Innovative Grant Applications Due March 1

Local Societies:

WSGS wants to help your society! Get your Innovative Grant applications in by Wednesday, March 1, 2017!

The grants, up to $100, are designed to support the inventive and creative efforts of WSGS-member societies and organizations. Up to five grants will be awarded in 2017. These are grants — not loans!

The simple application is only ONE page and is available here. Additional guidance on the program is here.

Here are previously approved Innovative Grants, but look for more ideas in the Guidance Document:

2015

Chelan Valley Genealogical Society – purchase of new magazine containers/binders for the local library’s historical magazines
Northeast Washington Genealogical Society – tree removal in a pioneer cemetery
Skagit Valley Genealogical Society – assistance with computer purchase
Tri-City Genealogical Society – advertising & prizes for writing contest
Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society – specialized software to manage society’s extensive genealogical holdings

2016
Jefferson County Genealogical Society – software upgrade for society’s library and research database
Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society – publicity for dedication and adoption of society mascot Coyote
Whitman County Genealogical Society – assistance with purchase of computer, monitor & back-up software

For more information, contact Roxanne Lowe, WSGS Recognition Chair at roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

WSGS Board Working for You

President Virginia Majewski, Past President Mikal McKinnon and Secretary Karen Coppernoll

WSGS Board planning session

The WSGS Board of Directors recently held a planning retreat, coupled with their quarterly board meeting. After Past President Mikal McKinnon passed the gavel to Virginia Majewski, the board launched into an earnest discussion about short- and long-term goals and implementing ideas to increase our visibility and improve communication with local societies, individual members and genealogy/history partners.

Numerous ideas and projects were bandied around, many improving and crystallizing as members voiced their opinions. Some projects, such as the Pioneer and First Citizen Program, will benefit from increased emphasis and exposure. There was also much discussion about how to provide additional services and assistance to local societies. More ideas from societies and individuals are always welcome — just contact any board member.

The minutes of the meetings will be posted in the Members’ Only area of the WSGS website once they’re complete.

The board meetings are open to all WSGS members. The next meeting will be Friday, April 21 at the YVGS Library in Union Gap. For more information about WSGS and/or the board of directors, contact President Virginia Majewski.

Front: Donna Phillips, Diane Huckabay, Virginia Majewski, Karin Coppernoll. Middle: Kathy Sizer, Opal Myhres, Patrick Bundy, Patty Olsen, Roxanne Lowe. Back: Frank McLean, Sue Ericksen, Charles Hansen, Janet McKinnon, Mikal McKinnon, Melonie Liening

Diane Huckabay Named to WSGS Board

Diane Huckabay

Diane Huckabay of Ellensburg has been appointed the WSGS Education and Outreach Chair by President Virginia Majewski. Diane, a past president of the Kittitas County Genealogical Society, will assist and support Regional Representatives and local societies in promoting genealogy in Washington State.

Diane will be featured in a future “Meet the Board” story. Welcome to the Board, Diane!

Society Award Deadlines Soon

The Washington State Genealogical Society wants to recognize your good work! We know your society has great members doing great work — and we’d like to celebrate that. Below are the deadlines (and website links) for our recognition awards and special programs.

For more information about the WSGS recognition awards, contact Roxanne Lowe at roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

WSGS Bids Adieu to 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, we want to reflect on the accomplishments of the Washington State Genealogical Society over the past 12 months. While there’s always more to do — and we’re going to continue working on improvements — we still celebrate what we’ve done and are getting ready to be bigger and better in 2017.

Here are a few of our most important accomplishments.

  • Successful partnership with Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society to host the highly successful WSGS Conference and awards ceremony in June.
  • Our blog continues to get active readership. 465 (and counting!) posts were sent to more than 500 blog subscribers. We had 284 seminars and meetings posted throughout the year — up from 112 in 2015! Most popular posts were “Tip of the Week” and Donna Potter Phillips’ “Serendipity.”
  • We have 369 proud members of WSGS – highest membership in years.
  • Offered complimentary memberships to all local societies.
  • Updated the Board’s Standing Rules.
  • Outstanding Volunteers/Teams awards were presented to 20 individuals and 4 teams with 20 members from 17 local genealogical societies.
  • Innovative Grants awarded to:
    Jefferson County Genealogical Society – upgrade software designed to index and preserve more than 400,000 local records.
    Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society – event promotion to “adopt” coyote sculpture. See 28 Dec 2016 blog feature.
    Whitman County Genealogical Society – assist with the purchase of a new society computer, 22” monitor and portable hard drive to ensure back-up of files.
  • President’s Award deservedly presented to Margie Wilson of Skagit Valley Genealogical Society.
  • Created the Education Assistance Fund to support local societies’ abilities to provide quality genealogical educational events.
  • Pioneer and First Citizen Certificates remain one of our most popular programs. Since its inception in 1984, more than 27,000 certificates have been issued. Check here for the index of early Washingtonians.
  • In our continuing effort to promote transparency and involvement, the Board minutes and society’s financial reports are now posted in the members’ area of website.
  • Website updated, with a special emphasis on the home page and publicizing local societies’ events and meetings.
  • Staffed WSGS information table at four events where we promoted WSGS, answered questions, and enrolled new members.

