THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition September 26, 2019
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Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
GFO Brings Nationally Known German Expert to Portland
German Americans are the second largest ancestry group in the nation.
But can you make sense of the names? Can you decipher records you find written in German? Sure you can, if you listen to Fritz Juengling’s lessons. Do a deep dive into locating German records using FamilySearch. Learn key German words, phrases, and phonetics to decipher records, as well as naming conventions to identify who is who. Understand the well-known, and lesser-known, factors for emigration. The GFO is proud to bring Fritz to Portland for our annual Fall Seminar on Oct. 5 and 6. Saturday is all about German research and will be held at the Center for Self Enhancement (3920 N. Kerby Ave., Portland). Sunday’s half-day seminar, held at the GFO Library, focuses on learning the best way to approach Dutch research, what records were created and why, and how to access those records. Become familiar with key words, phrases, and naming patterns to decipher and understand what you find. Seats are still available. Register now for one or both days! Download the flyer for full details.
Register Now
Fall Seminar: Great Prizes
There are another three dozen great reasons to attend our Fall Seminar: Prizes! Everyone who attends will receive a free online course from Everyone who attends qualifies for discounts on Family Tree DNA test kits. In addition, we offer a raffle. Prizes include:
* FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder test kit ($60)
* Living DNA Test Kit from find my past
* 1 Year Subscription to GenealogyBank ($70 – 2 winners)
* 3 Month Tier One Subscription to GEDMatch
* Copy of Legacy Family Tree software
* 1 Year of Legacy Family Tree webinars ($50)
* 3 Months Access to ($60 – 2 Winners)
* 1 Year Membership in Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon plus 2 hours personal research coaching
* 1 Year Membership in Virtual Genealogical Association
* 2 online courses from the full 250 lesson catalog from
* Lunch with speaker Fritz Juengling (5 Winners) Plus dozens more!
Raffle tickets are $1 a piece or 6 for $5, so bring some cash.
2 Volunteers needed for GFO Fall Seminar
Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help at our Fall Seminar. We still need one or two people on Saturday to help with the raffle in the morning, only until lunch time. Might you be able to help?
Volunteer Here
GFO’s Connie Lenzen Receives Another National Honor
The Association of Professional Genealogists awarded Connie Lenzen the APG Professional Achievement Award at its recent conference in Salt Lake City. This recognizes exceptional professional achievement and ethical behavior with contributions to the field of genealogy. APG’s announcement says, “A researcher, educator, author, and volunteer, Connie was chosen for the award for her impact on genealogy in Oregon, as well as in the U.S.” She is a past president for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, a past president for the APG Oregon Chapter, an instructor for the Boston University Genealogy Certificate Program, and authored Research in Oregon, 2nd edition. It’s quite a year for Connie. Last spring the National Genealogical Society awarded her a fellowship. A member of the GFO for 45 years, we consider Connie to be part of the GFO’s DNA. We’re thrilled for you, Connie!
DNA Q&A Group Updates Its Focus
Have you noticed the change to our DNA Q&A Special Interest Group this fall?
The first Wednesday of the month is now DNA Q&A: Beyond the Basics. This meeting is for those who have already taken a DNA test, understand the results and have begun to use the results in expanding your family tree. The third Wednesday of the month is now DNA Q&A: The Basics. This meeting is for those who are just beginning to use DNA testing for genealogy. Group leader Lisa McCullough has a gift for explaining these complex topics in language everyone can understand. Feel free to drop in for either monthly session at 1 p.m. Remember, all our Special Interest Groups are free and open to everyone, non-members included.
New African American History Resources at GFO
Here are just a few of GFO’s newer library acquisitions to help those of African American descent to research their family history. Most, if not all of these, were recommended by Tony Burroughs when he was here for the GFO Spring Seminar. Bentley, George R. A history of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Octagon Books, 1970 [©1955]. Berlin, Ira. Families and freedom: a documentary history of African American kinship in the Civil War Era. New Press, 1997. Berlin, Ira. Free at last: a documentary history of slavery, freedom, and the Civil War. The New Press, 1992. Blackmon, Douglas A. Slavery by another name: the re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. Anchor, 2008. Dictionary of Afro-American slavery. Praeger, 1997. Ginzburg, Ralph. 100 years of lynchings. Black Classic Press, 1988. Hait, Michael. Records of the Slave Claims Commissions, 1864-1867. Hait Family History Research Services, 2010. Oubre, Claude F. Forty acres and a mule: the Freedmen’s Bureau and Black land ownership. Louisiana State University Press, 1978. Potts, Howard E. A comprehensive name index for the American slave. Greenwood Press, 1997.
