Tuesday Trivia

In a by-gone era, newspapers carried way more little personal trivia and tidbits than is the standard today. (Today there is Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Also in this by-gone era, a larger city could afford a newspaper while surrounding villages could not.

Take the case of the Montesano, Washington, Weekly Vidette. The issue for Friday, November 30, 1894 featured snippets from the surrounding towns of Elma, Ocosta, Porter and Cosmopolis.

Snippets like from Elma: “Married Nov 22, Wm. Fraser and Miss Carrie Tidwell. Both are well and favorably known in this vicinity.” Or this from Porter: “Albert Iliff returned Tuesday from an extended visit at Aberdeen. What is the lady’s name, Al?” Or this from Cosmopolis: “Mrs. Cullens and sister, Miss Flora Hayes, were in town Wednesday.”

And here’s the point. Even in the 1894 “big town” of Montesano, newspaper publishers had to sell papers to cover costs. And who bought their newspapers? And why did they buy them? The biggest news of a town newspaper was town news, news of the people and what they were doing.

I do recommend using www.genealogybank.com or www.newspapers.com to find these snippets. Yes, there is a subscription cost but would you find these snips on your own?

Monday Mystery

There are three National Cemeteries in Washington. Know where they are? Tahoma, near Tacoma, is one. The next is near Medical Lake (Spokane). The third is tiny 1.7 acre Fort George Wright cemetery, established before 1900 when the city of Spokane gave land to the government to get the fort established.

Some 669 persons lie resting there, interred before the cemetery was closed to burials in 1959. At one time, there was a bitter fight between those wanting “urban development” and those wanting to preserve the cemetery. Lucky for Spokane, U.S. Rep. Thomas S. Foley spoke up and in 1965 plans to abandon the cemetery were changed. Now the Air Force, with personnel from Fairchild AFB, maintains the cemetery. A list of those buried there is available online.

It’s a lovely place to go walking. The cemetery lies on a bluff with a winding road, and various gravel paths, leading down to the Spokane River.

Clark County Genealogical Society April Meetings


Mon, 15 April 2019: 2-3:30 pm

CCGS Library

If you want to discover your Scandinavian roots, attend this monthly meeting and learn how to conduct your research. Meet with other like-minded individuals who have discovered their ancestors going back many generations. Geographic areas include Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. This group meets regularly on the second Thursday of the month, September-May. Members and non-members are welcome.


Wed, April 17, 2019: 11 am to 12:30 pm

CCGS Library

Did you know that Germany was not a country until 1871? One must understand who controlled a given area in order to find all possible records. Topics included in this Legacy Family Tree Webinar are: Use of Meyer’s gazetteer, changes in historical Germanic areas, tactics for determining jurisdictions, and examples.  


Thurs, April 18, 2019: 6-9 pm

CCGS Library

Do you find it hard to get to the Clark County Genealogical Library during daytime hours? Come in on Third Thursday to tap into our richest resource: knowledgeable librarians who can help you with your family history search. We won’t do it for you, but we will provide guidance. One librarian has Scandinavian research expertise. The library has over 10,000 books and resources, and free access on our computers to Ancestry.com and AmericanAncestors.com. Bring your own computer and use our free wifi.


Presentation:  Beyond Names and Dates~Filling in the Stories of our Female Ancestors

Tuesday, April 23, 2019: 7-9 p.m.

Clark County Historical Museum,1511 Main Street, Vancouver, WA

For most of recorded time, women didn’t leave much of a paper trail, but they still have wonderful stories to tell. We’ll look at ways in which local history, laws, politics, natural disasters, probate inventories, and other resources can help. Presenter Pam Vestal is a full-time genealogist and lecturer in Oregon, but her research extends far beyond the Pacific NW, with clients all over the U.S., and research that reaches beyond our borders.


Wed, April 24, 2019: 11 am to 12:30 pm

CCGS Library

Should you use all or only one genealogy website for your family history goals? Learn how these genealogy giants–Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com, MyHeritage.com–compare in 2019 for historical records, online trees, DNA tools and access options. This Legacy Family Tree Webinar will review each site’s strengths and weaknesses that will help you know which to use now, and which to keep in mind when your research interests or budget change.

