GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition February 27, 2020
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.
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Update: How to Watch Live Speakers at Roots Tech
We alerted you earlier this week to the free live video streams of prominent speakers at Roots Tech. The link we sent earlier goes to the Live Stream Schedule page, but Roots Tech apparently did not put instructions or a link to the videos on that page. It turns out you need to go the main home page. Click on the large video player at the top of the screen. Then enter your name, email and zip code, and you should be able to view events when they happen.
Special Guest John Schmal Speaks on Mexican Ancestry March 18
John Schmal The Genealogical Forum of Oregon’s Mexican Ancestry group is pleased to present An Evening with John Schmal on Wednesday, March 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. He will talk about Mexican Genealogy at 6 p.m., and Indigenous Mexico at 7:15 p.m. Schmal is a historian, genealogist, and lecturer who specializes in the genealogical research and Indigenous history of several Mexican states, especially Chihuahua, Nayarit Zacatecas, Jalisco, and Guanajuato. He is also the author of several books, including Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico (Heritage Books, 2002) and The Journey to Latino Political Representation (Heritage Books, 2007). Additionally, he serves on the board of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research. Check out his website about Indigenous Mexico. This event is part of our annual free Genealogy Open House. There is no cost and everyone is invited to attend.
Spring DNA Seminar Fills Up Sunday, Seats Open Saturday
We are thrilled by your interest in our Spring Seminar on DNA. The Sunday half-day seminar on April 5 is full!
But we encourage you to join the wait list. If enough people sign up, we will find a larger venue.
We still have plenty of room on Saturday, April 5. Karen Stanbary is a nationally known genetic genealogy educator. Check out the class descriptions below.
Register Now
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.
Sunday classes include 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. 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 your genealogy puzzles with the use of DNA.
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:
Friday, March 13: Beginners Day
Saturday, March 14: DNA Day,
Sunday, March 15: Software Day
Tuesday, March 17: Irish Day
* Wednesday, March 18: An Evening with Special Guest John Schmal on Mexican Ancestry.
Get the Full Open House Schedule Here
Save your favorite classes on your calendar! No registration required for any events. Just walk in. 42 events in all! It’s like having a free genealogy conference in your own backyard. Please invite your friends and help us spread the word!
News from the Library
New Digital ContentAncestors WestAsh Tree EchoBolles Family AssociationElkins EagleElkins Family ExchangeThe Livermore Roots TracerDaughters of the Utah Pioneers: Enduring Legacy and Pioneer Pathways
New Books1981 Pine Valley echoesAncient town records. [New Haven]Creating an Old South: Middle Florida’s plantation frontier before the Civil War.Descendants of Reinold and Matthew Marvin of Hartford, Ct., 1638 and 1635: sons of Edward Marvin, of Great Bentley, EnglandFall River County pioneer historiesForging freedom: the formation of Philadelphia’s Black community, 1720-1840.Here’in lies a study of the Centerville Pioneer Cemetery, Fremont, Alameda County, California: a genealogical survey including biographies, obituaries, burial and cemetery recordsHistory and genealogy of the Von der Sloot family: a comprehensive record of genealogical data and biographical and historical information, chronologically arranged, of members of the Vandersloot family ; properly authenticated, and compiled with utmost careIdaho, a guide in word and pictureMake it, make it over, make do, or do withoutOregon ferries: a history of Oregon ferries since 1826Sheridan County heritage ’76 (North Dakota)Smoke along the Columbia: Union Pacific, Oregon DivisionThe complete Civil War road trip guide: ten weekend tours and more than 400 sites, from Antietam to Zagonyi’s ChargeThe diaries of Harriet “Hattie” Dillabaugh, 1889-1940: Miner’s Delight, Wyoming Territory; Oregon Trail; Chehalis and Olympia, Washington Territory; Baker City, Oregon; Vancouver, Washington; Portland, OregonThe genealogy of John Lindsley (1845-1909) and his wife, Virginia Thayer Payne (1856-1941The Natchez Trace: a pictorial historyTracing your Nonconformist ancestors: a guide for family and local historiansUnderground railroad in Delaware, Maryland, and West VirginiaWestern Massachusetts families of 1790
Surplus Book: Atlas Map of Cass County, Indiana
If you know someone with midwestern roots in Indiana, this piece of history is just for them. The Combination. Atlas Map of Cass County, Indiana was originally “compiled, drawn and published from personal examinations and surveys” in 1878. Our copy is a reprint from 1976. It’s a large edition, measuring 13 3/4” x 16 1/2”. Inside you’ll find a complete set of maps
of the county and many pages devoted to explaining the history and prominent people of the era. It’s in fine condition. However, this is a retired library copy, so it does have a label on the cover and some library marks inside. We’ve seen a copy of this for sale online for $60. Our price to pickup at the GFO: $25
Our price to ship to you: $35 If you’d like this piece of midwestern history, contact
Survey Results: Cousin Bait
Last week we asked if you intentionally use cousin bait. ▪ 50% said yes ▪ 31% said no ▪ 19% said they didn’t know We asked readers to tell us what bait they’ve used and about the results. Here are a few of the responses (edited for brevity): ▪ DNA and a small tree online at AncestryDNA. ▪ My blog,, has brought in many cousins. Lots of people google search for surnames and find stories that include their ancestors. It is important to tag the stories for the families included in a post.
