GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News


Thursday Evening

E-News Edition

October 11, 2018

Curious about the status of your GFO Membership?

We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!

For more information visit, contact us at, or call our library at 503-963-1932.

Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider


Pardon the Interruption Oct. 17 – OPB is Coming to the GFO


A quick note to let you know that we will close to research at the GFO library next Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to Noon.

OPB-TV’s Oregon Experience will be recording an interview for an upcoming history documentary. This will require silence in the library while they film. OPB does great work and we’ll let you know when their program is due to air.

The Learn and Chat group will still meet in the back, very quietly.


Cyndi Ingle’s Internet Genealogy seminar is so popular that her Sunday session is sold out. Anyone trying to sign up for Sunday will be added to a wait list.

The full-day seminar on Saturday, November 3rd, still has seats available.

Register now while we still have room for you!


Join the discussion on Saturday, October 27th, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m., at GFO’s library!

Our next meeting of the African American Ancestry Group will feature guest Emily-Jane Dawson, a reference librarian with the Multnomah County Library system.

She will speak about genealogical resources available within the library system for African American genealogy. One item she will discuss is the three-volume index Blacks in Selected Newspapers, Censues and Other Sources by James de T. Abajian. The index covers publications from the 1880s to about the 1950s.

Please join us, and bring a few friends with you too!
This event is free and open to the public.

More information is available here, or by emailing the group’s facilitator, Janice Sellers, at


GFO’s October Star – Joann Taylor

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A visitor on our Free Monday sent a comment about her experience at GFO’s library recently:

“I wanted to tell you that I had a wonderful experience on Monday with Joann Taylor when I came to do some research on my family.

“She was so helpful and took extra time to help me, and I learned of places to look that I would never have thought of! She deserves a GOLD STAR!”

The visitor also noted that our organization is really great, and that she found all the volunteers she met so helpful.

Joann, in addition to volunteering as a research assistant at our library, also serves on our Research Team to look up historical information that people request from us via our website.

Thank you, Joann, for your tremendous volunteering at GFO!


Volunteers Needed! Help Keep the Library Open!

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The GFO accomplishes a really remarkable achievement every single week. We keep the library open every single day entirely with volunteers.
We’d like to continue this, especially on Wednesdays when we stay open late for those who work during the day.

We Need You!

The GFO has a specific need for volunteers to staff our front desk each Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. We offer training! Two volunteers per shift are required. We had a great response a couple of months ago when we needed some other shifts filled. Now some of our regular volunteers have moved away and we’re asking for you to help us either once a month or more often as you can fit it in.

Please contact


Scratch Your Way to Easier Parking!

Zone G Parking

Did you know GFO has Zone G parking permits for sale!?

We know parking is difficult around the Ford Building where the GFO library is located.

These hang tags cost just $1 a piece. They allow you to park all day in any spot with a sign requiring a Zone G Parking permit.

The tags can be used only one time. Scratch off the month and day you use it and hang it on your car mirror.

Permits can be purchased at the GFO reception desk. Cash please. We do not accept credit cards.


Will the real Harry Ernest Mitchell, please stand up!?

Join GFO’s Genealogical Problem Solvers, Saturday, October 20th, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Life can be very complicated, but researching ancestors with fairly common names, who marry, divorce, remarry the same person, divorce again, move across country, and work with a traveling circus, can be very difficult to trace.

This month’s Genealogy Problem Solvers (GPS) will attempt to unravel a complicated series of relationships and drama in order to learn the parents of Harry E Mitchell. The GPS team will review 1880 to 1930 records across the United States, including West Virginia, Kentucky, Iowa, Minnesota and Seattle, Washington, in an effort to solve a brick wall that has puzzled a GFO member, searching for any information about her grandfather for over five years!

Come join the fun! This event is free and open to the public.


FRIDAY, October 12th

Mexican Ancestry Group 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Finding your Hispanic ancestors from Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California
This Special Interest Group (SIG) pertains specifically to Mexican ancestors from Mexico and the American Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California).