PCS Offers GFO Discount to New Play “Redwood”
We are delighted that Portland Center Stage is offering friends of GFO two special offers for an upcoming play that happens to revolve around genealogy! Redwood is billed as “a beautiful, humor-filled excavation of our shared history. When Steve Durbin sets out to chart his Black family’s ancestry online, his revelations unwittingly throw his entire family into turmoil.” On October 26, GFO President Vince Patton and Director at Large Julie Ramos, will talk before the performance, at about 6:45 p.m., about all the GFO offers and why we find building personal links to history so valuable. Redwood runs from October 26 through November 17 at Portland Center Stage at the Armory. PCS has two offers for friends of the GFO:
October 26: Use promo code “GFO” for $25 tickets.
October 27-November 17: Use promo code “COMMUNITY” for $10 off tickets. Get tickets here.
Surplus Book: 1889 First Edition History of “The Elbow Tract”
Anyone with colonial roots may be captivated by History of the Town of Palmer Massachusetts, Early Known as The Elbow Tract: Including Records of The Plantation, District and Town 1716-1889. J. H. Temple compiled this 602-page local history, complete with a genealogical register. It was published by the town of Palmer in 1889. Even 130 years ago, Temple knew he was preserving valuable information when he wrote, “The lists of names of the early settlers and of residents at various dates down to modern times, will possess special interest to genealogists.” Two maps set this book apart. Map 1 folds out to show the Original Elbow District from 1716 to 1752, including the names of individual land owners.
Map 2 folds out to show Palmer in 1761.
All the pages and maps are as dark and readable as when they were published. However, the hardback cover has separated from the spine. Other first editions of this book sell online for $169. Due to the spine separation, our price is $60 if you pick it up at the GFO Library. $68 if we ship it. Please contact if you are interested. (Do not inquire at the reception desk first; receptionists do not handle these book sales.)
Survey Results: Closest Brick Wall
Many of the missing ancestor stories we received centered on DNA discoveries (not the parent expected), orphans, and out of wedlock births. Also, according to respondents, Irish ancestors are particularly elusive. Among the interesting stories were these: ▪ Amazingly, I’ve managed to identify most of my 4th great-grandparents, but three sets of them have proven to be brick walls for me (one set in North Carolina, one set in Ireland, and one set in Sweden). I’ve begun to wonder if those particular ancestors were part of an early 19th-century witness protection program…I don’t know much about my maternal grandfather who supposedly was orphaned at a young age and raised by his grandparents. I have a set of names, but are they the names of the people who raised him or of his parents?I have been at my brick wall for 21 years. My 3rd great grandfather’s name was William Pender. He was from Ireland and was in the British 99th Regiment of Foot. His Regiment was sent to Canada to fight the Americans in the war of 1812. His wife’s name was Elizabeth Pepperhide. I cannot find anything beyond them. I know that William signed his military papers near Roundtree, Ireland. After the War of 1812, they stayed in Canada and two generations later my great grandfather and his family immigrated to Washington. They were among the first settlers in Clark county.
New Survey: How long have you been doing genealogy?
We know our hobby typically has a “more mature” demographic. We’re curious, how many years have you been working on family history?
Take our Survey
This week at GFO …
Saturday, September 28th
British Group 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This month we will discuss:
* Online sources for News
* Duane Funk will report on this year’s trip to England and Scotland
* Any Recent Successes
* Brick walls: Yours if you got ’em
Anyone with an interest in English/Welsh/Scottish research is welcome to join us. Questions may be directed to: Duane Funk at
Sunday, September 29th
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.
Tuesday, October 1st
Italian Ancestry Group 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
This month’s topic: Find your ancestor’s Italian civil records
Italian Civil Records represent one of the greatest record sets in size, importance, and availability in all of Italian genealogical research. Your immigrant ancestor’s Italian Civil Records don’t need to be a mystery anymore. Come join other Italian-American genealogists and find out what civil records are, how to excavate them, and what types are available since Italian Unification, 1866 – 1910! Ci vediamo!
If you have questions or want more information, contact Nancy Metheny at
Wednesday, October 2nd
Learn and Chat 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Co-facilitator Sandy Alto aptly named Learn and Chat as a “genealogy self-help” group. Please bring tales of your latest genealogy related adventures and a wish list of subjects to build our calendar.
Facilitators: Jeanne Quan and Sandy Alto.
DNA Q&A: Beyond the Basics 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
The presentation will cover the free DNA analysis tools at GEDmatch, a third-party DNA website. GEDmatch is a great place to compare your DNA with others who have taken a DNA test from any one of the many DNA testing companies and have uploaded their DNA results to GEDmatch.
This meeting is for those who have already taken a DNA test, understand the results and have begun to use the results in expanding your family tree.General questions are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Lisa McCullough leads this group.. Questions?
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.