GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News

Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!
THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition December 6, 2018
For more information visit, contact us at, or call our library at 503-963-1932. Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
GFO’s Annual Appeal: It’s a Time of Giving!
What do you call a group with no paid staff, the largest genealogy collection in the Pacific Northwest, and a library that’s open daily? You know the answer: Portland’s very own Genealogical Forum of Oregon! Did you also know that member dues cover only 24 percent of our budget? Our rent is going up $1,200 every year. Oh my!
Our database subscriptions now cost almost $5,000 each year. Once a year we ask for your support. Now is that time. During this Annual Appeal we need to raise $25,000.
We’re confident you can help us make it happen. Please make your tax deductible donation to the GFO today.
Give Today
The GFO belongs to the Oregon Cultural Trust. We have a Silver Star rating on GuideStar. Please check with your employer on possible matching donations, especially through Benevity. Thanks for all you do to keep GFO going strong!
Join Library Tour for Hispanic Heritage Resources
Do you have an interest in Hispanic heritage? GFO’s Mexican Ancestry Group invites you to join a tour of the Multnomah County Library’s Hispanic genealogical resources.
The tour begins at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, December 17th at Multnomah County’s Central Library 801 SW 10th Ave. There is paid parking across the street and in the area. PLEASE RSVP by emailing
Don’t Miss It! Free Mac Class for GFO Members next Wednesday
Photos 101 – As genealogists, we do a lot of photo handling. Apple’s free Photos App is a great tool to edit and organize your photos to make them look their best for all archiving purposes. Don’t struggle with tasks like fixing/cropping images from sites like FindAGrave when you can get a solid grasp of the basics in this free class. The Portland Mac Users Group offers this PMUG College class on Wednesday, December 12th, from 6 to 8 p.m. at GFO’s very own library. This class is completely FREE for GFO and PMUG members. $10 for non-members. (Become a GFO member here!) More information is available on the PMUG website.
Boot Camp: No Boots, Tents or Experience Needed!
Join Laurel Smith at the GFO for a day of beginning genealogy on January 8th. There will be sessions about the census, vital records, immigration and naturalization, discussions about genealogy software and database use, organizing your research and more — all geared toward beginners. Bring a sack lunch so the discussion can continue while we eat. GFO members may attend for free, non-members $20. Here’s what attendees are saying: “Boot Camp was rocking, wow do I regret not having it before I started my work . . . such a good teacher . . . a marathon that was time well-spent . . . informative and motivational . . . with humor and positive energy . . . more than exceeded my expectations” Member or not, please let us know if you plan to attend and REGISTER ONLINE by January 3rd. A link to the class notes will be emailed on Saturday, January 5th.
This week at GFO …
SATURDAY, December 8th Writers’ Forum 1 – 3 p.m. We are currently working on Bruce Tarshis’s How to be Your Own Best Editor, chapters 10 and 11. Everyone is welcome, whether you have participated before or not. This is your chance to get started writing or to improve your writing, whether you are writing for yourself or for others. We learn about good writing techniques — write and read what we write to each other. Without exception, everyone who has participated in this group over the last fourteen years writes better than they did when they started.
Purpose: 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 or 503-916-9410. SUNDAY, December 9th 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, December 12th PMUG – Mac Users’ Class 6 – 8 p.m. Portland Mac Users Group offers its college class at GFO library. The class this time will be about the Photos application, which is included on all current Macintosh systems. Free to GFO and PMUG members. More information available at PMUG’s website.

2019 International German Genealogy Conference


6 months to go … 6 gifts to choose from

The 6th of December is celebrated as St. Nicholas Day in many parts of German-speaking Europe. The real Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of children, sailors, students, teachers, and merchants. Since he delivers gifts to children on his feast day, Dec. 6, the saint is often confused with Santa Claus, who came about much later.

While Nicholas doesn’t use reindeer, he does travel with a companion known by different names. Be warned that this is no jolly elf. One alias, Krampus, actually enjoys scaring the children!

