Genealogical Forum of Oregon Newsletter



2 December 2015

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

For a complete GFO CALENDAR go to

Also, if you missed your free copy of last month’s newletter, The Insider, you’re in luck because we saved you a copy at

That’s right, you heard it here: Genealogy in the News!

Ever wonder what use handwritten letters might have in the future?

Will anyone want to cherish these scraps of paper the way you feel they should be cherished? Will anyone care at all to read and study the tales of family history contained in their ink-stained pages?

An article from The Guardian, November 08, 2015 shows just how valuable long lost letters can be, both to scholars of general history, but also to genealogical research.

Did someone say census data??

Portland State Univesity has created a wonderfully insightful and interactive collection of maps and graphs showing “Oregon’s Road to 4 Million” via census records data from 1859 to current. Researchers with Oregon genealogy in their history can find some very telling information just by viewing the trends in population growth and migration changes over the last 150 years.

Announcing, not one, but TWO new indexes at the GFO!


Try to contain your excitement, folks, but not too much, because the GFO’s Friday Morning Data Extraction Team needs a huge three cheers of thanks.

Because of the hard work of the Extraction Team, we now have two new indexes of Oregon State Divorce records.

The new indexes are available at $10 each and may be purchased as eityher a CD or on a USB drive.

Come get them while they’re still hot:
•Volume 1: Oregon State Divorces 1925-1929
•Volume 2: Oregon State Divorces 1930-1934

The team is currently working on divorces from 1935-1939 (expected index availability is 2016) and is in the early stages of working on divorces from 1940 – 1945.

Speakers Sought for “Chinese Oregon” Programs

The Oregon Historical Society is calling for speaker proposals for their upcoming spring 2016 exhibits.

OHS will host two exhibits to showcase the history of Chinese exclusion and inclusion throughout our nation’s history. They are currently calling for assistance in forming an accompanying speakers bureau to give talks about the many historic Chinese communities across Oregon.

Talks are to be help from April to mid-June 2016, and will be offered to OHS affiliate members (OHS will pay speaker honoraria and travel expenses). Please visit the OHS’s website about this event and the proposal’s call for more information.

YD@W: Remind me what that is again?

We are the books, the very shiny newly bound books! Come read our insides, oh won’t you please?

It’s time to ask that age-old question again, “How are my donations being used at the GFO?”

Your Donations At Work (YD@W) this week features some of our most recently rebound books. We would like to say thank you to all our donors for making long-term preservation of our materials possible.

To learn more about how you can help, please visit our Donations page at

What’s Happening this Week at the GFO?  

Virginia Group – Saturday, December 5th, 10am – Noon

Research in Virginia can be difficult, with the complication of “burned counties”, as well as the ordinary difficulties of using historical documents. But it is not impossible. We discuss the history of Virginia and explore various methods to do sound genealogy research. Join us the first Saturday of each month. Contact Judi Scott ( or Carol Surrency ( for more information.

German Group- Saturday, December 5th, 1pm – 3pm

This Group is intended to be a source of information and inspiration for anyone with German speaking ancestors. One goal is to provide information on a variety of topics related to Germanic history and migration. Come bring questions and research inquiries this week for an open discussion.

A little extra: GFO Book Group to meet Saturday, January 9th, at 11:45am – Author Harold Hinds will lead the discussion about his book Crafting a Personal Family History. A Guide Plus a Case Study: Three Generations of the Hinds Family in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. There are 3 copies of the book available at the library. Please call the front desk (503-963-1932) to ask if any are still available, as they’re goin’ fast!

Manuscripts Work Party – Sunday, December 6th, 9am – Noon

This upcoming work party, we’ll focus on updating our processing notes on the GFO’s Digital Manuscript Collection project. As we continue to make progress in our digitization, we need to make inventory pit-stops to see how far we’ve come! Looking back and enjoying the view includes shifting through boxes of original material to double check nothing’s been missed in our push to transfer the materials’ information to digitally accessible formats.

Free Monday – December 7th, 9:30am – 5pm, is visitors’ day at the GFO! Non-members are welcome to come and research for free every first Monday of each month. Oh, the joys of first Monday!

Photoshop Elements Group – Wednesday, December 9th, 1:30pm – 2:30pm

Join us for a discussion of how to use Photoshop Elements to present your family history research, pictures and stories. We discuss scanning techniques, photo restoration, creating pages for presentation, resources and anything else participants want to know related to this topic. All are welcome, from beginners to more advanced users. Come and learn and share your ideas and questions. Taught by Sarah Holmes.