Blog Banner: Visit Grays Harbor County

Are you proud of the landmarks and landscapes in your area? We want to highlight different areas of our beautiful state on our Blog banner.

Elaine Anderson of Hoquiam and a member of the Grays Harbor Genealogical Society sure is proud of her area. An amateur, but talented, photographer, Elaine submitted six photos she snapped in Grays Harbor County. Her photos include:

  • Boat shop and Beacon Hill from a strategic point in Hoquiam
  • Washaway Beach (North Cove near Grayland) looking South
  • A barn in the Quinault Valley
  • The surf at Point Brown, Ocean Shores
  • A drive through the scenic Quinault Rain Forest
  • Overlooking the Wynoochee Valley

Let us highlight your scenic photos of your city or county on the WSGS Blog. It’s easy — just submit 4 – 6 photos of your city or county (horizontal photos are best).

Guidelines for the photos are few:
•Landscapes, landmarks, and scenery photos are preferred.
•Photo will be cropped to 1100 x 250 pixels, so keep that in mind. If in doubt, send it to us & we’ll figure it out.
•Final decisions on suitable photos will be made by the WSGS Blog Team.

To submit your photos, please email the images (jpg only, please); what, where, when, and by whom the photos were taken to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org.

Got questions? Email the blog team at WSGSBlog@wasgs.org.

Imminent Deadlines for Special Recognition Awards

Just a little reminder to local societies: your nominations are almost due for the Outstanding Volunteer, Outstanding Team and President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement awards. The deadline to send your nominations to Info@wasgs.org is Sunday, May 1, 2022. The forms are available here.

For more information about these awards, check out the Recognition page of the website or the Blog posts on March 29, 2022 (Outstanding Volunteer and Outstanding Team) and March 30, 2022 (President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement).

For more information, email Info@wasgs.org.

Members: Don’t Forget to Vote on Proposed Bylaws Change

At their 18 Feb 2022 meeting, the WSGS Board approved a change to the bylaws allowing all Board members, regardless of election status, to vote. The change must be approved by the WSGS membership to become official.

Currently, the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and past president are the only members allowed to vote on board matters, while appointed chairs of the standing committees (web master, blog master and Pioneer Certificate program) are expected to attend and participate in Board business, but not allowed to vote. After a discussion about the value of all those who participate on the Board, the Board voted unanimously to allow chairs of standing committees to vote.

All WSGS members received an email with a link to vote on the bylaws change on 20 Mar 2022. If you are a member of WSGS and need a reminder email, please email Info@wasgs.org and put “Bylaws Link” in the Subject Line. Balloting will close at 11:59 p.m., 20 Apr 2022.

The proposed change affects Articles V and VI:

ARTICLE V. THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Section 1. The Board of Directors shall consist of the elected officers, and the immediate past president and heads of the Standing Committees. The Board shall:

  1. Conduct the business of the Society, referring major decisions and unusual expenses to the membership for approval or ratification.
  2. Meet at least three (3) times a year, the dates and places to be determined by the Board members.
  3. Potential Board of Directors Conflicts of Interest shall be addressed annually.

Section 2. Members of the Board are expected to attend all meetings, called by the President or three members of the board.

Section 3. All elected Board Members shall be current members of the Society.

Section 4. Notice of all board meetings shall be given to each member not fewer than five (5) days prior to the meeting.

ARTICLE VI. STANDING COMMITTEES AND APPOINTED POSITIONS

Section 1. The Standing Committees will be: Web master, Blog master, and Pioneer Certificate.

Section 2. The heads of Standing Committees or other Appointed Positions are expected to attend meetings of the Board of Directors and contribute to the deliberations, but are non-voting members of the Board.

1950 Census Is Almost Here

In case you haven’t heard (not sure how you missed the news!), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is releasing the 1950 U.S. Census at midnight on 01 Apr 2022. NARA will provide free online access to the population schedules for U.S. states and territories, enumeration district maps, and enumeration district descriptions.  

According to NARA’s website, they used Amazon Web Services’ artificial intelligence / optical character recognition (AI/OCR) Textract tool to extract the handwritten names from the digitized population schedules. Because the initial name index is built on optical character recognition (OCR) technology, it will not be 100-percent accurate. NARA, FamilySearch, Ancestry, and a host of others are calling for eager volunteers to help “check and correct” the census — not transcribe names like we’ve done in the past. FamilySearch published a great “how-to” video during RootsTech on how to get involved in their effort. The video is available here.

