THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition October 10, 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
Genealogy Boot Camp for Beginners
Ever been squeezed out of Boot Camp because the class was full?
Hate being in large classes? Then this may be your best opportunity to attend.
Laurel Smith will cover how to get started, organization, online trees and database programs, the census, and vital records — 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. Genealogy Boot Camp for Beginners on October 27th has only a few folks registered. Register today!
Register Now
Free GenTalk: Death Records
Join us for our next free GenTalk on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 2 – 3 p.m.
Presenter: Pam Vestal Sometimes the best way to learn about an ancestor’s life is to dig into the mountain of paperwork created by his death. We’ll explore the surprisingly abundant information that is collected when a death occurs and glimpse just how much these records can reveal, not only about our ancestors’ deaths, but also about their lives. Pam Vestal entered the field of genealogy after a 21-year career as a professional writer. She does genealogical research for clients, has articles published in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and lectures up and down the West Coast. All GenTalks are free and open to the public at the GFO Library.
GFO October Star: Cathy Lauer
Anyone who visits the GFO library is likely to see Cathy Lauer’s friendly face and welcoming smile, as Cathy works our front desk more than anyone else. Cathy managed the schedule of Research Assistants for a decade! That’s longer than most of us have been volunteering. She works on vital library projects when things are slow, and she rarely misses a Sunday Work Party. We can’t think of anyone more deserving of Star status! Thank you, Cathy!
Immediate Opening: Editor Needed for The Forum Insider
We are so grateful to LauraDenise White for her superb service for the last two years as the editor of The Forum Insider. Unfortunately, she must step away and we need someone to edit our almost-monthly newsletter.
Would you like to be the one who shares key information about genealogy and the GFO with members and non-members alike? It’s critical we get information out and need someone who can compile and distribute it eight times per year. The editor collects articles and lays them out using Adobe Acrobat. We’ll provide the software and the training. Editing of submissions is often required, following the GFO style guide. Work follows a strict schedule so that we can meet our distribution deadlines. If you have interest or experience, please contact our president, Vince Patton, at
News from the GFO Library
The GFO Library recently received, Index to Virginia Estates 1800-1865 by Wesley E. Pippenger. With help from two generous donors, GFO now has the complete series of these books (volumes 1 – 10) the contents of which are arranged by geographic region and provide an index of all items recorded in will books created by a Virginia county or city from 1800 to 1865. The newest arrivals are on the New Book shelves, but will soon find their way to the Virginia section in the library, call number 975.40 .Court Est 1800-1865.
PCS Offers GFO Discount to New Play “Redwood”
We are delighted that Portland Center Stage is offering friends of GFO two special offers for an upcoming play that happens to revolve around genealogy! Redwood is billed as “a beautiful, humor-filled excavation of our shared history. When Steve Durbin sets out to chart his Black family’s ancestry online, his revelations unwittingly throw his entire family into turmoil.” On October 26, GFO President Vince Patton and Director at Large Julie Ramos, will talk before the performance at about 6:45 p.m. about all the GFO offers and why we find building personal links to history so valuable. Redwood runs from October 26 through November 17 at Portland Center Stage at the Armory. PCS has two offers for friends of the GFO:
October 26: Use promo code “GFO” for $25 tickets.
October 27-November 17: Use promo code “COMMUNITY” for $10 off tickets. Get tickets here.
Surplus Book: 122 Year Old Wisconsin Blue Book
Many states publish Blue Books. They encapsulate that year with information about the state’s politics, election results, census, economy and more. They’re a great snapshot in time. The GFO has a spare copy to sell of the Wisconsin Blue Book of 1897. It was compiled under the direction of Secretary of State Henry Casson. Ours is a retired library copy, with library marks on page edges.
The book is in good shape with a sound spine, but visible wear around the edges of the cover. Our price:
$28 if you pick up at the GFO
$33 if we mail it to you. Please contact if you are interested.
Survey Results: Education of your Ancestors
We had 54 responses to our queries about ancestral education.
The majority of respondents’ parents and grandparents graduated high school or received a GED.
And the majority had one or more parents who received schooling after high school.
Here are a few of the comments we received: ▪ I have a great picture of my grandfather graduating from Night High School in New York City in @ 1904.I have a 2 great grand uncle who graduated from medical school in 1890’s as well as a uncle who did it in 1930’s.
My paternal grandfather, his siblings, and parents immigrated from Germany in the 1880s. He died when my father, the oldest of five, was 11 years old. Dad had to work on the farm they rented. My generation had more opportunities: four of my father’s five children graduated from college—one with a PhD; the fifth has an Associate Degree. The generation after us? The cost of higher education has been challenging. Many who have graduated from college are saddled with student loans.
New Survey: Using the GFO Online Catalog
We’d like to know how many of our readers have used GFO’s online library catalog. Please take this week’s survey to let us know.
Take the Survey
This week at GFO …
Friday, October 11th
Mexican Ancestry Group 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
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.
For questions or comments, please email group leader Vince Ramirez at
Saturday, October 12th
Great Lakes Region Interest Group 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
This month we will talk about what interests you! Were there any loyalists, criminals, preachers, or soldiers in your family? Any new research surprises? What parts of the region’s history capture your attention lately? What brick walls can we help you with? Bring your ideas for a smörgåsbord of topics about the Great Lakes Region. If your ancestors were in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, or Ontario CANADA, or if you simply want to come to listen, you are most welcome to attend.
For more information contact Lynn Rossing at
Writers Forum 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
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 13th
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.
Wednesday, October 16th
Learn and Chat 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
In this group, 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. And 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?
DNA Q&A: The Basics 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Today’s presentation will be “Jumpstart You DNA Discoveries”, which covers the steps to set up your autosomal DNA testing account to make it more inviting to your matches so that they want to connect with you. It also covers some biogeographical estimation (ethnicity) comparisons and basic navigations of and My Heritage companies’ websites. It is ideal for those new to DNA testing for genealogy and may also be helpful to those who are having difficulty navigating the websites. If you want to follow along, bring your laptops or other mobile devices. The handout can be downloaded here.

This meeting is for those who are just beginning to use DNA testing for genealogy. Each class begins with a presentation of general information about DNA testing. General questions regarding DNA testing are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Lisa McCullough leads this group.. Questions?
Irish Interest Group 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Lisa McCullough, Leader of the GFO DNA Q&A, will be the guest speaker at our October meeting.
We are so fortunate to have Lisa McCullough who hosts the GFO’s DNA beyond the basics (1st Wednesday of the month) and DNA basics (3rd Wednesday of the month) to present her analysis of a Y-DNA challenge from our own Irish SIG and her strategy for working through DNA Irish results, too! While Irish research can be challenging there are next steps that only DNA can answer! Second hour we will tackle brick walls starting with one submitted by Patricia Delich. Contact for more information.
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.