GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition April 9, 2020
Memberships will not expire during the crisis, and will be extended a month beyond the date of our re-opening. Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member! You may renew online with a credit card now; membership materials will be sent later after the closure ends. We are grateful for all your support.
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
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GFO Adapts to a Different World
GFO’s Italian Special Interest Group met online. Have you been feeling a bit numb? Being out of touch takes a toll. What a pleasure then it was to be able to see and talk to fellow GFO members. On Tuesday, Stephanie Silenti held the Italian Special Interest Group meeting online via Zoom video conferencing. And on Wednesday, the Library Committee got a chance to catch up in the virtual world too. Yes, we had a glitch or two. No one cared. We got to chat while we waited.
1-Library Video Meeting GFO’s Library Committee had a virtual meeting that cheered everyone up. Library Chair Laurel Smith said it felt very healing to finally see and talk with each other again. I couldn’t agree more. The GFO will have some more virtual special interest group meetings and you’ll get advance notice of them here. I hope you’ll take part and find them as valuable as I have.. We got a bit of good financial news in the last week. Ancestry and Fold3 have agreed to suspend our pricey contracts for as long as the library is closed. They’ll extend our subscription by an equivalent number of months. If you’re a member, we’d welcome your renewal online using a credit card. It would certainly help us to continue paying our rent. (This keeps 74-years of collected holdings safe and sound for the future.) You’ll still receive an extension of your membership once our shutdown ends, and membership materials will be sent later. (Sorry, please, no checks sent by mail to an empty library at this time.) ▪ Vince Patton GFO President
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Access Ancestry From Home For Free
We wish we had the website infrastructure to extend our library edition of Ancestry to you at home.
ancestry-logo2 MCL
Absent that, here’s the next best thing. If you live in Multnomah County, Oregon, or one of many of its surrounding areas, the Multnomah County Library is now offering you remote access from your computer. If you don’t currently have a card, you can learn how to get one online, here. Once you have your card, you can then use the Library’s Ancestry subscription.
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Virtual Events Galore
Virtual Events We might as well make the best of being stuck at home. What a great time to learn new genealogy skills! (Some of you already have. Please see the survey results below.) The genealogy conference website Conference Keeper has launched a new page dedicated to online events. Tami, the organizer of the site, is doing a great job compiling virtual genealogy lessons from all over the country. Many of them are free. Check this page and bookmark it. She updates it regularly.
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60 Minutes Features a New Method to Preserve History
Genealogists may be very interested in a report done by Leslie Stahl during the April 5, 2020, broadcast of CBS’s 60 Minutes. Stahl reported on the Dimensions in Testimony project designed by Heather Maio, who wanted to build upon the more than 55,000 stories of Holocaust survivors that have been recorded by Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation and take them a step further.
Lesley Stahl speaks with Aaron Elster’s digital image. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. The aim of Maio’s project is to preserve the stories of remaining Holocaust survivors in a way that allows them to directly answer future generations’ questions about their experiences. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence, coupled with advanced filming techniques, people can interview these survivors directly. In fact, Leslie Stahl “speaks” to one survivor, Aaron Elster, who passed away two years ago. The creation of this interactive video database involves meticulous work as well as extensive testing – even by school children. People who have used the system hint at the possibilities for genealogists and historians going forward. “There wasn’t one person, literally not one, that didn’t ask me if they could do a similar interview with either a loved one, [or] for themselves,” Maio said. She has started an independent company that is trying to expand the use of this technology. “Recording interviews with other historical figures like astronauts, and eventually with anyone at all.” To read the story or view the video, click here.
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Election: GFO Members Please Vote!
Vote We have an official ballot now for this year’s GFO Board election. Vince Patton is running for re-election as president. Alexa Waddle is running for secretary. Joyce Grant-Worley seeks re-election as a Director at Large. And Geoff Smith has offered to serve again on our Endowment Committee. While voting on a GFO election may not seem like a top priority right now, our bylaws require that the election be held. We are attempting to follow our bylaws despite the difficult circumstances. Only active GFO members are eligible to vote. The Forum Insider for April included online voting instructions.
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Hall of Fame Nominations Sought
cup-1010916 640 You have three weeks left to send us your GFO Hall of Fame Nominations! Any GFO member may nominate another member by May 1. Nominees must have a well-documented history of service, leadership, and accomplishment in more than one facet of the GFO, over a long period of time.
Please include:
* Name, list of services, activities, positions, and accomplishments;
* A narrative describing the nature of their work in terms of its importance to the success of the GFO;
* A short biography.
Please send to secretary@gfo.org by May 1.
The board will decide if any merit selection. Winners are awarded in June and receive a free Life Membership and their name on our Hall of Fame plaque.
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What’s New in Online Digital Resources
cable-4498741 1920 tip Since we are unable at this time to process new books and new digital content for the GFO Library, we will be temporarily suspending our “What’s New” weekly feature. In this time of physical distancing and responsible sheltering in place, we will instead share online resources so that you can reach out and connect as well as continue to learn and build on your genealogy skills from home.
This week, we present some leads from GFO Italian SIG leader Stephanie Silenti. In addition to Family Tree Webinars, which is offering a free webinar every day in April, there are even more to choose from. Here are three:
©2020 New York Genealogical & Biographical Society The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society is also offering many free webinars. They do ask you to register, but webinars in April are free.
© 1996–2020 New England Historic Genealogical Society. All Rights Reserved. In addition, the New England Historic Genealogical Society has several upcoming events that are free on the American Ancestors website. Click here to see a list of all their webinars and scan for the ones marked as “free.”
© 2020 Bode Cellmark Forensics, Inc. All rights reserved If you’d like to learn more about DNA and forensic genealogy, Bode Technology is offering a number of webinars, too.
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Support the GFO With Your Grocery Shopping
FredMeyer Rewards Wondering how you can support preserving our history while stuck at home? Here’s any easy way that doesn’t cost you any extra. Please register your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to link it with the Genealogical Forum of Oregon.
Each time you shop, Fred Meyer donates to the GFO, based on your spending. But it does not affect the price you pay. What a great win-win! We thank all of you who’ve done this already. It’ll help us to pay the bills that are still due monthly, even while we are closed.
Link Your Fred Meyer Card Here
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Survey Results: Acquiring New Skills
Some of our respondents shared information about new skills they’ve acquired during their time at home.
letters-2794215 1920 I watched 5 Top Websites to Decipher the German Handwriting. It introduced me to a couple of tools I didn’t know about. The webinar was free and I don’t know how long it may be available. I have been tracing some of the new information that My Heritage constantly turns out, only to find that the actual documents are often stored with FamilySearch which brings me right back to the GFO. I accidentally found important information on the Church History Library website from the LDS Church. This is different from the Family History Library, but both are located in SLC. The Church History Library is found across from the large Church Headquarters building and the Church Conference Center. I have not been there physically, but their online catalog can be very helpful. Watched a terrific free webinar on copyright by Judy Russell. It’s will make me think twice before I snag pictures from Find A Grave and newspaper websites and upload them to my Ancestry tree.
old-photos-1941272 1920 I learned some tricks for searching for the women in my lines from a webinar from the Florida Genealogical Society and watched several Rootstech presentations on German genealogy that were interesting. Colorizing black and white photos on My Heritage and creating a family tree, thanks to the GFO for communicating this temporarily free service! I have been studying BCG’s Genealogical Standards. The second edition came out in 2019. I have also been reading background material for pre-Civil War cousins from the south; just finished Slaves in the Family and am starting Mary Chesnut’s Civil War. I learned how to watch my ancestors on the FamilySearch tree so I know when changes have been made to them. Sometimes the change is record I don’t have. Sometimes it’s a mistake I can fix. I discovered I can also easily reach out to the person who made the change to see why they made it and find out if we’re related. Extremely valuable.
