Wednesday Nostalgia

Do you see the penny? The very un-shiny, battered up, old penny trying to hide in the grass and sticks? Can you guess my point in sharing this photo with you? 

Sometimes (perhaps every time!) we MUST look harder, longer, more carefully to see the clues that are right there before our eyes when doing our genealogy. The evidence is there (so is that penny) but can we see it? Can we find it? Only if we keep looking!!

Tuesday Trivia

The Pennsylvania Dutch, which as “everybody” knows were not “Dutch” but German folks, had a droll sense of humor according to The Pennsylvania Dutch, by Fredric Klees, 1950. They loved bad riddles:

What kind of stones are found in water?    Wet ones.

On which side does a dog have most hair?  The outside.

Why do farmers build pigsties next to the barn? For the pigs.

Here’s the best one cited by the author:

What is as white as snow, as green as grass, as red as blood, and as black as a hat?   A black cherry!


If your ancestry includes Pennsylvania Dutch folks, this book is a must-read for background understanding.  (Found it on Amazon for $26.00.)


Monday Mystery

We all want to know the answer to this mystery….. how to keep from growing old. Just ask Maxine…. she’ll give advice.

Beyond dear Maxine this list of “Ways To Keep From Growing Old” contains no mysteries:

  1. Don’t wear a seatbelt
  2. Do eat with your knife.
  3. Do talk back to a law officer.
  4. Don’t ever wash your hands.
  5. Do eat an exclusive McD’s diet.
  6. Don’t pay any attention to what’s happening around you…. walk on! drive on!
  7. Do step in front of a bus.
  8. Do take a dare and lay down on the railroad tracks.

Friday Serendipity

Kenyatta Berry, genealogist on the TV show, “Genealogy Roadshow,” was a keynote speaker at the Northwest Regional Genealogy Conference last August in Arlington. One project that involves her is very near and dear to her heart: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has “information on almost 36,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries.”

If this points to your ancestry, go have a looksee. Included on this website is a database “identifying 91,491 Africans taken from captured slave ships or from African trading sites.” Your ancestor’s name might just be there.

Wednesday Nostalgia


My dear friend in Richland, Margie Beldin, graciously allows me to share her dilemma: What to do with all this STUFF? Much of it, she explained, was hubby’s from his Air Force career and she wasn’t sure what he wanted done with it. But here she looks sadly on a big basket and two boxes of her own memorabilia, and sighs. And sighs a second time. 

The problem Margie faced is totally understandable by most of us. We have centered our time and energy on gathering facts and possible facts and have paid scant attention to how to evaluate all of that accumulated STUFF. Not to mention the true artifacts.

Sorry, I can’t tell you how Margie’s coming along on this project. My only hope with sharing her story with you today is to hopefully motivate YOU to do SOMETHING with all your STUFF. Before your children toss is all out when you’re gone. And they will. If you don’t have time to do it now, yourself, why do you think they will take the time???


Tuesday Trivia

According to that eminent authority, Sunday’s Parade Magazine, American love their “comfort food.” And each state has its favorites:

Alabama: BBQ Chicken                          Alaska:  Smoked Salmon Chowder

Arizona:  Chimichangas                          Arkansas: Biscuits/Choco. Gravy

California: Ramen                                     Colorado:  Chile Verde

Connecticut: Steamed Cheeseburgers   Delaware: Scrapple

Florida: Cuban Sandwich                        Georgia: Peach Cobbler

Hawaii:  Saimin                                          Idaho:  Finger Steaks

Illinois:  Deep Dish Pizza                          Indiana: Pork Tenderloin Sand.

Iowa: Maid-Rite Sandwich                       Kansas: Chicken Fried Steak/Msh’d

Louisiana:  Gumbo                                     Maine: Lobster Roll

Maryland: Crab Cakes                                Massachusetts: Clam Chowder

Michigan: Pasties                                       Minnesota:  Hotdish

Mississippi:  Tamales                                Missouri: Toasted Ravioli

Montana: Huckleberry Pie                       Nebraska: Runzas

Nevada:  Thai Rood                                  NH:  Apple Cider Donuts

New Jersey: Trenton Tomato Pie           New Mexico: Breakfast Burritos

New York: Buffalo Wings                        No. Carolina: Pulled-Pork BBQ

North Dakota: Knoephia                          Ohio: Cincinnati Chili

Okilahoma: Onion Burgers                     Oregon: Mac & Cheese

Penn:  Philly Cheesecake                         Rhode Island: Doughboys

So. Carolina: Shrimp & Grits                   South Dakota: Chislic

Tennessee: Hot Chicken                           Texas: Smoked Brisket

Utah: Funeral Potatoes                             Vermont: Blueberry Panckes

Virginia: Brunswick Stew                         Washington: Cedar Planked Salmon

W. Virginia: Pepperoni Roll                    Wisconsin: Deep-Fried CheeseCurds

Wyoming: Bison Meatloaf

Do you agree with Parade Magazine’s choice for YOUR home state? Some of those things I’ve never heard of………… some I’ve made and loved….. like Cincinnati Chili. But tamales for Mississippi?? Surprise, surprise. If you can believe Parade. 

