Unhappy News from FHL

I have a bolt of unhappy news for you. Many of you make trips to Salt Lake City to research in the Family History Library. And many of you trek over to the Church Office Building cafeteria for lunch. It’s everybody’s favorite place and for a long list of reasons. But that privilege is now ended.

David Rencher, head of the FHL, tells us that eating in that cafeteria is an employee benefit of a non-profit corporation. We, as non-employee library patrons, do not qualify. DANG, is what you’re saying, I’m sure. 

Find a Home for City Directories

Hi Donna,Our Library needs to get rid of some city directories.  Do you know anyone in WA or ID who has such a need?  Is this something appropriate to run in the Blog?  They are as follows:
Blackfoot, ID 1992; Everett, WA 1976; Flagstaff, AZ 1970; Idaho Falls, ID 1993; 1994Olympia, WA 1992; Pocatello, ID 1993; Port Angeles, WA 1993, 1994; Seattle, WA 1979, 1980; Vancouver, WA 1958, 1978; Wenatchee, WA 1979; Yakima, WA 1991, 1993.

Contact Janet Damm, Whitman County Genealogy Society,

Thanks for any suggestions you have, Janet

Tuesday Trivia

Would you enjoy having in your yard (or town park?) a start from one of America’s historic trees? “With most of the forest giants gone, Americans now focus on saving venerable trees that presided over much of our history. For Phyllis and Tom Hunter, founders of American Heritage Trees (AHT), that means producing saplings of trees associated with historic people or events.” Their farm is located in Lebanon, Tennessee. Would you like a sapling (tree start) from Alex Haley’s home? Amelia Earhart’s birthplace? Mount Vernon? Robert E. Lee’s home? Benjamin Franklin’s??

For more information, click to www.americanheritgetrees.org . The site includes a hardiness zone map; prices range from about $60 to $125, depending on the size of the sapling, plus shipping.

(Thanks to American Spirit, the DAR magazine for tipping me off to this.)

Monday Mystery

Which genealogical society in the state is in the most northwestern corner? The Clallam County Genealogical Society!

This little-but-thriving group, organized first in 1981, owns its own building, and boasts a library of over 3,000 books. The main thrust of their collection is Clallam County materials and boy-oh-boy do they have a gold mine of information.

Now you may think genealogy in this far-northwest county would be mostly of Native Americans. Hardly. A dear friend who is fourth generation living there told how her Civil War widowed great grandmother came from the Midwest to Port Angeles in 1896. Think of that journey! By rail to Seattle and then by boat to Port Angeles as there were no roads. One reason might have been that President Abraham Lincoln had established Fort Worden nearby in Port Townsend and had set aside land in Port Angeles for Civil War soldiers.

The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) had a very active post in Port Angeles beginning in 1889. In 1892, a soldiers’ colony from Michigan relocated to the area to work in the timber industry.

The 1900 population of Port Angeles was nearing 2500 souls. And they came from somewhere else, mostly.

Next time you think to visit the Olympic Peninsula, stop in at the Clallam County Genealogical Society. It’s worth your time for sure.

Friday Serendipity

Next after U.S. Federal Census Records, I think that U.S. military records can furnish us much information from one source. Military records offer evidence of service rendered and family connections (pension collecting). Military records are most effective when correlated with other sources.

This was Rick Sayre’s advice for the final talk of the day at the 2018 Montana Genealogical Society’s conference in Great Falls. He stressed that we must (1) Know America’s wars; (2) Know the records; (3) Know the law (laws governing military service and pensions).

For a desktop visual aid to help keep the wars straight in your mind, here’s a help:

List of Major American Wars

  • The Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
  • War of 1812 (1812-1815)
  • Mexican – American War (1846-1848)
  • American Civil War (1861–1865)
  • Spanish-American War (1898)
  • World War I (1914-1918)
  • World War II (1939-1945)
  • Korean War (1950-1953)

There are many resources, both in books and online, to assist your personal education of the specific war your ancestor might have been involved in. You might start with the Wiki at FamilySearch: www.familysearch.org/wiki

Wednesday Nostalgia

For many women today, the United States Daughters of the American Revolution, or DAR, is still a viable and relevant organization. Besides monthly meetings these ladies contribute to service projects and honor and preserve the legacy of patriot ancestors.

American Spirit is the magazine published by the Daughters. In the Mar/Apr 2019, I gleaned these interesting tidbits about the organization.

There is a DAR Genealogy Preservation committee where volunteers categorize documents to make the retrieval process easier for documents submitted with applications.

The group offers helpful research publications such as: Massachusetts/Maine Revolutionary War Source Guide and North Carolina Revolutionary War Source Guide. You can order them in paper form or purchase them as a PDF download. Click to www.dar.org/darstore

American Spirit carries queries! Yes, they still do. The cost is $1.00 per word. Click the website (www.dar.org) for submitting information and any other information about this venerable patriotic organization.

Tuesday Trivia

Who doesn’t like a pretzel? Ever given a thought as to the origins of the humble pretzel? Well, it was in Germany…………..

“The earliest recorded evidence of pretzels is their appearance in the crest of the German bakers’ guild in the year 1111….. pretzels were deeply integrated in both religion and German culture. As a result, German immigrants brought pretzels with them when then came to the U.S. in the 1700s. They were a staple food of the Pennsylvania Dutch.”

Don’t have to be German to enjoy a fresh hot pretzel from a fair or mall vendor these days.

(Thanks to Der Ahnenforscher, newsletter of the German Genealogy Group, www.GGG.org, based on Long Island. This bit was quoting an article in The Week in Germany, March 2019.)

Monday Mystery

The construction of Grand Coulee Dam was a boon for Washington and the entire USA. No argument. But did you realize that many little settlements along the river were drowned and many, many cemeteries and grave sites were buried beneath the water…..forever?

Quoting from a Spokesman Review article from 25 March 1939:

“Undertakers of the state will vie with one another this spring for the biggest mass burial contract in the history of the state. Bids will be called soon for the removal of a thousand graves of Indians and whites within the area to be flooded by Columbia River backwater above Grand Coulee Dam.

“The plan calls for giving the contract to a licensed undertaker. He and a crew of men (preference is to be given to Indian workmen) will dig up the remains along the river shore. Most of the Indian remains will be taken to main Indian cemeteries at Keller and Inchelium. Heirs of white people…..have been notified of the removal plans. The bureau will re-bury their relatives in graves near by, or if it is desired to move the remains to burial grounds far away, will deliver the caskets to relatives.”