New Survey: Recent Discoveries?
philatelist-1844080 1920 Most of us are stuck at home, and most of those we’ve heard from tell us they are doing more genealogy than normal. We can all use a little inspiration, so, this week, we’d like you to tell us about a discovery you’ve made recently. Please share via our survey.
Take our survey now
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This week at GFO …
The GFO Research Library is closed, and all on-site groups, classes, and work parties are canceled.
Tuesday, April 14: 6 p.m.
GFO Board will meet by video conference.

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition April 2, 2020
Memberships will not expire during the crisis, and will be extended a month beyond the date of our re-opening. You may renew online with a credit card now; membership materials will be sent later after the closure ends. We are grateful for all your support.
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
GFO Remains Closed
Originally, we announced the GFO Library would be closed until April 1. Unfortunately, that’s not long enough. Medical experts currently say the peak of COVID-19 cases may come in mid- May. It will take several more weeks after that of steady decline before we can safely get together. If they’re wrong and it peaks earlier, we still have to wait for substantial declines, which could take weeks. ▪ Therefore, the only responsible thing to do is to close the GFO Library through May. ▪ Boot Camp is canceled, as are all Special Interest Group meetings. ▪ A few of our Special Interest Groups have expressed an interest in meeting online by video. Read the next article below for the first one!The Forum Insider for May and the Bulletin in June will be available only in electronic format.
We’re Minding Your Donations & Membership Dollars Safety is the first thing we consider in all our decisions during this pandemic. But we’re also trying to find ways to save money. It’s disheartening to pay monthly bills on a library we cannot open. We are fortunate to be all-volunteer. It would be much more complicated – and expensive – if we had employees. We’d like to publicly thank three vendors who have shared the pain with us to help save us money. Pacific Office Automation is giving us three free months on the lease of our copier. That machine is our workhorse, printing the Insider, Bulletin, and scanning thousands of pages in our digitizing project. It’s also our second largest expense. We agreed to an extended lease with them and they lowered our payments too, when we start paying again. Likewise, WAVE Broadband agreed to suspend our internet service while the library is in “hibernation.” AbeBooks, through whom we sell used books, has also refunded us monthly fees while we are unable to fulfill book orders. They all accepted less money knowing we’re bringing in less. Unfortunately, our landlord, NAI Elliott, only offered to delay payments until later, if we accepted a lease extension. They did not offer any actual savings. Since it does not help our bottom line, we declined. Suppliers of our pricey genealogy databases say they’re not able to suspend service. So, how do we stand overall financially? I’m confident we will weather this storm. That’s because previous GFO leadership saw the importance of creating an emergency reserve fund, and an Endowment. Thank you predecessors! We are setting the budget for the new fiscal year which starts in July. We are certain to need to draw from our reserves. The coming year will be one for tight belts. GFO’s Board will consider the budget at its meeting on April 14 (via video link) and I’ll report back to you after that. If you’d like to continue supporting us, we welcome any donations online with a credit card. Also, you may renew your membership (or join) online with a credit card. Your membership materials will be sent after the library reopens. We cannot accept checks at this time. Please don’t mail anything in; no one is there to receive it. Most important, be safe, and stay well. ▪ Vince Patton, GFO President
Italian Group Goes Virtual
GFO Italian Interest Group leader Stephanie Silenti passes on this invitation: It looks like we have a good amount of interest to move the SIG to digital/video next week, so let’s do it! I will figure out those details and get them out to you this week. For now, please hold our USUAL TIME SLOT for Tuesday, April 7, 10am PT, for a digital gathering. The topic, I think, will be twofold:
a. Check in, say hello, remind you that it’s COMPLETELY NORMAL if you’ve struggled to continue your research while we adjust to these new circumstances.
b. Sharing which genealogy resources have opened up for free in the last few weeks. There have been several. I will try to pull a list together but perhaps we can collaborate. Keep a list of any you know of, and we can share them on Tuesday. Also, if video meetings are new technology for you, don’t worry. This is how I earn a living — I do it daily. I’m confident we can get you all up to speed. If you would like to join in on this webinar, please email Italian@gfo.org.
ORForum—An Interactive Way to Get Answers to Your Genealogy Questions
Did you know that the GFO has an online community of members who can help answer your genealogy questions and point you to the resources you need? Or help you figure out the handwriting on a census or baptism record? Or even recommend a great place to eat when you visit Salt Lake City? If you would like to join this group or just check out the posts simply click below.
Go to ORForum
Flashback: 1918 Pandemic Shutdown
Here’s how the newspaper in Brownsville, Oregon, covered the 1918 pandemic shutdowns. Thanks to Linda Lewis McCormick from the local historical society there for finding this, and to GFO Members Don & Doxie Cook for passing it along.
GFO Board Election Now Open
We have an official ballot now for this year’s GFO Board election. Vince Patton is running for re-election as president. Alexa Waddle is running for secretary. Joyce Grant-Worley seeks re-election as a Director at Large. And Geoff Smith has offered to serve again on our Endowment Committee. While voting on a GFO election may not seem like a top priority right now, our bylaws require that the election be held. We are attempting to follow our bylaws despite the difficult circumstances. Only active GFO members are eligible to vote. The Forum Insider for April included online voting instructions.
Hall of Fame Nominations Sought
We are still looking for GFO Hall of Fame Nominations! Any GFO member may nominate another member by May 1. Nominees must have a well-documented history of service, leadership, and accomplishment in more than one facet of the GFO, over a long period of time.
Please include:
* Name, list of services, activities, positions, and accomplishments;
* A narrative describing the nature of their work in terms of its importance to the success of the GFO;
* A short biography.
Please send to secretary@gfo.org by May 1.
The board will decide if any merit selection. Winners are awarded in June and receive a free Life Membership and their name on our Hall of Fame plaque.
What’s New in Online Digital Resources
Since we are unable at this time to process new books and new digital content for the GFO Library, we will be temporarily suspending our “What’s New” weekly feature. In this time of physical distancing and responsible sheltering in place, we will instead share online resources so that you can reach out and connect as well as continue to learn and build on your genealogy skills from home. • In a recent GenealogyBank blogpost, Gena Philibert-Ortega describes five ways family historians can use library services even when the building itself is closed. Check out her entry entitled Genealogy during Quarantine: 5 Things to Do When the Library Is Closed. • How many of us wish we had a diary or journal from an ancestor who lived through the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic? The Genealogy Reporter, Amie Bowser Tenant has some suggestions for creating your own journal of memories related to our current Covid-19 experience in her post, Journaling about the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020. • Looking for fun ways to engage kids in finding family history? The National Archives is providing downloadable family trees and charts for kids of all ages. What a great way to spend some of your time with your loved ones in this time of physical distancing. While there, check out some of their other Educator Resources.
Survey Results: Spending Time
Just as we suspected, most of our survey respondents say they’ve been doing more genealogy during the current health crisis. Organization is high on the list. Here’s a sampling of what they’ve been doing:
Writing a family history of one of my ancestral couples. I also wish I had time to organize my files, etc. My room looks like I’m a CPA! Trying to read old French, Spanish and German documents.
Focusing on records I have collected but not put into my data base. Reading newly acquired reference books and preparing for upcoming presentations. Finding people to send old “non-family” photos to. Working on my Ancestry ThruLines, writing to DNA matches. I have been trying to get back to people who have contacted me from my DNA matches. It is hard to maintain ongoing conversations with all these people, but they are so important to moving my research forward. I’ve been researching, organizing, and reading the book “Tracing Your German Roots Online” by James Beidler. Investigating Family Tree webinars through the link the GFO provided (Thanks so much!).
