Serendipity Friday


*** I saw the Geico gecko…. and he spoke nary a word.

*** Spanish woman gives birth at age 62…WOW.

*** Have you read a real/paper book lately?

*** Don’t we love a happy-ending adoption story?


This is serendipty trivia for sure…… while in Maui last January, I spotted the Geico gecko basking in the sunshine on a rock. He was not upright; he was not big-shiny eyed; he was not looking at nor speaking to me; he was not a very good Geico advertisement. And he was not driving a car!!


26 Oct 2016, Madrid, Spain:  A 62-year-old woman gave birth to a healthy girl and encourages women in their later years to imitate her if they want to. Sorry, NO WAY would I want to……how about you??? Having a teenager to deal with when you’re in your 80s??? Yikes.


2016, AP story in my paper:  Adult readers in the U.S. still strongly favor paper over e-books according to a new research study….. around 65% of those surveyed had read a paper book over the past year compared to only 28% who had read an e-book. Where you figure into these figures? How many book-books do you read in a year? How many e-books?


19 Dec 2016:  “A mother’s search for a Christmas gift for her adopted daughter took an unexpected twist. Jennifer Doering, of Wausaw, Wisconsin, wanted to give her 10-year-old daughter, Audrey, a copy of her “Finding Aid.” That’s the advertisement that under Chinese law is published after a child is “found” and placed in an orphanage as an infant. So to shorten a lovely long story, Jennifer scoured the records and contacted international help agencies and learned that Audrey had a twin! Within days, they found Gracie (adopted by a family in Richland, Wisconsin), and the two sisters were meeting and talking nearly every day through FaceTime “in a cloud of tears and haven’t stopped talking in a week.” Don’t we all wish them a long, happy and prosperous life?!?!

Twin Rivers Genealogy Society Walking with Ancestors

    We are going to do our Walking with Ancestors again, Walking with Ancestors is presented by the Twin Rivers Genealogy Society,  July 4th at the Normal Hill Cemetery, 1122 7th St, Lewiston, ID 83501,  starting at 9:00a.m. and finish our last tour at 11:00a.m. Walking with Ancestors is presented by the Twin Rivers Genealogy Society.

A little history:

” We started with members of the Nez Perce County Pioneer Association members, 1859 through 1876, that are buried in the K of P Section and looked at the areas they were buried in. Selected those near 14th Ave. in the NE 1/4 which included Dr. Madison A Kelly (M.D and druggist plus mayor), Juliett Mallery (selected her nephew Marcus S. Whitman & his parents, Perrin & Priscilla Whitman because of relationship to Marcus Whitman in Walla Walla), Phoebe Akins, William L. Boise, and John Penn Fix. Next we chose Laura Snyder Barbor because of the location and her round grave marker. Our Whitman’s wasn’t a minister but Perrin’s brother Marcus Whitman was.

   I don’t know what they did as that is what the research does is find out as much about them as we can. That is what we promote is that we can find something about everyone buried in the cemetery if we do research.”


These are the people we will be presenting:

Perrin and Priscilla Whitman (relative of Marcus Whitman

William Boise

Laura Snyder Barbor/Benjamin C Barbor

Phoebe B Akins, and John Estes Akins

John Penn (Michael) Fix

Dr. Madison Kelly is a physician

If you have any questions you can reach me at  cell phone 509-780-7592.  Thanks Sue Gehrke

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Wednesday Evening E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Wednesday Evening E-News 17 May 2017

For more information visit, contact us at, or call our library at 503-963-1932. We love hearing from you!

Also, if you missed your free copy of our monthly Insider for May 2017, you’re in luck because we saved you a copy HERE. NOTE: The Insider issues are now located under the “Learn” –> “Our Publications” menu at our new website (still

Curious about the status of your GFO Membership?? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!


It’s GFO’s GenTalk This Saturday, May 20th, at 2pm

Don’t forget this month’s Free (don’t be silly! they’re always free) GenTalk!
WHERE: The GFO Library
WHEN: Saturday, May 20th, at 2 – 4pm
WHO: Author Zita Podany

Zita Podany will be presenting her book Vanport which is part of the Images of America series.

Zita is a longtime Portland resident with a wonderful new perspective on the history of this area that was lost so suddenly to raging flood waters on May 30, 1948.
Remember! All the GFO GenTalks are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC so bring your history-lovin’ friends and family.


Call For Volunteers – Are ya feelin’ helpful? Are ya?!

The GFO needs your help and expertise in the following areas:
1. Fall & Spring Seminar Raffle Coordinator – This is a position for someone who loves organizing all the STUFF that we get as donations for the raffles we hold at each of our semi-annual seminars.

2. Tours Coordinator – We need someone who can be the point person to receive requests for tours of the GFO Library, and who can then communicate the subsequent needs for tour guides and research assistants with our Volunteer Coordinator, Cathy Lauer.

3. Marketing Committee Chair – This has been a vacancy for some time. We need someone who is willing to put himself or herself OUT THERE to promote all things GFO. This position would include coming up with a marketing strategy and looking for ways to advocate for GFO within the genealogical community. You know you want to!

