Friday Serendipity

There are several pioneer associations and groups in our state. Perhaps you already belong to one or more of them?

There is the Daughters of the Washington Pioneers.  The Clark County Genealogical Society (Vancouver, WA) has two filing cabinets or their materials including membership applications. Membership in this group has declined and they are on the brink of big change, Lethene Parks, Librarian of CCGS told me. Her group has plans to work with the group and hopefully digitize and post online an index to those files.

There is the Pioneer Association of the State of Washington. Organized in 1871, this group is headquartered in the Fiske Library building and maintains its reference library there. Contact for more information.

And there is the Sons and Daughters of the Oregon Pioneers, which, since Washington was part of Oregon Territory, this can include Washingtonians. To be eligible to join this group, your ancestor must have arrived into the Oregon Territory before statehood on 14 Feb 1859. (That’s 30 years before Washington statehood.) Google it for more information.

Lastly, WSGS offers Pioneer Certificates and First Citizen certificates and recognition.  Click to that information.

Friday Serendipity

Way, way back in June 2015, David Rencher was the speaker at the WSGS/Kittitas County Gen Society’s conference. Anybody remember?

With his teaching remarks, he introduced to us the concept of “framing the problem.” And framing it correctly. He began by teasing us with, “have you a tough genealogy problem? Worried you won’t solve it in your lifetime? Do you keep doing the same-old-same-old things and wondering why you have no new conclusions or answers?”

He then explained that you must “frame the problem differently.” Simply put, how to look at the problem differently. He showed three photos of the Golden Gate bridge……

If you’re driving on the bridge, you see the bridge from that angle only. If you’re boating on the bay, you see the bridge from that angle only. And if you’re flying overhead, you will see the bridge from that angle only. 

His point with these images of the Golden Gate bridge is that, with regards to your tough genealogy problems, you’re looking at the bridge from your angle. That’s all you see. But if you were to see it from a boat or from the air, you’d have an entirely different perspective.

“To solve a tough problem,” he said, “You must frame your picture differently.” 

Towards the finale of his talk, David quipped, “I know where lots of my ancestors aren’t because I’ve looked there!”

Friday Serendipity

Not selling you a darn thing today but I am singing the praises of a genealogy tool that I’ve had for a year and am finally putting to good use. That would be a Flip-Pal.

Probably like you, I had a couple of shoe boxes full of family photos….. photos that only I knew who they were and photos not attached digitally to their family. Photos destined for a black garbage bag.

Took me less than a day to sit and scan all those photos with my Flip-Pal. They are scanned onto a teeny chip, which is then inserted into your computer and then you can save/place the images wherever you wish. Lift the lid, lay the photo on the screen, close the lid, press go. Easypeasy. 

And now hubby’s cousins are talking a First Cousins Only reunion in 2018. Light bulbs are going off! I’m going to ask them to bring their old family photos and I will scan them in so as to share with everybody. Hallelujah!

To me, a big flatbed scanner is not the tool for the job because it takes much longer and I wanted each photo to be scanned individually. So, dear reader, take my words of experience or not. But if you want, just Google Flip-Pal.

Friday Serendipity

Hi Donna, I finished up the six bound volumes of Stevens County Commissioners Minutes and they are now online at the Washington State Digital Archives.  Pass the word along,     Sue Richart
Stevens County Commissioners’ Minutes include authorization for roads, schools, election precincts, the appointment of officials, income and expenses of the county including court costs, coroner expenses, early assessment information, and miscellaneous expenses.  The images are arranged by date and available online at the Washington State Digital Archives.
Book A covers from 1860 to 1887.  This includes the original Spokane County with its courthouse at Pinkney City covering from the Columbia River, north of the Snake River and to the summit of the Rocky Mountains encompassing Adams, Ferry, Franklin, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Stevens, Whitman, northern Idaho, and briefly western Montana.  In January 1863, Stevens County was created from the Columbia River to the summit of the Cascade Mountains north of the Wenatchee River, but it never organized.  In January 1864, Stevens County and Spokane County were merged and the new Stevens County covered the area between the Idaho Territory and the Cascade Mountains north of the Snake and Wenatchee rivers encompassing current counties of Adams, north half of Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Stevens.  In November 1871, Whitman County was created and it included current Adams, Franklin, and Whitman counties.  Stevens County then encompassed the current north half of Chelan, Douglas, Ferry, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Stevens.  In October 1879, Spokane County was re-created.  Stevens County then consisted of the current north half of Chelan, Ferry, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, and Stevens counties.  In late 1883, the Stevens County Courthouse moved three miles from Pinkney City, previously renamed Colville by the Washington State Legislature, to the current City of Colville.  Book A is fully extracted and copies of the extraction are available through the Stevens County Historical Society, Northeast Washington Genealogical Society, and Eastern Washington Genealogical Society.
Book B covers from 1887 to 1893. In February 1888, Okanogan County was created. Stevens County then consisted of the current counties of Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens County.
Book C covers from 1894 to 1899.  In February 1899, Ferry County was created.  Stevens County then consisted of the current counties of Pend Oreille and Stevens.
Book D covers from 1899 to 1905 and the county area encompassed by current Pend Oreille and Stevens County
Book E covers from 1905 to 1909 and the county area encompassed by current Pend Oreille and Stevens County.
Book F covers from 1909 to 1911. In March 1911, Pend Oreille County was created leaving only current Stevens County.
How to get to the images.
Collections tab
Under Collections Online click on Minutes and Meetings Records
Go to Stevens County Board of Commissioners, Meetings, 1860 – 1913
You can browse the collection or search for a date range.