“The good things you do and throw in the river of life, will be returned to you in the desert of life.” Sa’adi


THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition April 11, 2019
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!
For more information visit www.gfo.org.
Contact us at info@gfo.org or 503-963-1932.
Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
Spring Seminar Features Tony Burroughs
You’ve seen him on TV tracking the ancestors of Oprah and Smokey Robinson. The GFO’s Spring Seminar speaker started out in genealogy well before Alex Haley’s Roots came out. Tony Burroughs quickly realized he wasn’t satisfied with what had been written for Black genealogy. So, he literally wrote the book on the topic: Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree. He’s won multiple honors over the years and has been featured on national and international television programs. Burroughs is bringing six lessons to the GFO Spring Seminar from which anyone can learn, regardless of ethnic heritage. Burroughs told Portland’s The Skanner newspaper, “People need to understand, ‘What is fundamental genealogy? What are the methods of genealogical research?'” Come learn from the master himself. We have cut our usual seminar price in half for this event, thanks to generous support from The Skanner Foundation.
Register Now
Volunteers needed for Spring Seminar!
Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time for the GFO Spring Seminar! Our seminars are all-volunteer events, which means that if you’re planning to attend, we would love a few of you to sign up to help. ▪ Date: Saturday, April 27th ▪ Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ▪ Place: Center for Self Enhancement (SEI), 3920 N. Kerby Ave., Portland
Help Needed: Raffle Table Helpers (2-5 people) ▪ Stand at the raffle table during breaks and part of lunch, selling tickets ▪ Help count/sort tickets ▪ 2-3 people all day, 1-2 people 10:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. ▪ Raffle tables will be set up so volunteers can see and hear the speaker/screen. Raffle Ticket Sellers/Ambassadors (2-5 people) ▪ Arrive 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27th ▪ Circulate among attendees chatting up the GFO before the seminar starts ▪ During lunch & breaks, mingle with attendees, esp. those who look bored/confused Book Seller (1 person) ▪ Sell books in afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Morning is covered) ▪ Book sales tables will be set up so volunteers can see and hear the speaker/screen. Friday Set-up @ SEI (the more the merrier!) ▪ 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. @ SEI on Friday, April 26th ▪ Help arrange tables, hang signs, load/unload stuff ▪ You don’t have to attend on Saturday to help on Friday To volunteer, please email seminar@gfo.org. Thanks!
Reminder: Vote by May 6th
If you are a GFO member, please remember to return your ballot in this year’s election. We have three board positions, one endowment committee position, and a change in the bylaws for your consideration. The deadline for your physical ballot to reach us at the library is Monday, May 6th at 8 p.m.
Survey: How Many Events Bring You In?
This week’s survey asks: How many educational events do you attend at the GFO? We’d love to know which kinds of classes, seminars, and special interest groups bring you to the GFO most often. As for last week’s poll, thank you for giving us your feedback about the Open House. Most respondents liked the lessons on PERSI, J-STOR, DNA, Genealogy & the Law, and Writing. They’d like to see next year’s classes include a German Day, southern state records, military resources, women ancestors, early Colonial research, Evernote, and Dropbox. We’re already planning next year’s events, so this feedback is extremely valuable!
Take Survey
GFO’s Books of the Week: U.S. Military Academy Register: 1910 – 1920
We have a surplus book set available with valuable military listings. Gen. Cullum’s Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy lists names of men to pass through West Point from 1910-1920.
Pages appear clean with no extraneous marks; a few show small signs of age. There are no loose pages, but bindings are beginning to show signs of wear. These are former library books with stamps on and in them and evidence of removed labels, with scuffing and wear to the covers. This two-volume set from 1920 is available for $40. Contact booksales@gfo.org to buy them.
Free Webinar: “Researching Women in Archives”
Library of Congress On April 18th, American Ancestors offers a free webinar called “Researching Women in Archives” at Noon Pacific Time. “Women make up 50% of your ancestry, yet their lives, experiences, and even complete names are all too often forgotten by written history. Although often overlooked in official records, throughout time women have been the keepers of family and personal history. When they survive, diaries, letters, account books, family Bibles, samplers, organization records, and more can reveal more about a woman’s daily life than any government document. Archivist Judy Lucey will discuss how these unique records and manuscripts can be used to piece together a family story and how digging in the archives can hit genealogical gold.”
Register Here
This week at GFO …

