Unique Sources for Research

On June 11, 2019 I wrote an article calling for the viewers of this blog to help by sending in articles that might interest our 850+ readers. I received one article and I want to thank the person that sent it in.

Last weekend the WSGS board met and we are going to try to get articles by having an idea to write articles about. This is the first one on unique sources for your research that may be hidden in your genealogical society library, a local museum, or privately owned.

Eastern Washington Genealogical Society had collected what we called the postal forwarding books. They were city directories that had been taken apart, 4 blank lined pages added between each city directory page then they were rebound in books about an inch thick, so you might get a 1915 A as one book, 1915 B another book and so on. EWGS has about 200 of these books, earliest is 1903 and the last ones are in WWII. There are many missing letters. We contacted the post office in Washington DC to see is this was done anywhere else in the country, and they were surprised any post office did this. Unlike normal city directories that only went to the city limits, the postal forwarding addresses also includes county residents that had their mail forwarded also.

1915 L-Mc page

Notice the red line in each column, the page is divided into 4 parts, pages 1 and 2 in the left column and pages 3 and 4 in the right column. Notice also some of the new addresses are in this page where they crossed out the old address and added the new address.

1915 Page 3 forwarding addresses

Notice some people moved several times Miss Agnes McLean has 4 addresses on this page, the first three crossed out. Most new addresses are still in Spokane, but many are in other cities or states.

1915 Postal Forwarding addresses Page 4

These books used to be on the shelves in the genealogy section of the Spokane Public library, but their condition got so bad they were pulled and put in storage in the library. You could still look at them but you had to ask at the office for someone to bring it up from storage. A grant from Washington Digital Heritage has allowed the library to start putting them online so everyone can have access. 1915 and older are online here:

So do you know of a unique source that would interest other genealogists? Write a small article preferably in Word, with or without graphics and send it to me Charles Hansen at CharlesMike4903@gmail.com

DNA Painter – A Cool New Tool

Have you found a DNA match but you can’t figure out how you are related? Who is your Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)? DNA Painter is a fairly new tool that just might solve the puzzle.

DNAPainter.com is a free on-line program that “paints” (pastes, really) your DNA comparison with a match. It uses a chromosome browser from 23andme, MyHeritage or FamilyTreeDNA. It will not work with Ancestry.com DNA as that site does not have a chromosome browser. And you will need permission from your match to share chromosome information.

First of all, read the tutorial which will walk you through the step-by-step process. It takes about an hour to do the tutorial. You don’t need to completely understand the science of what all those numbers mean. Just remember: the greater the number of centiMorgns (cMs) you share with a match, the more closely you are related.

You then begin painting matches into Painter. I recommend starting with a known cousin to use as a control. I chose a known maternal cousin and a known paternal cousin.

When you paste a match into DNA Painter, the shared segments show up as a colored line on various chromosomes. As you paint more and more matches you will see where the segments overlap. It is a very graphic visual that shows those overlapping segments in a very visual pattern.

Using known cousins gives you clues as to which side the unknown matches are on. Once you know which side of the family your match is on, you can then start searching for documentation. Of course, you will be emailing back and forth with your match to exchange more information.

If you don’t have any known cousins, don’t worry, Painter still can help you. Once you have painted several matches you will begin to see patterns. Since several of the DNA testing sites also ask you for your ancestors’ birth places, you can compare that information with your matches. Also, your ethnicity and your matches ethnicity estimates provide clues.

DNA Painter is not the be all and end all of genealogical research. It is a very helpful tool. Give it a try. You just may get hooked!

This is from Barbara Gorham Johnson the WSGS Region 1S representative. Thanks Barbara. You too can have your blog post published here, just contact me charlesmike4903@gmail.com

Call for Blog Articles

If you have noticed the blog has been rather boring lately, the lists of meetings is very important, probably the most used part of the blog. The articles of interest have always been near the top of the most read articles each week, so I am asking for our members to submit articles to me to post on the blog. It could be a local attraction, a historical society, a cemetery, a project your society is working on, a review of a book, review of a genealogy program, a tip of the week. or anything else that might interest 800+ Washington State genealogists. Although many people reading this blog are not from Washington, the top city for readers has been Chicago for months edging out Seattle by a large margin.

