THE GENEALOGICAL FORUM’s Thursday Evening E-News Edition October 29, 2020
Thank you to all who have renewed their membership, especially those who included a donation with their renewal.
We are so grateful for your loyalty and support.
Renew Now
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 Want to share an easy-to-read version of this E-News? Click here.
Thank You For Sticking With Us
We don’t say it often enough. Thank you. We are truly indebted to all our loyal GFO members who have stuck with us during this chaotic year. Unfortunately, recent numbers do give us cause for concern. This month alone, we lost 41 members, the largest loss of renewals in one month since the pandemic began.
Thank you We believe in transparency. That’s why we are sharing this update now. The GFO is working diligently to provide you as many services online as we can while COVID keeps our library closed. We are working to make more records available for members soon too. It’s the biggest pivot in our history – in order to continue to serve you. For you who keep your membership current, we can’t say Thank You deeply enough. The future of the GFO depends on our members. We will continue to try our hardest to be worthy of your support.
Fall Seminar: 2 Days of Genealogy Gems!
The GFO is proud to host the popular host of Genealogy Gems Podcasts Lisa Louise Cooke for our Fall Seminar, now online. We’ve added extra seats! Sign up for one or both days. GFO Members get big discounts!
GFO Fall Seminar ad half-pg This is your chance to meet her (virtually), ask questions, and get two days of her popular “Gems” for yourself! Learn about reopening cold cases, handling common surnames, finding living relatives, and see how Google Earth Pro can help every genealogist.
Lisa is an extremely popular international genealogy speaker, and the GFO is thrilled she will join us for our Fall Seminar, November 14 and 15, this year online. And everyone will get a great view of her presentations from the comfort of whatever seat they choose in their home. GFO members get significant discounts: $20 off the first day, $15 off the second. Sign up now!
Register for Fall Seminar
Free November GenTalk: Timelines & Checklists
Nov GenTalk clipped We have a great opportunity for you to learn how to create a timeline with what you know, identify gaps, consult a genealogical research checklist for sources to fill those gaps, and record your queries on a correspondence research log. Discover the magic of methodology that may break down your brick walls.
Katherine R. Willson will be our featured online GenTalk speaker for Genealogical Timelines & Research Checklists on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. Willson is a genealogy lecturer from Michigan; an educator teaching beginning through advanced genealogy classes since 2001; the author of The Genealogist’s Guide to Grand Rapids, Michigan; and a professional researcher for private clients. Go to our GenTalk page to register now. It’s free for everyone.
GFO’s Biggest Idea Needs Your Input
GFO-Library-1264 1 Last month we sent a special email to our members. We let you know the GFO Board is thinking about how we can buy our own building. The board’s job is to manage both short and long term prospects for the GFO. A permanent home would free the GFO of rent increases from a landlord. It would give us stability, a known space, and control of our future. Acting now could guarantee our future 25 years from now.
Many of you responded. Thank you!
However, a number of you offered to serve on a committee, but you did not give your names or contact information. If you answered the survey already and offered to help but have not yet received an email from us, please take the survey again and let us know who you are and how to reach you. Several of you left out your contact information.
(Do not “reply” to this E-News email.) Please note that this committee is limited to GFO Members.
Permanent Home Survey
Local Boy Scout Asks Your Help: Index Family Records
We are happy to share a request from Daniel Clark of Boy Scout Troop 46 in Canby, Oregon. He’s close to earning his Eagle Scout rank, but still has a project to fulfill. For that, he’d like your help.
Daniel Clark Daniel Clark, Troop 46, Rivers Edge District Daniel has set an ambitious goal: he hopes to get volunteers to help him with an Indexing Blitz. His goal is to index 10,000 names on records at FamilySearch! He writes to us, “I’m really excited about this project because it is something that will last forever and benefit so many people!”
And he wants to achieve this between November 1-14.
If you’d like to help, here are Daniel’s instructions: • Go to and login or create an account.
• Then go to ” indexing “
• Select “Web Indexing.”
• Scroll down to the bottom and in the “Groups” section select “Find Groups.”
• Finally search “Daniel J. Clark” and click on “Join group.” FamilySearch has indexing training here. Good luck, Daniel!