FRIDAY, April 12th
Mexican Ancestry Group 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
This month: Finding your Hispanic ancestors from Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California
This Special Interest Group (SIG) pertains specifically to Mexican ancestors from Mexico and the American Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California).
Beginning and intermediate researchers are welcome. Some subjects will include online parish records, Hispanic genealogy societies, Family History Library/FamilySearch.org. Ancestry.com, solving genealogical problems, methodology of organizing your research, etc. Of course this group will also be about sharing our research experiences, and having fun.
If you know of any other people interested in Hispanic genealogy tell them about this up and coming group. They don’t have to be a GFO member to participate.
For questions or comments, please email Vince Ramirez at sw@gfo.org.
SATURDAY, April 13th
Great Lakes Region Group 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
This week: Our topic is cemeteries! GFO’s own Laurel Smith will talk about locating the right cemetery and planning a visit to a cemetery, with a brief look at Billion Graves and a more in-depth look at Find A Grave. Laurel is a skilled genealogist and engaging presenter. You will likely leave this event with a toolbox full of new ideas for your own family history research.
For more information contact Lynn Rossing at GreatLakes@gfo.org
Writers’ Forum 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This is a peer group of genealogists, who meet to learn about writing and to share our writing with each other. Peggy Baldwin facilitates this group and can be reached at writers@gfo.org or 503-916-9410.
SUNDAY, April 14th
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.
Family Tree Maker for Beginners 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Laurel Smith will show new and beginning users how to navigate this dynamicc software; how to import a tree or start a new one; and explore a few of the tools new users will need.
Facilitated by Laurel Smith. FTM@gfo.org
French Canada Group 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Sharing stories of our history. Come and join this group to learn more about French Canadian ancestry and Acadia. The group leader, Bob LaMarche, can be reached at FrCan@gfo.org.
WEDNESDAY, April 17th
Learn & Chat 10:00 a.m. – noon
At Learn & Chat some of the learning comes from speakers with particular expertise, but most of it comes from the sharing of experiences and knowledge of attendees who have developed methods that work for them. And if you have been doing genealogy for any length time, you have likely experienced the wonderful moments of exhilaration, the successes that you then share with others, and that drive you to continue researching. Unfortunately those times can be few and far between. Join us to talk about your genealogy questions and help provide support to others. Facilitated by Jeanne Quan and Sandy Alto who can be reached at Learnandchat@gfo.org.
DNA Q&A 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Lisa McCullough leads a discussion on various DNA related subjects, with each meeting focused on a particular subject. General questions are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Send questions to dna_qa@gfo.org
Irish Group 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The first hour will be our guest speaker, Robert Burke, on the Irish language. After that we will have the opportunity to try to crack open our member, Jennefer White’s, brick wall. You can read about her challenge here.
Focus: Although all of the island of Ireland is included, our primary focus is the genealogical research of the Republic of Ireland, also known as the Irish Free State, Éire, Ireland, and Southern Ireland. Members of the GFO as well as their guests and any interested members of the public are welcomed to attend the Irish Genealogy SIG. One hour of each two-hour meeting will be spent on presentations about Irish history, genealogy, and resources, while the second hour will focus on Irish Brick Wall questions. Contact Irish@gfo.org for more information.

Friday Serendipity

Rick Sayre was the second principle speaker at the Montana State Genealogical Society Conference in Great Falls in 2018. One of his topics was “Mapping the West.”

The history of how maps of the American west came to be is a fascinating, stand-alone, topic. As we zoom along I-90 or I-70, we can barely imagine plodding along on a horse trying to map the vast terrain. (Watch Smithsonian Channel’s Aerial America where they fly over a state and narrate the history.)

Rick stressed the importance of using maps in genealogy: (1) locate and visualize ancestors in time and place; (2) locate boundaries, towns and geographical features; (3) locate and plat land parcels; (4) discover and follow family groups; (5) Identify migration routes; (6) discover the social context of our ancestors; (7) Organize and correlate disparate pieces of the puzzle.

This is “old news” to most of you, I’m sure. The “new news” is that “the variety of maps and map related tools available for research in the Western states include cadastral, topographic, fire insurances, military, gazetteers and atlases.”

Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society April Meeting

Press Release for Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS)
For immediate release:
  The Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS) will meet Friday, April 19, 2019, at the Bainbridge Island Public Library on Bainbridge Island, 1270 Madison Ave, from 10:00a.m. – 12 noon. The April meeting is the annual BIGS business meeting with election of officers plus the monthly presentation topic of “Family Search Free-for-all”by our ownJolene Aitchison. This program offers a Q&A on all things Family Search. Parking is available in the 2 library parking facilities, accessed from High School Ave and Madison Ave North. Free to members, a $5.00 donation is suggested for nonmembers. For more information go to http://www.bigenealogy.org or call 206-755-9283. BIGS is a 501c(3) non-profit organization.

Sue Elfving


Eastern Washington Genealogical Society had a great Spring Seminar

Our speaker was Sunny McClellan Morton from Ohio. Photos courtesy of Sonji Ruttan the EWGS Secretary, Thanks Sonji.

Her first section was comparing the four major genealogical databases, Ancestry, Family Search, FindMyPast and MyHeritage. Next Section on PERSI, then lunch. Church records after lunch and finally a section on Find My Past.