This has given me a chance to catch up on some online classes. I am going through a lot of loose papers to extract information and organize things. I have a new great-grandson, and I have been working on a booklet for him. I am transcribing an old school/cemetery ledger book from 1871 to 1892 for our community. I’m finally taking time to watch some webinars, and I’ve begun to tackle the gargantuan task of organizing my digital images. Pounding my head on brick walls.
New Survey: Acquiring New Skills
Some of you told us you’re reading books, others are watching webinars. We love to hear about any new skills or tips you’ve learned in the last few weeks.
Take our survey now
This week at GFO …
The Week Ahead: The GFO Research Library is closed, and all on-site groups, classes, and work parties are canceled. Tuesday, April 7 10 a.m. – Noon Italian Special Interest Group meets by video conference. (See article above for details.)

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition March 26, 2020
Memberships will not expire during the crisis, and will be extended a month beyond the date of our re-opening.
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
You Are Not Alone
Sign in Ford Food & Drink cafe above the GFO. We are home.
All of us.
Living through one of the most significant events in world history. At the GFO we are more concerned than ever for the well being of you whom we serve. This week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown issued an Executive Order instructing everyone to stay at home, and closing all non-essential businesses. This means we will not re-open as hoped on April 1. Our shutdown is now indefinite. It’s vital that we protect each other by staying a safe distance from each other to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the midst of this great time of uncertainty, I think it’s worth reminding all of us that the history we preserve matters. Libraries like ours provide valuable spaces to gather. Unfortunately, that is a service we cannot fulfill at this time. Our collections contain our ancestors’ stories, and ours too, all saved for future generations. We will survive and return. In the meantime, we hear that a number of you are making some great genealogy discoveries as you have extra time for online research. As we hear about more online research opportunities, we’ll pass them on here in our weekly E-News and on our GFO Facebook page. The GFO has already begun looking at how this crisis will affect our budget. We’re spending money while unable to provide on site services. To that end, we’ve asked vendors and our landlord if they’ll offer any relief in the monthly bills we pay for services we’re not currently able to offer. Finally, I’d like to echo the message from a sign on the window of Ford Food and Drink, the café upstairs from the GFO: You Are Not Alone. ▪ Vince Patton, President
GFO Board Election Now Open
We have an official ballot now for this year’s GFO Board election. Vince Patton is running for re-election as president. Alexa Waddle is running for secretary. Joyce Grant-Worley seeks re-election as a Director at Large. And Geoff Smith has offered to serve again on our Endowment Committee. While voting on a GFO election may not seem like a top priority right now, our bylaws require that the election be held. We are attempting to follow our bylaws despite the difficult circumstances. Only active GFO members are eligible to vote. You will receive ballot instructions in The Forum Insider for April. Please note that the Insider is only being delivered electronically this month. Due to our closure, we are unable to print it.
GFO British Group Offers Resources Instead of Meeting
Our British Special Interest Group is offering links and resources in lieu of its usual meeting. Click on the link “England and Wales Civil Registration” for a free webinar, offered by FamilySearch. Before watching the webinar, you can familiarize yourself with what is available by going to the FamilySearch Wiki: English Civil Registration. Duane Funk, the leader of this group, is working on other resources to share. If you’d like to be added to his group’s email list, please contact him at uk@gfo.org.
1918 Flu Pandemic More Relevant Than Ever
Amid the current crisis, a number of stories have mentioned the 1918 flu pandemic. It was nicknamed the “Spanish Flu” despite the very first case being detected in Kansas. (New Yorker, 1997). GFO member pointed out a fascinating local Portland blog called Alameda Old House History, which recently focused on how hard that pandemic hit Oregon. In October of 1918, the city health bureau said that Portland remained dangerous. Of note, there was a ban on public gatherings. That sounds familiar. That ban was lifted and flu cases surged, increasing by 50% in one week.
Doug Decker is behind the Alameda Old House History website. He writes, “The first mention in the papers in early October 1918 was a simple sentence buried on an inside page: “Seattle thinks it is getting the flu.” At first, the news percolated in conversation and people weren’t sure what to make of it. Jokes were made in small talk:
Decker continues, “But on October 10th, Portland Mayor George Baker implemented an order that required downtown businesses to close by late afternoon each day, and completely closed “schools, churches, lodges, public places of meetings, and places of amusement.”
To read the complete blog entry, click here.
Text and images reprinted with permission of Doug Decker
American Ancestors Offers Free Organizing Guide
© 1996–2018 New England Historic Genealogical Society. All Rights Reserved. Now is your time to get a free digital copy of The Portable Genealogist: Organizing Your Research, from American Ancestors. “No matter how monumental the task of organizing your research may seem, a systematic method saves valuable time and creates more accurate work. This Portable Genealogist, [authored by Rhonda R. McClure, Genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society], offers practical advice on how to organize your research and files, keep track of families, and create goals to guide future research.
Even if you are a seasoned family historian, it’s not too late to incorporate these practices into your work!” Click this link and enter your email to receive a free copy of the guide.
Hall of Fame Nominations Sought
It’s time for GFO Hall of Fame Nominations! Any GFO member may nominate another member by May 1. Nominees must have a well-documented history of service, leadership, and accomplishment in more than one facet of the GFO, over a long period of time.
Please include:
* Name, list of services, activities, positions, and accomplishments;
* A narrative describing the nature of their work in terms of its importance to the success of the GFO;
* A short biography.
Please send to secretary@gfo.org by May 1.
The board will decide if any merit selection. Winners are awarded in June and receive a free Life Membership and their name on our Hall of Fame plaque.
What’s New in Online Digital Resources
Since we are unable at this time to process new books and new digital content for the GFO Library, we will be temporarily suspending our “What’s New” weekly feature. In this time of physical distancing and responsible sheltering in place, we will instead share online resources so that you can reach out and connect as well as continue to learn and build on your genealogy skills from home.
• Do you have kids or grandkids in your life, or even neighbors and friends with kids who are now coping with the challenges of being schooled at home? If so, the latest blog entry at Billion Graves: “20 Homeschool Genealogy Ideas,” may be a way that you can lend support to them and their parents with creative ways that they can incorporate genealogy in their lessons. • Starting on March 23, 2020, MyHeritage In Color™ will be free and unlimited for one month “to give people who are isolated at home a fun way to pass the time and enjoy genealogy. Colorized photos can be shared with the whole family, and can help you see your historical family photos in an entirely new way.” A weekly drawing for a free MyHeritage Complete subscription is being held for those who share their colorized photos online.
Survey Results: Preserving Research
Last week, we asked you about your plans for preserving or passing on your genealogical work. Only 63% of respondents say they’ve made plans. We hope those who haven’t will think about doing so. Please don’t let your hard work and discoveries end up in a landfill. Here are a few of the responses from those with a plan:
I am bequeathing it all to the one nephew in the family who enjoys genealogy. I’m also making sure the Family Bible record pages are donated to the GFO. All records are to be given to Salt Lake Mormon Library. Instructions have been included in our wills. I have written a series of books. Digital life changes so quickly that I fear what I produce there may not be accessible when the children grow up. It will be split between two relatives who really want it. I definitely need to update my will so that what I have written is preserved, even if the well-sourced chapters I have written and the documents to back up my research end up in boxes at the GFO.
Spread it out through my cousins Yes, BUT I’ve only half way implemented my plan. I have print outs of records plus copies of originals filed in binders. Each ancestor has their own plastic file in the binders. I maintain a running timeline summary with notes also for each ancestor and keep a copy in each file. I make binders for my sibling and my husband’s siblings so someone somewhere knows what I did. I’m sure there is more I could do and look forward to other people’s comments to see what ideas I might implement. Organizing my research materials so that my children will be able to understand what they are. Last year I sorted all the research materials for fifty years of work for my own family and the families of others. While staying at home for the current health concerns I want to finish that process and then move on to the pictures. The early pictures are scanned, but many more have been taken since the early 1990s.