 

Wenatchee Area GS Adopts Coyote Using Innovative Grant

WAGS Coyote

Hello, Mr. Coyote, how do you fare
Sitting and reading on the museum stair?
You are so handsome—really, quite dapper
Completely absorbed in your candy wrapper.

This excerpt of a poem written in 1996 by Mrs. Ella Dillon, a local writer and poet, was the perfect coda at the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society’s (WAGS) recent “adoption ceremony” of “Coyote Reading a Candy Wrapper.” Renamed the WAGS Coyote, the sculpture by renowned Northwest artist Richard Beyer, was originally installed in 1995 by Art on the Avenues, a non-profit promoter of the arts in the Wenatchee Valley. That same year, the coyote was voted Wenatchee’s favorite sculpture, purchased by the city and placed on the steps of the Museum Annex at 217 S. Mission Street — the home of the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society Library.

Since 1996, Coyote has been “fostered” by Terry and Suzanne Sorom, supporters of the Art on the Avenues program. At the adoption ceremony, the Sorom’s were delighted to officially transfer to WAGS their baton of care and concern for WAGS Coyote.

Using their 2016 Innovative Grant, WAGS hosted the not-so-serious adoption ceremony and celebration as the WAGS Coyote became their official mascot. The event was also an excellent opportunity to promote WAGS and its resource library with approximately 600,000 pieces of information. Local dignitaries, including the Mayor of Wenatchee, attended the unique event and toasted the occasion with Tree Top apple juice, a local favorite.

The WSGS Innovative Grants, up to $100, are designed to support the inventive and creative efforts of WSGS-member societies and organizations. Up to five grants will be awarded in 2017.

In addition to WAGS, last year’s grant awards were made to:

Jefferson County Genealogical Society – upgrade software designed to index and preserve more than 400,000 local records.
Whitman County Genealogical Society – assist with the purchase of a new society computer, 22” monitor and portable hard drive to ensure back-up of files.

The deadline for the Innovative Grant application is March 1, 2017. The simple application is only ONE page and is available here. Additional guidance on the program is here.

Now’s the Time to Apply for Innovative Grant

The Washington State Genealogical Society’s “Innovative Grant Program” is accepting applications. The deadline is March 1, 2017.

The grants, up to $100, are designed to support the inventive and creative efforts of WSGS-member societies and organizations. Up to five grants will be awarded in 2017.

Last year’s grant awards were made to:

Jefferson County Genealogical Society – upgrade software designed to index and preserve more than 400,000 local records.
Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society – promotion of adoption of “Coyote Reading a Candy Wrapper” sculpture. This project will be featured in an upcoming Blog post.
Whitman County Genealogical Society – assist purchase of new society computer, 22” monitor and portable hard drive to ensure back-up of files.

The deadline for the Innovative Grant application is March 1, 2017. The simple application is only ONE page and is available here. Additional guidance on the program is here.

For more information, contact Roxanne Lowe, WSGS Recognition Chair, at roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Gift Idea: Washington Pioneer Certificate

pioneerIf your ancestor was one of the 350,000 people who lived in the Washington Territory when it became the nation’s 42nd state on 11 Nov 1889, you may be eligible for a Washington Pioneer certificate. Or if your ancestors arrived a little later — before 31 Dec 1900 — you can get a First Citizen certificate. What a great gift for yourself and your family members!

We began the Washington State Centennial Pioneer Certificate Program in 1984 in anticipation of the state’s centennial admission to the union in 1889. The initial certificates were issued to applicants who could prove their ancestors were in Washington Territory prior to 11 Nov 1889. Those descendants’ names, almost 18,000, were printed in a two-volume set of firstcitizenbooks entitled “Washington Pioneers” in 1992. A third volume, published in 1993, included Pioneers and First Citizens (those in the state on or before 31 Dec 1900). The three original volumes are out of print, but an index is available here. WSGS members have access to family lineages in the Members’ Only section of the website.
Pioneer and First Citizen Certificates are still being issued, although they are published only on the WSGS website at this time. If you can prove your ancestor was in Washington prior to 11 Nov 1889, you may be eligible to purchase a Pioneer Certificate. If your ancestor was in Washington on or before 31 Dec 1900, you may be eligible for a First Citizen Certificate. More information, including resources to prove residency, is available in the Pioneer and First Citizen Program brochure. An application and instructions are available here.

Society Award Deadlines Set

Local genealogical societies:

The deadlines for WSGS awards to local societies have been set. We are encouraging you to promote your society’s activities and accomplishments by submitting a nomination.

Outstanding Communication – The WSGS Outstanding Communication Award is awarded to a local society that promotes its society and/or genealogy and family history to its members and/or the public. The award includes all forms of communication, including websites, social media, newsletters, lectures, videos, podcasts, etc. The nomination deadline is 01 Feb 2017. The application is available here.

Outstanding Project – The WSGS Outstanding Project Award is awarded to a local genealogical society or organization in recognition of exceptional genealogical or historical projects implemented during the past year. The nomination deadline is 01 Feb 2017. The application is available here.

President’s Award: The WSGS President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement is designed to single out that rare individual, society or organization who has demonstrated exemplary service above and beyond expectations. The nomination deadline is 15 Feb 2017. The nomination form and additional details are available here.

For more information, contact Roxanne Lowe, Chair, Recognition Committee at roxanne@thekeeffes.com.