Beginning and intermediate researchers are welcome. Some subjects will include online parish records, Hispanic genealogy societies, Family History Library/, solving genealogical problems, methodology of organizing your research, etc. Of course this group will also be about sharing our research experiences, and having fun.

If you know of any other people interested in Hispanic genealogy tell them about the up and coming group. They don’t have to be a GFO member to participate.
For questions or comments, please email Vince at

SATURDAY, October 13th

Great Lakes Region 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Doing research in PA? Researcher Elsie Deatherage will be the guest speaker. Pennsylvania has several distinct ethnic and religious groups that kept different records than we may be accustomed to, but that are really helpful. Learn how to overcome the challenges of state boundary issues, the shifting borders of counties and townships and the difficulties in locating churches and cemeteries. We will look at the on and offline resources that are unique to the Keystone State. There will also be time to share our research quandaries and discoveries.

The group generally meets on the second Saturday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at the GFO library. No meetings in July, August, December, and always check the GFO calendar for updates to this schedule. Interest in the Great Lakes Region can be broad and diverse, as some ancestors settled and remained there for generations, while others spent a short time there before moving on. The group’s interests include migration, travel, trade, historical events, and research techniques specific to the area. For more information, please contact Lynn Rossing at

Writers’ Forum 1 – 3 p.m.

At our last meeting we discussed what keeps us from writing and how we can make writing a regular part of our lives. We looked a web page from the Writing Cooperative, “30 Little Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write, RIGHT NOW.”

Take a look at this page if you haven’t already. The assignment we gave ourselves was to:

1. Make a plan (schedule and mechanisms) for making writing a regular part of your life.
2. Better yet, institute that plan and report how it’s working for you.

In addition to the above-noted assignment, please also do the following from Barry Tarshis’ book How to Be Your Own Best Editor:

1. Read: Chapter 9, “Zero In on the Subjects and Their Verbs,”
2. Do: Chapter 8, p. 71-78, edit a piece of your own work and be prepared to discuss at our next meeting.

Purpose: This is a peer group of genealogists, who meet to learn about writing and to share our writing with each other. Peggy Baldwin facilitates this group and can be reached at

SUNDAY, October 14th

Library Work Party 9 a.m. – noon

There’s another work party at the GFO library today for those of you who can come. There’s lots to do and we’d love to have your help. Doors open at 9 and work usually wraps up around noon. Some people come for just an hour or so; others work the full time. You are welcome to do either. Any time you can share is valuable. Hope to see you there.

WEDNESDAY, October 17th

Library Closed to Research 11 a.m. – noon

OPB records interview for historical documentary. We’ll re-open for research as soon as the interview concludes.

Learn & Chat 10 a.m. – noon

Topic: “Surnames, Linguistic Groups, Disasporas.”

It is always fascinating to watch how this subject evolves from beginning at just one surname. At Learn & Chat some of the learning comes from speakers with particular expertise, but most of it comes from the sharing of experiences and knowledge of attendees who have developed methods that work for them. If you have been doing genealogy for any length time, you have likely experienced the wonderful moments of exhilaration, the successes that you then share with others and that drive you to continue researching. Unfortunately those times can be few and far between. Join us to talk about your genealogy questions and help provide support to others. Facilitated by Jeanne Quan and Sandy Alto. Questions, email


Lisa McCullough leads a discussion on various DNA related subjects, with each meeting focused on a particular subject. General questions are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Questions? Email Lisa at

Irish Group 6 – 8 p.m.

Are you one of over 30 million Americans who have Irish ancestors?

At this meeting, Karen Hubbard will present a timeline of Irish history, so we can put our Irish ancestors in context with their times, and better understand how to research them. We’ll also try to help with “brick walls” in Ireland, or answer other general questions about Ireland’s history and Irish research. If you’d like to submit a brick wall question for us to address, please email, at least one week in advance.