THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition July 18, 2019
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GFO Fall Seminar Registration Now Open!
GFO is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2019 GFO Fall Seminar, featuring Fritz Jeungling, Ph.D., AG. He is an Accredited Genealogist® (through the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists) for Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden, and he is certified by the Verband deutschsprachiger Berufsgenealogen. The full-day session on Saturday, October 5th, will be held at the Center for Self Enhancement (3920 N. Kerby Ave., Portland) and will focus on German Research, while the half-day presentation at the GFO Library on Sunday, October 6th, will provide an introduction to Dutch research. Download the flyer for full details. Dr. Juengling is also a German, Dutch, and Scandinavian Research Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and GFO is excited to bring this exceptional educational opportunity to our members and the community at large. Mark your calendar, spread the word, and register early!
Register Here
Beginners’ Boot Camp Returns
On Tuesday, August 20, join Laurel Smith for a full day of beginning genealogy from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in the GFO Library. There will be sessions about the census, vital records, discussions about genealogy software and database use, organizing your research, using, and more — all geared toward beginners — but basic computer skills are a prerequisite. All communications are done via email, and you must be able to download and print the class notes. Bring a sack lunch, snacks, and a beverage so you can keep going as the class does. GFO members may attend for free, non-members $20.
Register Here
GFO Star: Joann Taylor
Hi there, President Vince Patton here.
I’m hijacking this section of the E-News from regular editor Joann Taylor so we can shine the spotlight on her. The Board of Directors has selected Joann as our GFO Star of the Month! You may have seen her at our reception desk or in the research area helping patrons with their searches. Recently she came to the rescue when all our computers ground to a halt. She rebooted our network and the computers, getting the library back in action. Joann wears many hats for the GFO. She compiles this weekly E-News you receive. She has dived in to help with research for our Genealogy Problem Solvers group, particularly with her deep knowledge of Irish genealogy. Joann also volunteers on our Research Team, finding answers to questions sent in from people around the world. Plus, she co-taught a recent Gen-Talk on getting the most from Google Searching. A fellow research assistant nominated her saying, “Joann is amazing!” We agree!
Fall Seminar Needs Raffle Donations
We’re getting ready for the Fall Seminar on German and Dutch research. Can you help? We need items for our raffle. Do you have anything to donate? If your item is not new, it must be in exceptionally good condition for us to be able to offer it. Suggestions include genealogically related books, household decorations, carry bags, certificates toward GFO membership or research costs, and computer items. Leave the item(s) at the library reception desk with a donation form noting that it’s a donation for the seminar treasures raffle. At the seminar, tickets are sold for $1 each or 6 for $5, and they are placed in separate paper sacks for each prize, so you win only something you want. Thanks so much!
The GFO’s own DNA group leader Emily Aulicino is one of the featured speakers at Family History Fanatics’ second annual A Summer of DNA eConference coming up on Friday, August 9th. Last year’s eConference was very successful and had great attendance. This year’s speakers will be talking about the following:
Daniel Horowitz – Theory of Family Relativity and Other MyHeritage Tools
Donna Rutherford – Testing Family Members: Why and Who to Choose
Emily Aulicino – atDNA: Verify, Correct, Expand
Leah Larkin – When Your Tree Is a Banyan: Working with Endogamy and DNA The live online sessions will begin at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday, August 9th. This event is sponsored by MyHeritage who will be giving away 4 DNA kits during the presentations. It will be possible to ask questions during the presentations using live chat. For those who can’t watch the live sessions, they will be recorded and available to all registered attendees for 30 days after the eConference. As with past events there will be a fifth-hour panel discussion where you can ask questions about any of the topics or anything else related to DNA and genetic genealogy. Early bird registration is only $19.99 until July 31st. Regular registration price is $24.99 after July 31st. Learn more at the website and register today.
Get Some Beaver History: OSU Yearbooks From ’20s to ’50s
The GFO has an extensive collection of Pacific Northwest yearbooks. Did you know we sometimes have more than one copy? That’s why we have nine copies of the The Beaver from Oregon State University available on our surplus book shelves. We have yearbooks from the following years: 1920, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1949, 1953, 1954 and 1958. Each yearbook costs only $10. If you’re interested in buying one or more, come in to the GFO and check out our $10 shelves at the front of the library.
GFO Supports Moving Trains
What’s the second worst part of coming to the GFO? (We know parking is number one.) The trains!

Those freight trains can inch back and forth or even just park on the tracks for an hour. This blocks traffic and traps anyone who’s parked in the lot behind the Ford Building where our library sits. The Albina Rail Relocation Project is picking up steam in its efforts to fund a study on how to get Union Pacific to move rail yards out of Portland’s Albina and Brooklyn neighborhoods. Studies are expensive: $25,000. The effort has received endorsements for its efforts from Metro and the mayor of Portland. To pay for the needed study, nearly $8,000 has been raised so far, and neighborhood associations nearby have chipped in. The tracks or the roads need to be raised or lowered, or the rail yards need to be moved out of the area entirely. The GFO Board shares your frustration about the impact of the trains near our library, so we’re going to lend our support too. We have donated $200 to the study and sent a letter expressing our emphatic support.
Survey Results: Ellis Island Name Change Myth
One of the most prevalent myths in genealogy is the tale of names being changed by immigration agents at Ellis Island. Last week our survey asked if your family had a story of a name change at Ellis Island. 87% of you said No.
13% said Yes.
A few replies:
“Not only do I not have that myth in my family (thank goodness!), my maternal grandmother actually knew and told me her father’s original name from when he immigrated.” “Spelling of names changed but due to phonics and ancestors unable to write.” “Actually, it is true. Mr & Mrs Kjemphol of Sykkelven in Norway became Mr & Mrs Pederson early in the 20th century.” If you want to learn more about the myth, here’s a terrific article, Debunking the Ellis Island Myth. But wait! Here’s a story about a name that was changed (but it really wasn’t!) Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island (and One That Was).
New Survey: Genealogy Myths
Our surveys have examined two of the most widespread genealogy myths in the last two weeks. This week’s survey lists some additional genealogy myths. We’d like you know if you were ever a believer.
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
Saturday, July 20th
African American Group 12:00 – 2:30 p.m.
“Bring Your Own Brick Wall.”
Bring your problems, questions, and documents (copies, please, no originals), and we will brainstorm to come up with information and suggestions that can direct your next steps and may help you solve some of your family mysteries.
For more information, contact us at
Sunday, July 21st
Library Work Party 9:00 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.
Family Tree Maker for Beginners 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This is a beginning class for Family Tree Maker users and for those considering a purchase. It will be repeated quarterly.
Questions? Or if you have Family Tree Maker topics you’d like covered, email Joyce and Laurel at
Wednesday, July 24th
Open Late to 8:00 p.m.

One comment on “GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday E-News

  1. The Northwest Genealogy Conference is pleased to announce that Janet Camarata has graciously stepped up to replace Thomas MacEntee on Wednesday August 14th for the FREE Beginning Genealogy Class to be held at the beautiful (air conditioned) Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington. You can register at and get the details of the other exciting classes being offered …online registration closes Aug 13 – don’t miss this fun event!

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