Back to Your Past: Genealogy For Students Ages 8-12
Do you have a child or grandchild who might be interested in family history? Here’s something for them.
NYGB-LOGO-Block-YELLOW-RGB-300x130 The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s Back to Your Past program is for students ages 8-12. Participants will learn more about family history and its relevance in the world. Sessions will include discussions on various components of family history including photos, recipes, and oral history. This is a four-week course happening each Monday, starting November 9 at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific time). The cost is $20. Learn more here.
Please Help: Volunteer from Home
For the last few years, our volunteers have been organizing, scanning, and creating finding aids for the many papers that have been donated. Some collections predate computer research. Often, the most interesting part is the correspondence because it is unique and includes information that cannot be found in other sources.
laptop-2557586 1920 We need volunteers to create finding aids for the collections that have been scanned. This involves going through the digital images and recording basic information about them onto a spreadsheet. Volunteers are not expected to read the material, just skim through it to pull relevant data. Procedures and examples can be found here. If you’d like to help with the manuscript collection, please contact Nanci Remington,
What’s New in Online Digital Resources
cable-4498741 1920 tip As our library closure continues, we are featuring free online resources so you can reach out and connect, as well as continue to learn and build on your genealogy skills, from home.
Expo Genealogia – A Latin America Family History Event
Those who speak Spanish or have Mexican heritage are invited to participate in ExpoGenealogía — a free, virtual family history event entirely in Spanish on October 30–31. Coinciding with Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), this event is similar to RootsTech and will provide a varied program aimed at “honoring and celebrating family” that will also be available for on-demand viewing for a year. Learn more and register for free here.
Legacy Tree Genealogists: Details in the Graves
What does the symbol on your ancestor’s gravestone mean? Check out a great review on Legacy Tree Genealogists blog, entitled, “Details in the Graves: Using Tombstone Symbolism to Unlock your Ancestor’s History.” These symbols can unlock information about military service, fraternal organization membership, religious affiliation, and more.  Recognizing and then interpreting these symbols can lead you to records relating to those symbols that further unlock the history of your ancestor.
Surplus Book: England and Wales Research
EnglandWales-4010 This week’s surplus book includes two volumes of a set of three: Genealogical Research in England and Wales, Volumes 1 and 3. We wish we had Volume 2, but alas, we can only offer these bookends. David E. Gardner and Frank Smith wrote these books to give a thorough understanding the many useful sources for English and Welsh research.
EnglandWales-4011 Volume 1 reviews a wide variety of sources including Civil Registrations, Parish Registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, as well as sources on Nonconformists, Jews, and Roman Catholics in Britain. Volume 3 dedicates a large portion to deciphering handwriting from centuries ago, with ample examples and charts. What a boon this is when you encounter ancient handwritten records.
EnglandWales-4016 Our copy of Volume 1 is a sixth printing from 1964, a retired library copy with a label on the dust jacket and markings on the title page. It is a hard back in excellent condition with dust jacket. Our copy of Volume 3 is a hard cover in excellent condition, a revised edition from 1966. It too is a retired library copy with a label on the spine (there is no dust jacket), and a library stamp on the first page and an embossed stamp of the original owner on the title page. We find no other markings in either book.
Our Price for this set: $35, shipping included. Contact if you’d like to purchase this.
This week at GFO …
desk-calendar-12992149 The Week Ahead: The GFO Research Library is closed, and all on-site groups, classes, and work parties are suspended. Tuesday, November 3 Italian Interest GroupNo meeting this month In light of this being Election Day, the November Italian SIG meeting is cancelled so that people are free to participate fully in the voting process. If you have any questions, feel free to contact facilitator Stephanie Silenti at Wednesday, November 4 Learn & Chat 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Online Join our “genealogy self-help” group. Please bring tales of your latest genealogy related adventures and a wish list of subjects to build our calendar. For questions and a link to the meeting, contact Jeanne Quan and Sandy Alto at: DNA Q&A: The Basics 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Online This meeting is for those who are just beginning to use DNA testing for genealogy. Each class begins with a presentation of general information about DNA testing. General questions regarding DNA testing are welcome at the end of each planned discussion. Lisa McCullough leads this group.. Questions or to request a link, email: