Day 3 at the Northwest Genealogy Conference

How time flies when you’re having fun! The last day of the Northwest Genealogy Conference was again filled with classes, networking, book sales, vendors and amazing discoveries.

Our keynote speaker for the day was Beth Foulk, whose energetic style entertained us with tales from colonial immigration to the importance of the crossroads state of Missouri to the battle for bounty lands. My “extra” class was Rich Venezia‘s “Emerald Isle Express: Researching Irish Ancestors.” He gave me some new resources and encouragement in finding my Irish ancestors. My hopes spring eternal that I’ll find ol’ Patrick Murphy (no middle name) and Lawrence Ryan (also no middle name and the son of a string of like-named men).

Stilly President Ruth Caesar with conference co-chairs Phil and Lisa Bartlow

I can’t heap enough praise on the amazing volunteers from conference hosts Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society. Did you know it takes approximately 2,500 hours to ensure the success of this conference — and it shows! I look forward to it every year. In fact, I’ve already marked my calendar for next year’s conference: August 14 – 17, 2019. Michael Strauss and Thomas MacEntee have already jumped on board to headline two of the days.

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society

Early Stillaguamish Valley Schools

by Sue Walde, Helen Eliason and Joanne Wetmore
The story of the humble beginnings of Arlington’s rural schools in 1882 to the advent of the modern era. Despite the struggles to survive in an unforgiving wilderness, early settlers sacrificed to build the first schools and fulfill dreams of a better education for their children. Discover the mysteries of Arlington’s 44 rural schools, woven with local history and old-time stories. Enjoy numerous maps and over 150 photographs with many pictures of school children. View a 40+-page, easy-to-use index, cross-referenced with over 5,000 names. Perhaps you will find your ancestors in this unique book about Arlington’s early rural schools. Cost $30.00 Now available on the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, www.stillygen.org/store and at the upcoming N.W. Genealogy Conference in Arlington.

Five Societies Earn Innovative Grants

In an announcement made at the WSGS Annual Meeting on 26 May 2018 in Vancouver, five local societies were  awarded Innovative Grants for special projects and purchases. The grants, up to $100, are designed to support the inventive and creative efforts of WSGS-member societies and organizations. Each society’s proposal was scored and ranked by a review team.

2018 Innovative Grants were awarded to:

  1. Eastside Genealogical Society to help pay for “The Photo Detective” Maureen Taylor workshop to celebrate the society’s 40th birthday. Ms. Taylor will present “Finding Family History in Your Picture Mysteries” on September 15 in Bellevue. Society members will get to attend for free while the public will pay a small fee. For more information about this workshop, click here.
  2. Lower Columbia Genealogical Society to purchase genealogical books to donate to the Longview Public Library for public use. Lower Columbia has generously donated books for a number of years, using money from membership dues and their coffee stops.
  3. Okanogan Genealogical Society to help purchase supplies to repair and preserve books holding the “Tonasket Times” newspaper from 1913 – 1952. Each book uses an entire roll of special archival document repair tape. This grant will buy a few rolls of tape to stop the destruction of the collection.
  4. Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society to help publish a book on “Early Stillaguamish Valley Schools” in the Arlington Area. It’s taken years to gather historical documents and photographs for this project from the 1800s to the early 1940s and now they’re ready to publish.
  5. Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society For the 4th consecutive year, WAGS has applied for an Innovative Grant to promote genealogy in their area. This year, they’re focusing on the digital preservation of family records, library holdings and archival documents. They plan to preserve family histories and archival materials of their society, its members and the community.

The Innovative Grant program was started in 2015 to support the inventive and creative efforts of local societies and organizations. When created, Recognition Chair Roxanne Lowe explained, “We know that local societies can do a lot with very little, so we’re hoping the Innovative Grant Program will be what you need to jump-start a project that has been dreamed about for some time.”

John Jay Winsor Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming weeks, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

John Jay Winsor

Today we’re introducing John Jay Winsor of Marysville, Washington, who was nominated by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS). He was recognized for his dedicated volunteerism at SVGS for the many years he was a member of the society.

Always greeting everyone with a pleasant smile and good cheer, Mr. Winsor’s willingness to pitch in with any manual labor that the society was in need of will never be surpassed. The society’s only regret is that this award must be given posthumously, due to his sudden passing January 28, 2017.

Mr. Winsor was truly a humble and wise man who quietly donated to the Northwest Genealogy Conference scholarship program. Members of the SVGS are grateful for the time they had with him.

His dedication and willingness to help where needed illustrate why he richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Patricia Manning Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Patricia McCann Manning

Today we’re introducing Patricia McCann Manning of Arlington, Washington, who was nominated by the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS). She was recognized for her many years of service and support to the society.

Ms. Manning has held positions as secretary and treasurer with the SVGS and could always be counted on when needed – the hallmark of a true volunteer.

Extremely proud of her Alaskan family ties, Ms. Manning has allowed a number of her personal mementos to be on permanent display at the society’s library.

The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society greatly appreciates Ms. Manning’s contribution for all that she has done for the genealogical community of Snohomish County. She thereby richly deserves the recognition of being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society January Meeting

This month’s presentation is entitled, “I’ve Had My DNA Tested, Now What?” and will be given by Mary Kathryn Kozy

 The lecture will briefly review what DNA testing is and what it can—and can’t—tell you. More specifically, we’ll be discussing autosomal DNA in this lecture and the tools available online from the testing companies, as well as third-party entities, to help you interpret your results. Mary has been researching her family history for over 35 years and in many localities. She has served in multiple positions in societies on the local & state level and currently serves on the board of the Jewish Genealogical Society of WA State & as an LDS Family History missionary. She holds bachelor’s degrees from UW in both Zoology and Information Technology & Systems and has completed three certificate programs with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She has also completed the ProGen program with an eye toward certification as a professional genealogist.
The meeting will take place at 1 pm on Tuesday, January 9th at the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society Library, 6111 188th Pl. NE, Arlington, WA. The presentation is free and open to the public and our general meeting will follow. We hope you will join us.

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society November Meeting

 

Jill Morelli, CG will be presenting part 2 of an Overview of Scandinavian Resources which will present an introduction to three major record sets of Sweden, Denmark and Norway in a two part series.  The presentation will be Tuesday, November 14th at 1pm.  The presentation will be held at the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society Library, is free to the public and will be followed by the regular meeting of the SVGS.  Jill lectures and writes about her research and discoveries as a family historian.  She is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Association of Professional Genealogists and numerous societies and is coming to us from Seattle, WA.

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society October Meeting

Overview of Scandinavian Resources, 2 part series

Jill Morelli, CG will be the guest speaker at the October and November Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS) meetings.| She will be presenting an Overview of Scandinavian Resources which will give an introduction to three major record sets of Sweden, Denmark and Norway in a two part series.  Part one will be Tuesday, October 10th at 1 pm and Part 2 will be Tuesday, November 14th at 1 pm.   Both presentations are free to the public and will be followed by the regular meeting of the SVGS.  Jill lectures and writes about her research and discoveries as a family historian.  She is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, Association of Professional Genealogists and numerous societies. Jill resides in Seattle, WA.

Join These Super Star Scribers

The Washington State Genealogical Society is asking its members and blog readers to support the state’s Digital Archives in October. We are unbelievably lucky in this state to have a resource like the Digital Archives. What a wealth of information, including historic photographs, BDM records, cemetery directories, maps and land records — many from pre-statehood. All access, all free. Transcribed and indexed by volunteers like you! Click here to join the army of volunteers.

Today, we’re highlighting two Digital Archive transcriber super stars:

Steven Baylor started indexing before there was a Scribe (the super easy online transcription application used to transcribe records).  Since official counting began, he has transcribed almost 150,000 records — and growing every day as it’s something he works into his daily schedule. Whenever he has a half hour here or a couple hours there, he sits down and indexes a dozen or so documents.  According to Steve who is a former President of WSGS and member of the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society:

“It’s all part of paying it forward.  My research has been made easier by others who have spent hours indexing and I’m pleased I can do my part to increase accessibility of public records. Now that my wife has Alzheimer’s, I need to be at home most every day.  Indexing is something I can do and still feel like I am contributing to the genealogical community without having to travel anywhere.

Steve started indexing many years ago when he and other WSGS members worked with the Secretary of State’s office to index the 1910 Federal Census of Washington. After that labor-intensive undertaking, the Archives Office began using a “hybrid” system where they would mail paper copies of documents to transcribers who would index them online or on a disk and mail the paper copies back to Olympia.  Steve’s wife assisted him by reading names to him while he typed, then she would double-check the finished product before they clicked the send button. Great teamwork!

Charles being recognized for his accomplishments by former Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Charles Hansen started in 2003 when the Digital Archives was being built near the Eastern Washington University campus in Cheney (Charles lives in Spokane).  State officials began asking local genealogical societies to donate records to put in the infant digital archives. Charles had some DOS databases (remember DOS????) for early Spokane County births, deaths and marriages. He also had indexed the 1887 Spokane County Census. He generously gave those electronic records to start the digital archives. Shortly thereafter, Archives officials asked for volunteers to help index and volunteer at the archives, so he started indexing — being sent paper copies of the records and a floppy disk with the format to index.

The next transcription and index improvement was Scribe — the online digital application that allows users to become “honorary archivists” of the state’s historically important records. By using Scribe, volunteers are able to add information to the images, making them searchable online. It’s easy to use — just fill in the blanks and save the data. Each record can be viewed by many transcribers, but two transcriptions must match exactly before the record can become searchable.

Charles, a member of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society and WSGS’s Blog Master, has indexed 151,240 records since record counts have begun.

But you don’t have to be a super star like Steve or Charles to make a difference! Any record transcribed or indexed is a record available to the public. To date, I’ve transcribed nine records (yes, 9!), but I’m committed to making these records available for public access. Help me!

To sign up for Scribe, click here.

 

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society September Meeting

 

Please join the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society  (SVGS)  for our regular meeting Tuesday, September 12th at 1 pm.  Our guest speaker will be Rob Branigin, Sno-isle Librarian from the Stanwood Branch.  His topic is: Exploring Vital Records Onlinewith Ancestry and Family Search.
The meeting will be held at the SVGS library, 6111– 188th PL. NE, Arlington WA, is free and open to members and the public. We hope to see you there!
Pam Liebelt
Publicity Chair
Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society