My plans are still in progress. Part of my plan, is to give all my records to GFO. I’m trying to tie up loose ends, reduce my actual paper files, and prepare my records for the GFO. I hope that GFO sees themselves as being the repository for all their members’ work! Also, I would like to recommend the creation of some guidelines for members to get our records in the shape GFO would like to receive them in! I’m using Google Blogger to write about my ancestors. Each blog entry is about a different person on my pedigree chart, including their vital statistics, children, and a few paragraphs about their life (plus a list of sources). Whether or not my genealogy research papers and files get passed down, the blog should survive as long as there’s a Google!
New Survey: Safe at Home
Our question this week is about whether you’re spending more time on your genealogy lately?
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
The Week Ahead: The GFO Research Library is closed, and all on-site groups, classes, and work parties are canceled

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition March 19, 2020
If any membership expires during the time we are closed, the member will still be considered active for one month after the library re-opens.
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
A Message from GFO’s President
This is a tough time we’re living through. Our parents and grandparents survived through a decade of deprivations during the Depression and then faced even more during World War II. We’re living through a global calamity ourselves that rivals or surpasses anything in the last 100 years or more. Ironically, the best thing we can do to help each other is to stay apart. An epidemiologist in my family is very firm; we must stay home and away from other people. A journalist I know in British Columbia, Anne Casselman, put it very well. “Think of COVID19 as a fire. And each person who carries it is emitting all these embers that can in turn start their own fires. Social distancing starves the fire of new fuel and thereby extinguishes the flames.” Even people who are not at risk need to act for the most vulnerable members of society. To be honest, once the scale of this pandemic was clear, the decisions we made were clear cut. Here’s a quick rundown of the latest: * If your membership expires(d) during February, March, April, or until the closure ends, you will still be considered active for one month after the library re-opens. *The GFO is closed at least until April 1, likely longer. *Printing of the Insider is suspended. It will only be available electronically. *No volunteers are allowed in the library, even die hards with keys, who might wish to come in. *During the closure no memberships will be processed, no deposits will be made in our bank, and all book sales are suspended. * This week we changed our Membership Meeting for ballot nominations from in-person to a telephone conference call. * The Board Election ballot itself is going electronic. You won’t need to print it, then drop it off or mail it. If we’re still closed, we might not even receive print ballots in time. (GFO members will receive an email later with voting instructions.) * We’re going to use a video conferencing service so the board can meet safely from each of our own homes. Finally, I’m thrilled that African American Special Interest Group leader, Janice Sellers, has changed her presentation into a free webinar this Saturday. Read the article below. And sign up! I hope you are well and staying home to keep others healthy too. #dontbeaspreader —Vince Patton, GFO President
GFO’s Black Newspapers Lecture Moves Online
Special Webinar! We hated having to cancel the talk planned for Saturday about Using Online Historical Black Newspapers for Genealogical Research. Professional genealogist, and GFO African American Special Interest Group leader, Janice Sellers is moving this presentation online! Saturday, March 21, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Historical newspapers often provide key information needed to break through brick walls. Many historical Black and abolitionist newspapers are available online, with more being added. Most are on subscription sites, while some are free. This class provides an overview of the historical roles of Black newspapers, how they can be a substitute for missing vital records, what is online and where to find it, and strategies for access and searches. This way we can all be safe at home while we continue to learn.
Register for Webinar Here
By the way, Janice has another lecture available at Legacy Family Tree Webinars called Mining the Newspaper Databases on MyHeritage for Your Family History. It’s free as well.
GFO March Star: Anita Davidson
Anita Davidson Anita is a GFO research assistant who recently went above and beyond the call of duty. A generous woman in the area wanted to donate dozens of books to the GFO. Anita agreed to personally go to her home to pick them up. Upon arriving, she learned the woman wanted to inventory the donations first. Anita spent another hour with the donor creating that list on the spot. Then she brought six heavy boxes back to the library.

For this, the Board unanimously makes her our GFO Star for March. Thank you, Anita!
Hall of Fame Nominations Sought (Correction)
It’s time for GFO Hall of Fame Nominations! Any GFO member may nominate another member by May 1. (Date is correct now.) Nominees must have a well-documented history of service, leadership, and accomplishment in more than one facet of the GFO, over a long period of time.
Please include:
* Name, list of services, activities, positions, and accomplishments;
* A narrative describing the nature of their work in terms of its importance to the success of the GFO;
* A short biography.
Please send to secretary@gfo.org by May 1.
The board will decide if any merit selection. Winners are awarded in June and receive a free Life Membership and their name on our Hall of Fame plaque.
Copyright: Donna Cox Baker.
You are living history…
Reprinted with permission from Donna Cox Baker, The Golden Egg Genealogist. What would you give to have an in-the-moment diary from an ancestor who was living through a world disaster? Wouldn’t you cherish the opportunity to see it through their eyes? To know their hearts in a bad time? To watch it unfold, through the eyes of a person who didn’t know how it was going to turn out? We are living history. History books will devote energy to telling this story in hindsight, in generalities. They’ll describe it from the perspective of those who know how it turned out. We don’t yet have that luxury. Here is another worthwhile project to consider as we confine ourselves for the greater good. Think about a diary, written for your descendants. You can even write it as a letter–adding new thoughts as your experience unfolds. An open and honest look at what COVID-19 looked like the first time you saw it. What have your opinions been, and are they changing? Are you worried? Are you sick? Talk to them about the experience. Let them feel how this situation is unfolding in your home, in your town, in your state. Your descendants will treasure it. They won’t care if you are a brilliant writer. They won’t care if you overreacted or underreacted. Had a mundane or dramatic experience. They will care about you–as a person facing the unknown. If you wait until it’s over, hindsight will color your depiction. Start today, and let it unfold. Don’t edit it later. Keep it real, and make sure they can find it a hundred years from now. Take care, friends, and stay well.
What’s New in Online Digital Resources
Since we are unable at this time to process new books and new digital content for the GFO Library, we will be temporarily suspending our “What’s New” weekly feature. In this time of social distancing and responsible sheltering in place, we will instead share online resources so that you can continue to learn and build on your genealogy skills from home.
• While you’re protecting yourself and your community by staying at home, how are you filling your time? The Occasional Genealogist has lots of ideas for your family research. Check out: 5 Genealogy Tasks When You’re Stuck at Home • For tips on where to find Digital Historical Books online, see the latest entry at Empty Branches on the Family Tree: 5 Resources for Finding Digitized Historical Books Online
Survey Results:
A whopping 85% of respondents to last week’s survey said newspapers have been a valuable resource for solving genealogical problems. Here are some of the many responses we received (edited for brevity). We hope you find some helpful resources within these comments.
Using the Family History Center Portal, I found obituaries for two of my great-grandmothers. They both died young. I was pleased to learn more about each of them. Those small town newspapers are full of information.
I was unable to access the newspaper obituaries of my family in Vancouver, B.C., Canada online, but a local woman, found on Cyndi’s List, obtained copies for a very reasonable price. My great-grandparents were apparently a very loving little (very short) couple.
I finally found my ancestor’s village in Alsace mentioned in the obituary of the youngest son! The newspaper was accessible through the local library in Vincennes, Indiana.
Online Salem newspaper research and the Multnomah County Library online Oregonian databases have answered many questions. I’ve Interlibrary loaned many microfilm newspapers for many places including New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, and others I can’t remember. I LOVE newspaper research!
