THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition November 6, 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
Ring Lost for 27 Years Returned
GFO volunteer Nanci Remington played a key role in helping Samantha Swindler and Tom Hallman Jr. of The Oregonian/OregonLive find the owners of a wedding ring lost almost three decades ago.
Watch the video and read the full, heart-warming story here.
Share Your Knowledge at the GFO 2020 Open House
Have you learned some nifty genealogy research tricks? Discovered some records that often go overlooked? Become a mini-expert in a particular location? We’d love to have you participate. The GFO Open House will run March 13-22 next spring, and we’re looking for speakers! If you’ve given a presentation elsewhere or have given it at the GFO before, we’d be happy to feature it again. Or, bring in something new. Our Open House aims for beginners. It’s our annual drive to bring in new members. What better way to begin than to show them what a friendly community we are? Sharing is part of our key mission. Can you help us? Please contact Vice President Marti Dell at
News from the Library: GFO has 5,000 Family Histories!
Did you know the GFO has 5,000 family histories from around the U.S? And more than 1,000 surname vertical files? Most of them are not listed in the Library of Congress. Our collection is unique, and likely not available in any other library in the Pacific Northwest.
Family histories at the GFO are shelved alphabetically by the surname of the main family in each volume.
The surname of the family usually appears in the title, but many more collateral names may hide inside those books waiting to be discovered. When these books are recataloged, the new records will reveal many of these surnames as well. So, for now, don’t just search our library catalog for your ancestors’ names. Also look for the names of their friends and neighbors.
Free GenTalk: Scan & Archive Your Photos
Saturday, Nov. 16 from 2 – 3 p.m.
Presenter: Lori Washburn Whether you want to scan just a few photos, have inherited a box of photos, or plan on visiting a relative who might have photos, this class is for you. We will briefly discuss scanners and then learn how to scan and archive those precious photos and documents, as well as how to file the scans. We will also touch on the basics of touching up your scans. Free for everyone at the GFO library.
Save the date: December 3rd is Giving Tuesday
What if all GFO’s members came together on just one day to give? For GFO, GivingTuesday isn’t about fundraising. It’s about banding together for a volunteer blitz to accomplish one large task.
Please save the date: December 3rd and come to the GFO all or part of the day to help. GFO will provide pastries, fruit, and coffee in the morning, pizza and pop in the afternoon. You provide the people power. Please help.
PCS Offers GFO Discount to New Play “Redwood”
We are delighted that Portland Center Stage is offering friends of GFO a special offer for a currently running 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.”
Redwood runs from now through November 17 at Portland Center Stage at the Armory. PCS has a deal for Friends of the GFO:
Now through November 17: Use promo code “COMMUNITY*” for $10 off tickets. Get tickets here.
Ford in the Ford Building
Check out the new addition to our building, one floor above the GFO! It’s very fitting for the Ford Building since cars like these were assembled right here, early in the 20th century. Walk down the hall past the elevator to see for yourself. (That doesn’t look like an original paint job though!)
Surplus Book: Pioneers of the Bluestem Prairie
Do you have ancestors from the Flint Hills of Kansas? This book may be just what you’re looking for. Pioneers of the Bluestem Prairie includes histories and family biographies for Clay, Geary, Marshall, Pottawatomie, Riley, Waubaunsee, and Washington Counties, as well has history for Riley County Schools, and maps for Kansas Trails and the Manhattan area. This 608-page hardcover book is in excellent condition. The only marks are library stamps and labels.
Pick up at GFO Price: $40 Ship to You Price: $46 If you are interested in buying this book, contact Do not simply come to the library to get it.
Survey Results: Halloween Stories
About 83% of you report having spent Halloween with your parents and 38% with grandparents. Just over 50% report spending it with their children; however, 58% report spending it with grandchildren. No one reported spending the holiday with either great-grandchildren or great-grandparents—but we did get a few interesting stories.
▪ I was at home, sick with the chicken pox. This was back in the day when parents thought it advisable to expose their own kids to sick kids when measles, mumps, and chicken pox was in the neighborhood. Two of my friends came by to share their haul with me. I don’t recall whether either of them got the pox after visiting but getting some of those treats sure made me feel better. ▪ A couple of years ago, I took two of my grandsons trick or treating. They filled up their bags and we went back for more. They ended up with a huge pile of candy on the dining room table, from which their mother let them keep a few. They put most of the candy on the porch (for teenagers to take) and in the morning (better than the tooth fairy) they had new boxes of Legos! ▪ A friend’s family reunion is always a camping trip the weekend closest to Halloween. They set up a haunted forest for the kids and adults to enjoy as well as trick or treating at each RV. I want them to adopt me!
New Survey: Family Tree Software One of the special interest group leaders wants to know what software the E-News readers use for their own family tree. We’re curious what you like best and what could be better. Please tell us by taking the survey now.
Software Survey
This week at GFO …
Saturday, November 9th
Great Lakes Interest Group 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
We welcome guest speaker Kathryn Stock to discuss the Fenian Raids in the late 1860s in which the Fenian Brotherhood carried out a series of attacks on British army forts in the U.S. and Canada as a way to pressure the UK to withdraw from Ireland. This promises to be an especially interesting topic as it tends to be a lesser-known part of the region’s history.
As always, our group’s meetings are free and open to the public. 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. Everyone is welcome, whether you have participated before or not. We are currently working with Bruce Tarshis’s “How to Be Your Own Best Editor,” chapter 15. If you are new to the group, just show up and we’ll get you started! Peggy Baldwin facilitates this group and can be reached at
Sunday, November 10th
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.
Tuesday, November 12th
Board Meeting 6:10 – 8:10 p.m.
Everyone is welcome.
Wednesday, November 13th
PMUG College 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Description pending
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.