▪ I have uploaded photos to Find A Grave to show my willingness to share what I have about relatives. Another distant cousin responded with gratitude. Even better, she had more information! ▪ If luring cousins means contacting those you find and offering to share, then I have lured a number of cousins. Some have become good friends, also. ▪ I have used the “memorial flowers” left on Find a Grave entries to contact several cousins I haven’t heard from in 50 years! I have had success each time and plan to keep going!
▪ I have been in contact with two or three distant cousins I would never had found had it not been for posting my tree on Ancestry. ▪ I can’t say that I ever did any “cousin baiting,” however, having a well-sourced family tree on can garner some big results. People who are serious about sharing information with you will look at how serious you are in regards to your research. ▪ I use a tree on WikiTree as cousin bait since the site is free. If someone makes edits on my tree, I contact them to find out if/how they are related. If related, we often end up sharing information. Sometimes a distant cousin contacts me because they saw my tree. ▪ I haven’t used cousin bait, but I have responded to it! I recognized a photo of my great-grandparents that another person had shared, and when I reached out I learned that my great-grandfather had a much younger brother (Ed) who I never knew about, who was still alive in his 90s. (The age difference was such that they were never in the same household during a census so I had missed him.) Ed’s grandson and I were able to put him in touch with his surviving nieces, in their 80s, who he had lost touch with decades before, and they had a quick reunion before he passed away.
▪ I don’t intentionally do “cousin baiting,” however, I have found that having a well-sourced family tree on has garnered great success. I was contacted by a woman who had found one of my trees on Ancestry. She said that a friend of hers had an old Bible, and many of the people named appeared in one of my family trees. She asked if I wanted photocopies of the genealogical information found in the bible. I responded with a big “YES,” gave her address. A month or two later, I received a Graham Cracker Box all taped up with a mailing label on it addressed to me. Inside was the Bible—not the photocopies I expected, but the actual Bible! It had belonged to my ggg-grandmother’s niece! ▪ My blog! I write about family members and post family names. It has been successful, as several cousins have found me this way. ▪ I attached photos or an original document to people on my Ancestry tree. As a result, I have been contacted by people who have an interest in that line. I ask how the person is related to my ancestor. I have been able to meet a cousin in England, and paternal Aunt’s daughter through her granddaughter—and a whole new family line has been connected. ▪ DNA is the biggie. Lots of new connections there. Creating memorials for all my ancestors and posting flowers on their memorials that state my relationship has been rewarding. Posting trees on Ancestry and WIkiTree have been productive. Also, I follow all my ancestors on FamilySearch, so I can see every change that is made to them. When others add or change information, it’s great to be informed, and even better if I can make a connection.
New Survey: Ethnicities
This week, we’re asking about ethnicities—family stories about ethnicity, ethnicities inferred in genealogical research, and ethnicities as determined by DNA. You get to decide how you define “ethnicity,” and, as usual, you’ll have a chance to tell us more.
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
Saturday, February 29th
Research Assistant Training 10:00 a.m. – Noon
Focus on resources – especially Oregon and the northwest; will tie that in to using the databases, our website, and what can be found in the library.
Sunday, March 1st
Library Work Party 9:00 – 12:00 p.m.
There’s another work party at the GFO library 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.
Monday, March 2nd
Free First Monday 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Non-members can visit the GFO Library and research for free.
Tuesday, March 3rd
Italian Interest Group 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
The Italian group is dedicated to promoting Italian family history and genealogy through education using nationally-recognized genealogical standards and practices. If you have any questions, feel free to contact facilitator Stephanie Silenti at
Wednesday, March 4th
Learn & Chat 10:00 a.m. – Noon
Learn and Chat is a “genealogy self-help” group.
Please bring tales of your latest genealogy related adventures and a wish list of subjects to build our calendar. Facilitators: Jeanne Quan and Sandy Alto.
DNA Q&A: Beyond the Basics 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This meeting is for those who have already taken a DNA test, understand the results and have begun to use the results in expanding your family tree. The meetings begin with a presentation or discussion regarding current changes in DNA testing, different DNA testing tools and analysis methods. General questions are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Lisa McCullough leads this group.. Questions?
Wednesday Work Party – Digitizing Periodicals 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Come and help us preserve the periodicals and make them instantly searchable!
We’ll be working to prepare and scan periodicals in our collection. 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.
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.