I found mention of my grandfather skipping out on a court care in North Dakota and fleeing to Montana where he was tracked down. It was in the Discover America’s Story Archive
I discovered what happened to my paternal grandfather who I could not find after 1912. He died and was buried in Mt. Angel in 1957. Thanks go to Knight Library in Eugene for their vast collections of newspapers.
I could not find what happened my gggrandfather. I searched (unsuccessfully) on GenealogyBank in his home state. I expanded the search to all states and eureka! IN another state, he had tragically died by drowning while walking on a frozen river. His brother tried to save him but had to watch him as he “sunk to rise no more.” What a dramatic end to my quest…now I had the date, place, and circumstances.
Finding a record of a divorce; Oregonian; Accessed at GFO using a website on GFO computers. Found the named individuals, date and place of the divorce decree.
I was stunned to find newspaper articles about my great-grandfather, an immigrant from Koblenz, Rhineland, who was a founding member of a floral society in San Francisco California. I had no idea he’d been west of St. Louis.
I had found a marriage license, but the return portion had not been filled out, so I didn’t know if the couple were actually married. In a digitized version of the newspaper on NewspaperArchive.com, I found an announcement that was published the day after the wedding with a full description, including the name of the officiant and the wonderful comment, “[A] large number of useful presents [were] given to Mr. and Mrs. Bender
© 2019 Wyoming State Library; all rights reserved. • In Wyoming NEWSPAPERS, I found my grandparents’ 1900 wedding announcement, and references to them “coming in from the ranch,” (I thought they lived in the city) and an article saying my grandfather was going to Oregon with the intention of relocating if he liked it. The real eye-opener was an article detailing the funeral service for my grandfather’s father. It named his surviving brother, who lived in Laramie since 1870s. I didn’t know he had a brother!! But now I know why their destination upon immigrating in 1888 was “middle of nowhere” Laramie, Wyoming. What a treasure that online site turned out to be. It led me to 3 different newspapers.
I was able to track down exact dates for events (in an ancestor’s autobiography) in newspaper articles thanks to the U of O Historic Oregon Newspapers collection. (I LOVE this resource!)
Old Fulton Postcards has a remarkable and freely accessible compilation of New York newspapers, and some beyond New York.
This wasn’t a genealogical problem so much as an amusing footnote, but I learned from some online historic issues of The Oregonian that my 3rd-great-grandfather ran twice for Polk County Commissioner on the Prohibitionist Party ticket (in 1900 and 1902). He lost both times, which might’ve had as much to do with his party affiliation as the fact that he actually lived in Yamhill County.
Repeated stories about my Oregon pioneer ancestors revealed to me small town life and how an ordinary person may hold many positions and be a force in the community. Who knew? Not me, the city dweller.
New Survey: Preserving Research
What will happen to your research when you die? Have you made plans to preserve all you hard work?
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
The Week Ahead:
The GFO Research Library is closed, and all on-site groups, classes, and work parties are canceled
Saturday, March 21st
African American Interest Group – Special Online Webinar 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Join Janice Sellers as she moves her planned presentation, “Using Online Historical Black Newspapers for Genealogical Research” to a webinar format. For details on content and how to register to connect to this free webinar, see the article above. Additional questions to: african_american@gfo.org.

Genealogical Forum Closes Until April 1

GFO Closes Library Until April
The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is immediately closing its library in Portland until April 1. We will re-evaluate that status later based on how the coronavirus progresses in our community. In addition, here is a full summary of all GFO Events canceled and rescheduled: ▪ Canceled Special Interest Group meetings and Volunteer Work Parties. ▪ Canceled GenTalk about PERSI on March 21. ▪ Rescheduled the free Genealogy Open House to Sept. 25-Oct. 4. ▪ Rescheduled the DNA Seminar with Karen Stanbary to August 8-9. Tonight the Multnomah County Library system announced it is closing all branches immediately. An epidemiologist I’ve personally consulted believes we should do the same. A majority of the GFO Executive Committee has agreed we should do the same. We need to control the contagion. If closing our library to the public helps to “flatten the curve,” as epidemiologists say, then we want to play our part.
Vince Patton
GFO President
The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is an all-volunteer nonprofit founded in 1946 which exists to promote, preserve and publish genealogical history.
The GFO operates the largest genealogy library in the Pacific Northwest and offers more than 150 classes each year.

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition March 12, 2020
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
Coronavirus Impacts: Open House, Seminar, SIGS, GenTalk
The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is actively monitoring communications from local, state and federal authorities about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Today, Oregon Governor Kate Brown instructed all groups in the state to cancel events hosting 10 people or more in high risk populations. Older adults are considered high risk. A large percentage of our members and SIG participants are older. Therefore, we have taken these actions: Canceled Special Interest Group meetings.
Canceled GenTalk about PERSI on March 21.
Rescheduled the Open House to Sept. 25-Oct. 4.
Rescheduled the DNA Seminar with Karen Stanbary to August 8-9. Those who have registered for the seminar remain registered for the future dates. All registered attendees will receive a direct email about refunds if they need them.
Courtesy Tri-Met The library typically attracts a minimal number of people and we believe it can remain open for the time being. At the GFO library, we are using disinfecting wipes on keyboards, mice, desktops, chair backs, and door handles multiple times a day. You can help keep us all healthy too. The Centers for Disease Control has some basic, effective prevention steps: ▪ If you or anyone in your household has a cough or feels sick, stay home. ▪ Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. ▪ If you do cough or sneeze into a tissue, wash your hands immediately for 60 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Please observe the steps in the following videos, released by the WHO, that provide instructions on how to properly wash your hands and disinfect your hands with sanitizer. It’s easy to forget to cough into your elbow, but it’s really important not to cover your mouth with your hand (and then touch surfaces others will touch), or worse, to cough out into the air. Experts say washing hands really does prevent epidemics. Let’s work together to keep all of us healthy.
Membership Meeting Will Happen March 21 in Much Smaller Form
Our bylaws require an annual Membership Meeting in March to finalize the ballot for the election of the Board. Given the circumstances, we are not asking you to attend. We are arranging just enough people to come as the bylaws require a nomination for Director at Large be made from the floor. This is the meeting at which the ballot for the upcoming Board election is finalized. We have a willing candidate for each of the three positions open this year: President, Secretary, and Director at Large.
Hall of Fame Nominations Sought
It’s time for GFO Hall of Fame Nominations! Any GFO member may nominate another member by April 1. Nominees must have a well-documented history of service, leadership, and accomplishment in more than one facet of the GFO, over a long period of time. Please include: ▪ Name, list of services, activities, positions, and accomplishments; ▪ A narrative describing the nature of their work in terms of its importance to the success of the GFO; ▪ A short biography. Please send to secretary@gfo.org by April 1. The board will decide if any merit selection. Winners are awarded in June and receive a free Life Membership and their name on our Hall of Fame plaque.
Have a Fun Genealogy Story? Share it with our Insider
We’re looking for stories for the May 2020 Insider issue at this time, and we need your help. What we’re looking for: genealogy and history- centric articles, tips, resources, ideas, serendipity stories, techniques, events, etc. Please email insider@gfo.org by April 4th to get your news and items of interest into May’s issue. Again, submissions are due by April 4th, please.