My E-Mail is CharlesMike4903@gmail.com

Banner Photos Identified

Have you noticed the Blog banner changes every time you visit? The photos are submitted by readers like you — and Carol Ballard of Olympia. Carol recently sent us three beautiful scenic photos:

  • A wintery shot of Henderson Inlet near Olympia (pictured at right)
  • State ferry on its way to Bremerton
  • Millersylvania State Park near Olympia

We’re always looking for scenic photos of our beautiful state for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner. It’s easy — just send a Washington State jpg image to wsgsblog@wasgs.org with a description of the photo. The blog masters will take care of the rest!

Blog Banner Photos Wanted

Have you noticed the Blog banner changes every time you visit? The photos are submitted by readers like you. We’re always looking for scenic photos of our beautiful state for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner.

Mount St. Helens. Photo taken 10 Nov 2018 by Roxanne Lowe.

Guidelines for the photos 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. If in doubt, send it to us & we’ll figure it out.
•You may submit 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.

How to Post Your News and Events

Do you want to broadcast information about your local society, workshop, genealogical tip, or a research query? Just send it to the WSGS Blog and WSGS Meetings and Events! You can reach hundreds of genealogists from around the state. Just email a Word document, text file, PDF or graphic to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org and WSGSWebManager@wasgs.org  and we’ll do the rest!

We’re always looking to publicize local events and workshops, feature stories, updates from your society, and other genealogical information that might be of interest to our many subscribers and viewers.

We hope to hear from you soon! And don’t forget to encourage your Society members to subscribe to the Blog for the most up-to-date information from around the state.

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

Blog Banner Photos Wanted

Have you noticed the Blog banner changes every time you visit? The photos are submitted by readers like you. We’re always looking for scenic photos of our beautiful state for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner.

Hay there! Photo taken along Highway 108 between Shelton and McCleary by Roxanne Lowe.

The current batch of pictures were taken by Donna Potter Phillips from Spokane and Roxanne Lowe from McCleary.

Guidelines for the photos 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. If in doubt, send it to us & we’ll figure it out.
•You may submit 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.

Societies: We Want to Hear From You

Local genealogical societies and organizations, we’d love to publicize your events and meetings on the WSGS website and Blog.

Here are a few reasons to share information about your upcoming society meeting, workshop, seminar or special event:

  • Gets the word out to your target audience in order to increase attendance or participation.
  • Helps other local societies looking for program ideas.
  • Promotes what great programs you’re providing your members. (Bragging is totally acceptable in this case!)

Web site: The “Meetings and Events” tab of the website lists upcoming events chronologically. You can also search for a key word or filter by category. The three most immediate events are highlighted on the right navigation bar on every web page.

Blog: Every Thursday, more than 700 WSGS Blog subscribers receive a weekly digest listing all the blog posts from the previous seven days. That’s right…more than 700 people interested in area meetings, events, tips, and special features!

WSGS wants to help promote your activities. Just send your meeting notice, workshop/seminar flyer or event news to WebManager@wasgs.org and WSGSBlog@wasgs.org and we’ll do the rest. We hope to hear from you!

Blog Banner Photos Wanted

In case you haven’t heard, PyeongChang, South Korea will host the Winter Olympics Feb. 9 through 25. To celebrate, we’re looking for photos that evoke the Olympic spirit for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner. Examples include: sports (how about curling and the skeleton — my favorites!), snow, ice, winter, outdoors, etc. Or think about the Olympic motto: Citius, Altius, Fortius (Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”). Really…the clear blue sky’s the limit — we welcome creativity!

Guidelines for the photos 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 submit as many photos as you want.
•Final decisions on suitable photos will be made by the awesome WSGS Blog Team.
•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.