Outstanding Volunteers and Teams Honored

WSGS Vice President and Region 7 Representative Donna Potter Phillips presents Charles Hansen from the Eastern Washington Gen Soc (& WSGS Blog Master) with an Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Thirty local genealogical society members were honored for their outstanding volunteerism at the WSGS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Washington, on 26 May 2018. Nominated by their local societies, these individuals and teams spent countless hours supporting their local organizations, researching, cataloging, inventorying, teaching, and inspiring others. We are proud to announce the 2018 Outstanding Volunteer Awards:

Jessica Moskowitz Anderson, Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State
Robert Barnes, Eastside Genealogical Society
Lisa & Phil Bartlow, Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society
Joyce Boster, Whidbey Island Team Club Improvements, Whidbey Island Genealogical Searchers
Lawrence Clay, Tri-City Genealogical Society
Trudy Hayrynen Davis, Lower Columbia Genealogical Society
Max Graham, Kittitas County Genealogical Society
Stan Graham, Mason County Genealogical Society
Anne Grimm, Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society
Charles Hansen, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society
Cathi Hepworth, Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society
Thomas Hull, Kittitas County Genealogical Society
Janis Keough, Whidbey Island Team Club Improvements, Whidbey Island Genealogical Searchers
Reiley Kidd, Seattle Genealogical Society
Lake Chelan Museum, Chelan Valley Genealogical Society
Barbara Mattoon, South King County Genealogical Society
Karen Mitchell, Clallam County Genealogical Society
Elise Willens Morse, Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State
Gary Parfitt, Grays Harbor Genealogical Society
Rebel Anne Romero, Olympia Genealogical Society
Sonji Ruttan, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society
Judy Simon, Genealogical Society of Whidbey Island
Candice Soine, Skagit Valley Genealogical Society
Stilly Library, Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society
Mary K. (Schonberg) Swartz, Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society
Richard Thayer, South King County Genealogical Society
Jackie Vannice, Whidbey Island Club Improvements, Whidbey Island Genealogical Searchers
Consuelo White, Clallam County Genealogical Society
Sharon Wilson, Northeast Washington Genealogical Society
Yard Sales Team, Yakima Valley Genealogical Society

To read each individual’s accomplishments and why they were nominated, visit the Outstanding Volunteer Awards Program page here.

For more information about the Outstanding Volunteer Awards Program, contact Virginia Majewski at ginnym51@msn.com.

It’s Almost Showtime in Vancouver

Seminar chair Marcia Grubb and CCGS President Brian Runyan share a moment.

So much to see and do! And you can still join us!

Roger Newman (right) shares stories about his Hudson Bay Company ancestor.

For many of us, the Clark County Genealogical Society Spring Seminar festivities began today (Friday) with a reception at the Fort Vancouver Artillery Barracks. A spectacular building constructed in 1904, the Artillery Barracks was originally built as a place to house soldiers who were trained to go into combat with cannons and other mounted guns. Tonight, however, it was the location of the Hudson Bay Company Gala Reception. It was our opportunity to meet keynote speaker David Allen Lambert, chief genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, as well as new and old friends. So great to put faces to my email pals from Clark County.

One of the embroidered panels of the Vancouver Tapestry.

Before the reception, I had the opportunity to marvel at the Fort Vancouver Tapestry on exhibit at the CCGS Annex, 717 Grand Blvd., Vancouver. This exquisite textile will be on display through Monday, May 28. The tapestry was completed over a six-year period (1999 – 2005), using over 100,000 hours of volunteer effort. The 70 panels, stitched by 57 talented embroiderers, depicts the history and growth of the American West all the way to the banks of the mighty Columbia. The tapestry is 108 feet long and has more than 22 miles of woolen yarn. Check out the plaid shirts in the picture on the left — amazing!

You can still register for the seminar. Just show up at the Historic Red Cross Building, 605 Barnes St, Vancouver. The doors open at 8:00 a.m. You don’t want to miss it — and you’ll get to hear the announcement of the WSGS recognition award winners during the lunch hour. A day packed with learning and fellowship.

Friday Serendipity

We just gotta love old genealogy books. When, for $1.00, I bought a copy of the 1965 book by E. Kay Kirkham, The Counties of the UNITED STATES and Their Genealogical Value, I was pleased as punch. (What is the origin of THAT??)