News from the Library
New Digital ContentBerks of OldCraig LinksEdgar NewsletterFrancisco Researcher [Francisco surname and variations] ▪ San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society, Inc. [bulletin]. New BooksThe Blows of yesteryear: an American sagaGenealogies of Hadley families: embracing the early settlers of the towns of Hatfield, South Hadley, Amherst and GranbyPainter familiesThe Descendants of Peter and Margaret Rankin: from Kilsyth, ScotlandStratton notesMonumental inscriptions of the parish church of St. Mary, Oakley: (Part only) ▪ Who was Ann GreggColonial tavern keepers of Maryland and Delaware, 1634-1776Chesapeake and Ohio Canal: a guide to Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Maryland, District of Columbia, and West VirginiaThe Civil War in Fairfax County: civilians and soldiersCommunities of kinship: antebellum families and the settlement of the cotton frontierA guide to researching land in Oklahoma at the Oklahoma Historical Society.Genealogical research guide to Reno County, KansasHughes County historyGhost towns and historical haunts in Arizona: Stories and photosBaker County [Oregon] links to the pastCamp Polk Cemetery, 1880-1999Monmouth, Oregon: the saga of a small American townCollected memories: Umatilla Tales from the past: pioneer stories of the lower Willamette Valley
Surplus Book: New York Buildings Before 1800
This week’s surplus book has a truly self-explanatory title: Historic Buildings Now Standing In New York Which Were Erected Prior To Eighteen Hundred. However, the “now” in that title is a bit dated, because this book was printed in 1914. This is a fun piece of pictorial New York history with photos on almost every page, accompanied by descriptions of the truly old buildings of New York.
It’s a thin volume, 45 pages, and its cover is a bit tattered, its spine taped to keep it intact. Pages inside are crisp and as vibrant as when they were printed.
This booklet contains library marks and a label. Price for pickup at the GFO: $18
Price to ship to you: $24 If you’re interested, please contact booksales@gfo.org.
Survey Results:
Last week, we provided a list of research locations and asked what percentage of respondents had been there. Respondents were allowed to select more than one answer, and the percentages have been rounded. 75% Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah)
61% National Archives (Washington, DC)
32% NEHGS Library and Archives (Boston, MA)
32% National Archives (other locations)
25% DAR National Library
21% Allen County Public Library (Ft. Wayne, Indiana)
11% Mid-Continent Public Library (Independence, Missouri) Many of the respondents wanted to go to the places in the survey again. But here are the places mentioned that were not listed above: ▪ Musselman Library in Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania ▪ National Records of Scotland to research my Scottish connections ▪ New York State Archives ▪ Fayetteville Arkansas Archives and the Fayetteville Library ▪ The Newberry Library was a good one. ▪ Richmond Virginia it was a treasure trove of Virginia history. They have a fantastic archive. ▪ I’ve also visited the Oregon State Archives and the Minnesota Historical Society Library ▪ Indian and Colonial Research Center, Connecticut. A hidden gem with an amazing resources for a researcher with extensive CT and RI ties as well as Indian ancestors. ▪ University of Washington Libraries. ▪ Anything in England, now that I know where we came from. ▪ Tennessee State Archives ▪ I want to go to New England, so pretty much any library or archive there. ▪ The Fiske Library in Seattle because it is relatively nearby and I have never been there.
New Survey: Newspapers
Newspapers can be a great resource. This week, we’re asking if they’ve helped you solve any genealogical puzzles.
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
Sunday, March 15th
Library Work Party – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
We’ll be working to digitize more periodicals while we have fun chatting about genealogy. We will make sure everyone sits three feet apart, in accordance with state recommendations.
French Canada Group CANCELED Per Governor’s Instruction.
The group leader is Bob LaMarche. FrCan@gfo.org
Wednesday, March 18th
DNA Q&A – CANCELED Per Governor’s Instruction
Leader: Lisa McCullough dna_qa@gfo.org
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition March 5, 2020
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
GFO Postpones Open House Due to Coronavirus Concern
After weeks of telling you how excited we were about our upcoming Open House, we have now made the difficult decision to postpone it until this fall. The COVID-19 outbreak caused by the coronavirus in the Portland area has many people worried about gathering for public events. We share that concern. It does not make sense to host an event that people may be afraid to attend. We will let you know when we have new dates set.
Coronavirus Prevention In Full Swing at GFO
Courtesy TriMet We also want you to know we are taking the advice of medical experts. Our volunteers are wiping down surfaces that people touch with disinfecting wipes multiple times a day. This includes computer keyboards, mice, printers, and door handles. Hand sanitizer bottles now sit in several locations throughout the library. We ask you to do your part too. Doctors advise: ▪ If you or anyone in your household**** has flu-like or respiratory symptoms (fever, coughing, or shortness of breath) please stay home. ▪ If you cough or sneeze in the library, please do so into your elbow, not into your hand. If you have tissue in your hand and cough into it, please immediately wash. ▪ Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Since the library typically attracts small numbers, members have felt comfortable coming in. We are following the advice of health authorities in order to continue offering our services. Special Interest Groups may decide to postpone meetings. Please check the GFO Calendar before you come in for any SIG gathering.
Update: Spring Seminar Sunday Full, Saturday Still Has Seats
We had a hunch that DNA would be a popular topic for our Spring Seminar, and we were right. The Sunday half-day seminar is full! If enough of you join the wait list, we may be able to find another venue. Sign the wait list right away so we can gauge the interest. (Click the Register button below, then scroll down to add yourself to the Wait List.) Saturday’s full-day seminar still has seats in our ample auditorium at SEI.
We hope you will join us for our 2020 Spring Seminar, Nationally-known genetic genealogy author and educator Karen Stanbary, CG®, MA, LCSW brings her “Solve Puzzles with DNA,” lectures to Portland on April 4 & 5.
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). Classes include:
* Tips to Manage Conversations about Unexpected DNA Results:
* The DNA You Need – Elements of Creating a Testing Plan: Who to Test and Why
* Avoiding Common Mistakes When Working with atDNA:
* Spit and You Shall Find! Autosomal DNA Identifies a Charming Scoundrel The Sunday half-day classes on April 5 will be held at the GFO from 9:30 a.m. – Noon. Karen will focus on two complex case studies. Download the Seminar Flyer for more details.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about solving those genealogy puzzles with the use of DNA.
Surprise! App Reveals GFO Leaders are Fifth Cousins
Loretta Welsh and Laurel Smith, both GFO board members, discovered at Roots Tech they are fifth cousins. Chalk this up to the wonders of modern technology. GFO Library Chair Laurel Smith attended the giant RootsTech conference last week and agreed to allow the FamilySearch app Relatives Around Me to access her online tree to see if she had any shared matches who were also attending the conference. 10,000 people were there in Salt Lake City using the app. Relatives Around Me said Laurel was linked to more than 4,000 of them. When it revealed her very closest match among those, Laurel was dumbfounded. The app pointed her to Loretta Welsh, who has worked with Laurel at the GFO since 2011! Both serve on the GFO Board of Directors. Now after 9 years of knowing each other, they also know they are fifth cousins. Time to cue up the It’s a Small World music!
Volunteer Opportunities – Research Assistants and Receptionists
One of the most impressive things we do is keep a library open seven days a week without a single paid employee. It’s a real tribute to all our volunteers who care so much. We need a bit more help keeping the library staffed, especially during the upcoming Open House when expect more visitors than usual. No prior experience is needed; we will train you on the job. If you can help for half a day, once or twice a month, please contact Alice Duff, our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@gfo.org.
Volunteer Opportunities – Digitizing Periodicals
I’m asking for your help in digitizing GFO’s periodicals collection. There are several steps to the process (preparation, scanning, PDF processing), and one of them is probably right up your alley. Monday and Tuesday, March 9 and 10, I will be providing training for anyone who’d like to know more. Sessions are scheduled from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Once you know the process, you could continue helping on your schedule, anytime the library is open. Please join the GFO library team in preserving content, making records more accessible, and clearing space on our packed library shelves. Laurel Smith
Tip: Check Out Mountain West Digital Library
Here’s a collection that those researching in western states should know about. Mountain West Digital Library is a portal that links you to digital collections in Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, and other parts of the U.S. West. “Other parts” includes Oregon. Here’s a sampling of the Oregon content: A selection of historical maps from the Oregon Highway Department
An enormous collection of yearbooks from Oregon State University Numerous photograph collections at the University of Oregon, including:
* Angelus Studio photographs, 1880s-1940s
* C. L. Andrews photographs, 1880s-1948
* Charles W. Furlong (1874-1967) photographs, 1895-1965
* Lee D. Drake (1882-1957) photographs, ca. 1910-1957
* Frazier Augustus Boutelle photographs, c. 1865-1900 University of Oregon has collections from the African Studies Program, the Center for Asian Pacific Studies, and the Latino Roots Program as well as personal papers, family papers, and manuscript collections.
