THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition April 11, 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
Spring Seminar Features Tony Burroughs
You’ve seen him on TV tracking the ancestors of Oprah and Smokey Robinson. The GFO’s Spring Seminar speaker started out in genealogy well before Alex Haley’s Roots came out. Tony Burroughs quickly realized he wasn’t satisfied with what had been written for Black genealogy. So, he literally wrote the book on the topic: Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree. He’s won multiple honors over the years and has been featured on national and international television programs. Burroughs is bringing six lessons to the GFO Spring Seminar from which anyone can learn, regardless of ethnic heritage. Burroughs told Portland’s The Skanner newspaper, “People need to understand, ‘What is fundamental genealogy? What are the methods of genealogical research?'” Come learn from the master himself. We have cut our usual seminar price in half for this event, thanks to generous support from The Skanner Foundation.
Register Now
Volunteers needed for Spring Seminar!
Spring has sprung, and that means it’s time for the GFO Spring Seminar! Our seminars are all-volunteer events, which means that if you’re planning to attend, we would love a few of you to sign up to help. ▪ Date: Saturday, April 27th ▪ Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ▪ Place: Center for Self Enhancement (SEI), 3920 N. Kerby Ave., Portland
Help Needed: Raffle Table Helpers (2-5 people) ▪ Stand at the raffle table during breaks and part of lunch, selling tickets ▪ Help count/sort tickets ▪ 2-3 people all day, 1-2 people 10:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. ▪ Raffle tables will be set up so volunteers can see and hear the speaker/screen. Raffle Ticket Sellers/Ambassadors (2-5 people) ▪ Arrive 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 27th ▪ Circulate among attendees chatting up the GFO before the seminar starts ▪ During lunch & breaks, mingle with attendees, esp. those who look bored/confused Book Seller (1 person) ▪ Sell books in afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Morning is covered) ▪ Book sales tables will be set up so volunteers can see and hear the speaker/screen. Friday Set-up @ SEI (the more the merrier!) ▪ 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. @ SEI on Friday, April 26th ▪ Help arrange tables, hang signs, load/unload stuff ▪ You don’t have to attend on Saturday to help on Friday To volunteer, please email Thanks!
Reminder: Vote by May 6th
If you are a GFO member, please remember to return your ballot in this year’s election. We have three board positions, one endowment committee position, and a change in the bylaws for your consideration. The deadline for your physical ballot to reach us at the library is Monday, May 6th at 8 p.m.
Survey: How Many Events Bring You In?
This week’s survey asks: How many educational events do you attend at the GFO? We’d love to know which kinds of classes, seminars, and special interest groups bring you to the GFO most often. As for last week’s poll, thank you for giving us your feedback about the Open House. Most respondents liked the lessons on PERSI, J-STOR, DNA, Genealogy & the Law, and Writing. They’d like to see next year’s classes include a German Day, southern state records, military resources, women ancestors, early Colonial research, Evernote, and Dropbox. We’re already planning next year’s events, so this feedback is extremely valuable!
Take Survey
GFO’s Books of the Week: U.S. Military Academy Register: 1910 – 1920
We have a surplus book set available with valuable military listings. Gen. Cullum’s Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy lists names of men to pass through West Point from 1910-1920.
Pages appear clean with no extraneous marks; a few show small signs of age. There are no loose pages, but bindings are beginning to show signs of wear. These are former library books with stamps on and in them and evidence of removed labels, with scuffing and wear to the covers. This two-volume set from 1920 is available for $40. Contact to buy them.
Free Webinar: “Researching Women in Archives”
Library of Congress On April 18th, American Ancestors offers a free webinar called “Researching Women in Archives” at Noon Pacific Time. “Women make up 50% of your ancestry, yet their lives, experiences, and even complete names are all too often forgotten by written history. Although often overlooked in official records, throughout time women have been the keepers of family and personal history. When they survive, diaries, letters, account books, family Bibles, samplers, organization records, and more can reveal more about a woman’s daily life than any government document. Archivist Judy Lucey will discuss how these unique records and manuscripts can be used to piece together a family story and how digging in the archives can hit genealogical gold.”
Register Here
This week at GFO …

FRIDAY, April 12th
Mexican Ancestry Group 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
This month: Finding your Hispanic ancestors from Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California
This Special Interest Group (SIG) pertains specifically to Mexican ancestors from Mexico and the American Southwest (New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California).
Beginning and intermediate researchers are welcome. Some subjects will include online parish records, Hispanic genealogy societies, Family History Library/, solving genealogical problems, methodology of organizing your research, etc. Of course this group will also be about sharing our research experiences, and having fun.
If you know of any other people interested in Hispanic genealogy tell them about this up and coming group. They don’t have to be a GFO member to participate.
For questions or comments, please email Vince Ramirez at
SATURDAY, April 13th
Great Lakes Region Group 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
This week: Our topic is cemeteries! GFO’s own Laurel Smith will talk about locating the right cemetery and planning a visit to a cemetery, with a brief look at Billion Graves and a more in-depth look at Find A Grave. Laurel is a skilled genealogist and engaging presenter. You will likely leave this event with a toolbox full of new ideas for your own family history research.
For more information contact Lynn Rossing at
Writers’ Forum 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This is a peer group of genealogists, who meet to learn about writing and to share our writing with each other. Peggy Baldwin facilitates this group and can be reached at or 503-916-9410.
SUNDAY, April 14th
Library Work Party 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.
Family Tree Maker for Beginners 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Laurel Smith will show new and beginning users how to navigate this dynamicc software; how to import a tree or start a new one; and explore a few of the tools new users will need.
Facilitated by Laurel Smith.
French Canada Group 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Sharing stories of our history. Come and join this group to learn more about French Canadian ancestry and Acadia. The group leader, Bob LaMarche, can be reached at
WEDNESDAY, April 17th
Learn & Chat 10:00 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 who can be reached at
DNA Q&A 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Lisa McCullough leads a discussion on various DNA related subjects, with each meeting focused on a particular subject. General questions are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Send questions to
Irish Group 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The first hour will be our guest speaker, Robert Burke, on the Irish language. After that we will have the opportunity to try to crack open our member, Jennefer White’s, brick wall. You can read about her challenge here.
Focus: Although all of the island of Ireland is included, our primary focus is the genealogical research of the Republic of Ireland, also known as the Irish Free State, Éire, Ireland, and Southern Ireland. Members of the GFO as well as their guests and any interested members of the public are welcomed to attend the Irish Genealogy SIG. One hour of each two-hour meeting will be spent on presentations about Irish history, genealogy, and resources, while the second hour will focus on Irish Brick Wall questions. Contact for more information.