THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition January 23, 2020
Curious about the status of your GFO Membership? We’d love to have you as a GFO Member! | 503-963-1932 | Be sure to check the complete GFO CALENDAR.
Also, don’t miss the current issue of The Forum Insider
GFO Objects to Closure of National Archives Seattle
This week we were startled to learn that a secret plan to close The National Archives at Seattle is nearly a done deal. This facility provides access to permanent records created by Federal agencies and courts in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Idaho. Without the reporting of KIRO radio in Seattle, no one would have known this closure was in the works.
Courtesy of The National Archives at Seattle
Despite the lack of any public comment period, the GFO sent the following email to Russell Vought, the acting director of the Office and Management and Budget: Dear Mr. Vought, I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors and the 1075 members of the Genealogical Forum of Oregon to register our strong objections to the planned closure of Seattle’s National Archives facility. The decision to close this federal repository of public records was made in complete secrecy, with no input from the public or any other government entities in the region. No local hearings or requests for feedback were held in Washington, nor in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, or Oregon. The Seattle National Archives and Records Center holds records, mostly un-digitized, starting in the 1840s for the five NW states. These records are vital public documents for anyone researching American history. No consideration of the importance of maintaining archival resources in the Pacific was made. The National Archives goals do not appear to include keeping local resources close to their origin and where most use will occur. We must ask, “Why not?” It is vital these record are kept in our region and remain accessible. Transferring records relevant to the Pacific Northwest to a records center in Kansas City, Missouri, effectively bars access to those to whom the records are most relevant. We urge you to keep Northwest records where they will be most used, and to keep the expert archives staff who specialize in Pacific Northwest records. Vince Patton
President, Genealogical Forum of Oregon
Spring Seminar with Karen Stanbary: Solve Puzzles with DNA
Join us for our 2020 Spring Seminar, “Solve Puzzles with DNA,” on April 4 & 5, to be presented by nationally-recognized genetic genealogy author and educator Karen Stanbary, CG®, MA, LCSW.
The Saturday, April 4 classes, will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 Portland’s Center for Self Enhancement (SEI). Karen will guide experienced beginners and above in learning how to manage and interpret DNA evidence, then how to incorporate it into existing documentary research and provide guidance on managing conversations about unexpected DNA results. If you register now, the cost for GFO members for this full day is just $45 and for non-members, $50. The Sunday half-day classes on April 5 will be held at the GFO from 9:30 a.m. – Noon. Deepen and expand your intermediate- to advanced-level skills as Karen presents more complex genealogy puzzles requiring more complex DNA evidence analysis. Early registration price for this half-day is just $25 for GFO members and $30 for non-members. Download the Seminar Flyer for more details.

Take advantage of those Early-Bird Registration prices! On March 1, all prices will increase by $5. This is a great opportunity to learn more about solving those genealogy puzzles with the use of DNA.
Register Now
February Workshop: Advanced Excel for Genealogy
Spreadsheets can be a powerful tool to help you analyze your genealogical data and keepi track of your research; and they are essential in managing your DNA information.
From 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 23, join BCG Certified Genealogist, Mary Kircher Roddy, as she presents a hands-on guide for the experienced spreadsheet user using Excel to gain perspective on and to further your genealogy research. For a more complete description, download the seminar flyer. Seating is limited to 30 people! Everyone gets a spot at a table. Participants should bring their (fully charged) laptops pre-loaded with Excel. Mary is an active member of Seattle Genealogical Society, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the National Genealogical Society. She has published articles in Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. For Early-Bird Registration on or before Jan. 31, the fee is $30.00 for GFO Members and $35.00 for non-members. You’ve got one more week before the price increases $5 on Feb. 1.
Register Now
GFO Stars: Manuscripts Committee Volunteers
This month, the GFO Board is proud to select four volunteers as our GFO Stars of January. Cat Cope-Arnold, Anita Lustenberger, Bonnie Randolph, and Ruth Summers have contributed hundreds of hours over several years to help with one goal—creating digital files from 350,000 pages of donated personal papers collected by the GFO.
Top left, clockwise: Anita Lustenberger, Cat Cope-Arnold, Bonnie Randolph, and Ruth Summers
They sort, remove staples, unfold, and scan these papers so that one researcher’s life work can be available to others. Because of their dedication, there is an end in sight for this project! Thank you Anita, Bonnie, Cat, and Ruth!
