GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News


Thursday Evening

E-News Edition

November 23, 2018

Curious about the status of your GFO Membership?

We’d love to have you as a GFO Member!

For more information visit, contact us at, or call our library at 503-963-1932.

Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider

Hallman-Widerburg 2

For 14 straight summers, someone has run the same obituary in The Oregonian for three triplets who died the day they were born. Reporter Tom Hallman tracked down the woman responsible.

It was GFO member Bonnie Widerburg, memorializing her grandchildren.
Bonnie didn’t think it was a story, but Tom knew it would strike a chord.

His article “While They Lived All of One Day, They are Not Forgotten” was published on August 11th of this year. Bonnie was grateful and moved by Tom’s writing, but she had only talked to him by phone, never in person.

Last Saturday, Bonnie finally got to meet the reporter who told her family’s story. The Pulitzer winner presented GFO’s latest GenTalk about “Writing Your Own Story” to a crowd of 34 people at GFO’s library. Widerburg called the session “a real highlight for me. We were fortunate to hear from this talented man.”

All of us who were in attendance echoed Widerburg’s comments, as the talk ran 15 minutes long and no one wanted it to end.


Did you know you can shop for the holidays and help the GFO at the same time?

The best part? Giving won’t cost you anything!

Cyber Monday is around the corner with some super big sales. If you buy on Amazon, please start your online shopping trips here:

Be sure to register with Amazon Smile and choose the Genealogical Forum of Oregon to benefit from your purchases. We get a small donation with every purchase you make.

It’s a great way to preserve and share heritage. Member dues cover less than half of our annual library rent. Donations pay the bulk of GFO’s all-volunteer operation, and this is one more way you can help.

As always, thank you for all you do for GFO!

GivingTueday 2018 v2

On #GivingTuesday, most non-profits are asking for monetary donations — and GFO would never turn those down — but this is our annual appeal for your TIME.

This year we’ll be attempting a partial inventory of our books. We want to discover what’s missing AND get the books in the correct order on the shelves. People will work in teams, and there will be some book labeling for those who can’t stand to do shelf reading.

Food, free passes to the library, and a general good time to be had by all! We hope to see you there.

Virginia SIG Logo

“Land Records: Part 1” – Virginia, West Virginia, & Kentucky

Saturday, December 1st at 10 a.m. in GFO’s Multipurpose Room (at the back of the library)

Land records are some of the most rewarding records for genealogical research. They generally represent the longest time span for records and are rich in genealogical information. We’ll discuss the laws that were passed to manage land claims as new areas opened for settlement. We will explore the various original land records in Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, where the land is located … and where to find the records. The discussion will include headrights, bounty land, preemption certificates, and other methods of claiming land.

Questions? Send them please to the group’s leaders, Judi Scott and Carol Surrency, at


As genealogists, we do a lot of photo handling. Apple’s free Photos App is a great tool to edit and organize your photos to make them look their best for all archiving purposes. Don’t struggle with tasks like fixing/cropping images when you can get a solid grasp of the basics in this free class.

The Portland Mac Users Group offers this PMUG College class on Wednesday, December 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the GFO library. FREE for GFO and PMUG members. $10 for non-members.

More information is available on the PMUG website.


At this time of year, we are so thankful for all of you who help keep the GFO library open.

Every single person here is a volunteer. We have no paid staff.

But we need two (or three) more people to step up to help us keep the GFO library open.

We have lost our Research Assistant/Receptionists on two vital shifts:

Wednesday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – each week.
Wednesday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. – 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month.

Can you spare some hours? We must have two people on duty on each shift. For the safety of our volunteers we must close the library if only one person is here.

Please contact Cathy, our volunteer coordinator, at


Visit the Oregon Historical Society On Us

Oregon Historical Society Logo

We’re pleased to offer a new benefit to GFO Members.

You can now check out Cultural Passes from the GFO to visit the Oregon Historical Society.

As an affiliate of OHS, the GFO receives two annual membership cards. We’d like to share this benefit with you.

We’ve turned the cards into Cultural Passes, which you can check out one day and return the next.

HOW?? Just ask at our reception desk if you’d like to visit the Oregon Historical Society. You might like it so much that you choose to become a member there too!


SATURDAY, November 24th

DNA Beginners 9 a.m. – noon

This session will be a discussion of your questions. It would be easier if you submit your questions to Emily Aulicino at least a few days before the class. This way, they will not be overlooked or lack time. We’ll address those first. Even if you are not planning to come, send in your questions.

This is the chance to cover your particular issues which could include what tests work for what problems, exploring how to use spreadsheets to help you organize your data, viewing the company websites, and more. Anyone interested in using DNA for genealogy is welcomed.

Time will be provided for additional questions. You are welcome to send me your questions before the meeting. Feel free to email us at

African American Ancestry Group 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.

We realize that for November’s meeting will be on Thanksgiving weekend. Because many people will be spending time with family instead of other family historians, rather than have a speaker and program, we will be holding an open-ended help session for the meeting. If you’re stuck in your research, want some advice, or just want to brainstorm, come on by. SIG coordinator Janice Sellers will be there for the entire time and will be happy to talk with you.

If you know of any other people interested in African American genealogy, tell them about the group. You do not have to be a GFO member to participate! For more information, contact us at

SUNDAY, November 25th

Library Work 9:00 a.m. – 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; others work the full time. You are welcome to do either. Any time you can share is valuable. Hope to see you there.

MONDAY, November 26th

Library Closed to prep for #GivingTuesday.

TUESDAY, November 27th

#GivingTuesday!! 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Come join the fun and give of your time at GFO’s library this Giving Tuesday! We need able-minds and able-bodies.

Don’t forget! Non-members who come to volunteer can earn a free pass to the library so they can research on another day.

We will bring in food to fortify us, so please give a few hours or make a day of it!