4. Obituary Editor – We need a person to coordinate the writing/editing and polishing of obituaries for our GFO members and friends as needed (usually two per quarter). Some interviewing skills recommended.
Click HERE to submit a volunteer form or to request more information. We can’t wait to hear from you!


Birds do it, Bees do it, Every Generous Fred Meyer Shopper Does it!

Donate to the GFO while you shop?? That’s crazy!
Just link it! Linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to the GFO will automatically send a donation from good ol’ Freddy’s to the GFO, with no reduction in Rewards benefits to you. Click HERE to just link it!

How does this happen? This is part of Freddy’s very own “Community Rewards” program for sending separate corporation donations to non-profits and the like.

What if I don’t have a Fred Meyer Reward Card? Ask your local Fred Meyer checkout assistant for a Rewards Card application next time you’re at the register!

Won’t you help us get to 100? If 100 GFO members link their Freddy’s cards and continue to use them, the GFO could receive over $1,000 per year. Well!!?? What are we waiting for??


Remembering Those Who’ve Gone Before…

The GFO Bulletin is Calling for Stories!
Next year is the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919.

The GFO is putting out a special call for articles having to do with the Spanish Flu for March 2018 Bulletin. Stories (500-5,000 words) about the Spanish Flu or how the Spanish flu touched their family.

The Bulletin Editorial Group invites readers to submit articles, essays, and other articles for publication in the Bulletin.

We look for articles that are of interest to members of the GFO and those that encourage the sharing and research of family history. We appreciate articles about families with Northwest connections, but welcome articles with other geographic focuses.

Possible topics include:
· memoirs
· personal essays
· problem-solving articles
· research articles
· source guides
· articles on family history travel
· how-to articles
· using technology
· transcriptions or extractions from original sources, i.e. Bibles

More info can be viewed here:

The submission deadline for the March 2018 Bulletin is January 1, 2018. Submissions should be sent to


This Week at the GFO…

GenTalk 9:30 – 11:30am

Nestled in the floodplain between North Portland and Vancouver, a housing project was built to help house World War II shipyard workers. Its very name, Vanport, is derived from Vancouver and Portland.

When the United States entered the war, the demand for ships and for workers to build those ships became a huge priority. Workers were recruited from all corners of the United States. Portland had a serious lodging shortage, so much so that these workers lived in cars, tents, parks, and whatever shelter could be found. Vanport, built in a little over a year, was a city that did not sleep.

In its heyday, Vanport was the second-largest city in Oregon with a population of over 40,000 residents. But on May 30, 1948, it was a city that disappeared.

This Saturday at the GFO, come hear Zita Podany discuss her book, Vanport, which is part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing, celebrating the history of neighborhoods, towns and cities across the country.
Library Work Party 9am – noon

There’s another work party at the GFO library this Sunday for those of you who can make it! There’s lots to do and we’d love to have your help. Doors open at 9am and work usually wraps up around noon. Come for as long or as short as you can. Any time you can share is so invaluable. Hope to see you there.
Open Late Wednesday Night 9:30am – 8pm

Did you know the GFO Library is open late every Wednesday!? What’s that? You have after-dinner research you want to do or late-evening assistance finding information within one of GFO’s online database subscription sources? NO PROBLEM!! We’re open till 8pm every single Wednesday of the year, barring catastrophes, natural disasters, and holidays.

Meet the Board: Janet McKinnon

Do you know who’s running the show at the Washington State Genealogical Society? Did you know we have an Executive Committee, six standing committee chairs and three appointed non-elected officers? Who are all these people? In the coming months, we’ll introduce them to you, so you can say “hi” the next time you see them.

Janet McKinnon

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Janet McKinnon from Richland (Benton County). You might recognize the McKinnon name — she and her husband Mikal (Immediate Past President of WSGS) have been active in WSGS business for many years. Currently, Janet is WSGS’s Region 6 Representative for Adams, Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, Walla Walla and Whitman Counties. Janet’s also a proud member of the Tri-City Genealogical Society where she has served as vice president and program chair. And if that’s not enough, she’s been the Librarian at the Richland Family History Center since 2000, helping patrons with their genealogy research. No wonder she was named a Washington State Genealogical Society Outstanding Volunteer in 2012!

Janet’s Grandmother Kate (on the right) watching her mother Emma get a picture taken next to a new car. Emma walked across the Mormon / Oregon Trail as a 13-year-old girl.

Janet’s 2x great grandmother (mother of Emma). This is the earliest female ancestor that Janet has a picture of.

It all began when little Janet Lemon was born in Coleville, Utah, the first of four children (and only daughter) of Karl and Bessie (Kirkham) Lemon. She was named after her mother’s middle name. Janet graduated from North Cache High School (Utah) in 1961 and entered the Utah State University that fall. On December 18, 1964, Janet married her partner for eternity Mikal A. McKinnon in the Logan temple. After their graduation from USU, the couple moved to California, then to Washington in 1975.

