Happy New Year

Postcard from my grandmother Anna Hansen’s postcard collection, the back is just addressed to Anna Hansen Sebeka Minn, but no stamp or postal cancellation, they moved to Columbus Montana just after the 1910 census so this card is probably from 1910

Happy New Year

Been an interesting year, never had to post so many seminar and meeting cancellations, but eventually we learned to have our meetings online on Zoom, Web-ex, Google and even Facebook. That allowed us to join meetings in other states without travel, motels, parking and traffic. The only bad part was we all miss meeting our friends in person. Lets hope we can get back together in 2021, but still have the ability to listen in to seminars a long way from our homes. We are learning to work together in ways we never dreamed we could so lets expand that and help all the Washington genealogical societies. I also post a lot of seminars on the WSGS Facebook Page, because it goes out immediately not once a week like the WSGS Blog, check it out.

I have been asked how am I doing by a lot of people, and I am doing fine, I like peace and quiet and do not like crowds, my favorite volunteer job was doing research in a quiet archive, and I got to do that for eight years at the county courthouse in the auditors archives. That ended when all the records were digitized and the originals were moved to the Washington State Regional Archive in Cheney Washington. They then moved the Law Library in the space that used to have the auditors records.

I am also a volunteer with Scribe and by the end of the year I will have digitized 92,000 names in 2020 and 370,000 names since they started counting, but that was many years after I had started. At first we got a 3.5 inch floppy disk and paper copies to digitize records.

The Year in Review

Well are you glad 2020 is almost over? I know I am. Lets hope 2021 will be better than 2020. Above is the Google Analytics view of the top ten most clicked on pages in the WSGS Blog for 2020 (thru December 28th).
I was not really surprised by number 1 as many subscribers just click on the blog, but I was totally surprised by number 2 as it was written by Roxanne Lowe in June of 2015 about an upcoming genealogy class at the university of Washington. I do know it popped into the top ten most clicked on posts several weeks during the year.
Number 3 on the list continues to be read and I hope it has helped a lot of societies that use Easy Net Sites.
Number 4 on the list is 2020 Seminars-Conferences which was pretty much a disappointment to everyone this year.
Number 5 and 6 are on how we are changing from in person conferences to online conferences.
Number 7 and 8 was kind of new as I had shied away from posting about the Payed genealogy sites before this. Should I cover them more in the blog?
Number 9 is kind of sad for me as it was on the death of my cousin Myra Vanderpool Gormley. Myra is probably the reason I am here blogging, and I was amazed by E-Mails I received from all over the USA after I wrote this blog post. Myra will be missed.
Number 10 is from Skagit Valley Genealogical Society one of the societies that has switched to online meetings.

Merry Christmas

Postcard from my Uncle Leigh Hansen’s postcard collection

I want t wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Special thanks goes out to everyone that has kept sending me the information for monthly meetings, seminars, and general genealogical news.

Charles Hansen

Please Read if Your Society Uses an Easy Net Site

You may have heard recently that the owner of Easy Net Sites (ENS), Tom Ryder, has been accused of serious crimes in Florida. He is currently being held without bail in the Hillsborough County Jail, awaiting a hearing on 21 Dec 2020.

I understand many of your concerns about the future of your website. In light of this unsettled time, I suggest you watch Thomas MacEntee’s free “Genealogy Society Town Hall” that was live on Monday, 14 Dec 2020, 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Thomas will discuss options available to you to move your society’s website host to a new host. He will cover all the options available (WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Wild Apricot). Current charges against Tom Ryder will not be discussed nor will comments about the charges be permitted.  Thomas’s town hall is not an attempt to undermine another genealogy vendor’s business or to capitalize on an unfortunate situation.  He is providing information so we (societies using ENS) can make informed decisions about our websites, and you can consult your board once you have options.

MY APOLOGIES for those of you who could not get into the Genealogy Society Town Hall last evening! We had 776 registrants with what was supposed to be 500 participants but Zoom only set me up for 300!

Please see the links below and PLEASE SHARE with your fellow gen soc board members and regular membership!
  Genealogy Society Town Hall December 14, 2020 HANDOUT

Genealogy Society Town Hall December 14, 2020 VIDEO

Genealogy Society Town Hall December 14, 2020 SLIDES

Please thank Thomas MacEntee for the links.

New Blog Banner Photos Posted

Have you noticed the Blog banner changes every time you visit? The photos are submitted by readers like you — and Carol Norder Brumbaugh Ballard of Lacey and Sue Schack Jensen, Library Director at the Seattle Genealogical Society. Carol sent us a serene photo of Chambers Lake in Panorama in Lacey. Sue sent us six beautiful scenic photos of Seattle’s skyline and waterfront, including this Goose Parade near Issaquah. Watch the blog banner for all of these photos!

Goose Parade photo by Sue Schack Jensen and Ron C. Jensen, Seattle

We’re always looking for scenic photos of our beautiful state for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner. It’s easy — just send a Washington State jpg image to wsgsblog@wasgs.org with a description of the photo. The blog masters will take care of the rest!

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to thank all the people that have subscribed to this blog, a few over 900 now, but the biggest thanks are those people that send me their upcoming programs so all 900 subscribers will be able to connect with a program that interests them.

This year with covid has made the societies jump into online presentations that makes it easy for someone to attend a meeting or a seminar without leaving their home, and even join a meeting clear across the country without the expense of travel or having to fight traffic and find parking. We do miss seeing our friends and so after we can get back together will we still meet remotely?

