Donna’s Take On David Rencher, WSGS Conference Speaker

This last weekend I attended the Washington State Genealogical Conference 180 miles west in Ellensburg, Washington. To get there, going either direction, you must descend into the Columbia Gorge and cross the Columbia River and go back up. I think it’s a beautiful ride:

 Mention it because Washington is in the grip of a most unusual heatwave. It’s been really hot……. with temps that we don’t usually get until August. Maybe. It was 105 in Ellensburg; 109 down at the bridge and 104 here in Spokane. The fire season is going to be awful; they’ve already had hundreds more so far in 2015 than last year….. and it’s only June.  But you have weather awfulness in your part of the world too.
The speaker at our conference was David Rencher. Lucky for us, his wife has ties to the area and so he was agreeable to coming. David has been a “bigwig” with FamilySearch for 34 years and he KNOWS his stuff.

He started us out with questions:  “Have you a tough genealogy problem? Worried you won’t solve it in your lifetime? Do you keep doing the same-old-same-old things and wondering why you have no new conclusions or answers? 
He then told us how to “frame the problem differently.” Simply put, how to look at the problem differently.
He showed three pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and explained: 
If you’re driving on the bridge, you see the bridge from that angle. If you’re talking to somebody down in a boat, or up in an airplane, you will not see the view of the bridge that they see………

His point with these images of the Golden Gate Bridge is that, with regard to your tough genealogy problem, you’re looking at the bridge as your drive on it. That’s all you see.  But if were to see it from a boat or from the air, you’d have an entirely different perspective. You “must frame your picture differently” and then from that new angle you might see things that you did not see before. Like looking at the Golden Gate Bridge from three different angles.  
Does this make sense to you? It did to me. Of course the next question begs, how to you do this??  
Then David launched into the main theme of his talk to answer this question: descendant research. Some cousin, near or distant, might just have the answer, Bible, quilt, certificate, watch, tool, photo, letter or clipping that you so desperately seek. 
He ended his remarks by recommending a cousin-finding-connecting website called Puzilla  ( With this website you can literally find dozens of cousins. See the image? Picture you as the center dot and the lines radiate out to cousins!!

Another website that does pretty much the same thing is Kinpoint (  I’ve mentioned that before.

One comment on “Donna’s Take On David Rencher, WSGS Conference Speaker

  1. Dick Moody says:

    Donna — Thank you and the others on the blog for posting the excellent summaries of David Rencher’s presentations. It was a great day.

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