Friday Serendipity

Ever heard of the Heritage Network here in Washington? Think it’s something you, and your genealogical society, might ought to look into?? Any organization dedicated to preserving and promoting historical resources is an organization you might want to support.

Click to TheHeritageNetwork  for more information.

Friday Serendipity

Did anybody take advantage of the subscription offer from Rick Cree of Internet Magazine?????? YOU, right along with WSGS, would benefit!

Hi Donna,  This is a great idea.

I have temporarily reduced the one year new subscription price to $20, but normally it is $27.95. Just so you know, Ed and I normally only offer the $20 at the big conferences.
In any case, you can send your readers to or and the option for a $20 1 year subscription is available through the regular channels. This applies to all three of our magazines.
In order for us to give you back the $3 per subscription, it is imperative that they indicate the code WSGS. This will have to be put in the area where we ask for their ID number (the actual wording on the box is: If available, please include your subscription ID number when renewing your subscription…).
I hope this helps.   Rick

Rick Cree
Associate Publisher
Moorshead Magazines Ltd
Publisher of Your Genealogy Today, Internet Genealogy, History Magazine

Friday Serendipity

Between 1890 and 1900, Spokane increased population by 85%. Seattle increased by 88%.  Population of Spokane in 1880 was 350; in 1890 is was 19,922; by 1900 it was 36,848. By contrast, in 1880 Seattle didn’t exists; in 1890 its population was 42,837; by 1900 it was 80,671.  Spokane and King counties were the two most populous counties in the states.

King:  1890/63,989  —  1900/110,653

Spokane: 1890/37,487  —  1900 57, 542

The smallest county, by population, was Franklin.

I gleaned these facts from the book, Our Republic, by Edward S. Ellis, published in 1900, 567 pages and included “the official census of 1900 statistics.”

A gem I found in Ellis’ book was this quote:  “One of the strange facts that no one fully understands is that while God created men in His own image, He made so wide a difference in their color and looks….” Amen to that, Mr. Ellis.

Friday Serendipity

Signs posted up along the walls in a high school classroom in Arlington, Washington, that I think could apply to each of us, every day and in every activity. We are never too old to learn!


I don’t understand.                              What am I missing?

I cannot do that.                                    I’m going to train my brain to it!

That’s good enough.                              Is this really my best?

I give up.                                                   I’ll use some stuff I’ve already learned.

I’m not good at this.                                I’m on the right track!

I’ll never be as smart as (   ).                  I’m going to figure out what (   ) does

and try that.

I can’t make this any better.                   But I can try harder!

This is too hard.                                        This may take more time and effort.

I made a mistake.                                     Mistakes help me improve.

Friday Serendipity

**** If you are reading this on posting day, December 1st, then you have twelve days left. I understand that starting on Monday, December 13th, you will have to create an account and sign in to use FamilySearch. Fear not, it still will be free. I guess this is just a necessary evolution. Also please fear not that those handsome Mormon missionaries will come looking for you.

*** Did you know there is a Swedish-Finn Historical Society here in Washington? It is an organization dedicated to finding and remembering the history of the Swedes and Finns who migrated to the Evergreen State…. about 80,000 of them. If you have this ethnicity, click to

**** We’ve always been taught that the first shots fired in the Revolutionary War were on Bunker Hill in Boston, right? Apparently wrong. In June, 1775, a local group of colonists in Machias, Maine, learned that a British warship would arrive to requisition lumber for British barracks. Capt. Jeremiah O’Brien and 40 ill-armed cohorts/colonists planned a colonial response and the resulting battle was on June 12, 1775, five days before Bunker Hill. So much for the history books.

Friday Serendipity

**** What do you know about the CCC camps? The CCC camps in Washington? Did your ancestors serve in a CCC camp?

Tens of thousands of young men from all over the U.S. (both from big cities and rural towns) came together to serve in the vanguard of one of several of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs. The Civilian Conservation Corps was organized in April of 1933 under the authority of Congress. The program lasted until 1942 and over 2,000,000 men were enrolled overall. They enlisted for six months but could extend up to two years. They received $30 per month and had to send $25 of it home. Average camp size was 200 men and they were run in a pseudo-military fashion.

There were about 240 such camps in Washington State and they were scattered to all four corners. The above photo (thanks, Google) is of the Washtucna camp. If you’d like to know more, just ask Google.

From about 1985-1990, Ed was our neighbor and he quite loved telling stories of when he was in the CCC. He spent time in the camp near Spokane (Aubrey White Parkway…. hike/bike trail only, but if you go you can still find the fireplace remains of the camp) and enjoyed every minute of his time there. “I got fed! I was a big guy and there just wasn’t enough food at home,” he recalled.

Perhaps your ancestor served in a Washington State CCC camp during the years 1933-1942??