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.

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


TriCity Genealogical Society April Seminar

Don’t forget our upcoming April 12th meeting which will feature the Sons of the American Revolution: history of the uniforms, flags, weapons and genealogy research tips.
Also, we will be having a Genealogy Book Sale at this meeting so you will want to take advantage of this book sale.
We request that you pay via a check or have the exact amount of cash as we will not be able to give you change.  So you may want to bring more one dollar bills unless you would like to be so kind as to give us more of a donation if you don’t have the correct amount.
We hope to see you at our April 12th meeting and as usual, invite a friend. Please see the attachment below and don’t forget about the Beginning Genealogy Class too. If you have any questions, please call 943-9322.
History of Revolutionary War Uniforms, Weapons & Flags


Stan Wills, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)

Tri-City Genealogical Society  (TCGS)

Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 at the Benton County PUD
7:00 PM

2721 W 10th Ave

Kennewick WA

[ Genealogy Class –What Tombstones Tell Us – 6:15 to 6:45 PM]

Tri-City Genealogical Society March Meeting

U.S. Funeral Customs & Researching Funeral Records Speaker — Amy Mueller Coffman
Tri-City Genealogical Society (TCGS)
Wednesday, 8 Mar 2017 at the Benton County PUD 7:00 PM — 2721 W 10th Ave — Kennewick WA [Beginning Genealogy Class – Analyzing Birth Records – 6:15 to 6:45 PM]

Amy Mueller Coffman is a 4th-generation owner of Mueller’s Funeral Home in Kennewick and Pasco, Washington. Her B.A. degree from Brigham Young University is in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. She has completed her funeral director internship and is preparing to take the State funeral director’s exam to be a licensed funeral director. She will bring a display of local 100-year-old funeral home records and cemetery applications and provide information on many different past funeral customs as well as share what specific information you can find on a funeral home record to help in your own family history research.


Flyer  TCGS 8 Mar 2017 Flyer + Amy +weather

Tri-City Gen Society News

If you like history, you don’t want to miss this TCGS meeting on 11 Jan 2017 Come to the Tri-City Genealogical Society at the Benton County PUD 7:00 PM — 2721 W 10th Ave — Kennewick WA Robert Franklin presents an overview of the history of Hanford

The Hanford Site (also called Hanford Project, Hanford Works, Hanford Engineer Works and Hanford Nuclear Reservation) is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex operated by the U.S. federal government on the Columbia River. Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project in the town of Hanford in south-central Washington State, the site was home to the B Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world.

Speaker:  Robert Franklin is Assistant Director; Archivist and Director of the Hanford Oral History Project.

Bill Floberg Awarded 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized almost 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 2016 award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Bill Floberg

Bill Floberg

Today we’re introducing Bill Floberg of Kennewick, Washington, who was nominated by the Tri-City Genealogical Society (TCGS). He was recognized for his many years of support, encouragement and assistance to the society.

Mr. Floberg is one who is always working quietly in the background tending to the less than glamorous, but absolutely necessary, things that make a society successful. He can always be counted on to help whenever help is needed. For example, he manned the bookstore at the TCGS “Traveling Through Time” seminar in the fall of 2015. Had he not volunteered, there might not have been a bookstore.

At present, Mr. Floberg is serving as vice-president of TCGS. He has also served as the membership chair for the last four years and chair of the judging committee for the year-long TCGS Archived Document Contest.

Mr. Floberg is the definition of the word volunteer, thereby proving he richly deserved being a recipient of a 2016 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, Recognition Chair, at