Even though an index won’t be available for a while (hopefully a short while), you can still find your people (or maybe even yourself!). Steve Morse has published an excellent article on getting ready, including how to find your all-important enumeration district.

President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement Nominations Due May 1, 2022

Does your society have a member who has demonstrated long-term exemplary service above and beyond expectations? Someone who has really made a difference? Consider nominating him/her for the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. Previous awardees are shown here.

The ideal recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement has:

• Exhibited long-term, consistent service in the field of genealogy, family or local history, the genealogical community, records preservation or made an important single contribution in those areas that will endure into the future.
• Demonstrated a high degree of energy, commitment, flexibility, and professional conduct.
• Provided significant support and impact to the local genealogical community time and time again.
• Exhibited personal influence and example to society members and/or the general public with their unselfish service.
• Supported or advanced local or statewide genealogical research.

Nominations may be submitted by any individual, local society or organization, regardless of WSGS membership. Nominees do not have to have been officers in their local societies.

Two letters of recommendation must be submitted with the nomination form. Additional documents may be attached, if relevant. Nominations are due May 1, 2022 to Info@wasgs.org.


Nominations will be reviewed by the WSGS Board of Directors, resulting in a recommendation to the WSGS President who will make a final decision.

The President’s Award will generally, but not necessarily, be awarded each year. The award will be announced June 1, 2022. The awardee will receive a commemorative gift and their name will be engraved on the perpetual plaque.

For more information, email Info@wasgs.org. Please put “President’s Award” in the Subject Line.

Outstanding Volunteer Nominations Due May 1, 2022

Do you have a few questions about the Outstanding Volunteer/Team Awards? We’ve put together a list of FAQs to help you.

  1. Who can nominate an Outstanding Volunteer or Team? Any local genealogical society or organization in Washington State can participate in the Outstanding Volunteer or Team program.
  2. Does my society have to be a member of WSGS to nominate someone? Actually, all local genealogical societies are complimentary members of WSGS. If, however, you’d like to become a paid member (only $12/year!), we’d love it. To become a paid organization, click here.
  3. Does our nominee have to be a member of WSGS? No, your nominee does not have to be a member of WSGS.
  4. Does WSGS choose the Outstanding Volunteer or Team from all the nominees? No. This program is not a competition among the nominees or societies.  WSGS honors every individual and team who is identified by their local genealogical organization for exceptional efforts. This is a means for local society and groups to give widespread recognition to their top volunteers.
  5. How many nominees can my society submit? We know there are a lot of your members who have worked hard since 2018 (the last year we made the awards), so in 2022 you can nominate up to four individuals or two teams.
  6. What does my nominee or team get for being an Outstanding Volunteer or Team? Each nominee will receive a personalized certificate outlining why they were nominated by their local society. He/she/they will also be featured on the WSGS Blog. It is also our hope that the nominating society will honor their volunteer at an upcoming meeting or event.
  7. Can we nominate someone who has been an Outstanding Volunteer before? Absolutely! More than 50 people have been honored more than once since the program’s inception in 2003.
  8. How can I see who my society has nominated in the past? Click here to see a cumulative index of all 1,400 names since 2003, listed by society and by individual name.
  9. Can we nominate someone posthumously? Yes. What a wonderful way show his/her family that you valued their late family member’s achievements.
  10. What if we want the nomination to be a surprise? We love surprises (and keeping secrets!) Just check the box on the nomination form to let us know you want to keep this under wraps until the “big announcement.”
  11. How do we nominate someone? We’ve made it pretty easy. The deadline is May 1 when we’ll need the easy-to-complete form and a photo. After that, you’ll get a chance to review and approve the certificate before it’s announced.
  12. When will the announcements be made? We’re still working out the details, but an announcement will be made on June 1, 2022.
  13. Where is the nomination form? Click here to download the form.
  14. Need more information? Email Info@wasgs.org if you’ve got question we haven’t covered.

Remember: the deadline is May 1, 2022!

Blog Banner Photos Wanted

Have you noticed the Blog banner changes every time you visit? The photos are submitted by readers like you. We’re always looking for scenic photos of our beautiful state for the rotating photo gallery on the blog banner.

