Serendipity Friday

*** Clark County Gen Society REALLY Honors Their Honorees

*** A Really, Truly Great Success (Teaching!) Story

*** WSU Press: Uncommon, Undeniably Northwest Reads

*** Ghost Towns….In WASHINGTON?

*** Today’s Laugh

When I visited my friend Lethene Parks, librarian for the Clark County Gen Society, and she showed me around their library, a wall display really caught my eye. They had framed and proudly displayed the certificates of honor from WSGS awarded to CCGS members! Dear Folks, receiving a Certificate of Merit from WSGS, based on your society’s recommendation, is a Big Deal. And was really a Big Deal to the Clark County folks.


When I found I had early/colonial New York/Dutch ancestors, I went after them! My findings pointed to Ulster County, NY. I was at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I checked the Library Catalog to see what materials they might hold for Ulster County. I found The Genie, publication of the Ulster County Gen Society. I hauled all the issues they had to a table and spent a happy hour paging through all of them and did find some likely clues. I next determined to contact that society to follow up on the clues.

First I clicked to their website and right there they listed their library holdings which included a book on my target family published in 1900! Checking the catalog again, there were two listings for the same item: one was for the book on the shelf and the other for a digital version of the book.

I tried to open/download that digital version but it was taking forever. So I looked to see where WorldCat might locate other copies of that book. And there were three! One listing was under the Hathi Trust, a website offering for free access to thousands of older books.

And viola! Hathi Trust had the digital version of the book and I quickly downloaded that 430-page book FOR FREE onto a flash drive as a PDF and brought it home to study. Of course, it didn’t have an index, but having it right here at my fingertips, I can study through it as long as I like.

Point of the story: NEVER give up; use the intellect and power of thinking that God gave you and keep seeking answers. Then think and logically follow the trail of one clue to the next.


I truly doubt that WSU down in Pullman, WA, is the only state university or college publishing materials and books. But the WSU Press offers a periodic catalog and the Spring 2017 one offers a dozen pages of books pertaining to the Northwest, peoples, places and history. I clicked to their website ( and WOW there are so many titles of books that I’d love to read. I have no ancestry in the Evergreen State but I love reading history. If YOU have Pacific Northwest ancestry, I’ll bet you’ll find a book or two that pique your interest. Check it out!  (P.S. Do check for titles at Amazon Books. 🙂


Do you think “Washington” when you think of Old West Ghost Towns? Yepper, we did have them and there is even a website for them:

This website lists dozens of now-gone towns. Some lie under Lake Roosevelt. Like the town of Peach. Some burned in timber fires. Some are just dying a slow death. Like the town of Mold out in the Douglas County wheat fields. But somebody’s ancestors founded those towns and did live there.  I’m sure there are remnants of some of them just waiting to be explored. This might be a fun idea for a summer driving trip?