Monday Mystery

The newspaper ad on October 24, 1900 in the Omaha Daily Bee read:

“CANCER cannot be cut out or removed with plasters!! Surgical operations and flesh destroying plasters are useless, painful and dangerous, and besides, never cure cancer. No matter how often a cancerous sore is removed, another comes at or near the same point and always in a worse form. Does not this prove conclusively that cancer is a blood disease and that it is folly to attempt to cure this deep-seated, dangerous blood trouble by cutting or burning out the sore, which, after all, is only an outward sign of the disease?”

“To cure a blood disease like this you must cure the entire blood system…remove every trace of the poison. Nothing cures cancer effectually and permanently but S.S.S. which enters the circulation, searches out and removes all taint and stops the formation of cancerous cells…….”

Here’s the “mystery”….. if this stuff was a cure, how come we aren’t using it today? HA!

Friday Serendipity

There are several pioneer associations and groups in our state. Perhaps you already belong to one or more of them?

There is the Daughters of the Washington Pioneers.  The Clark County Genealogical Society (Vancouver, WA) has two filing cabinets or their materials including membership applications. Membership in this group has declined and they are on the brink of big change, Lethene Parks, Librarian of CCGS told me. Her group has plans to work with the group and hopefully digitize and post online an index to those files.

There is the Pioneer Association of the State of Washington. Organized in 1871, this group is headquartered in the Fiske Library building and maintains its reference library there. Contact for more information.

And there is the Sons and Daughters of the Oregon Pioneers, which, since Washington was part of Oregon Territory, this can include Washingtonians. To be eligible to join this group, your ancestor must have arrived into the Oregon Territory before statehood on 14 Feb 1859. (That’s 30 years before Washington statehood.) Google it for more information.

Lastly, WSGS offers Pioneer Certificates and First Citizen certificates and recognition.  Click to that information.

Wednesday Nostalgia

Did you realize that there was a German POW camp in Washington state? It was in the way northeast, at Sullivan Lake. Can’t say that this is a correct picture but it looks likely:

According to The Northest Legacy: Magazine of Local History, March 1977, article by Faith Wentz,  “in 1944 America had been at war for three years. The farms and processing plants faced a great labor shortage during the war due to the fact that most able-bodied men were wearing a uniform and doing their part in the war effort.”

“At that same time, six million POWs were in Allied hands; many of these POWs were brought to the U.S. to help in the harvesting of the crops necessary to sustain the soldiers fighting on the front lines. For this reason several POW camps were established in the Northwest.”

One camp in the Chelan area helped with the apple harvest. Most likely the Sullivan Lake camp helped with lumbering. These ex-German soldiers helps with the corn and sugar beet harvests.

“Not all Americans were happy with this situation….. of having around 2500 German POWs in their midst. But no serious incidents were ever recorded.

“Apparently the prisoners were glad to be in America and away from the war. They were unfamiliar with the work they were asked to do but were eager learners; they were paid in script they could use to purchase such things as cigarettes and candy. Most of them had never eaten corn before and when they were given corn on the cob “they became Americanized.”

“In 1945 the war was over and the POWs left the valley………. ” I wonder what became of these nearly 2500 young German men?

Tuesday Trivia

We do love to talk endlessly about the weather….. too rainy, too hot, too cold and definitely too snowy. How about two feet of snow in one month? In Western Washington!

This bit was from the Tacoma News Tribune for 9 Feb 1929 but hearkened back to “1834 Was Year Of Real Snow on Sound.”

Dupont, Wash……. Feb 9th….. Inhabitants of the Puget Sound county “haven’t seen anything yet,” in spite of the shattering of records during the present cold snap. If history repeats itself, look back to January, 1834, the first year of the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company. An old diary kept by the factor of the fort discloses that on January 14th, it “snowed heavily.” Then on the 15th it again “snowed heavily.” On the 16th, “it snowed much of the day and much during the night.” The snow was two feet deep on the 18th; the 19th and 20th were repetitions of the 18th. Snow and very cold weather prevailed for eight successive days.

Then came thawing and rains and wind which “all but wrecked the palisades and buildings of the fort.” This type of weather prevailed until Feb 16th when another foot of snow fell which was repeated on the 17th and 18th. It was impossible to continue any sort of work. Cutting firewood seemed to be the only occupation.

And we shut down with barely six inches of the white flakes! Were our ancestors hardier than us? I wonder……………