GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition February 13, 2020
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Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
Washington Secretary of State Urges Public To Fight Seattle National Archives Closure
A few weeks ago, the GFO strongly objected to the plan to close the National Archives in Seattle. The closure was approved just days after news of the secret proposal leaked out. Now the Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman is also speaking up, and urges everyone to contact lawmakers to fight the closure. Read more here on the secretary’s web page. Find your representative
Find your senator All the history of the Pacific Northwest stored in Seattle is set to be divided and shipped away to Kansas City, Missouri, and Riverside, California. So far, no date for this closure has been publicly revealed. We urge you to add your voice to get this terrible decision overturned. In the meantime, northwest tribes are also speaking up against the move. Seattle’s KIRO radio reports the Archives has not answered a single question from the public. “No one from the national NARA offices present at the Seattle facility today would go on the record with KIRO Radio about anything. Period. Like OMB, NARA has not responded substantively to any inquiries from KIRO Radio for weeks.”
Free GenTalk: Intro to Excel for Genealogy
Join us at the GFO this Saturday, February 15, from 2 – 3 p.m. for a hands-on beginner’s tutorial Intro to Excel® for Genealogy. Spreadsheets are a powerful tool for analyzing your genealogical data, organizing your research and presenting your conclusions. But as with any tool, you have to know how to use it to get results. GFO member and Microsoft-certified trainer Kendra Blumberg will get beginners started with Excel and some simple, genealogy-specific spreadsheets. Please bring your laptop with Excel® loaded. Otherwise, a limited number of computers are available for free reservation at Join us at the GFO. GenTalks are free and open to the public.**
Spring Seminar with Karen Stanbary: Solve Puzzles with DNA
DNA has become the hot topic in genealogy and we’re bringing an expert to Portland to help you make sense of it all! Join us for our 2020 Spring Seminar, “Solve Puzzles with DNA,” on April 4 & 5, with nationally-known genetic genealogy author and educator Karen Stanbary, CG®, MA, LCSW.
The Saturday, April 4 classes will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Portland’s Center for Self Enhancement (SEI). Seats are still available. .
Saturday classes include: ▪ Tips to Manage Conversations about Unexpected DNA Results – handle challenging discussions both before and after DNA testing ▪ The DNA You Need – It’s Not Always Who You Think – Results from a 4th cousin once removed you’ve never met may tell you more than another aunt or uncle ▪ Avoiding Common Mistakes When Working with atDNA – Learn common errors in atDNA interpretation and strategies to avoid them ▪ Spit and You Shall Find! Autosomal DNA Identifies a Charming Scoundrel: Walk through research planning, evidence analysis, correlation and proof in a fun case study If you register by Feb. 29, the cost for GFO members for this full day is just $45 and for non-members, $50.
Register Now
The Sunday half-day classes on April 5 will be held at the GFO from 9:30 a.m. – noon. This session is already 3/4 full.
Sunday includes two complex case studies demonstrating a wide variety of research strategies at every point in the planning, analysis and correlation process. One unknown parentage case and one distant ancestor case illustrate the integration of evidence from paper and DNA sources to prove genetic relationship conclusions. Early registration price for this half-day is just $25 for GFO members and $30 for non-members. Download the Seminar Flyer for more details.

Take advantage of those Early-Bird Registration prices! On March 1, all prices will increase by $5. This is a great opportunity to learn more about solving those genealogy puzzles with the use of DNA.
Live Webinar on Black College Records Features Deborah Abbott
Mark your calendar. Please join us for a live webinar with Deborah Abbott, on Saturday, February 15 at noon at the GFO library. Our African American Ancestry Group is pleased to present Dr. Abbott’s discussion of using manuscript collections at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Deborah A. Abbott, Ph.D is a professional genealogist specializing in Black American research, manuscript collections, and genealogy methods. She serves as a trustee on the Board of the Ohio Genealogical Society, a member of the Cuyahoga County Archives Advisory Board in Cleveland, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Non-Members are welcome! This group is free and open to the public.
GFO Open House Brings 42 Free Events in March
Who doesn’t like a free genealogy conference? Save these dates for the 2020 GFO Genealogy Open House: March 13-22. Over these 10 days, the library is free to the public and everyone is invited to all classes. Of particular note, we have an Evening with Special Guest John Schmal on Mexican Ancestry, a Beginners Day, DNA Day, Software Day, and Irish Day.
Get the Full Open House Schedule Here
Save your favorite classes on your calendar! No registration required for any events. 42 events in all! It’s like having a free genealogy conference in your own backyard. Join us!
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon Features Pam Vestal
The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon will feature GFO Member and professional genealogist Pam Vestal at their February Meeting, Sunday, February 16 at 10:30 a.m. at Congregation Neveh Shalom, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane, Portland. Pam’s presentation, Why They Left, Where They Went, and the Tales Their Journeys Can Reveal, will explore the secrets our ancestors’ migrations and what they can reveal as we track them from place to place, across the ocean, across the country, and even across town.
The program is free and doors open at 10:00 a.m. with time for conversation and sharing.