December 1964

Janet and Mikal are the parents of five children: four sons and a daughter. Their Down Syndrome son lives with them. They’re also the loving grandparents of 13 from a 10-year-old Boy Scout to a college graduate granddaughter.

Janet’s interest in genealogy started with her mother and her family. While Janet’s mother didn’t do formal research, she loved and valued her ancestors. Her father (Janet’s grandfather) pioneered areas of genealogy for the Genealogical Society of Utah. He and other family members did the research and shared it. Janet’s mother shared the stories that she heard first hand from the pioneer generation, and passed those stories on to Janet. Even today, Janet’s greatest interest is in family stories, photos, memories and sharing them.

Janet uses for much of her research, especially for her early American and English ancestors. One of her most interesting genealogical finds was a Civil War record for the son of a “Dependent Mother” listed in the pension books.

A few more interesting tidbits about Janet:

  • Favorite color: red
  • Favorite dessert: ice cream
  • When asked the word that best describes her, she replied, “friendly.”

Now you know a little more about another of the WSGS Board members. The next time you see Janet, say hello and thank her for her service to WSGS.

TriCity Genealogical Society May 24 Meeting

Hello Members and Guests:
Don’t forget our TCGS May 24th meeting!  We will be having another genealogy book sale that night as a few more books have been added. Please bring an ample supply of one dollar bills for the book purchases as we will not be able to give you any change.
See the enclosed attachment about our May 24th meeting as The Benton County Coroner will be giving a presentation.
Also, at 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., we will have our Beginning Genealogy Class which will be a presentation on Death Records.
I hope to see each of you there and please invite someone to come to our meeting.  Thank you for your continued support.

Seattle Genealogical Society News


The theme for the SGS Membership Meeting coming up on June 3, is WWI, The Great War.  SGS President Jill Morelli will be giving a presentation on “The Great War and Its Stories: Jacob Schomber, Cpl., Co. I, 8th Artillery”. This will demonstrate step-by-step how she gathered information from online sources and sites for this soldier who lived in Issaquah. Record availability, record location, and building the story will all be covered.

SGS members are welcome to join in the “Show and Tell”. Please bring any WWI artifacts that belonged to your participating soldier to share with the group.

This should be a fun meeting. Hope to see you there, Saturday, June 3, 1:00-2:30 pm.

Remember it’s that time of year again and you can renew your membership or join Seattle Genealogical Society online at:


Late registration is still available for the 2017 Spring Seminar, “Voices from the Past”, featuring Lisa Alzo, International Lecturer and freelance writer. It’s this Saturday, May 20, from 9am-4pm, at Fairview Christian Church, 844 NE 78th St, Seattle, WA 98115

For more information and online registration:

Continue reading

Puget Sound Genealogical Society May Meeting

Puget Sound Genealogical Society
Saturday, May 27, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
at Kitsap Regional Library 1301 Sylvan Way, Bremerton
with Janice Lovelace. Discover the history of railroad
companies, the types of jobs available and how to access
railroad records, including pensions.
Registration required; call (360) 475-9172
Jackie Horton, Publicity Chairperson

Tuesday Trivia

Do we have tornadoes in Washington? And why so many in the U.S.??

Yes, we (unfortunately) do experience tornadoes in Washington….. KOMO news in Seattle caught the one on the right; one on left is from WSU in Pullman.

The Ask Marilyn column in Sunday’s Parade Magazine posed this question: Do we really have more tornadoes in the U.S. than around the world? The answer is YES. “The U.S. experiences an average of 1000 tornadoes yearly while Canada, which ranks second, gets only about 100. The rest of the world gets a total of about 200.” 

Why is that because? (The phrase I repeated endlessly as a 3-yr-old.) Marilyn didn’t say; do you know why? And do you think our ancestors would have so happily settled in the American Midwest if they really knew about tornadoes???

TriCity Genealogical Society May Meeting

On Thursday, May 18th at 7:00 p.m. at the Richland Public Library, Mayumi Tsutakawa will give a presentation on Executive Order 9066 that sent 120,000 Japanese Americans to concentration camps during World War II. Mayumi will highlight her family’s 100 year old history against the backdrop of this dramatic American story. This event is free and is hosted by the Friends of the Richland Public Library. See the May 2017 edition of The Entertainer (page 8) for more information


Monday’s Mystery

AHA! I stumped you this week! The question was: “Where in Washington can you spot Bigfoot?” I know; I’ve seen him!

If you drive from Spokane to Omak or Okanogan, going through Coulee Dam and up through Nespelem and over Disautel Pass (3552′), and keep your eyes wide open, you will see him walking along a rocky bluff up above the road.  (This is my photo.) 

Certainly, he is not real. He is a Virgil “Smoker” Marchand’s sculpture  and looks to me to be about 12 feet tall. He’s totally awesome and quite visible. It certainly was exciting to me when I spotted him for the first time!

We will try again: Today’s Mystery:  What are hops, what are they used for, and where are they mostly grown in Washington?