So how did we get from St. Nicholas to Santa Claus? Thank Martin Luther, who, in his effort to give Protestants their own Christmas traditions, introduced an angel-like Christ Child (Christkindl) who brought gifts. This religious figure was later replaced by der Weihnachtsmann (Father Christmas) a.k.a. Santa Claus.

Whether you’re shopping for St. Nicholas Day or Christmas, check out these gifts for those attending the International German Genealogy Conference in Sacramento next June.

You could wrap up a tour of San Francisco, the Wine/Gold Country or Lake Tahoe for the non-family researcher accompanying you to the conference.
Or, if you’ve been extra good in doing your research, treat yourself to one (or more) of the free Genealogical and Historic Walking tours in downtown Sacramento.
Krampus with the children. Postcard circa 1920.
Shop for others
Shop for yourself
REGISTER NOW. Take advantage now of the early bird registration rates, which end Jan. 15. With limited seating available, it’s best not to hesitate. If the conference is full, your registration will go on a wait list.
BOOK A ROOM. The conference hotel, The Hyatt Regency, now has limited availability. But you can get a conference rate at the Marriott Residence Inn, just two blocks from the conference hotel.

Tri-City Genealogical Society December Meeting

Dear TCGS Members and Guests:
Our December 12th meeting will be at the Benton County PUD Auditorium in Kennewick on the corner of Hwy #395 and 10th Street
The program for this year will be the Show & Tell event and we will not have a Beginning Genealogy Class that evening. The program  activity starts at 7:00 p.m., but for those of you who are setting up displays, you can come as early as 6:15 p.m.
Show Off Your Heritage
Members and guests are asked to bring items about your family heritage/history as well as what interests you have.
1. Photographs
2. Documents
3. Family heirlooms, antiques
4. Hobbies, collections or recreation interests
Your legacy will one day be handed down to your children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren and they will want to know what hobbies and collections you had as a child/teenager or as an adult.
You can display your family photographs and documents on a poster or a tri-fold or on the table.
This will be a fun event for everyone to have a glimpse of your family history as well as the antiques/heirlooms, hobbies and collections that you either inherited or have or previously engaged in.
Please bring homemade or store bought cookies, candies, fudge, muffins, quick breads (banana, zucchini, apple, pumpkin), cake, etc.  Beverages, plates, napkins and utensils will be provided.
Thank you for your continued interest in TCGS

Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society Genealogy Holiday Fest

The Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS) hosts their Annual Genealogy Holiday Fest “Show and Tell” on Friday, December 21, 2018, at 10am to noon at the Bainbridge Island Pubic Library.  Bring your Family Treasures, Stories, or Research to share. Light Refreshments will be served. Free to members, a $5.00 donation is suggested for nonmembers. For more information go to BIGS is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. Parking available in the Madison Ave lot and the High School Road lot.
Thank you,
Sue Elfving
Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

 MyHeritage Live 2018 – Online

At the beginning of November, MyHeritage hosted their first ever 3 day user conference in Oslo, Norway. It was a big success. Hundreds of people attended from 28 different countries. Now, for those that were not able to attend, two dozen of the lectures were recorded and are available for viewing online, absolutely free. Thanks to Dick Eastman, one of the presenters at this conference, for this great tip.

Visit MyHeritage Blog for a list of each of the lectures, as well as a brief description, and a link to each lecture video. You’ll find the MyHeritage Blog here:

Seattle Genealogical Society News


Join us Saturday, December 8, from 1:30 – 3:00 PM at the SGS Library for our Winter Holiday Celebration Potluck. Bring a dish to share – maybe something that reflects your cultural heritage. Share stories, recipes, and holiday memories. See you there!


with Linda Harms Okazaki

February 2-3, 2019 

Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA


Join the Seattle Genealogical Society and our partners for a weekend of learning how to research Japanese American ancestry.

Saturday’s all-day program “Exploring Our Nikkei Genealogy” is geared toward entry level family historians who have friends or family with Japanese ancestry. A box lunch ($15.00) may be ordered in advance. Those who attend this session are invited to return Sunday afternoon, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, for “Ask a Genealogist”.