News from the Library
New Digital ContentKern-Gen (Kern Co., California)
• Santa Clara County Connections
• Valley Genealogist of Hemet-San Jacinto
• The Epistle (Batchelder, Carpenter, and Rice)
• Lifeliner (Riverside, California)
• Kansas City Genealogist New Books • Adams County, Ohio deeds, 1797-1812
• Confederate military history: a library of Confederate States history
• Diamond jubilee, Medina, North Dakota: 1899-1974
• Fish families records and lines
• Germans in Wisconsin
• History of Jennings County, Indiana
• Indian New England before the Mayflower
• Little known tales from Oregon history
• London’s churches
• Magruder’s Maryland colonial abstracts: wills, accounts, and inventories, 1772-1777
• Milford and vicinity sesquicentennial souvenir book, 1830-1980
• Reunion celebration: together with an historical sketch of Peru, Bennington County, Vermont, and its inhabitants from the first settlement of the town
• Soap Lake [Washington]
• Southern crossing: a history of the American South, 1877-1906
• Tracing your Church of England ancestors: a guide for family and local historians
• The captive’s quest for freedom: fugitive slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the politics of slavery
• The city of New York in the year of Washington’s inauguration, 1789
• The Hatfield book
• The slave economy of the Old South: selected essays in economic and social history
• The Spanish archives of New Mexico: compiled and chronologically arranged with historical, genealogical, geographical, and other annotations, by authority of the State of New Mexico
Surplus Book: 1913 Yearbook From OAC (now Oregon State)
Have a Beaver in the family? They may love this step back into history, back when Oregon State University was known as the Oregon Agricultural College. We have a spare copy of the The Orange from 1913, OAC’s yearbook in truly excellent condition. There is only one half inch of noticeable wear at the top of the spine.
This yearbook runs 366 pages and bears the names of Editor R.A. Blanchard and Manager W.S. Sibray.
It includes a message from OAC President William Jasper Rice. Price to pickup at the GFO: $30
Price to ship to you: $37 If you’re interested in this piece of Oregon history, contact
Survey Results: Free Genealogy Websites
Here are the favorite free websites of our readers:
FamilySearch tops the list–for its scope, better indexing, lots of images, deepest resources around, and other reasons. One person cautioned about the family tree, unsourced facts and misinformation.
FamilySearch Community Feed After joining a group, you can upload an image of a foreign language document (even written in impossible to read old German script) and someone will translate it for you – usually within just a couple of hours or maybe overnight. WikiTree (2 people) Because it’s collaborative and there’s a huge emphasis on citing sources for the facts you add. It makes it so much easier to verify information and find the sources yourself for your own records. FindAGrave for the help of the volunteers who take photos. (no reason given) GEDmatch because it has DNA data from different sources. Heritage Quest accessed with Multnomah County Library card. The website has all the RC church records for County Kerry – the ancestral home of my father’s side of family. It also has images for civil records of births, marriages, and deaths for all of Ireland with exception of images of death records before 1877. BTW the website has links to other Irish websites. The Ancestor Hunt for its fabulous links to online newspapers. The Library of Virginia (no reason given)
New Survey: Cousins
We all have lots of distant cousins, found through various means. We’re curious if finding them has been helpful in your genealogical research.
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
Friday, February 14th
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, solving genealogical problems, organizing your research, etc. Come share research experiences and have fun. Questions or comments to Vince Ramirez at
Saturday, February 15th
Genealogical Problem Solvers 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Finding your ancestors before 1850
The 1850 US census was the first to enumerate each member of the household by name, making pre-1850 research tricky, particularly for families already moving West. Adding to the challenge, extended family members tended to migrate in groups, with individuals frequently joining households other than those of their nuclear family …or not. Join us as the Genealogy Problem Solvers attempt to locate the parents of a GFO member’s 2nd great- grandfather, Charles McFarland (1815-1898), who was born in Virginia (or West Virginia) and who died in Missouri. Learn the tools researchers use to solve the problem of finding ancestors on the move before 1850. Questions – contact Katy Daly:
African American Ancestry Group 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Live Webinar on Black College Records Featuring Deborah Abbott. See article above for details. This group is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Janice Sellers
GenTalk: Intro to Excel® for Genealogy 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
See feature article above to join us for our February GenTalk presented by Kendra Blumberg. You may reserve one of the GFO’s PCs for free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Note to Library Patrons: The GenTalk will be held in the research area of the library, at the computer tables, and at least 5 of the computers are reserved for event attendees. The stacks and the classroom are of the library will remain open for all other patrons.
Sunday, February 16th
Library Work Party 9:00 a.m. – noon
We have a special project to work on this Sunday. We received 3 tubs of books and periodicals that have a mildewy odor to them. We don’t want to introduce them to the library. So, we’ll be sorting through them to inventory and reorganize them.
Your help is needed. Any time you can share is appreciated.
Family Tree Maker Users Group 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Join other users who want to work through the 2019 Companion Guide to Family TreeMaker.
Bring your laptop with 2019 or 2017 version of FTM installed.
Click here for the full agenda. It also has links to two small files to download to your FTM directory. Click on the ‘more details’ at the bottom left._ Contact the group leaders at
French Canada Group 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Share stories of our history. Come and join this group to learn more about French Canadian ancestry and Acadia. The group leader is Bob LaMarche.
Wednesday, February 19th
Learn & Chat 10:00 a.m. – Noon
Join us as our “Chat” consisting of lively unplanned discussion as we share successes, frustrations, challenges, tech tips, report on research trips, seminars, conferences and so on. In the next several sessions, our in our “Learn” portion, we will look at the 3 aspects of the Genealogy Proof Standards as set forth in the BCG Genealogical Standards Manual. The goal is to learn together to integrate these standards and methods into our daily routines to become better genealogists, maximize our efficiency, reach more accurate solutions and break down more brick walls. Facilitated by Sandy Alto and Jeanne Quan. Questions?
DNA Q&A: The Basics 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
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 – 7:45 p.m.
We will hear Patricia Delich’s, “Searching for Great-Great-Grandfather John Spillan.” Patricia’s research has taken numerous twists and turns since she gave us a glimpse of her search at our Oct. 2019 meeting. In our second hour we will examine current challenges, brick walls, obstacles and conflicting sources for your ancestor. Please bring the following information:
* Who are you researching?
* What information are you seeking?
* Where did this person live?
* What time period?
* What resources have you tried?
Contact for more information.
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.