Last few dreary, rainy days I’ve been indexing Washington state records through the digital archives program, SCRIBE. As you see, I’ve done 470 names….. may seem like a lot but you’ll also notice that I’m only number 159 on the list which means that 158 folks have done way more than me.
Notice WSGS past president, Steve Baylor’s number? And Charles Hansen’s number?
IT’S NOT ABOUT NUMBERS…… it’s about paying it forward, making a contribution to the genealogy community of Washington state. I like the knowing feeling that I’m helping.
What about you??????
A newspaper clipping from 1800 about George Washington’s death?
A pair of cowboy boots fit for a baby?
A set of old photos fused together?
Your great grandmother’s passport?
Jeff Adamson from Richland braved the snowy pass to attend, wanting to know how to preserve his unlabeled panoramic photo, possibly a Navy detachment from World War II.
What do all these treasures have in common? They were just a few of the possessions brought to a recent presentation by the staff from the Southwest Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives on how to preserve records and memorabilia. Those lucky enough to get into the free class (with a waiting list!) were educated about disaster preparedness (what five things would you grab if you had an emergency???); what records to keep and for how long; and scanning, preservation and organizing photos and documents. We also heard author and historian Drew Crooks explain how he organizes his digital collection of drawings by Edward Lange, an artist who drew highly detailed panoramic drawings of the state and British Columbia from 1889 – 1912.
Archivists Mary Hammer and Tracy Rebstock (middle and right) give advice to WSGS member Joanne Huber (left) on her ancestor’s fragile, faded marriage certificate from Canada.
The presentations certainly held the attention and interest of the roomful of genealogists and family historians, but the creme de la creme was the “show and tell” where attendees got expert advice about how to preserve the item they’d brought. While we first sat politely in our seats listening to the history (or unknown history) of each item, by the end, we clustered around the owner eager to hear from the archivists about how to preserve and document the prized possessions.
Tracy Rebstock, Southwest Regional Branch archivist, will be taking her (shortened) show on the road to the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society on Feb. 8 and the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society on June. 9. The Southwest Regional Branch of the State Archives includes Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum counties.
Clark County Genealogical Society’s Brian Runyan shows his support by wearing his wacky socks.
Washington’s Secretary of State Kim Wyman has been diagnosed with colon cancer and could use our support.
Since her diagnosis, many have asked her how they could bring her cheer and show support. In her April 2017 newsletter “Wyman’s Wire,” Kim encouraged us to take pictures of our silly, wacky socks and post them to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #wymanrocksthesocks. Or you can email your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, WSGS will have a membership table at some of the larger workshops and conferences around the state where you can sign a paper sock with your best wishes. We’ll make sure she gets the messages.
Kim is a good friend to our genealogical community. As Secretary of State, she oversees elections, corporation and charity filings, the Washington State Library, Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, State Archives and Digital Archives.
Show Kim that our genealogical family supports her! #wymanrocksthesocks
Join staff at the Northwest Branch of the Washington State Archives on Thursday, October 27 for an open house. The event is scheduled for 4:30 – 6:00 p.m., with a behind-the-scenes tour from 4:30 – 5:30. The open house will be at the Goltz-Murray Archives Building, 808 25th Street in Bellingham. For more information visit the NW Regional Branch website.
Over 700 enthusiastic genealogists and family history buffs, new and experienced, packed into the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center recently for Ancestry Day.
People lined up to talk to Crista Cowan at Ancestry Day — we couldn’t get enough of her!
Many of us had attended the previous day’s lectures at the Washington State History Museum (see my 9/24/16 blog post), but Saturday, Sept. 25, was the “main event,” sponsored by genealogy records giant Ancestry.com. After an opening welcome by Secretary of State Kim Wyman and presentation of the colors by the Washington State Color Guard, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), we launched into “Ancestry 101, a Beginner’s Basics Class” with Crista Cowan, the Barefoot Genealogist. (I’m always amazed at how much new info I can learn in a “beginners” class!) Crista has been employed by Ancestry since 2004, and really knows her stuff. (Check out her YouTube Channel for a plethora of genealogy videos.) Her witty stories and valuable lessons entertained us all day.
After the beginner’s class, Crista guided us through the benefits (and cautions) about shaky leaf hints (that don’t shake anymore), family trees, suggested records and the card catalog (her personal favorite resource). My only wish during the info-packed hour was that there was a handout — nearly got writer’s cramp taking notes as fast as I could!
Saturday, October 22 – 10am to 1:00pm
at the State Archives
Saturday, October 29 – 10:00am to 1:00pm
at the Kitsap Regional Library
A practical, three-hour overview for students, teachers, local heritage volunteers and family researchers. Seating is limited.