GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition January 31, 2019
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What’s New at GFO?
What do Saxe Gotha Neighbors, North Carolina Wills, Lithuanian Jewish Communities, and Mayflower Source Records have in common? They’re all among 21 of our recent acquisitions. Our library committee regularly evaluates donated books, books available for trade, and those we might wish to purchase to enhance certain areas of our collection. Be sure to check out our “New Books” shelves to see the latest additions to the GFO Library.
GFO Stars: Endowment Committee
Marti Dell, Anita Lustenberger, Doug Henne, and Marty Krauter (left to right) Our newest GFO Stars are Marti Dell, Anita Lustenberger, Doug Henne, and Marty Krauter. All of the members of GFO’s Endowment Committee have served multiple terms. As part of their service, the Endowment Committee has done a wonderful job of managing GFO’s assets and growing the investments. For your many years of service and your continued stewardship, we thank you!
Seminar: Genetic Genealogy in Practice
Our friends at the Olympia Genealogical Society invite you to their 2019 Spring Seminar featuring genetic genealogist Blaine Bettinger. The seminar will be held on Saturday, March 30 in Olympia, Washington. Topics include:
* Using Autosomal DNA for 18th and 19th Century Mysteries
* Using Third Party Tools to Analyze Your Autosomal DNA
* The Danger of Distant Matches
* Mapping Your Chromosomes Using DNA Painter For more information go to the Olympia Genealogical Society website at
Only Surviving Arabic Slave Narrative in U.S. Digitized by Library of Congress
We know that a handful of slaves in the 1800s wrote autobiographies of their experience. Only one was written in Arabic in the U.S. and is known to survive to this day. According to Smithsonian Magazine, that Arabic memoir of a slave sold in Charleston, South Carolina, is now fully digitized and available at the Library of Congress. “Omar Ibn Said was leading a prosperous life in West Africa at the turn of the 19th century, devoting himself to scholarly pursuits and the study of Islam, when he was captured, carted across the globe, and sold as a slave in Charleston, South Carolina.” After being in America for 50 years, Said died in 1864, one year before slavery was legally abolished. “To have [the manuscript] preserved at the Library of Congress and made available to everyday people and researchers across the world will make this collection an irreplaceable tool for research on Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries,” says Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, one that she predicts will further “shed light on the history of American slavery.”
Womens’ Hats Could Help You Decipher Old Family Photos
Do any women in your old family photos wear hats? The Minnesota Historical Society has archived 717 hat styles that could help you figure out when the picture was taken. Hat tip to genealogy blogger Gail Dever for writing about this. You can read her full story here. Dever notes, “The hats range from straw hats worn in the 1860s to pink pussy hats women wore during women’s marches in 2017.” The society doesn’t have a page set up to find just hats, but they did provide this link with filters that will take you to a display of this hat collection.
This week at GFO …
SATURDAY, February 2nd Virginia Group 10 a.m. – noon From Institutes to Webinars: Genealogy Education Join us for a discussion of educational opportunities to enhance your genealogical experience. We all know that genealogy is much more than adding names and dates to a list, but organizing, interpreting, and analyzing the information we find can be a challenge. There are educational opportunities to enhance any level of experience, and in all price ranges, including no cost. We’ll explore many of those opportunities, and have people available who have taken advantage of many of them to answer any question you might have.
For more information see our blog: “Virginia Roots and Vines” Questions? Email the facilitators, Judi Scott and Carol Surrency, at German Group 1 – 3 p.m. Speaker: Emily Aulicino Topic: How she was able to trace her ancestors back to the 1500s. Index:
A. German 16 states: #2 Bavaria
B. Valentine’s Day German recipes
C. Online heritage books / OrtsfamilienbĂĽcher
D. Update on the 2020 census
E. Conferences, etc. SUNDAY, February 3rd Manuscripts Work Party 9 a.m. – noon Explore our manuscript, personal papers, and Bible collection while we organize, scan, and create finding aids. Drop by at the time that works for you. Questions? Send a note to MONDAY, February 4th Free First Monday! 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Come visit our research library each first Monday of every month and splurge on all GFO’s wonderful resources for FREE. Explore our online databases like Fold3, Ancestry World Library Edition,, and many more. Our analog and microfilm collections total over 50,000 items. Don’t miss out! WEDNESDAY, February 6th Learn & Chat 10 a.m. – noon At Learn & Chat some of the learning comes from speakers with particular expertise, but most of it comes from the sharing of experiences and knowledge of attendees who have developed methods that work for them. And if you have been doing genealogy for any length time, you have likely experienced the wonderful moments of exhilaration, the successes that you then share with others and that drive you to continue researching. Unfortunately, those times can be few and far between. Join us to talk about your genealogy questions and help provide support to others. Facilitated by Jeanne Quan and Sandy Alto. DNA Q&A 1 – 3 p.m. Lisa McCullough will be available to help answer your DNA questions, whether you are new and just getting started or have more involved questions. Questions? Send a note to the group’s leader at