Sunday morning’s program “Japanese American Research for Genealogists”, is designed for intermediate and advanced researchers. Those who attend this session will volunteer their research skills on Sunday afternoon, helping Saturday’s registrants to get started on their family history journey by talking to an experienced researcher.

Registration is free, but limited to 40 for each day’s program. Seats will be filled in the order registrations are submitted. Registration begins December 1st. Click this link to register online:

Register for SGS Japanese Genealogy Seminar

The brochure is here:  Seminar Brochure

This seminar is funded through the generosity of the Heritage Grant program by 4Culture, the cultural services agency of King County.




We regret to inform you that the program, “Digging Deeper: Civil War Widow’s Pension”. originally scheduled for Sunday, December 9, has been postponed until further notice. We will post a new date when it is confirmed, probably in the spring of 2019. We hope you will join us then for an opportunity to explore this topic in greater depth.
*** NOTICE ***


Beginning in 2019,  the Scandinavian SIG will meet quarterly instead of monthly. The first meeting of the year will be Sunday,  January 13 from 1:00-3:00 pm and the meeting following that will be Sunday, April 14. Researching Scandinavian ancestors? This is the group for you. Led by Karen Knudson.



Unless otherwise indicated all programs will be at the SGS Library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. Check the SGS Web Site for additions, changes, and corrections. Programs may be canceled or postponed because of inclement weather. The holiday closure in December will be from December 21, 2018 through January 1, 2019.


Saturday, December 1, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Canadian SIG, come join David Robert, group leader, for help researching your Canadian ancestors.

Saturday, December 1, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Family Tree Interest Group, Lou Daly is leader of this special interest group exploring all the features of the tool Family Tree on
Saturday, December 1, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Puget Sound – Association of Professional Genealogists, meeting and Holiday Party. Everyone welcome. Bring a treat to share with the group.

Saturday, December 8, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, SGS Winter Holiday Social Gathering, potluck

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News


Thursday Evening

E-News Edition

November 29, 2018

Curious about the status of your GFO Membership?

We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!

For more information visit, contact us at, or call our library at 503-963-1932.

Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider

Giving Tuesday Volunteer Blitz = THANK YOU!

Thank you to 34 marvelous volunteers who donated their time on Giving Tuesday!

They helped to inventory and label thousands of books.

We are thrilled with the number of red “DONE” labels sticking out from so many of our shelves.

No one can remember the last time we methodically took stock of what’s in our collection. Volunteers were able to restore books to the proper order and document a number of them that are missing. It’s not exciting work but its important for a successful library.

We didn’t get through all the inventory that needs to be done. Please come join us for one of our Sunday morning Work Parties so we can finish the job.

As always, thank you for all you do for GFO!

Annual Appeal: Please Give Now to the GFO

What do you call a group with no paid staff, the largest genealogy collection in the Pacific Northwest and a library that’s open daily?

You know the answer: the Genealogical Forum of Oregon.

But did you know that member dues cover only 24% of our budget?

Our rent is going up $1200 every year.
Our database subscriptions now cost almost $5,000 each year.

Once each year we ask for your support.

Now is that time.

We are already 1/4 of the way to our goal!
During this Annual Appeal we need to raise $25,000.

That’s a big goal. We’re confident you can help us make that happen.

Please make your tax deductible donation to the GFO today.

Give Today
The GFO belongs to the Oregon Cultural Trust. We have a Silver Star rating on GuideStar. Please check with your employer on possible matching donations, especially through Benevity.

Join GFO’s German Special Interest Group! Saturday, December 1st

December’s meeting agenda: Duane Funk and Bonnie Randolph will share the highlights of their recent trips to ancestral towns in Germany.

The German Special Interest Group (SIG) was formed in the spring of 2011. It is intended to be a source of information and inspiration for anyone with German speaking ancestors. One goal is to provide information on a variety of topics related to Germanic history and migration. We also will provide time for members to share their research journeys and connect with others who may be researching the same region or time period.

