Washington State Historical Society Celebration




 You’re invited! Join us to celebrate.
January 18, 2018, 5:00 PM, with special guest Governor Jay Inslee.

Celebrate new galleries in the Great Hall of Washington History
We’re celebrating the opening of our recently renovated galleries in the Great Hall of Washington History and you are invited! Please join us for a performance, remarks, and a ribbon cutting on January 18 (Third Thursday).
This event will mark the completion of two galleries, recently renovated thanks to financial support from the State of Washington capital budget. The State’s contribution to revitalizing the Great Hall supports our mission to partner with our communities to explore how history connects us all.
Hear from special guest Governor Jay Inslee at the ribbon cutting ceremony with community partners and exhibit contributors.
5:00 PM – Program
  • See the award-winning Living Voices perform the multimedia theatrical performance Northwest Passages
6:00 PM – Remarks and Ribbon Cutting
  • Remarks from dignitaries with special guest Governor Jay Inslee
  • Ribbon cutting and welcome to the Great Hall
  • Light refreshments on the Mezzanine
Free and open to the public. We hope to see you there.

Monday Mystery

Yes, last week’s mystery photo was the backwash from a ferry….. Pat Manning was first to post the correct answer. We be Washingtonians!

Question: Are there now, or have there ever been, any Homes for Aged Women in Washington???

Well there was in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1861. I think today they’re called Long-Term Care Facilities, or some such. Interesting idea, I thought. And especially for this place to be established right before the Civil War.

Wonder what’s listed on the 1870 census for this place???



Graphic of file cabinets feeding information to a matrix-like binary screen
The Washington State Archives’ Digital Archives reached a milestone achievement last month when it entered its 200 millionth record into the state database. In the months leading up to the milestone, the Washington State Archives ran a public contest to see who could guess the exact date on which Digital Archives reached the record. The winner, who guessed December 5 and was closest to the actual date of November 30, got to take home an Ancestry DNA kit.

The Washington State Archives’ Digital Archives was the nation’s first archives dedicated specifically to the preservation of electronic records from both state and local agencies that have permanent legal, fiscal or historical value. The facility, which opened in 2004, includes a research room, computer research stations, a high-tech presentation classroom, and a world-class data center. Digital Archives delivers broad public access to both digitized and “born digital” records of state and local government, provides government accountability and – in the case of digitized documents – helps preserve the originals.

Great job to our dedicated Archives and IT staff that make this possible!

Sign up for Scribe an join the super scribe’s



Eastside Genealogical Society German Interest Group

The German Interest Group of The Eastside Genealogical Society (EGS) will meet on Friday, January 5, 2018, from 1 to 3 pm in the Relief Society Room of the LDS Church at 10675 NE 20thSt, Bellevue, WA 98004 with doors opening at 12:45 pm for networking. Visitors are always welcome at our meetings.


Topic:  Using US Records to Search for an Immigrant Ancestor’s Village – Locating an immigrant ancestor’s village can be challenging.  Not all records are online or have the information being sought.  Three speakers will share their experiences using US records to find an ancestor’s Old World village.  They’ll discuss what they did, where they went and what they found.  Strategies and tips offered here can be modified to apply to any immigrant ancestor.


Speaker: Janet O’Conor Camarata, a member of Eastside Genealogical Society and South King County Genealogical Society, has over 25 years of experience in genealogy. She is an instructor in genealogy at Pierce College, a seminar presenter and trainer in genealogy societies across Washington, who takes advantage of the latest technology and staying mobile with the latest computing tools.


Speaker: Dorothy Pretare started collecting family history in 1995 and is active in 2 local genealogical societies, leader of the EGS German Interest Group and a member of 2 societies in Minnesota.  In 2008, she visited her ancestral villages in old East Germany and present day Poland.


Speaker: Melanie Matway was fortunate to have learned her immigrant ancestors’ villages first-hand with one exception.  The quest for a great-grandmother’s village of origin has taken her to Ohio and Pennsylvania and has been a learning experience utilizing a variety of records and non-familial sources of information.


For more information, kindly visit our website at https://egsgermangroup.wordpress.com/  .

Chinese Exclusion Act Files

The Chinese Exclusion Act files.

The files are located on the National Archives at Seattle. They covered the Chinese who came into the ports of Seattle, Port Townsend, Sumas, WA; and Portland, OR. The act was in effect from 1882 to 1943 and there are over 50,000 files at the Seattle branch of the National Archives.

The files contain a variety of genealogical information on the subject of the file and their family, documents and most include photos. Sometimes there are affidavits by Caucasians in the files.

I highlight a different file every week. The final destination of the Chinese coming into the PNW ports may have been anywhere in the U.S. but most of the files on the blog are for people who lived in Washington or the PNW.

The blog is located at www.ChineseExclusionFiles.com.

Trish Hackett Nicola

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Wednesday Evening E-News


Wednesday Evening

E-News, Early Edition

6 December 2017

For more information visit www.gfo.org, contact us at info@gfo.org, 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 November 2017, you’re in luck because we saved you a copy HERE. NOTE: The Insider issues are now located under the “Learn” > “Our Publications” menu at www.gfo.org.

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


We wanted to say thank you again for helping us get ALL CAUGHT UP on our labeling project this last week.

This project’s success couldn’t have come at a better time, with the holidays around the corner!

We’re happy to announce we have reached our labeling goals for this year.

Now it’s time to go out and play and rest with all our friends and family. We hope you all have a very very merry holiday season!!

Many hands have sure made the recataloging and relabeling much much lighter! Thank you again everyone!