News from the Library
New Books A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City A Troublesome Commerce: The Transformation of the Interstate Slave Trade Abuse and mMurder on the Frontier: The Trials and Travels of Rebecca Hawkins, 1800-1860 East Hampton: A History and Guide Freedom at Risk: The Kidnapping of Free Blacks in America, 1780-1865 Front Line of Freedom: African Americans and the Forging of the Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley Hirelings: African American workers and free labor in early Maryland Index to West Virginia estates before 1866 Speculators and Slaves: Masters, Traders, and Slaves in the Old South The Bayfront Book: Coastal Histories The King’s Best Highway: The Story of the Post Road from Boston to New York, the Forgotten Road That Made America The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century The Price of Freedom: Slavery and Manumission in Baltimore and Early National Maryland The Puritan Family: Religion & Domestic Relations in Seventeenth-Century New England The Ragged Road to Abolition: Slavery and Freedom in New Jersey, 1775-1865 Travels in the American Colonies War On All Fronts: Oregonians Remember the Second World War Wayward Puritans: a Study in the Sociology of Deviance
New Digital Content None this week.
Surplus Book: Map Guide to Censuses 1790-1920
Genealogists know that location matters. But county lines have changed a lot. We need to know where our ancestors were living and what that area was called back then. This is an incredibly handy guide to solve those mysteries. Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses 1790-1920 includes maps for all 50 states, displaying old county borders and names
and the newer ones that replaced them. Flip to the state you’re curious about and you’ll find your county markings instantly. William Thorndale and William Dollarhide published this 420 page book in 1987.
Our copy is in mint condition.
Online copies of this book sell for $30 in fair condition. Ours is pristine.
Pick up at the GFO price: $20
Ship to you price: $30 If you’d like this handy reference guide, contact booksales@gfo.org.
Survey Results:
Last week, we asked about how many different regions of the world respondents have been told that they are from. The answer varied significantly from question to question:
Additionally, we would like to apologize for using the term “ethnicity” rather than speaking of regions of the world. Ancestry.com also uses “ethnicity” for its test results, while 23andMe uses “origins” and FamilyTreeDNA uses “ancestry composition.” One respondent was kind enough to point out the inaccuracy of “ethnicity” in their response; here is that response, in addition to some others we received: ▪ The word Ethnicity is a social construct and not a scientific one. Too many people mistake the DNA percentages as ethnicity when they are really admixture, bio-geographical or regional comparisons. The public needs to be educated on using the correct terms. I feel it is GFO’s responsibility to do so along with it’s members. After all, what makes one Irish or Swedish…is it because family lived there for 100 or more years? How can you call a person who has half their family white and half black …or even a drop of African heritage…as African American? We need more sensitivity and just state that they have ancestors from various REGIONS of the world. I know two people who are from England and look VERY English, but the Y-chromosome is African. He has no features similar to Africans, so he is considered white. Please do not use the term ethnicity; it’s better to even say cultural groups for your survey. Thank you. ▪ The stories were confirmed by the genealogy research and both were confirmed by the DNA testing. ▪ My ethnicity is Western European: German, French and Scots-English. DNA tests corroborated genealogy research and family stories. ▪ The “ethnicities” in the DNA tests are the most useless part (even if they are what helps sell them), so I don’t count them as anything other than white noise or cocktail party conversation. ▪ DNA can bring some real ethnic surprises. A very small amount of Black showed up in my sisters, second cousins and myself. Also a bit of Jewish and Native American where it comes from is a bit of a mystery. Our mother’s family was from Virginia and had been slave owners. The Jewish possibly came from dad’s Eastern European folks on his mother’s side is my guess. Sis and I are having a good laugh over it because mom was very adamant there was no Indian in her family and that grandpa was “black Irish” he had a dark complexion with black hair. Also how dare anyone think there was any thing but English and Irish in her back ground? We think it’s a real hoot for that reason. So much for family stories. ▪ Discovering the different ethnicities based on DNA has taken my research in a different direction–which has led to some successful discoveries. ▪ Fascinating to see that my ethnicity is more diverse than I’ve found or been told. But then, I don’t have all my ancestors for the last 200 years discovered yet! Do you? Onward …
New Survey: Must-visit Destinations
Which major libraries and archives for genealogy have you visited? And which one is on your list to visit next?
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
Saturday, March 7th
Virginia Interest Group 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
June Ralston Anderson will join us to discuss
finding Scottish ancestors and will focus on beginning research in the US with online resources such as source finding aids, repositories, and libraries. Some examples of what you may find will be shown. There will be information about why the history of the pertinent times is very important. The talk will include some key historical events centered around those leading to both emigration and immigration; the push, pull events of geographers. For those with very early immigrants, some helpful websites and sources will be shared as will some of June’s favorite resource books.
If you would like more information about this group or have questions, please contact Judi Scott and Carol Surrency at virginia@gfo.org and see our blog at Virginia Roots and Vines.
German Interest Group 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Our aim is to be a source of information and inspiration for anyone with German speaking ancestors as we focus 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.
For questions and information, contact german@gfo.org.
Sunday, March 8th
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.
Monday & Tuesday, March 9th & 10th
Digitizing GFO’s Periodicals Training
Please see the times and description above.
Wednesday, March 11th
Work Party – Digitizing Periodicals 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Come and help us preserve the periodicals!
We’ll be working to prepare periodicals for scanning and doing some scanning too! 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.
Portland Mac Users Group College 6:00 – 7:55 p.m.
Topic: Get creative with Apple’s free apps: Pages, Numbers & Keynote
To register: Call 503-228-1779; Email: college@pmug.org. Bring your Mac/iPad to participate with instruction. If you would like additional info for attending this class, please email us
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.

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!
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
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 booksales@gfo.org.
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, gophergenealogy.blogspot.com, 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 Ancestry.com 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 Ancestry.com 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 Italian@gfo.org
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. learnandchat@gfo.org
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? dna_qa@gfo.org
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.

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday 2020 E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition February 20, 2020
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!
gfo.org | 503-963-1932 | info@gfo.org Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
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.
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: DN Day,
Sunday, March 15: Software Day
Wednesday, March 18: Irish Day & 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. Join us!
GFO Star Lynn Rossing
Congratulations to our GFO Star of February, Lynn Rossing!
When a call went a few years ago for someone to lead GFO’s Illinois Special Interest Group, Lynn immediately volunteered. She expanded the group’s focus to include all the Great Lakes states and has been presenting topics of interest regularly ever since. Lynn has moved away from Oregon now, but we would like to recognize her for the work she’s done as a SIG leader, and as an Research Assistant. Thank you Lynn!