The group meets at the GFO Library on the 1st Saturday of every month. Meetings start at 1:00 p.m. and end at 3:00 p.m.

All GFO’s Special Interest Groups are completely free and open to the public!

GFO’s French Canada Special Interest Group – Holiday Break

Reminder: The French Canada Special Interest Group (SIG) will not meet in December this year.

The group’s leader, Bob LaMarche, invites everyone to join at the SIG’s next meeting in the new year!

The group is hoping to see you again on Sunday, January 20th, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Don’t Miss Portland’s 34th Annual ScanFair!

If you have Scandinavian roots and you’ve never been to this event, well, this weekend is a great time to discover the magic!

This annual event is a two-day Nordic craft fair extravaganza, complete with foods and drinks of the region.

WHEN? Saturday, December 1st, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, December 2nd, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The fair is always held on the first full weekend in December each year and is located at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland’s Rose Quarter area.

See their website for a full list of vendors and other details!

This week at GFO …

SATURDAY, December 1st

Virginia Group 10 a.m. – noon

Land Records, Part One – Virginia, West Virginia, & Kentucky

Land records are some of the most rewarding records for genealogical research. They generally represent the longest time span for records, and are rich in genealogical information. We’ll discuss the laws that were passed to manage land claims as new areas opened for settlement. We will explore the various original land records in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, where the land is located, and where to find the records. The discussion will include headrights, bounty land, preemption certificates and other methods of claiming land. Part Two of this series will be discussed at the group’s January 2019 meeting.

For more information see our blog: “Virginia Roots and Vines”!

Questions? Email Judi Scott and Carol Surrency at

German Group 1 – 3 p.m.

Duane Funk and Bonnie Randolph will share the highlights of their trips to ancestral towns in Germany. Come join the fun!

SUNDAY, December 2nd

Manuscripts Work Party 9:00 a.m. – Noon

Explore our manuscript, personal papers, and family Bibles collection while we organize, scan, and create finding aids. Drop by at the time that works for you. Questions? Send a note to Nanci Remington and LauraDenise White at

MONDAY, December 3rd

Free First Monday! 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Come visit our research library each first Monday of every month and splurge on all GFO’s wonderful resources for FREE. Explore our online databases like Fold3, Ancestry World Library Edition,, and many more. Our analog and microfilm collections total some 49,000 items. Don’t miss out!

WEDNESDAY, December 5th

Learn & Chat 10 a.m. – noon

Topic: Walking the Shelves: all that GFO has to offer.

At Learn & Chat 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.

DNA Q&A 1 – 3 p.m.

Lisa McCullough will be available to help answer your DNA questions, whether you are new and just getting started or have more involved questions. Curious? Send Lisa a message at, or feel free to just drop by!

MyHeritage LIVE Free Webinars



We’re delighted to announce that all the videos of the MyHeritage LIVE conference are now online for free!

Weren’t able to attend? Now you can view every lecture, with video of the presenter and a close up of their slides.

For a full list of all the sessions, lectures and panels, please see this blog post.

We’d be grateful if you could share these with your friends and networks.


Many thanks


Daniel Horowitz

Genealogy Expert.

Puget Sound Civil War Roundtable December Meeting

Upcoming PSCWRT Meeting

December 13, 2018
Stuart Streichler will discuss the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson. He is the author of Justice Curtis in the Civil War Era: At the Crossroads of American Constitutionalism (Curtis was defense counsel for Johnson at the impeachment trial). Professor Streichler’s articles have appeared in many law reviews, newspapers, and other periodicals, and he has been interviewed by the BBC, CBC The National, Fox News, NHK, and local television news programs. He teaches at the University of Washington, Bothell, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

Social hour begins at 6:00 pm, Dinner at 6:45 pm, and program at 8:00 pm.  Click the button below to make a reservation. Students may attend free with no dinner.  Make a reservation and choose a dinner if you wish.
See website for more information and to make a reservation