Grays Harbor Genealogical Society Fire Help

Dear Local Society,


As you may have already heard, the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society’s Research Library, housed in the Aberdeen Museum of History, was one of the victims of a devastating fire on Saturday, June 9, 2018. The 3-alarm fire destroyed most of the first and second floors of the historic Armory Building, which was built in 1922.

The Grays Harbor Genealogical Society’s Research Library was housed on the 1st floor of the Amory Building.

Investigators are still determining the cause of the fire so we are unable to get inside the building, but are preparing for the worst: the loss of our entire library holdings.  We had recently completed a conversion of the library to emphasize Grays Harbor County (and its predecessor Chehalis County), and were enormously proud of our extensive collection of now-defunct Whiteside and Elerding funeral records and obituary records, dating back as far as the late 1800s.


I am asking for your help.  We are scrambling to find another location and have begun the task of re-gathering our collections. While many of our holdings were digitized or are available in other locations, we are still looking to gather Grays Harbor-related records, photographs, documents, maps, and books. If you or your society have any Grays Harbor-related materials, we would love to have copies or donation. We are hoping to rebuild our holdings to be the “go-to shop” for family researchers in Grays Harbor.


Alternatively, anyone wishing to make financial donation is encouraged to use our Go Fund Me campaign or direct to the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 916, Aberdeen, WA 98520.

Bonnie Johannes added: I have done researches for people from other WA State societies who had family members/ancestors here at some period of time. We would like copy of what was sent to them, if possible. Thank you.


If you would like more information or have questions, please contact me at


Gary Parfitt, President

Grays Harbor Genealogical Society

Unlock the Past Pre-Cruise Program September 6th

2018 cruise: Alaska – program

cruise home | program | presenters | itinerary | ship | pricing and booking | media | sponsors | FAQ | pre-cruise conference

Program features

  • 4 presentations in two (and occasionally 3) streams
  • Research Help Zone sessions – opportunity for one-on-one or small group help from experts
  • an optional extra ‘land conference’ the day before the cruise (no overlap with cruise topics)
    Unlock the Past in Seattle at the Seattle Public Library with

    • Blaine Bettinger (US – DNA expert)
    • Dr. Maurice Gleeson (UK – DNA and Irish expert)
    • Cyndi Ingle (Cyndi’s List)
    • Wayne Shepheard (author of Surviving Mother Nature’s tests)
    • download PDF brochure
    • NOW BOOKING –  see web site

Preliminary program

Click here to download a provisional program – updated to 24 May 2018
This is fairly complete at this stage, but a few topics need to be finalised and the timing of some talks may change.

Jefferson County Genealogical Society’s Special-event

CeCe Moore, the renowned genetic genealogicst and media consultant, will be the Jefferson County Genealogical Society’s special-event guest speaker on Saturday, November 10, 2018. She will give four DNA lectures in Fort Worden State Park’s USO building; two lectures in the morning beginning at 9:30 a.m. and two lectures in the afternoon. Details and registration form are on our website

Rootsweb Lists Spring Back to Life!

Rootsweb Lists Spring Back to Life!

Rootsweb was offline for some months, and is now coming back online,one piece at a time. First to return was World Connect: and t he Message Boards have continued to work and were not offline.

Now lists have been upgraded and restored, and the archives are being re-filled from backups. Find your way here: Create a new login here: Once you have set up your account, you will be able to control list mail and how you receive it. Remember to link older email accounts as well.

Washington State lists are here: — including the WSGS lists.

If you would like to support this effort, why not become a listowner?
Create a login: and then head over to to adopt one. There is even a list for new listowners:

Once lists are working perfectly, the websites will return too!

Tri-City Genealogical Society at Family Discovery Day

Members and Guests:
Here is an opportunity to attend a free 3 hour workshop on various classes pertaining to genealogy research and resources on March 24th.
The Tri-City Genealogical Society has been extended an invitation to set up a table to showcase our society as well as displays of various genealogy resources.
Since we have been asked to be there from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., we will need some volunteers to sit at our “booth” to help answer any questions about TCGS as well as to encourage workshop participants to view our display. If you would like to volunteer an hour or more during the above time, please let me know.
Please note that our own Margie Beldin and Richard Allen will be two of the workshop speakers listed on the agenda. Also, this workshop will be at the Richland LDS Church on Jadwin Blvd. right behind the Family History Center which is on Goethals Street.
More information will be forthcoming in regards to the times of the specific workshop sessions.
Art Kelly

Your WSGS Board at Work

February 10th the WSGS board met at the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society library in Union Gap, Washington.

The board meets four times a year to discuss genealogical matters important to everyone in the State of Washington. Besides the officers at the meeting, committee chairs are asked to attend. Any WSGS member can attend also. Usually the night before most of the attendees go to a no host dinner at the Sea Galley Restaurant to get to know each other. First order of business at the board meeting was to swear in the recently elected board members and regional reps. All the officers are listed here  WSGS President Ginny Majewsky was checking the wording of the oath.

Region 7 (Spokane, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties) is looking for a rep. We are also looking for a Historian and an Awards Chairman, so if you know someone that would be interested please contact Ginny Majewski.

Probably the biggest change to come from this board meeting is the change in the dues for 2019. The dues will be $12 for members, families, and societies. You can still pay with your local society so you only need to write one check, but no discount that way, still $12, and the society will not get any of the $12 for handling the paperwork.

Upcoming Special Event: Camp Lewis and its Role in WWI

The DuPont Historical Museum is sponsoring a special presentation called “Camp Lewis and Its Role in WWI” on Sunday, February 18 at 2:00 pm at the Presbyterian Church, 502 Barksdale Ave., DuPont, WA.

Join historian, author, and illustrator Alan H. Archambault as he discusses the fascinating and pivotal role the newly-formed Camp Lewis (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord) played in the events of World War I. Alan was the director of the Fort Lewis Military Museum, now the Lewis Army Museum, for over twenty years. He also writes, draws and paints historical illustrations for books, exhibits, and other venues. For more information, contact Carol at (253) 459-4339 or

Archives Staff Share Tips About Preserving Records

A newspaper clipping from 1800 about George Washington’s death?
A pair of cowboy boots fit for a baby?
A set of old photos fused together?
Your great grandmother’s passport?

Jeff Adamson from Richland braved the snowy pass to attend, wanting to know how to preserve his unlabeled panoramic photo, possibly a Navy detachment from World War II.

What do all these treasures have in common? They were just a few of the possessions brought to a recent presentation by the staff from the Southwest Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives on how to preserve records and memorabilia. Those lucky enough to get into the free class (with a waiting list!) were educated about disaster preparedness (what five things would you grab if you had an emergency???); what records to keep and for how long; and scanning, preservation and organizing photos and documents. We also heard author and historian Drew Crooks explain how he organizes his digital collection of  drawings by Edward Lange, an artist who drew highly detailed panoramic drawings of the state and British Columbia from 1889 – 1912.

Archivists Mary Hammer and Tracy Rebstock (middle and right) give advice to WSGS member Joanne Huber (left) on her ancestor’s fragile, faded marriage certificate from Canada.

The presentations certainly held the attention and interest of the roomful of genealogists and family historians, but the creme de la creme was the “show and tell” where attendees got expert advice about how to preserve the item they’d brought. While we first sat politely in our seats listening to the history (or unknown history) of each item, by the end, we clustered around the owner eager to hear from the archivists about how to preserve and document the prized possessions.

Tracy Rebstock, Southwest Regional Branch archivist, will be taking her (shortened) show on the road to the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society on Feb. 8 and the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society on June. 9. The Southwest Regional Branch of the State Archives includes Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties.

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