Meet the Board: Kathy Sizer

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.

Kathy and her 2nd cousins, once removed in England.

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Kathy Sizer. Kathy lives in Granger (Yakima County) and is WSGS’s Membership Chair. She has been a member of the WSGS since 2011. She is also a member of the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society where she has been president, vice president and hospitality chair.

Kathleen Louise was born in Oakland, California in 1951 to August Edward and Vivian Jane (Washburn) Weedle. Her mother liked the name Kathleen (as did approximately one million other mothers at the time), but when she told her husband, he said he did too as his former fiance’s name was Kathleen. Horrified, Kathy’s mother said they needed to pick another name, to which her husband replied, “I didn’t marry her. I married YOU, didn’t I?” Years later, Kathy’s mother met Kathleen and they became good friends until Kathleen died of cancer.

Kathy’s interest in genealogy began when her grandmother Edith Clarke Washburn and her sister Alice Ramos Clarke were discussing family history when Kathy was in the 4th grade. That discussion sparked Kathy’s interest. Later, after college, Kathy found a handwritten family history her grandmother had done and that really secured her lifelong passion.

Kathy with her cousin Diana Walcom at their great grandfather John Clarkes’ home in Gargrave England.

Kathy and cousin Diana Walcom in England during Diana’s first trip to see the family home.

Even though her DNA ancestry says she’s only 36 percent English, Kathy’s ancestors come from England, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scotland, and Ireland. She has been lucky enough to travel to England and Scotland to see where her grandmother’s family was from. She’s also got Polynesian ancestry on her mother’s side, but is still searching for that ancestor. A genealogist’s work is never done!

Kathy has quite a few interesting characters in her ancestry. She had a distant grandmother in Salem who was imprisoned for witchcraft, but released when the community began to realize the awful practice of imprisoning (or worse) was wrong. Kathy also has a great grandmother who was governess to Louis Comfort Tiffany, the famous glass maker. And what about John Billington, her distant grandfather, who came over on the Mayflower and was the first man in the Plymouth Colony to hang for killing a man? True story.

When not searching for her ancestors, Kathy enjoys gardening, travel and reading. She and her husband, who sometimes calls her “Louie,” have four grown children and seven grandchildren. Two of their sons are adopted from India.

A few more interesting tidbits about Kathy:

  • Favorite genealogy websites: Ancestry, Family Search, Nantucket Historical Association and Chronicling America
  • Favorite color: Green, of course, as Kathy’s ancestry takes her to England and her DNA shows she’s 17 percent Irish
  • Favorite dessert: Eclairs, pumpkin pie and homemade oatmeal raisin cookies
  • When asked for one word that described her, she replied, “bookish.”

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

Meet the Board: Frank McLean

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.

Frank McLean

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Frank McLean. Frank lives in Yakima and is WSGS’s chair of the Pioneer and First Citizen Program and the Conference Liaison. He has been a member of the WSGS since 1986, previously serving as President and Vice President. He was named as a WSGS Outstanding Volunteer in 2003, 2005 and 2006. He’s been a proud member (and past President) of the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society since 1986.

Frank’s high school picture

Frank Leroy McLean was born in Chewelah (Stevens County), Washington in 1937 to Jonathan Cornelius and Margaret Ella (Starz) McLean, the third of six children. After high school, Frank served proudly in the Army for 20-plus years, then worked for 19 years at the U.S. Department of Defense, with a short break in between working in Spokane. In 1958, Frank married Delma Dee Roloff. They have three surviving children and seven grandchildren.

Frank has a special interest and knack in technology and computers. In fact, he maintains a database for the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Society that holds about 560,000 names. He also manages the WSGS Pioneer and First Citizen certificate database — almost 30,000 strong. For an index of the names, click here.

Frank, Delma and their children

John Robertson McLean (1847 – 1919)

Speaking of Germans from Russia…that’s how Frank got his interest in genealogy. No, he doesn’t have German ancestors from Russia, but Delma does. She joined the Central Washington chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia Society in 1985 and Frank tagged along as “driver, cemetery walker and microfilm cranker.” From there, his interest grew. His ancestors hail from Germany, Nova Scotia,  Maine and Minnesota. Frank’s grandfather, John Robertson McLean (pictured at left) was born in Nova Scotia, but moved to St. James, Minnesota in 1870. While there, he started a church in a boxcar on a siding. Frank and his family attended the 125th anniversary of the church, where they were given a copy of the picture that hangs in the church. There is also a miniature replica of the boxcar on the lawn in front of the church.