Needed: Volunteers with Adobe Acrobat Pro Software
We need help to process our scanned periodicals! Sunday work parties have been lively, with volunteers prepping and scanning GFO’s periodicals collection while chatting about all things genealogy. To keep up with the steady stream of material, we need more people to help with the computer processing. Using Adobe Acrobat Pro, the scans are combined, reviewed for problems, and text recognition processing is done. If you have the software needed and can help, please contact Laurel Smith at
News from the Library
New BooksA history of the German language: with special reference to the cultural and social forces that shaped the standard literary languageBook of Gobi: Siskiyou Smokejumper Base, 1943-1981City in the forest: the story of LansingEstate records of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 1730-1850Garrett Surname: Ireland: 1600s To 1900sHow our ancestors died: a guide for family historiansRichardson County, Nebraska, 1985Sesquicentennial sampler, a history of Mormons in the Rogue Valley (Oregon): to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsSurname atlas of GermanyTexas in 1850The Applegate Trail of 1846: a documentary guide to the original southern emigrant route to OregonThe descendants of Alonzo Bartlett (1843-1933) and Ellen Bassett (1851-1897)The Family Tree cemetery field guide: how to find, record, & preserve your ancestors’ gravesThe great fire of London.The parish registers of Gulval (alias Lanisley) in the County of Cornwall (1598-1812)The Sutherland pioneers of Beaverton and Woodville, Ontario, Canada.The Virginia military surveys of Clermont and Hamilton Counties, Ohio, 1787-1849Tracing your docker ancestors: a guide for family historiansTracing your Freemason, friendly society and trade union ancestors: a guide for family historiansWe, the people … of Winnebago County. Winnebago County Bicentennial Commission, 1975 New Digital FilesBarney Family NewsForge: the Bigelow Society quarterlyWPA Historical Records Survey: Benton County Commissioners’ Journal, 1850-1855, Probate Book AWPA Historical Records Survey: Benton County, Oregon Cemetery RecordsWPA Historical Records Survey: Benton County, Oregon Churches
Surplus Book: Colorado Territorial History
Do you have Colorado roots? There’s a very good bet your people are mentioned in this book. Colorado Families: A Territorial Heritage includes 40,000 individuals in its 735 page.
This is a big work of history. The Colorado Genealogical Society encouraged everyone with ancestors settling in Colorado before January 1, 1877, to submit information.
This book says, “Every pioneer was eligible, regardless of race, creed, nationality or ghost
in the family closet. Never has a Colorado history book included so many people – some 40,000 individuals.”
They also add that they “made special efforts to recruit minority histories.” Colorado Families was published in 1981.
This copy is a retired library book with one library mark inside and a label on its spine. Otherwise, this heavy volume is in truly excellent condition. Our price to pickup: $35
Price to ship to you: $45 If you’d like to buy this book, email
Survey Results: You and the Family History Library
Forty-seven people responded to our survey about the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. Of those, 66% reported having gone to the library to do research, and 100% of those said it was worth the trip! When asked if being unable to order microfilms would increase or decrease likelihood of a visit, most respondents said it made no difference. And all the digitized microfilms available through FamilySearch didn’t make a difference either. So it seems that most of us are hooked on the Family History Library. Here are some of the tips we received to help you plan your visit***:
Consult articles on prepping for your visit at FamilySearch and at FamilyTree Magazine. Organize. Prepare ahead. Have your research problem outlined clearly before you go, make a research list, and check the library catalog to be sure that you put in an advanced request for books and microfilm you want to see that are not on the shelves or in the building.
Once at the archives, stick to working on your research goals and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by other books or materials. Have options and alternatives – a Plan B – if your initial plan doesn’t work out. Before you go, use their catalog to make a list of what is only available at the library for research. Then organize by type of records and focus on that type until completed. Don’t spend a lot of time reading. Take a flash drive and save what you find. If the item is an original document make a photocopy. Verify that the items are saving to the flash drive. Take only photocopies of important documents you might want to reference or, better yet, scan them and have them on your thumb drive. Label your thumb drive with your address and phone number should you leave it at a work station or in a computer. Put a clearly named file on the drive with your contact information.
Be sure to visit the first floor you can now print a free big color fan chart from your FamilySearch tree. It’s nine generations and a big help in seeing where you need to concentrate your efforts. Go have fun. If you don’t feel satisfied with the first person who assists you, ask someone else. Everyone there is very friendly. Build in time in case you need to go the Utah State Archives. Particularly for divorce records in the early 1870s as UT was a divorce mecca with some done via mail. Allow as many days as possible, [as well as] time to eat. Look over your work on Sunday and go back Monday to reconcile problems. MY QUESTION — Would GFO ever organize/conduct a trip to the FHL in SLC? Go early in December, not very busy then. *Note that some responses have been combined or edited for brevity.
New Survey: Your Learning Style One of our respondents wanted us to ask our readers, “How do you learn best?”
Take the Survey Now
This week at GFO …
Saturday, January 25th
DNA Advanced Group 9:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m.
Join us for two presentations: GEDmatch: An Introduction will be presented by Lisa McCullough. Handout can be downloaded here.
Maximizing Your Use of GEDmatch – will be presented by Tim Janzen. Handout can be downloaded here. Any questions? Contact
British Interest Group 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
This group’s focus is on researching in the British Isles: England, Wales, Scotland, and Scots-Irish. This month, we will discuss online sources, news,
The Highland Clearances in Scotland, and any recent successes. Also, bring those brick walls if you got ’em. Questions to group facilitator, Duane Funk at
Sunday, January 26th
Library Work Party 9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Come help with the digitizing effort. Doors open at 9 and work will likely continue most of the day. 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. Come join in the fun.
Wednesday, January 29th
GFO Library Open Late to 8:00 p.m.