THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition June 27, 2019
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member! | 503-963-1932 | Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
Half-Day Workshop: Adding Historical Context
Adding Historical Context: A Hands-On Approach Join GFO’s Kate Eakman July 14 from 9:30 a.m. – Noon for a half-day of learning about how to add historical context to your genealogical research to make it richer and more interesting. In this workshop you will: ▪ Practice identifying items, events, and topics ripe for historical research. ▪ Once the questions have been asked, learn how to find the answers. ▪ Discuss how to add this new-found information to one’s family’s history. Take advantage of Early Bird pricing. Register by June 30 and save $5.00!
Register Now
3 Days Left to Beat Dues Increase!
You have until Sunday night to join or renew your GFO membership before the price of dues goes up. Our fiscal year begins July 1, along with a new budget which takes into account our increasing costs, especially our rent.

Most dues go up only $2 to $4.
Eight people have taken the plunge this month to become life members. They’re saving $125! Our Life dues had not risen in 13 years and fell far below the board’s original goal of keeping them at 20 times an annual membership. Becoming a life membership truly invests in the future of the GFO; these dues are placed in our endowment to fund the GFO for years to come.
Renew or Join Now
Volunteer Coordinator Needed
Our Volunteer Coordinator, Cathy Lauer, has selflessly given the GFO her time for a full decade. “Now, it’s time to step down,” Cathy says. We need someone to coordinate our volunteers, mostly the Research Assistants who keep the library open. RAs act as both receptionists and as helpers to assist people in their research. The Volunteer Coordinator makes sure we have two RAs scheduled on duty for each shift.
Without RAs, we cannot open the library. ▪ We’d provide the list of research assistants. ▪ Computer literacy is a must. ▪ You’d need to be comfortable with email and willing to fill in a spreadsheet and a chart on the computer each month. This might even be a perfect job for a couple of friends to share. We’d love someone willing to recruit and do training, too, but that’s not a prerequisite. A few others share those duties now. If you’re an organized type and could help us keep the library functioning, please contact Remember, we’re all-volunteer. Thank them next time you’re in, and please join our ranks!
Get in Free to the Oregon Historical Society!
Here’s an extra benefit of being a GFO member: you can get in free to the Oregon Historical Society. This includes access to the new permanent Experience Oregon exhibit, and the special Ladies and Gentlemen… The Beatles! exhibit from May 10 to November 12. The GFO is pleased to be an affiliate of OHS, which grants us two OHS Member passes. We are happy to share these with you as Cultural Passes. Just come in to the library and check them out at the reception desk. You must be an active GFO member to use these. Check out the pass one day and return it the next. One member may check out two passes, so you can take someone with you.
Upcoming SDOP Annual Picnic
Sons and Daughters of Oregon Pioneers (SDOP) will be holding their Annual Picnic at Champoeg State Park near St. Paul, Oregon, on July 13th. Members, family, and friends come together each year to celebrate the founding of Oregon Territorial government, at the very spot where the actual vote took place 176 years ago. Find us at the Champoeg Pavilion, beginning at noon, for food and activities. The event is pot luck, so bring your favorite dish to share, and SDOP provides the beverages. Reservations are not required.
Surplus Book of the Week: Atlas of Ray County, Missouri
This week’s surplus book is another oversized atlas book, focused on Ray County, Missouri. The maps of all the townships, and illustrations of citizens and buildings, were done in 1877. This book is a 1971 reprint by The Richmond News, published for the Ray County sesquicentennial. This book is in good condition physically with intact pages and spine. However, it does have marks in red pen on some pages where a previous researcher highlighted properties of interest.
If you’d like to buy this atlas, contact (Please don’t come to the library first.) Our Price: $18 if you pick up at the GFO.
$24 if we mail it to you.
Survey Results: Famous Ancestors?
Last week we asked if your family claimed to have famous ancestors. 58% said yes.
42% said no. Do those tales prove true? No, say many of you. Even more say you just don’t know yet. ▪ “2 Signers of the Declaration of Independence: Both cases, total baloney.” ▪ “Actor Peter Sellers: Peter Sellers was from an English line of Sellerses, and our Sellers family came from a German line that was originally Söller.” ▪ “Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor – It’d be fun to believe, but I need to see more proof.” ▪ “George Washington – It’s true!” ▪ “Carl Christian Bruhns, 19th c German astronomer – I’ve since met the website owner and that ultimately led to a connection with CCB’s great grandson in Germany who had taken the family back four more generations. We met in 2013 in the ancestral village and I stood on the steps of the family home.” ▪ “Andrew Jackson – So untrue that his Hermitage Library has denied it many times. But some still try to say it is true.”
There are sites that will give you information about famous people, such as or predict your relationship to the famous like Relative Finder, and there are many others. While these are easy and fun, the best answer is, do the research. These tools rely on the accuracy of your research and that of others—and we all know to be careful when looking at online trees. So, start with yourself to build an accurate family tree. Then, you’ll be better prepared to try some of these tools for hints to your famous relations. Get more advice from this article on
New Survey: Scandal!
Last week we asked about your relation to the famous. This week, we ask if you have a family story about a scandal.
Take the Survey
This week at GFO …
Sunday, June 30th
Library Work Party 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
There’s another work party at the GFO library today for those of you who can attend. There’s always 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.
Monday, July 1st
First Monday 9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
GFO Library open to non-members for free, open late.
Tuesday, July 2nd
Italian Ancestry Group 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
This month’s topic: Italian-Americans: How to find your ancestor’s village in the Old Country!
Your ancestor’s Italian village in the Old Country is the key to opening the bounty of records waiting for you, to help you trace your Italian family heritage. Come join other Italian-American genealogists and learn to begin building your family tree, define what it is that you wish to learn, excavate old documents at home, build a framework with U.S. censuses, and understand cultural clues that might tip off the name of the ancestral village. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but at this lecture you may learn some valuable pointers to launch your campaign to find la famiglia! Ci vediamo! Instructor: Nancy Bronte Matheny.
If you have questions or want more information, email
Wednesday, July 3rd
Open Late to 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 4th
GFO closed in observance of Independence Day.