Frank likes the research part of the genealogical search, but he’s not as thrilled with the documentation part. He also prefers his hard-copy paper charts and lists over paperless research.

A few more interesting tidbits about Frank:
• Favorite genealogy website: Family Search
• Favorite color: Blue
• Favorite dessert: Lemon Cream Pie

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

Blog Banner Photo Challenge

Summer’s finally here and that means many of us will be on the road, in the air, or on a boat visiting people, places, and things. It also means you’re taking lots of photos. So…we’re sponsoring a Blog Banner Photo Challenge, looking for a few good photographs to highlight in our Blog banner.

The rotating banner will feature a series of photos taken by you, our readers. The latest entries in the Photo Challenge are:

  • Photo by Donna Potter Phillips

    Daffodils at Roozengaarde at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in April. Photo taken by WSGS Vice President (& Past President of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society) Donna Potter Phillips of Spokane.

  • Fort Vancouver — another photo from Donna.
  • Washaway Beach (Pacific County) — by Roxanne Lowe of McCleary, WSGS Recognition Chair and Web Manager
  • Memorial Day at the Colfax Cemetery (Whitman County) — another photo by Roxanne Lowe

Rules are few:
•Landscapes, landmarks, and scenery photos are preferred. If, however, you have a perfect photo that includes people, please obtain their permission to post the photo.
•Photo must have been taken in Washington State (this is the Washington State Genealogical Society blog, after all!).
•Photo will be cropped to 1100 x 250 pixels, so keep that in mind.
•You may enter as many photos as you want.
•Final decisions on suitable photos will be made by the awesome WSGS Blog Team.
•There’s no prize if your photo is chosen – just the satisfaction that your photo is being showcased on a blog viewed by hundreds of enthusiastic genealogists.
•There’s no firm deadline to submit photos, just keep ‘em coming. We want to rotate lots of photos to keep the blog fresh.

To submit your photo, please email the image (jpg only, please); what, where, when, and by whom the photo was taken to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org.

Got questions? Email the blog team at WSGSBlog@wasgs.org.

Nancy Bonafede Named Region 1 North Representative

Nancy Bonafede

Nancy Bonafede of Sedro Woolley has been appointed the WSGS Representative for Region 1 North by President Virginia Majewski. Nancy has been a member of Skagit Valley Genealogical Society for more than 10 years. She has also been the volunteer coordinator for the library collection at the Burlington library.

Region 1 North includes Skagit, Whatcom, San Juan Counties and parts of Island and Snohomish Counties. There is still a vacancy for Region 1 South which includes parts of Island and Snohomish Counties. For more information about the responsibilities of the Regional Representative, click here.

Nancy will be featured in a future “Meet the Board” story. Welcome to the Board, Nancy!

Yakima Valley Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

 

The Yakima Valley Genealogical Society Spring Seminar will take place Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Mount Olive Church, 7809 Tieton Drive in Yakima.

One of America’s foremost genealogists and reputed speaker will be speaking on a variety of interesting topics.  Jay Fonkert is considered to be one of the best and most educated genealogical speakers in the country.

Registration can be online at the YVGS website, or at the local genealogical library at 1901 S. 12th Avenue, Union Gap.  Walkins are welcome, however lunch cannot be guaranteed.   Check in and registration 8:00 – 8:50 and seminar will begin at 9:00 am.  $40. until  April 14, $45 after that.

The Washington State Genealogical Society annual meeting will be during the lunch hour honoring outstanding volunteers and interesting projects.

