In a sold-out precursor of Ancestry Day, the crowd was treated to a half-day of presentations on topics from State Archive and State Library resources to identifying old photos. Besides getting a great opportunity to browse the exhibits at the Washington State History Museum, we heard presentations by:
- Tracy Rebstock, Southwest Regional Archivist at the State Archives, enlighten us with the “unique” records available online and on-site at the Archives. From old high school yearbooks to logging and cattle brands. Who knew Tracy had such a fascination with criminal records — and passed that on to us!
- Mary Kathryn Kozy, professional genealogist extraordinaire, is always a delight — and she didn’t disappoint. Her talk about tracing people through time and space using timelines was excellent and enlightening.
- Lynette Miller and Ed Nolan from the Washington State Historical Society shared the resources and original records available among their collections — all focusing on Washington State — from businesses, personal papers, organizations and more. A particular source of pride is the collection of Northern Pacific Beneficial Hospital records.
- Karen Wallace Steely, professional genealogist with The Past Matters, provided an enlightening talk about finding stories in family photographs. Her knowledge opened our eyes in identifying old photos.
- Kathryn Devine from the Washington State Library shared numerous newspaper indices, online resources and on-site opportunities to find that unique story about our ancestors. Did you know the State Library has 40,000 reels of newspapers?
What a day! And there’s more! Tomorrow (Saturday, 24 Sep) will feature the “main event” — Ancestry Day, sponsored by Ancestry. If you’re reading this blog post before 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning, get yourself to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center and register at the door for a plethora of classes, door prizes, networking, vendors and more! Only $35 — a real bargain!