On Saturday, March 25th, I shared a great learning day with the eager members of the Twin Rivers Gen Society down in Lewiston, Idaho. (Yes, Idaho, but they identify with Washington especially as pertaining to things genealogy.) We met in a lovely church basement and the TRGS had enough food to feed 50 folks but only about half that number came (which equals their membership). We shared ideas on the Big 4 genealogy websites (Ancestry, FamilySearch, FindMyPast, MyHeritage) as well as dozens of useful research and resource websites. I stressed to them that thy major key to success in genealogical research these days is successfully using the Internet. Here’s a shot of the group:
Please continue reading for some history of Lewiston, and the TRGS, and all about their annual July 4th Walking with Ancestors!
The Lewiston Public Library is currently in an old hardware store, in the basement, where dirt sifted through the old wooden floors down onto the books. Members of the TRGS were (happily) given permission to remove the genealogy books and they are now (March 2017) stored in boxes in a member’s home. There is no levy support for a library so things for the Lewiston Public Library look bleak. Before the LPL, the TRGS collection was housed in the Heritage Room of the Nez Perce Historical Society temporarily (before being ousted from there too). Members of the TRGS are hopeful that their genealogy collection will be placed in the newly remodeled Family History Center in Lewiston.
The biggest annual event of the TRGS is their July 4th Walking with Ancestors which they have done for several years. The group picks stories from the biggest/oldest cemetery, Normal Hill, and in costume tell those stories. The event is free to the public and last year they had an attendance of about 75 folks (not bad for a society of about 25 folks).
Lewiston was incorporated as a town in 1861; that is the year the Civil War began! After much conflict with the Nez Perce tribe and boundary shifts, Lewiston, Idaho, (along with partner across the river, Clarkston, Washington) are thriving places.
The WSGS mantra was again proven true: You will never know unless you go. While attending the March 25th seminar in Lewiston, Myrna came up to me asking a question. She lives in Grangeville, Idaho (some 40 miles away in Idaho County). Myrna explained that the small group of genealogists in that town had saved boxes of old county marriage records from being tossed from the courthouse. These records date from the 1930s to 1969. Myrna wanted to know what should be/could be done with these records? My answer was that FamilySearch would most likely jump at the chance to come digitize these records. We talked to Lee and RaeVon, the directors of the local Family History Center, and (wowsers!) they knew of an LDS person in the area who was already on a mission there to find and digitize just such records! Don’t we consistently find that miracles do happen in family history??