 

Yakima Valley Gen Soc and WSGS Partner for Recognition Awards

Featured speaker Jay Fonkert

The WSGS Annual Meeting, which includes the announcement of the Outstanding Volunteers and Teams, Outstanding Communication and Project awards, WSGS President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Innovative Grant winners, will be Saturday, April 22, 2017 during the lunch period of Yakima Valley Genealogical Society’s Spring Seminar. The seminar and awards event will be held at the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Yakima. The seminar’s featured speaker will be professional genealogist Jay Fonkert, a renowned authority on 19th Century Midwest research. His presentations will be:

  • Genealogy Detective Skills: Following Clues from the Census
  • Finding Your Pre-1850 American Ancestors
  • Why Were They There?
  • Who’s on First: Merging and Separating Identities in Family History Research

The YVGS Spring Seminar flyer, including a registration form, can be downloaded here: YVGS Spring Seminar flyer or visit the YVGS website.

We’ve Made It Easier to Renew or Join

Have you renewed your WSGS dues? If you have, thank you — we’re glad you’re part of us!

If you haven’t renewed, we’ve made it a whole lot easier! Now, you can do everything online by clicking on the Members Only tab on the left navigation bar on any page of the WSGS website, then going to “Profile.” From there, click on the green “Renew Membership” button and follow the prompts. Easy peasy!

If you aren’t a member of the WSGS yet, it’s just as easy: click on “Join/New Member” on the left navigation bar. It’s only $12 for an individual ($13/couple).

Of course, if you’d rather use snail mail, that’s okay, too — just mail your membership form to:

Washington State Genealogical Society
Membership Chair
1901 S. 12th Avenue
Union Gap, WA 98903

Lola Swearingen Weber 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 last of the 2016 series, you will be introduced to each of the award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Lola Swearingen Weber

Today we’re introducing Lola Swearingen Weber of Longview, Washington, who was nominated by the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society (LCGS). She was recognized for her unwavering dedication and enthusiasm to the LCGS.

As a long-time member of LCGS, Ms. Weber has served as president, vice-president, trustee and program chairman. She presently serves on the program committee.

Ms. Weber has fostered genealogical education by organizing research trips, presenting informative programs and visiting senior living facilities to encourage writing their life stories. She has submitted articles for the society’s newsletter, The Key, donated time in the genealogy section of the Longview Public Library and volunteered for the rest stop fundraiser.

Ms. Weber has been an asset, as well as an inspirational and motivating presence in the ranks of the society’s membership, and demonstrates that she 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 Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Sandra Wade 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 next few weeks, you will be introduced to each of the 2016 award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Sandra Wade

Today we’re introducing Sandra Wade of Graham, Washington, who was nominated by the Tacoma Pierce County Genealogical Society (TPCGS). She was recognized for her diligence and attention-to-detail in transcribing data from local records.

Upon her retirement as a school bus driver for 32 years, Ms. Wade joined TPCGS and began researching her family history in earnest.  In 2013, when TPCGS began a special project to transcribe records from the Tacoma City Light Register, Book 2 (1904 – 1940), society members, including Ms. Wade, volunteered. Ms. Wade tackled the task, completing the majority of the work. After the data entry, Ms. Wade undertook the majority of the proofreading work, then single-handedly made the corrections to all 282 pages.

All agree that this compilation of data will be invaluable to researchers as the time period 1904 to 1940 is sometimes difficult to locate records placing people in a certain area during a certain time. Ms. Wade’s dedication to the project illustrate proves she richly deserves 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 Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Louellen Verellen 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 next few weeks, you will be introduced to each of last year’s award recipients and learn why they received the 2016 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Louellen Verellen

Today we’re introducing Louellen Verellen of Chelan, Washington, who was nominated by the Chelan Valley Genealogical Society (CVGS). She was recognized for her enthusiastic promotion of genealogy and the CVGS.

Lou, a descendant of an early Chelan family, has a passion for family history. Before the CVGS was formed, she was the librarian at the Chelan Community Library. She collected source books, instructed patrons how to order film from the American Genealogical Lending Library, and how to use the film readers. When a box of films arrived, Lou would call the person who placed the order, then present it like a precious gift.

When CVGS was formed in 1990, Lou became our stalwart advocate. Chelan City officials moved the library to a school district building where Lou designated a room for the newly formed group. When the move to the Bradley Street building was made, Lou insisted that CVGS books and materials be included, saving the society much effort, time and money.

Lou has been an inspiration, instructor and friend to the CVGS. Her dedication proves she richly deserves 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 Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.