week I drove the 80 miles north to visit with the Northeast Washington Gene Society in Colville.  A new member to the group was introduced, Mary YANN. She related that the surname was Swiss and was originally spelled JANN, pronounced “yawn.” She explained that when her grandfather was in grade school, the teacher insisted that a surname must be spelled as pronounced! Hence, Jann became Yann. Would that happen today? Fat chance!


My grandson, Austin, graduated with his B.A. degree in Port Angeles and, sadly, we could not attend in person.  BUT the college had a live feed to the ceremony and Austin let me know and I got to watch the entire thing! And of course saw him walk up to get his certificate. Almost (almost) as good as being there. Do most colleges do this these days? Great for far-away grandparents. 

Update on Grays Harbor Gen Soc Research Library

The GHGS Research Library was housed in the Aberdeen Armory Building, built in 1922. Photo by Bonnie Johannes.

Members of the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society are slowly coming to grips with the fiery loss of their research library. The library was housed in the Aberdeen Armory which also included the Aberdeen Museum of History, Coastal Community Action Program and the Aberdeen Senior Center. The June 9 fire gutted the first and second floors of the building. Amazingly (and thankfully) some of the Aberdeen Museum’s photographs, documents and artifacts were rescued from the basement which was filled with four feet of water. The fire is still under investigation and may be for at least a couple more weeks.

While there is nothing left of the research library, short-term storage has been secured as the society begins to rebuild its holdings and collections. A plea for financial help and Grays Harbor County (and its predecessor Chehalis County) research materials has been sent from GHGS President Gary Parfitt. Financial donations or gift cards (Staples, Amazon, Costco, etc.) are most easily used to avoid duplication, over-supply and will be used when society members can begin researching again.

In addition to financial help, the society is asking for Grays Harbor-related research materials to restore their collections. Suggestions include Polk Directories, telephone books, obituaries, funeral records, identified photographs or family histories (with ties to Grays Harbor or Chehalis Counties). Anyone with materials to donate or reproduce can contact Gary Parfitt at

Financial donations can be sent to the society’s Research Library Go Fund Me page or directly to the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 916, Aberdeen, WA 98520.

Wednesday Nostalgia

One more tidbit about World War I. While on that trip to Vancouver, and at that WWI museum exhibit, I met author Diane Green-Hartley and bought her book, “Lillie’s Jasper: The 1930 Pilgrimage of a Gold Star Mother.”

For openers, did you realize that after WWI many of the bereaved mothers formed into chapters of Gold Star Mothers and between May 1930 and August 1933 a total of 6,654 of these mothers traveled to Europe at U.S. government expense, to visit the graves of their sons or daughters who died in the war. Diane’s book is the journal kept by her great-grandmother, Lillie Green, when she made this trip to visit the grave of her son Jasper (who had died in 1918).

This was a very moving read; I recommend it to you. The book is available at Amazon.

Tuesday Trivia

Find-A-Grave tidbit:  Did you realize this? When you go out and volunteer to photograph a gravemarker and upload it to Find-A-Grave, YOU are the “owner” of said photo even though likely you don’t really have a personal interest in that person or their marker.

BUT if a person who does have a personal interest in that person or marker, they may (they should) ask YOU to either add some biographical information to the page or ask your permission to do it. If such a person/request surfaces regarding a photo you’ve uploaded to Find-A-Grave, you can ask that person (who is likely a descendant) if they want to assume management of that page??

Right along with that, if you want to take over the management of the Find-A-grave page for your ancestor, ASK. Fully 95% of the time the owner (who has no real personal interest, remember) will say yes. I did not know those details.

Monday’s Mystery

Today’s “mystery” is really no mystery. It’s a question: Why don’t folks more quickly and more generously step up to the plate to help out when monetary help is needed for a cause in which they already do passionately believe???

I’m talking about the terrible fire that has destroyed the Gray’s Harbor Genealogical Society Library. They put out a call for on-site help but most of us live too far away to help that way. But how about monetarily? Here was a plea from their president:

Anyone wishing to make financial donation is encouraged to use our Go Fund Me campaign or direct to the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 916, Aberdeen, WA 98520.