Darn! Didn’t realize that dragging it just that much bigger would cause such distortion. Sorry. If you would like a better copy, as an email attachment, holler: Donna243@gmail.com

Reading through the county names, county seat names and parent county names, the only new one to me was Sawanish, the parent county of Mason County.

Of our 41 counties now, 20 have the Original County designation. Here’s a spot of real trivia for you: Washington Territory was organized from Oregon Territory in 1853 but Seattle’s King County dates to 1852. Most interesting, no?

GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News


Thursday Evening

E-News, Edition

24 May 2018

For more information visit www.gfo.org, contact us at info@gfo.org, or call our library at 503-963-1932. We love hearing from you!

For a complete GFO CALENDAR click here.

Also, if you missed your free copy of our monthly Insider for May 2018, you’re in luck because we saved you a copy HERE. Simply scroll down at THIS page and click on the Insider 2018 May issue.

Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!

The Early Bird Gets the Discounts! June 17th Deadline

GFO’s Summer Half-Day German Seminar

You can still REGISTER after June 17th, at the regular price of course, if this message passes you by!

WHEN? July 7th, 9:30am – noon
WHO? Presenter Fritz Juengling, PhD, AG®
WHAT? Learn the wonders of the Meyers Gazetteer, and learn how to read German Church and Civil Records
WHERE? GFO’s Library (map)

Registration starts HERE! (Sign up online or print the paper registration form and mail it on in today.)

The British are Coming!

Join GFO’s British Interest Group this Saturday, May 26th

WHEN: 1 – 3pm

WHERE: GFO’s Library


Online news sources.
Calendars, types and history.
Learn how it was possible to cross the English Channel and arrive ten days before you left.
Recent successes.
Brick walls: Yours, if you’ve got one!
And, the snacks of our Ancestors!

All of our SIGs are free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!

New Online Indexes at GFO!

Explore from the comfort of your home. The adventure starts HERE.

Three new indexes have been added to our website. All have additional information that may be requested for $5 email copy or $7 paper copy.

Newest Index Items:

West Point obituaries from the West Point Military Academy magazine Assembly. We received six issues as a donation (184 obits).
Portland Birth Ledger 1864-1905, including registered births within the city of Portland entered into a ledger held at Oregon State Vital Records office (over 16,000 births).
Oregon Obituaries II (Clarke’s multi and single obits), including newspaper obits collected by Stanley Clarke and others from Oregon newspapers (over 7,000 obits).

Family Tree Maker Group Schedule Update

GFO’s newest Special Interest Group, Family Tree Maker Group, has moved their initial meeting from June 17th to June 24th, at 1pm at GFO’s library.

What’s the group all about?
Join other users who want to work through the 2017 Companion Guide to Family TreeMaker.

Bring your laptop with 2017 version of FTM installed and an emptyusb thumb drive.

We’ll organize future sessions and work through Chapter 3 inthe guide. A practice tree will be used so as not to damage your personal tree.

Facilitated by Joyce Grant-Worley.

Send a note to FTM@gfo.org for questions or comments.

Thank you to one of our most beloved Research Assistants

Thank you, Shelley Hoffman, one of our longtime Research Assistants, for your many years of volunteering!

Shelley could be found working at GFO’s receptionist desk on the 3rd Sunday of each month. She and her husband are retiring to Montana to be close to their families.

We will miss you terribly, Shelley, but we wish you all the best in your new venture.

“When It Takes A Village: Applying Cluster Research Techniques”

Presented by Emily H. Garber, genealogical lecturer, blogger, and author

WHEN: Monday, June 11th, doors at 6:30pm

WHERE: LDS Factoria Building, 4200 124th Ave SE, Bellevue, WA 98006

WHAT: Sometimes tracking one’s immigrant ancestors tests all one’s research acumen. Identifying a subject ancestor, his/her origins, and parentage; tracking that subject through time; and constructing biographies to place that person in his/her social context is best approached by broadening one’s research to include other family members, associates and neighbors. This presentation by Emily Garber will outline a program for solving genealogical research problems via cluster and collateral research techniques. Topics will include: appropriate application, research planning, commonly used resources and documents, and case studies successfully tracking individuals from Europe to the United States, overcoming name and residential changes and using DNA evidence.

