Meet the Board: Roxanne Lowe

Do you know who’s running the show at the Washington State Genealogical Society? Who are these people? In the coming months, we’ll introduce them to you, so you can say “hi” the next time you see them. (Note: a variation of Roxanne’s story was published in September 2017.)

Roxanne in 1958, age 3

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Roxanne Lowe. Roxanne lives in McCleary (Grays Harbor County) and is WSGS’s secretary, web manager and on the blog team. She’s also in charge of the Recognition program. She has been a member of the WSGS since 2008. She was named as a WSGS Outstanding Volunteer in 2010. She’s a proud, long-time member of the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society, serving as president and newsletter editor of the GHGS Family Tree Searcher newsletter.

Roxanne was born in Aberdeen, Washington in January 1955, the first child of George and Patricia (Murphy) Ferbrache. She is the great-granddaughter of Patrick Murphy and Mary Donovan who moved to the Chehalis River Valley in the spring of 1888 from New Brunswick, Canada.

Patrick Murphy, Roxanne’s great-grandfather

Roxanne’s interest in genealogy began as a child. Her paternal grandmother gave her a written family history, loaded with names, dates and locations. It was many years, however, before Roxanne learned enough about genealogy to realize that:

• Ferbrache can be spelled a multitude of ways.
• There may be more than one (or two or 10) Daniel Murphy’s, Lawrence Ryan’s – and even Thomas Ferbrache’s.
• Middle names are not a big deal in her family (Roxanne doesn’t even have one).
• Her descendants moved around – a lot – with little or no regard to leaving a paper trail.
• Whoever wrote that family history was a creative writer.

Fortunately for Roxanne, she joined the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society who taught her a thing or two about genealogy research. She’s attended many conferences, workshops and seminars – learning something new at each. She’s even traveled to Ireland and New Brunswick, Canada looking for Murphy’s and Ryan’s. Next on her travel wish list is to go to Guernsey in the Channel Islands (with a side stop in London) to visit her Ferbrache ancestral land.

Roxanne retired a few years ago from the Washington State Auditor’s Office in Olympia. She had previously worked for Governors Gregoire and Locke as a project manager on the welfare and performance measure programs. When not searching for her family history, she enjoys scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, machine embroidery and just about every other paper and fabric art. She and her husband Gary have five children and nine adored grandchildren. You can often read about Roxanne’s fun-filled adventures with her grandchildren on her Facebook page.

Roxanne on Stanserhorn Mountain in Switzerland, June 2023.

A few more interesting tidbits about Roxanne:
• Favorite genealogy websites: Ancestry, MyHeritage and Google
• Favorite color: Red
• Favorite dessert: Apple pie
• When asked for one word that described her, she replied, “Busy!”

Now you know a little more about another of the WSGS Board members. The next time you see Roxanne say hello and thank her for her service to WSGS.

2 comments on “Meet the Board: Roxanne Lowe

  1. Donna Potter Phillips says:

    Every genealogist in Washington should be thanking you for your unwavering, dedicated L-O-N-G service to WSGS!! I will lead the charge….. THANK YOU x a million!

  2. Kathie Webber says:

    This was fun to read!!

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