Sign in table
Sharlee Mikelson our Hospitality Volunteer
Prince of Peace Kitchen
Seminar Attendee
Raffle Winner
Raffle Winner
EWGS Blogger Janice Moerschel
Harold Young Raffle Winner
Elizabeth Culver Raffle Winner
EWGS President Dolly Webb Raffle Winner & Lynn Krogh from Ways & Means
Debbie Golding Ways & Means
My sister won a Raffle Prize while she was in the restroom

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society Meeting

I’d like to let you know about an upcoming educational program we are offering on Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. in partnership with Skagit Valley Genealogical Society. The topic of the program is “How to Read a Cemetery” and will be presented by Sylvia Ammons. This event is free and open to the public. I’ve attached a flyer with more information. Please feel free to forward or post on any wall you wish! We appreciate your help in getting the word out, because we would like as many people as possible to benefit from our programs.

Please contact me with any questions or feedback. Thank you for helping us spread the word about these free and valuable community resources.

Hope to see you there!

Kathleen Headden, Reference Librarian

Burlington Public Library

820 E. Washington Ave.

Burlington, WA 98233

360-755-0760, ext. 7906

German Interest Group of The Eastside Genealogical Society Meeting

The German Interest Group of The Eastside GenealogicalSociety (EGS)will meet on Friday, May 3, 2019, from 1 to 3 pm in the Primary Room of the Latter-day Saints Church at 10675 NE 20th St, Bellevue, WA 98004 with doors opening at 12:45 pm for networking. Enter through the double wooden doors on the right side of the Chapel. Visitors are always welcome at our meetings.   

Topic: Facebook: It’s not just for “Friends” – Much can be learned using Facebook for genealogy. We will investigate some WHYs, WHATs and HOWs regarding Facebook usage. I will show several examples of WHY I use Facebook for genealogy and WHY you might want to do so also. WHAT is available for genealogists on Facebook is found in the ultimate listing of genealogy Facebook pages. We will look at the list and show HOW to ensure you find the ones of potential interest to you. I’ve also found that WHAT is available on Facebook is birth, wedding, and death dates of family members which I did not previously have recorded. We will investigate HOW to use the various options available within Facebook: searching for a group, joining a group, searching within a group, saving posts to your own collection folders, accessing those saved posts when you are ready to process them, and many more. Join us to learn the benefits of using Facebook…a great tool for genealogists. You might learn a few computer usage tips along the way.

Presenter:  Marilyn Mullins Schunke – As a graduate of University of Washington’s Genealogy & Family History Certificate Program, Marilyn volunteered at Heritage Quest Research Library as a Board member, Education Coordinator and Volunteer Librarian. Technology is her forte and she presented Windows 10 and Digital Organization classes and served, and continues to serve, as Technical Assistant in Janet O’Conor Camarata’s genealogy courses at Pierce College. She is a member of several local, state and national genealogy organizations.

For more information about our Group, kindly visit our website at https://egsgermangroup.wordpress.com/  .  

Wednesday Nostalgia

Are you of Finnish descent? Danish? Norwegian? Or Swedish? All of these ethnic groups have a center or museum here in the U.S.

The Finnish American Heritage Center is located at 435 Quincy Street, Hancock, MI  49930. “Established in 1932, the archive’s mission is to preserve and promote Finnish-American identity and history across North America.” Here is their website:  https://www.finlandia.edu/fahc   You might also “LIKE” their Facebook page.

The Museum of Danish America is headquartered in Elk Horn, Iowa. Established in 1983, their mission is to preserve the stories of Danish immigrants, their descendants, and the Danes in the U.S. today. Their website is: www.danishmuseum.org Bet they also have a Facebook page to LIKE.

Norwegians have two centers for information and study. The Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum is in Decorah, Iowa, and is a center with 12 historic buildings and a heritage center, library and archives. It was founded in 1877; the nameVesterheim comes from the Norwegian for “western home.” Their webiste ishttp://vesterheim.org

Coming in 2020 to Minneapolis is the National Norwegian Center in America. The Norway House was already there and this new research library open “to all those interested in Norwegian genealogy research.” Visit their website at www.norwayhouse.org

The Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center is located in Rock Island, Illinois. Augustana College was founded in 1860 by Swedish immigrants and therefore became a natural location for the Swenson Center. This is not a walk-in library; appointments are required. Their website is www.augustana.edu/swenson and they, too, have a Facebook page to LIKE. They will do your Swedish research for you; they offer a magazine, theSwedish American Genealogist; and they will translate old letters and documents for you. 

Did you remember that for every one of these ethnic-geographical research areas, there is free information on the FamilySearch WIKI??? Click to www.familysearch.org/wiki and then SEARCH.