GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News

THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition February 21, 2019
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 503-963-1932.
Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider


During inclement weather this winter, please be sure to check our Facebook Page or website to see if we’re open! Or, call the library at 503-963-1932 to insure someone is here.
Family Tree Maker Brings Road Show to GFO
We’ve got great news for anyone who uses or is thinking about using Family Tree Maker (FTM) software. The folks behind FTM are coming to the GFO library for a 2-hour interactive presentation on Wednesday, March 6th from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is Free but Requires Registration in case seats run out. Mark Olsen is the Family Tree Maker Ambassador to historical and genealogical societies around the world, working to support their members as they use Family Tree Maker. He’ll show new features in Family Tree Maker, how to move to its current version, and how to get a free update.
Register for Free FTM Road Show
Also, do you know about FTM’s DNA charting features? Kiara Neilsen teaches classes regarding the use of Family Tree Maker DNA, and how to use DNA results to further genealogical research. “If you have received your DNA results and thought, ‘Now what?’ Charting Companion 7 is a great place to start. Pierre Clothier is the creator of Charting Companion and will join in with us in a live webcast to show off the amazing DNA edition charts both those tied to your DNA findings and your Family Tree Maker trees.” Plus, a little birdie tells us that you might find some discounts available. Registration is open now!
GFO Stars: Trysta Notestine and Emily Mercer
Left: Trysta Notestine | Right: Emily Mercer
Aspiring Archivists at GFO The newest GFO Stars are interns who have been working with the Manuscripts Committee this past year. Trysta came to GFO in 2016 and helped complete the processing of our Jesuale Special Collection. Over the last few months, she developed a policy and procedures guide for GFO’s found-artifacts, which was adopted by the board last month. Emily came to GFO last summer. She completed digitizing the recently donated Stiles Collection and helped with other special projects. Both Trysta and Emily represented GFO at the October 5th Oregon Historical Society Affiliates Summit. They also spearheaded GFO’s participation at this year’s Oregon Archives Crawl. We are so lucky to have their expertise and endless enthusiasm in bolstering GFO’s visibility and professionalism among our local and state-wide history and research repositories. Thank you for all you do for GFO!
Amnesty for Returning GFO Books
Our recent inventory revealed a troubling statistic: 199 books are missing from our library.
Collectively, these are worth thousands of dollars and many cannot be replaced. Might you have one at home that you perhaps forgot to return? Please check your home, car, etc., and help us find our missing books. If you find a GFO book, please return it, no questions asked. If it was checked out, we will waive overdue fees on books returned by March 31st.
The Ultimate Beginning Genealogy Class – March 24th
Learn how to get started and how to stay on the right path during Beginners Day at the GFO Open House. The GFO’s dynamic Laurel Smith offers Beginning Genealogy, a full day FREE class on Sunday March 24th, starting at 9:30 a. m. Seats are gonna be going-going-gone at this event, so be sure to register beginning March 1st at 9 a.m.! You’ll hear about the wealth of resources available to truly advance your family history research. You MUST register online before March 20th to attend. This event is part of GFO’s Annual Free Open House! Check our website for updates.
Don’t Miss Barbara Rae-Venter at GFO’s March 2019 Open House!
Photograph by Brian L. Frank You’ve probably already heard GFO has another wonderful Open House planned for next month. But are you absolutely prepared? Did you realize you have the chance to hear from the genetic genealogist who cracked the Golden State Killer case? But you must register to hear her free session. Barbara Rae-Venter is coming to speak at the GFO during our DNA Days! On Saturday, March 30th, Rae-Venter will talk in the afternoon about DNA genealogy research techniques. On the morning of Sunday, March 31st, she’ll speak about the Golden State Killer case itself. Many thanks to Emily Aulicino for arranging this rare opportunity. Barbara’s sleuthing has been profiled in the New York Times, and she was named one of the 10 People Who Mattered most in 2018 by Nature magazine. This will be so popular you must register as the seats will be limited and they’ll be going fast! Registration opens on Friday, March 1 at 9 a.m., at GFO’s website.
New OPB Documentary on Oregon’s Black Pioneers was Shot Partly at the GFO
Save the date and set your DVR. When you watch the new documentary by Oregon Public Broadcasting, see if you notice the GFO library in the background during an interview. OPB’s release on the new program notes: OPB will premiere a new historical documentary on February 25th called “Oregon’s Black Pioneers,” which explores the largely unknown history of African-Americans who have helped shape the state. This half-hour Oregon Experience documentary explores the many stories of black pioneers, including that of Markus Lopeus, the earliest-known person of African descent in the state. He was a sailor who arrived at Tillamook Bay in 1788 with merchant sea captain Robert Gray. It is documented that Lopeus died during a dispute with local Native Americans. In the 1840s, the region’s provisional government forbid slavery while also banning black people from settling in the area. When Oregon became a state in 1859, it was the only state admitted to the union with an exclusion law in its constitution. That law remained until voters removed it in 1926, while the original racist language stayed on the books until 2002. “Oregon’s Black Pioneers” premieres on OPB TV Monday, February 25th at 9 p.m. and will be available to watch online at the same time at We were pleased to host Oregon Experience for a small part of this project.
Immediate Opening: We Need a Webmaster!
We learned this week that our wonderful GFO Webmaster, Maggie McNair, must step away from this important role. Do you have website experience?
We Need You! Fortunately, our website service already provides a stable template so the design is already set, and our CMS is user friendly. However, we have a deep website with many searchable records and we need someone to help keep the site updated. Please contact if you have the skills and some spare time to offer us. This is a volunteer position. In fact, the GFO is all-volunteer. We have no paid staff of any kind. Maggie, we’re going to miss you!