Continue reading

Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS) December Meeting

  The Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS) will meet Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at the LDS church (gym) on Bainbridge Island, 8677 Madison Ave, from 10:00a.m. – 12 noon. Join us for the BIGS Holiday Genealogy FestFamily Treasures “Show and Tell”, Door Prizes, Research Resources Swap, and Refreshments”. Free to members, a $5.00 donation is suggested for nonmembers. For more information go to http://www.bigenealogy.org or call 206-780-8009. BIGS is a 501c(3) non-profit organization.
Thank you!
Sue Elfving
Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society
Director of Publicity and Public Relations

Jewish Genealogical Society Upcoming Meetings

From Matches in a List to Family: Case Studies in DNA” “by Mary Kathryn Kozy, Genealogical Lecturer

DATE:  Monday, December 11, 2017

LDS Factoria Building
4200 124th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA  98006

   Doors open at 6:30 p.m., for all to enjoy the extensive JGSWS Library’s genealogical resources!

   Free Wi-Fi available

  Presentation starts promptly at 7:15 p.m.

  Free admission and refreshments

ABOUT OUR PROGRAM:  As more and more people decide to DNA test, the bigger our match lists become! With somewhere close to eight million people in the test pool amongst the four major companies, we have many more matches to deal with. What does one DO with them all? How can we organize them? What are the best practices for sorting them out, especially when dealing with endogamous populations? This lecture will focus somewhat on the use of various tools at the DNA testing companies, but will also deal with several case studies in actually finding the relationships between various unknown individuals. What if the DNA match has no tree? Is it hopeless? Absolutely not! Come learn some tips and techniques for taking those matches and turning them into family.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKER:   Mary Kathryn Kozy has been working on her own family history for over 35 years. She has researched families from the Midwest to the Deep South and from both Western and Eastern Europe. She has served in multiple positions in several local societies and on the state level. She currently serves on the board of the JGSWS, serves as a part-time LDS Family History missionary, and speaks to many groups in the area. Mary is married, the mother of three wonderful children and two grandchildren. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Zoology and Information Technology & Systems and has completed three certificate programs with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She has also completed the ProGen program with an eye toward certification as a professional genealogist.

“Reclaim The Records: Genealogy Fought the Law and Won” (How to Use State Freedom of Information Laws for Genealogy) , presented by Brooke Schreier Ganz

DATE:  Monday, January 8, 2018

LDS Factoria Building
4200 124th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA  98006

    Doors open at 6:30 p.m., for all to enjoy the extensive JGSWS Library’s genealogical resources!

    Free Wi-Fi available

   Presentation starts promptly at 7:15 p.m.

   Free admission and refreshments

ABOUT OUR PROGRAM:  Tired of being told by state and local archives and government agencies that your family’s genealogical records are “unavailable” to the public or only available if you visit them onsite? We were too, so we figured out what to do about it. We’re Reclaim The Records, a new activist group that filed a first-of-its-kind Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) legal petition in the Supreme Court of New York against the NYC Municipal Archives in order to access to twentieth century genealogical records…and won! We also secured the first-ever public release of the indices to hundreds of thousands of vital records from the New Jersey State Archives. And we’re filing many more requests against city and state agencies, large and small. This presentation will tell the story behind these cases, walk through the legal basics of FOIL, and teach genealogists how to file their own FOIL requests for their own records.

ABOUT OUR SPEAKER:  Brooke Schreier Ganz is the founder of Reclaim The Records, a not-for-profit activist group that uses state Freedom of Information requests to return genealogical records to the public. As the former Vice President of Gesher Galicia, she designed and built their website, including its innovative “All Galicia Database”. The underlying search engine codebase, named “LeafSeek,” was released by Brooke as a free open source project, for which she won second place in the 2012 RootsTech Developer Challenge. She further refined it to build the bilingual “All Israel Database” for the Israel Genealogical Research Association (IGRA). She lives in California

Nostalgia Wednesday

What do you know about golf balls? Would you have guessed that for hundreds of years prior to 1850, golf balls were made of a leather circle stuffed with feathers? In the 1840s, various experiments were performed to make a golf ball from a certain kind of tree gum which had immediate appeal. Next came the rubber-core ball in 1898….. and the simple round golf ball has become more and more sophisticated. Next time you play a round of golf, take a moment to think what’s inside that white round ball.  (I took these photos in the Arlington Country Club, near where the Stillaguamish Valley Gen Society held their conference last August.) 


Wednesday Nostalgia

What do you know about Washington’s oldest apple tree? Here is my photo of the tree in early spring but the tree still produces apples!


Vancouver, Washington’s “Old Apple Tree” (“Mallus spp.”) was one of five seeds planted in late 1826 and then eventually placed outside of the gates of the first Fort Vancouver. The seeds for the tree were brought over from England by Emilius Simpson. The “Columbian.com” website, covering local history of Vancouver, tells the story:

“… It all started at a party in London … A lady at a farewell dinner party for Lieut. Emilius Simpson, the cousin of Hudson’s Bay governor Sir George Simpson, playfully put the seeds of her desert apple into his waistcoat pocket. She asked him to plant them when he arrived at his destination on the other side of the world. Emilius Simpson arrived in Vancouver in November of 1826 and was soon invited to dine with Dr. McLoughlin in the stockade on the present Deaf School site. During the evening he absentmindedly stuck a finger into his waistcoat and discovered the seeds. Dr. McLoughlin, Simpson and Pierre C. Pambrun planted the apple seeds in small boxes which were put under glass. Dr. McLoughlin kept the boxes in the store where they could not be touched. The apple tree was planted outside the fort when he felt it could survive. Around 1830, Washington’s first apple harvest occurred. It was here in Vancouver, and produced one apple. …” [“Columbian.com” website, 2007, “Local History, Old Apple Tree”]