GFO Needs Your Help: Marketing and Grant Funding
Do you have experience in marketing, finding sponsors, or applying for grants? The GFO is looking for two or more volunteers to lend a hand with these vital functions. The GFO is small nonprofit run entirely by volunteers. To be really blunt, our president is wearing too many hats. He, and we, need help. We’ve long taken pride in being an all-volunteer organization without a single paid staff member. That can make it difficult to spread the word of all that we offer (52,000 holdings, 150 free classes every year, etc!). Marketing entails maintaining our Facebook page, submitting our events to a variety of websites, and producing occasional press releases. It’s time to think a bit bigger; for that we’ll need some grant funding. This is an area where we really need the help of someone with some experience. Or, perhaps you’ve helped find sponsors for small local events. Our seminars could definitely benefit from with help in this area. Please contact Vince Patton at president@gfo.org if you can lend a hand. Together, we can expand knowledge of GFO’s wonderful resources and remain relevant in this modern era.
GFO Member Authors Book about Oregon Pioneers, Donates to GFO
We were so pleased to hear from Phyllis Naish the other day. She finished her book, Westward Ho The Williams: On The “1841 Team” To Oregon, and she’s generously offering to donate 10% of the sale price for any copy that a GFO member or friend buys.
For the GFO to get the donation, you’ll need to send a copy of the receipt to Phyllis at pnaish@aol.com. She asks you to please mention the GFO in the email subject line. The book offers a “daily view of the pioneers on the 1841 wagon train from Missouri to Oregon. It shows how they lived and what they endured through five long months of walking over 2000 miles in the heat and cold.” It’s available on Amazon. Also, please don’t forget to shop via smile.amazon.com and set the GFO to receive a donation each time you shop.
News from the Library
New Digital ContentBoggess Family Association Newsletter
Boggs Newsletter
Diablo Descendants (Contra Costa County, California)
Roots ‘n’ Gold Dust (El Dorado County, California)
New BooksAlbion, Washington
• Colfax 100 plus
Ernst’s [John Ernst’s family history]
• Jacksonville, Oregon: antique town in a modern age
• Jacksonville: a living legend
• Little Whale Cove and surrounding coastal headlands
• Louie Simpson’s North Bend
• Murder, morality and madness: women criminals in early Oregon
• Railroads of the Columbia River Gorge
• Records of the Particular Court of Connecticut, 1639-1663
• Settlers as conquerors: free land policy in Antebellum America
• The frontier in American history
• The Jesuits in old Oregon, 1840-1940
• The mill in the brush: a biography of Eugene F. Burrill, Oregon logger & lumberman
• The Swedes of Oregon
• The tall firs: the story of the University of Oregon & the first NCAA basketball championship
• The way of duty: a woman and her family in revolutionary America
• The Williamite confiscation in Ireland, 1690-1703
• When Silverton was young
• Winthrop’s Boston: portrait of a puritan town, 1630-1649
Surplus Book: History of Spokane County
In 1900, Rev. Jonathan Edwards published An Illustrated History of Spokane County, Washington. He assembled a truly impressive tome, running 726 pages. It includes photos and a fold-out map. Edwards writes in a preface, “We have conscientiously avoided indulging in eulogistic references, especially to the living, because we do not believe that to be the province of the historian.”
With a handsome leather cover and gilt page edges, this book as seen better days. Its spine has damage and has been taped in places. However, all the pages feel securely attached and there are no visible marks of any kind inside. We have found other copies of this book selling online for $40 to $190. (Don’t be fooled by newer reprints which are cheaper). Our price to pick up at the GFO: $25
Our price to ship to you: $35 If you’re interested in this first edition of Pacific Northwest history, contact booksales@gfo.org.
Survey Results: Finding Cousins
A whopping 76.3% respondents reported that finding distant cousins has paid off, 15.8% replied “maybe,” and 7.9% said finding cousins reaped no benefits. Here are some of the responses, consolidated and edited for brevity:
Finding distant cousins has been wonderful. I now have a photo of my immigrant great-great-grandparents thanks to one cousin, and multiple photos of another great-great-grandfather from two others. Cousins have also helped me identify unknown people in photos I have. Holy Cow! I have found so many distant cousins! Jim B. contacted me about 1994 because of something I had posted on Rootsweb. We began sharing information which has helped to knocked down some brick walls! Over the years, Jim has sent me copies of his great-grandfather’s notes about his father and a huge package, which included a memoir written by a great-uncle or great-grand uncle, whose father participated in the Oklahoma Land Rush. The memoir went into great detail. I learned more about the Oklahoma Land Rush than I would have reading history books. Best yet, the memoir mentioned Jim’s ancestor coming to Oregon and Washington and visiting his favorite aunt, my great-great-grandmother. Years ago, I made contact with my great-grandmother’s niece. She was in her late 80s then, and she told me that she had a painting hanging on her wall of her grandparents on the day they were married. (That would be the photograph of my great-great-grandparents!) I learned that my 3rd great-grandfather was married twice. This solved a lot of questions when I found what turned out to be additional children.
For sure. Years ago, through the RootsWeb mailing lists, now through DNA. I’ve found cousins in Ireland, England, and Germany. The most recent connection was via DNA that broke through a 20+ year brick wall. I’ve found distant cousins right at the GFO library! I go to meetings every month for the French-Canadian SIG, and we all share common ancestors. The first time I attended, I learned that one woman’s last name is the same as my grandmother’s maiden name. Although that common ancestor was quite a few generations back, I was able to find that we connect in about 18 other places on our pedigree charts. So how has it paid off for me? My distant cousins are my friends! I’ve spent time visiting cousins all over the country. They have helped me break through some very difficult brick walls. Many of them are good friends now … especially my 96-year-old 3rd cousin, twice removed, from Colorado Springs. We learned a great deal of information about their lives and interests and a relevant Family Bible. But mostly we have met a bunch of really neat and interesting people and have become good friends with several.
Corrections to the location of collateral lines. Sharing of photos (both ways) of ancestors. The burial location of 2nd great grandparents. I could go on and on. I met a very distant cousin that sent me a photograph of my 4th great grandfather… wow, just brought tears to my eyes. Even closer cousins who have taken DNA tests at ancestry.com have been beneficial. Some cousin matches go way back to the 1600s. Having a well-established personal family history database is essential to determining how we are all related. I just wish I had more time to spend on this work.
New Survey: Cousin Bait
Having established that finding cousins can be very beneficial, how do you go about finding them? Do you use “cousin bait?” What bait do you use, and has it been successful?
Take The Survey
This week at GFO …

Saturday, February 22nd
DNA for Beginners 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
This presentation will help testers use a spreadsheet for genetic genealogy at the beginner level and help you use Half-identical Regions to discover the common ancestral couple you share with your DNA matches.
Emily will discuss downloading the matches and segment lists from the major DNA testing companies and how to use a spreadsheet to organize the information to connect to a common ancestor. Herb Femling, our local expert on spreadsheets, will answer any questions you have at any level.
Download the handout, here. If possible, download your Matches segment lists before class in case you have questions for Emily and Herb. Send questions on spreadsheets at least three days prior to the meeting. Email them to Emily at dna@gfo.org.
Sunday, February 23rd
An Advanced Excel Workshop Tutorial 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.*
Professional genealogist Mary Kircher Roddy, CG® presents a half-day workshop for experienced spreadsheet users who want to learn more tricks to utilize spreadsheets in genealogy. Including incorporating color in worksheets, splitting columns, wrapping text, freezing panes, sorting, filtering, and more. We will discuss work-arounds for date issues in Excel. We’ll also cover importing data from websites including Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, and other sites. Participants should bring their fully charged laptops loaded with Excel.
*Note this class starts at 9 am sharp, earlier than normal and runs longer than usual to 12:30 p.m.
Registration for this event is closed – Workshop is full.
Wednesday, February 26th
PMUG College: Mac Photos 101 6:00 – 7:55 p.m.
To register: Call 503-228-1779; Email: college@pmug.org. Bring your Mac/iPad to participate with instruction. If you would like additional info for attending this class, please email us. Free to GFO and PMUG members.
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.