Guidelines for the photos are few:
•Landscapes, landmarks, and scenery photos are preferred. If, however, you have a perfect photo that includes people, please obtain their permission to post the photo.
•Photo must have been taken in Washington State (this is the Washington State Genealogical Society blog, after all!).
•Photo will be cropped to 1100 x 250 pixels, so keep that in mind. If in doubt, send it to us & we’ll figure it out.
•You may submit as many photos as you want.
•Final decisions on suitable photos will be made by the awesome WSGS Blog Team.
•There’s no prize if your photo is chosen – just the satisfaction that your photo is being showcased on a blog viewed by hundreds of enthusiastic genealogists.
•There’s no firm deadline to submit photos, just keep ‘em coming. We want to rotate lots of photos to keep the blog fresh.

To submit your photo, please email the image (jpg only, please); what, where, when, and by whom the photo was taken to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org.

Got questions? Email the blog team at WSGSBlog@wasgs.org.

Don’t Be Square — Discover Your Family in the 1950 Census in a Free Webinar

FamilyTree University is sponsoring a free interactive webinar called “Don’t Be Square — Discover Your Family in the 1950 Census.” Thursday, April 7 at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time. The instructor will be Jim Ericson who manages the marketing efforts of FamilySearch in Europe and North America. Click here to sign up!

We live in a remarkable time! New technologies and process innovations will unlock billions of records for more people than ever. These records can help us to learn and discover information about our ancestors.

The innovations that Ancestry and FamilySearch are applying create a searchable index of the 1950 US Census. They also provide us a glimpse into the future of records publication and accessibility. 

The creation of automated indexes using artificial intelligence and handwriting recognition technology—combined with volunteer crowdsourcing to review and improve the results—will usher in a new age of genealogical discovery.

What you’ll learn:

  • What has happened since the 1950 census was released by NARA on April 1st?
  • Why are Ancestry and FamilySearch working together to create a separate index?
  • How will the index created by Ancestry and FamilySearch be made available?
  • How can you participate in allowing everyone to experience this unique piece of history?

Click here to sign up!

Nominations Sought for President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement

The nomination period for the Washington State Genealogical Society President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement is open. Nominations are due by 01 May 2022.

The President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement is designed to single out that rare individual, society or organization who has demonstrated exemplary service above and beyond expectations.

The ideal recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement has:

• Exhibited long-term, consistent service in the field of genealogy, family or local history, the genealogical community, records preservation or made an important single contribution in those areas that will endure into the future.
• Demonstrated a high degree of energy, commitment, flexibility, and professional conduct.
• Provided significant support and impact to the local genealogical community time and time again.
• Exhibited personal influence and example to society members and/or the general public with their unselfish service.
• Supported or advanced local or statewide genealogical research.

Nominations may be submitted by any individual, local society or organization, regardless of WSGS membership. Nominees do not have to have been officers in their local societies.

Additional information, including the nomination form, is available here. Questions should be directed to Info@wasgs.org. Please type “President’s Award” in the Subject Line.

Recognize your Outstanding Volunteers and Team NOW

WSGS is proud to announce that the Outstanding Volunteer and Team Awards are back!!

After a three-year hiatus and a global pandemic, it’s time to honor those members who kept societies together and moving forward. Local societies can submit up to four individuals or two teams/projects for special recognition by WSGS.

The process for this year’s Outstanding Volunteer/Team Award program is accelerated and streamlined to recognize our volunteers as quickly as possible. They all deserve it, don’t they?

Letters to local societies and organizations, with additional details, have been emailed to society contacts. If you have not received that information, please contact Roxanne Lowe, WSGS Secretary at Info@wasgs.org. The milestones for this year’s nomination process are:

• No later than May 1, 2022: Submit the name(s), narratives and photographs of your honorees to Info@wasgs.org. The narrative (approximately 150 words) should explain the accomplishments of your nominee and why you are honoring him/her. The photograph should be a good quality digital photograph (at least 300 dpi).
• June 1, 2022: Formal announcement of the recipients will be announced.

Additional details and deadlines, plus indexes of honorees since 2003, may be found at the WSGS website at: https://www.wasgs.org/cpage.php?pt=54

Please contact Roxanne Lowe at Info@wasgs.org if you have questions or suggestions.