QSL Card

The Seattle Genealogical Society receives many interesting and valuable donations. One such donation came in the mail from a gentleman in another state. Inside the letter was a post card with a photo of a man on it. The caption read “Old Man Ryan Ex US Navy.” Above his photo was a set of letters and numbers reading W7FSH. What is this? There were smaller words above the strange code that said: Amateur Radio Station.

The post card sent to us was a QSL card. A “calling card” for a Ham Radio Operator. Wikipedia says this about QSL cards: “it is a written confirmation of either a two-way radio communication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. The QSL card derived its name from the Q code ‘QSL’. A Q code message can stand for a statement or a question (when the code is followed by a question mark). In this case, ‘QSL?’ (note the question mark) means “Do you confirm receipt of my transmission?” while ‘QSL’ (without a question mark) means “I confirm receipt of your transmission.”.

According to a knowledgeable volunteer at Seattle Genealogical Society, the QSL card is used to confirm contact between two radio stations, in a creative, personalized way. This QSL card was telling the recipient “W8JPY” that W7FSH had not received the maps that he requested. Our volunteer explained that Ham Radio Operators exchange these cards not only to let the other operator know that they contacted one another, but as a “simple gathering of printed documentation of a ham’s communications over the course of his or her radio career” from locations all over the world.

The name under the photo “Old Man Ryan” has a special meaning also. Male radio operators are called “Old Man” while female radio operators are called “Young Lady”. Each operator creates a card with enough information on it so that the person receiving the QSL will know just where in the world they came from. As you can see on this card Mr. Albert H. Ryan used to be in the US Navy, lives in Seattle and his station call letters are W7FSH. The date that Mr. Ryan communicated with the station W8JPY (Mr. K.S. Vogt of the Tower Club at Ohio State University) was 7 April 1937.

QSL cards are still in use today and our volunteer has a vast collection of her own cards with one sent from Christmas Island!

Thanks to Mr. David Doss from Michigan for sending us this card and to A.W. for her explaining its significance to us.

Sue Jensen, Director of the Library, Seattle Genealogical Society

Looking for Authors for the Blog

A while back I asked our member about writing articles that might interest our subscribers, so far I have received one and it was the most read article that week.

The South King County Genealogical Society has been posting wonderful stories on their blog like this one so I will ask again, anyone have an article that might be interesting to our subscribers.

Find a Home for City Directories

Hi Donna,Our Library needs to get rid of some city directories.  Do you know anyone in WA or ID who has such a need?  Is this something appropriate to run in the Blog?  They are as follows:
Blackfoot, ID 1992; Everett, WA 1976; Flagstaff, AZ 1970; Idaho Falls, ID 1993; 1994Olympia, WA 1992; Pocatello, ID 1993; Port Angeles, WA 1993, 1994; Seattle, WA 1979, 1980; Vancouver, WA 1958, 1978; Wenatchee, WA 1979; Yakima, WA 1991, 1993.

Contact Janet Damm, Whitman County Genealogy Society,

Thanks for any suggestions you have, Janet

Lost Photos

WSGS has received a packet of photos from Shelley Cardiel in Portland, OR.   I’ve attached a compiled list of the photos. Some info is faint & difficult to read…   In addition I can scan them and place them on our website in the Gallery.

SCRIBE-ing Report

Reporting in again with a progress report on my SCRIBE-ing fun.

I’m proud to announce that I was number 142 on the list…. meaning that 141 folks had indexed more names than me. But you see I’ve risen up to number 84! So “only” 83 folks have done more indexing than me. I likely will never catch up with (WSGS Past President) Stephen Baylor or Charles Hansen but that’s okay. I’m SCRIBE-ing and that’s the point.

SCRIBE is the indexing opportunity afforded by the Washington State Archives. Google it to get yourself set up to contribute and you too will soon have happy news to report!

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 Sue Schack Jensen, Library Director at the Seattle Genealogical Society. Sue recently sent us two beautiful scenic photos:

  • Puget Sound and the Olympics from Myrtle Edwards Park, Seattle.
  • Olympic Mountains from the top of Capitol Hill, Seattle (pictured at right).

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 New Year

I want to wish all our readers a Happy New Year, and hope you have a Wonderful New Year.

Charles Hansen Blogmaster

This is a copy of a postcard to my grandmother in Sebeka, Minnesota. I could not read the date on the postmark, but my grandparents moved to Columbus Montana in the summer of 1910. The postmark is from Columbus Montana and came from my grandmother’s first cousin Minerva Eddy. Minerva’s mom Abigail (Hellenbolt) Eddy also lived in Columbus Montana. My grandmother Anna (Dillingham) Hansen’s mother Eliza Minerva (Hellenbolt) Dillingham was a sister of Abigail. I always wondered why my grandparents left Minnesota and four other Hansen brothers to move to Montana. I was pretty sure it was not because it was warmer like my uncle Ralph Hansen wrote in his memoir. So my grandmother had family in Columbus Montana.

New APG Officers Have Washington Ties

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) recently announced the results of its election for new board and nominating committee members.

Washington is well-represented at APG:

Click here for a complete list of the APG’s at-large board and nominating committee members.

The Association of Professional Genealogists, established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists in various genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring, and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members come from all fifty U.S. states, Canada, and forty other countries.

SCRIBE-ing it and lovin’ it!

WOWSERS. I’ve gone from being number 169 on the list to being number 114. That means with my relatively puny accomplishment number of 955, I’m still ahead of lots of folks and climbing up the Getting It Done Ladder. And it feels good. I shall likely never catch up to Rose or Stephen or Charles but it surely is a warm-fuzzy feeling to be paying it forward with SCRIBE.

Are you SCRIBE-ing it yet???