If you would like more information or have questions, please contact me at

Gary Parfitt, President, Grays Harbor Genealogical Society

Think about this; you can help solve this “mystery.”

Seattle Genealogical Society Programs


This coming Saturday, June 23, the SGS Membership Meeting will be held at the SGS library from 1:00 pm-2:30 pm. A short SGS business meeting will be followed with  a presentation by Claudia C Breland, professional genealogist and author.  Many individuals researching genealogy feel that everything is online now. That is far from the truth. Claudia found some amazing records that are not online, and may never be online. She wants to share her insight with you in this lecture,  “Beyond the Internet: Finding Family History Records That Are Not Online”.
Then on Sunday, June 24, from 1:00 pm-3:00 pm, SGS president, Jill Morelli will present “FamilySearch: The Other 70%”. Did you know that when you do a surname search in FamilySearch you are only accessing 30% of the digitized records? FamilySearch is putting records online faster than they are indexing. Learn how to find the other 70% of valuable online records. This skill has become even more important since FamilySearch discontinued their microfiche film loan program last year.
Hope to see you at the SGS library Saturday and Sunday!
You may have heard the Aberdeen Museum of History suffered a major disaster and they need help in their recovery efforts; lots and lots of help. We received the plea below by email. If you can lend assistance, contact Lupita Lopez of the Washington State Archives directly via the phone number or email she provided.

Subject: Emergency Salvage Effort

Please excuse the second e-mail from the Heritage League today, but as you may have heard the Aberdeen Museum of History suffered a major disaster and needs our help!

You might have heard about the fire on Saturday that destroyed the Aberdeen Armory, which housed the Aberdeen Museum of History.  Our Archives Division is working with the local historical society to assist in salvaging efforts.  Steve and his team brought back dozens of boxes today filled with waterlogged photos, documents and film.  They are in need of “volunteers” from across our office the next couple of days to help sort this material.

We are in the need of volunteers and putting the message out with the historical society will help.  The plan is to continue working on Saturday & Sunday, plus next week until all the boxes are done.  There may be possible traffic issues on the weekend due to Olympia Air Show.

Volunteers can contact me by email or phone and I provide more information.


Thank you for your help,

Lupita Lopez
Washington State Archives
Research Services
1129 Washington St. SE
PO Box 40238
Olympia, WA 98504
Business Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30AM to 4:30PM

Grays Harbor Genealogical Society Fire Help

Dear Local Society,


As you may have already heard, the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society’s Research Library, housed in the Aberdeen Museum of History, was one of the victims of a devastating fire on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The 3-alarm fire destroyed most of the first and second floors of the historic Armory Building, which was built in 1922.

The Grays Harbor Genealogical Society’s Research Library was housed on the 1st floor of the Amory Building.

Investigators are still determining the cause of the fire so we are unable to get inside the building, but are preparing for the worst: the loss of our entire library holdings.  We had recently completed a conversion of the library to emphasize Grays Harbor County (and its predecessor Chehalis County), and were enormously proud of our extensive collection of now-defunct Whiteside and Elerding funeral records and obituary records, dating back as far as the late 1800s.


I am asking for your help.  We are scrambling to find another location and have begun the task of re-gathering our collections. While many of our holdings were digitized or are available in other locations, we are still looking to gather Grays Harbor-related records, photographs, documents, maps, and books. If you or your society have any Grays Harbor-related materials, we would love to have copies or donation. We are hoping to rebuild our holdings to be the “go-to shop” for family researchers in Grays Harbor.


Alternatively, anyone wishing to make financial donation is encouraged to use our Go Fund Me campaign or direct to the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 916, Aberdeen, WA 98520.

Bonnie Johannes added: I have done researches for people from other WA State societies who had family members/ancestors here at some period of time. We would like copy of what was sent to them, if possible. Thank you.


If you would like more information or have questions, please contact me at


Gary Parfitt, President

Grays Harbor Genealogical Society