The main case study to be used in this evening’s program tracks a previously unknown woman who arrived at Ellis Island with Emily’s great grandfather. Emily uses her research skills to identify this unknown woman’s kinship relationship to their family and to find out if there ever was a relationship.

See all of the JGSWS’s monthly programs at their website HERE.

This week at GFO…

SATURDAY, May 26th

DNA Beginners 9am – noon

Ancestry and MyHeritage – The class will tackle some major aspects of both AncestryDNA and MyHeritage to help you enhance your testing experience. As MyHeritage accepts autosomal tests from all the major companies, if you have tested, upload your raw data to the company before coming to class. It is always wise to be in more than one company’s database.

Finding common ancestors with your AncestryDNA test results can be difficult with few responses from matches, missing or locked pedigree charts, and no chromosome browser. We will explore a few methods to help you navigate AncestryDNA’s website to work around some of these obstacles.

MyHeritage might be the “new kid on the block”, but they are moving quickly to become a front runner in the autosomal DNA testing field. We will explore the new features that make it a company worth using.

All classes are free and anyone is welcomed. You do not have to be a member of GFO. Bring a friend or family member and your questions regarding autosomal DNA. Please download the handouts and the evaluation feedback for class here.

Genetic Genealogy is the most accurate tool a genealogist has. If you are prepared to discover whether your genealogical paper trail is accurate, and if you are willing to take some time outside of our meetings to reinforce what you learn at each session, the GFO Beginners DNA Interest Group is for you. You are welcome to send me your questions before the meeting. Email: dna_ea@gfo.org.

British Group 1 – 3pm

Researching in the British Isles, including England, Wales, Scotland, and Scots-Irish. We try to have speakers who provide interesting experiences or online databases for research in these countries. One hour of the two hour meeting is devoted to Brick Wall questions. See above for details about this Saturday’s class!

SUNDAY, May 27th

Library Work Party 9am – Noon

There’s another work party at the GFO library today for those of you who can come. There’s lots to do and we’d love to have your help. Doors open at 9 and work usually wraps up around noon. Some people come for just an hour or so, while others work the full time. You are welcome to do either. Any time you can share is valuable. Hope to see you there.

MONDAY, May 28th

Memorial Day Closure The GFO library will be closed in honor of Memorial Day. Hope to see you again bright and early on Tuesday, May 29th, from 9:30am!

Meet Us in Vancouver

David Allen Lambert

We’re hoping to see you on Saturday (May 26, 2018) at the Clark County Genealogical Society’s Spring Seminar — and WSGS Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony! There’s still time to register for the seminar at the CCGS library (until Friday) or register at the seminar on Saturday morning at the Historic Red Cross Building, 605 Barnes Rd., Vancouver. Click here for more details about the seminar and other activities.

David Allen Lambert, the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s chief genealogist, will be the featured speaker at Saturday’s seminar.  David’s topics include 1) World War 1 Military; 2) Great Migration Era settler research; and 3) Probate & Deed Records research.

During the lunch hour, WSGS will present its Outstanding Volunteer and Team awards, Outstanding Communication, Outstanding Project, President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Innovative Grants.




Tuesday Trivia

Trivia #1:  Did you know that Queen Anne’s bowlegs (1665-1714) inspired a furniture style???? Or so stated a TIDBIT in that freebie thing of the same name.

Trivia #2:  Did you know soap was considered a frivolous luxury of the British aristocracy from the early 1700s until 1862….. and there was a tax on those who used it in England?? Really? Again, thank you, TIDBITS.

Guess if you had 16th or 17th century English ancestors, they were some stinky folks. Unless they were of the aristocracy. Sorry.

General Data Protection Regulation

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Success Story!

Hi, Donna!

After your great presentation at our TCGS meeting on the 9th about the WPA and CCC, I found a distant relative (wife of a great aunt’s son) who worked for the WPA for 2 years starting at her age 19 in 1936 helping to build the Timberline Lodge in Oregon. Her name at that time before she got married was Marjorie Elizabeth Holtham. My Dad grew up with her husband’s older half-brother, even though we never met Marjorie. Here is a link to her FindAGrave memorial where I found the information about her WPA work in the newspaper death notice:


Kind regards, L.S., Richland, WA, member Tri-City Genealogical Society


**** I do not share this story to give myself a pat on the back. I share this story to demonstrate once again the WSGS slogan: YOU WON’T KNOW IF YOU DON’T GO!!!!