These three postcards are from my uncle Leigh Hansen’s postcard collection, most all are from before 1920.

Back of this card was blank
Back of this card was blank
Back of above card, to my Uncle Leigh 7 days before his 2nd birthday from his sister Carrie who was in Minneapolis at school at age 17 with her sister Frances age 18

Washington State Genealogical Society Announcement

Announcement from WA State Genealogical Society!!

Due to the Covid pandemic, many of our local genealogical societies are struggling! WSGS recognizes how difficult it is for local societies to keep in touch with members. To help and provide support to local societies, WSGS will be sending out a gift of $300 to each society. This money is intended to help cover the cost of a subscription for online meetings or webinars or any other means which could help keep in touch with members.

MyHeritage In Color Free for a Month

Starting today we’re unlocking both our popular photo tools — MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™ — for a whole month, until September 10, 2020. Normally, these features can be used by non-subscribers on up to 10 photos each, while users with a Complete plan enjoy unlimited use. But now, for a whole month, anyone can enhance and colorize as many photos as they’d like for free!

Free Access to Enhancer and InColor

This continues our tradition of giving back to the community. With so many people currently confined to their home and doing their best to stay safe and healthy — we’re giving everyone a fun way to pass the time and enjoy genealogy!

Using these tools, you can get to know your ancestors in a whole new way. Your old, faded, black and white family photos will come to life, in full color and sharp focus — making them look almost as though they were taken yesterday. We invite you and your followers to pull out your family photo albums today and join in the fun.

Please share this news on your social channels so your followers can make the most of this opportunity, and encourage them to share the results with their loved ones on social media. We know they’ll be blown away.

Keep safe and healthy,Daniel Horowitz Genealogy Expert

MyHeritage Logo Trans 208

MyHeritage (USA) Inc.,
2975 Executive Parkway,
Lehi, Utah

WSGS Blog and the Corona Virus

Well it looks like the readers of the WSGS Blog are getting back to reading the blog at work again. When the shutdown closed many non essential businesses the cities of Kent and Spokane Valley came to the top for readers passing Seattle and Spokane. Since the middle of June Kent seldom makes it in the top 25, and Spokane Valley has not even made the top 50 cities list. When MyHeritage had their European Conferences in 2019 the cities of Helsinki and Amsterdam have been near the top 25 cities. Both seem to be Bots as they stay zero seconds on the blog.

The top three most read Blog posts were my article on the Death of Myra Gormley, The Three Stooges Census collectors, and the Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week on Irish Roots.

We passed 900 subscribers a few weeks ago and EasyNet has worked on stopping the 150+ error messages I get each week saying some of the digests we send out on Wednesday night will be delayed.

Do you want to broadcast information about your local society, workshop, genealogical tip, or a research query? Just send it to the WSGS Blog and WSGS Meetings and Events! You can reach hundreds of genealogists from around the state. Just email a Word document, text file, or graphic to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org and WSGSWebManager@wasgs.org  and we’ll do the rest!

We’re always looking to publicize local events and workshops, feature stories, updates from your society, and other genealogical information that might be of interest to our many subscribers and viewers.

We hope to hear from you soon! And don’t forget to encourage your Society members to subscribe to the Blog for the most up-to-date information from around the state.

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

Myra Vanderpool Gormley

I first found Myra when I joined the Prodigy genealogy bulletin board in 1991. Myra was the genealogy expert there and every week she wrote an article on genealogy. I kept the articles and started indexing them, still have them on a floppy.

I was also going to the Family History Center (now Family Search Center) near me and as a new genealogist I was surprised when I found my Irish great grandmother’s surname was Vanderpool. My grandmother had told me all her ancestors were Irish, but Vanderpool is Dutch not Irish. Many of the early Vanderpool newsletters are on microfilm at Salt Lake and I was able to trace my Vanderpool’s back to John Jackie Vanderpool born in North Carolina about 1805. He is still one of my brick walls as I have never found any information on his parents. I did find his grandparents and they are also ancestors of Myra Vanderpool, so we are 6th or 7th cousins. I am pretty shy so I sent Myra an E-Mail with my findings and almost immediately got a reply welcome cousin. I joined the Vanderpool group and got their annual newsletter. A few years later I helped index all 40+ volumes of that newsletter. I still have that index here on my computer, but the sky index I used stopped working when I got Win 7.

I confided with Myra several times when something genealogical came up, first was when I sent my GEDCOM to a New England linage group and a month or so later that whole GEDCOM appeared on several online websites with all my living relatives still listed. I completely stopped doing any research and was close to quitting genealogy. Myra calmed me down and later on I did start researching again. It is interesting I see myself on Facebook when I see people wanting to keep their family tree private since someone had changed their online tree.

Second time was when I had the chance to do what our genealogical society calls research for others, I lookup local records in our library and courthouse and charge a small fee which actually goes to our genealogical society. I was thinking that would be a long term commitment, but Myra said I could quit at any time I wanted. I found I really like this volunteer job, I like being in a quiet archive all to myself doing research, and I am the third person in this job since WWII.

Myra was such a good writer and I am such a poor writer, but she always said write about what you know, so I am becoming a better writer. Thanks Myra.

Myra passed away from cancer on June 26, 2020 and I will miss my cousin and friend. Rest in Peace Myra.

Richard Eastman has a nice article on Myra here