This week at GFO …

SATURDAY, February 23rd
DNA Beginners 9 a.m. – noon
Topic: Identifying Family Patterns and Contacting Matches
This meeting’s presentation by Emily Aulicino will briefly cover the three major tests (Y-DNA, mtDNA, and atDNA) and then will show you what action to take regarding your matches. The focus will be on preparing for your matches, identifying the patters with your matches, and then some tips on contacting those matches. Please download the handout here.
This is a beginning DNA presentation, but anyone is welcome. Genetic Genealogy is the most accurate tool a genealogist has. If you are prepared to discover whether your genealogical paper trail is accurate, and if you are willing to take some time outside of our meetings to reinforce what you learn at each session, the GFO Beginners DNA Interest Group is for you. You are welcome to email any questions for Emily to before the meeting.
African American Ancestry Group 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Focus: Researching African American ancestry
Meetings: Monthly on the 4th Saturday of the month at 12:30 p.m.
Janice Sellers sends this note:
“During January’s remote presentation from Nicka Smith, she discovered that most of the attendees did not know about the genealogy site, and she highly recommended that we try to correct that, so this month I will be giving a talk about the site. One of its greatest strengths is that it is totally free to use, with a wealth of records and other material helpful to researchers.
For those who were unable to attend Nicka’s presentation, or who simply want to hear it again, she has made it available to us at on Youtube.
I will have additional copies of Nicka’s handout available at this month’s meeting.”
If you know of any other people interested in African American genealogy, please be sure they know about this amazing group! You do not have to be a GFO member to participate. For more information, contact us at
British Group 1 – 3 p.m.
For this meeting, we’ll discuss online and news sources, recent successes, brick walls you might be struggling with. Judith Leppert will also spend time explaining the ins and outs of the FindMyPast website! Questions? Email the group leaders at
Please note, GFO’s Library will close after 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, February 23rd, for the above-noted Special Interest Group sessions.
SUNDAY, February 24th
Find the Story, Write the Story: Half-Day Seminar 9:30 a.m. – noon
Presenter: Professional Genealogist Pam Vestal
Teasing Out the Hidden Story Behind the Genealogical Facts
Our ancestors were real people with passions, problems, loves, and controversies, but the bare facts of genealogy, those important names, dates, and places, don’t give us much sense of who these people were or what their lives were like. Learn to dig deeply into the genealogical details to breathe life into your ancestors’ stories.
How to Write Ancestral Stories Even Your Relatives Will Want to Read
Creating a captivating ancestral tale from genealogical facts is like turning fish eggs into caviar: the facts don’t change, but the way you describe them makes all the difference. With good research, thoughtful planning, and a dash of ingenuity, we can create engaging genealogical stories designed to entice even seemingly disinterested readers.
Pam Vestal entered the field of genealogy after a 21-year career as a professional writer. She does genealogical research for clients, has articles published in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and lectures up and down the West Coast.
WEDNESDAY, February 27th –
Library Open Late Until 8 p.m.