Washington State Genealogical Society Announcement

Announcement from WA State Genealogical Society!!

Due to the Covid pandemic, many of our local genealogical societies are struggling! WSGS recognizes how difficult it is for local societies to keep in touch with members. To help and provide support to local societies, WSGS will be sending out a gift of $300 to each society. This money is intended to help cover the cost of a subscription for online meetings or webinars or any other means which could help keep in touch with members.

MyHeritage In Color Free for a Month

Starting today we’re unlocking both our popular photo tools — MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color™ — for a whole month, until September 10, 2020. Normally, these features can be used by non-subscribers on up to 10 photos each, while users with a Complete plan enjoy unlimited use. But now, for a whole month, anyone can enhance and colorize as many photos as they’d like for free!

Free Access to Enhancer and InColor

This continues our tradition of giving back to the community. With so many people currently confined to their home and doing their best to stay safe and healthy — we’re giving everyone a fun way to pass the time and enjoy genealogy!

Using these tools, you can get to know your ancestors in a whole new way. Your old, faded, black and white family photos will come to life, in full color and sharp focus — making them look almost as though they were taken yesterday. We invite you and your followers to pull out your family photo albums today and join in the fun.

Please share this news on your social channels so your followers can make the most of this opportunity, and encourage them to share the results with their loved ones on social media. We know they’ll be blown away.

Keep safe and healthy,Daniel Horowitz Genealogy Expert

MyHeritage Logo Trans 208

MyHeritage (USA) Inc.,
2975 Executive Parkway,
Lehi, Utah

WSGS Blog and the Corona Virus

Well it looks like the readers of the WSGS Blog are getting back to reading the blog at work again. When the shutdown closed many non essential businesses the cities of Kent and Spokane Valley came to the top for readers passing Seattle and Spokane. Since the middle of June Kent seldom makes it in the top 25, and Spokane Valley has not even made the top 50 cities list. When MyHeritage had their European Conferences in 2019 the cities of Helsinki and Amsterdam have been near the top 25 cities. Both seem to be Bots as they stay zero seconds on the blog.

The top three most read Blog posts were my article on the Death of Myra Gormley, The Three Stooges Census collectors, and the Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week on Irish Roots.

We passed 900 subscribers a few weeks ago and EasyNet has worked on stopping the 150+ error messages I get each week saying some of the digests we send out on Wednesday night will be delayed.

Do you want to broadcast information about your local society, workshop, genealogical tip, or a research query? Just send it to the WSGS Blog and WSGS Meetings and Events! You can reach hundreds of genealogists from around the state. Just email a Word document, text file, or graphic to WSGSBlog@wasgs.org and WSGSWebManager@wasgs.org  and we’ll do the rest!

We’re always looking to publicize local events and workshops, feature stories, updates from your society, and other genealogical information that might be of interest to our many subscribers and viewers.

We hope to hear from you soon! And don’t forget to encourage your Society members to subscribe to the Blog for the most up-to-date information from around the state.

You may manage your subscription options from your profile.

Myra Vanderpool Gormley

I first found Myra when I joined the Prodigy genealogy bulletin board in 1991. Myra was the genealogy expert there and every week she wrote an article on genealogy. I kept the articles and started indexing them, still have them on a floppy.

I was also going to the Family History Center (now Family Search Center) near me and as a new genealogist I was surprised when I found my Irish great grandmother’s surname was Vanderpool. My grandmother had told me all her ancestors were Irish, but Vanderpool is Dutch not Irish. Many of the early Vanderpool newsletters are on microfilm at Salt Lake and I was able to trace my Vanderpool’s back to John Jackie Vanderpool born in North Carolina about 1805. He is still one of my brick walls as I have never found any information on his parents. I did find his grandparents and they are also ancestors of Myra Vanderpool, so we are 6th or 7th cousins. I am pretty shy so I sent Myra an E-Mail with my findings and almost immediately got a reply welcome cousin. I joined the Vanderpool group and got their annual newsletter. A few years later I helped index all 40+ volumes of that newsletter. I still have that index here on my computer, but the sky index I used stopped working when I got Win 7.

I confided with Myra several times when something genealogical came up, first was when I sent my GEDCOM to a New England linage group and a month or so later that whole GEDCOM appeared on several online websites with all my living relatives still listed. I completely stopped doing any research and was close to quitting genealogy. Myra calmed me down and later on I did start researching again. It is interesting I see myself on Facebook when I see people wanting to keep their family tree private since someone had changed their online tree.

Second time was when I had the chance to do what our genealogical society calls research for others, I lookup local records in our library and courthouse and charge a small fee which actually goes to our genealogical society. I was thinking that would be a long term commitment, but Myra said I could quit at any time I wanted. I found I really like this volunteer job, I like being in a quiet archive all to myself doing research, and I am the third person in this job since WWII.

Myra was such a good writer and I am such a poor writer, but she always said write about what you know, so I am becoming a better writer. Thanks Myra.

Myra passed away from cancer on June 26, 2020 and I will miss my cousin and friend. Rest in Peace Myra.

Richard Eastman has a nice article on Myra here

Staying at Home

I am glad so many people are staying at home so we can get this covid virus under control. So How do I know you are staying home? Because of the statistics generated here by the people reading this blog. For about a year the top city reading this blog has been Chicago, but with a 100% bounce rate I think it is a bot collecting information. Number two has always been Seattle which makes sense as the largest city in Washington. Spokane was usually near number five, and the cities between Spokane and Seattle was almost always different each week depending on what was written each week. Spokane Valley the city east of Spokane seldom showed in the top 15 cities.

For the last month Kent has been the number one city, and Seattle and Spokane are down in the #4 Group (they are alphabetical when they have the same number of sessions). So instead of reading the blog at work, people seem to be reading from their homes. Keep it up and we will be able to meet in person again soon.

Thanks for Your Help

I want to thank all the people that have been sending me the information on cancelled or postponed meetings, and hope all of you are well and not too bored to work on your genealogy while you sat away form other people. Lets hope it ends soon so we can get back to work before we all look like shaggy dogs. There are many free seminars this month so I hope you can find the one that will give you the clue to break all your brick walls.

Corona Virus Cancellations

I have been trying to keep up with all the Corona Virus Cancellations here, but this blog is really not a great place to post them, because the majority of people get the once a week digest, and so I have also been posting all the cancellations I have gotten on the Washington State Genealogical Society FaceBook page as soon as I get the notice, so check there for the most up to date list of cancellations.

The Year in Review

I want to thank all the wonderful people that send me their society programs and seminars, it helps make my job here easier. We had 40, 628 page views of our blog in 2019. Seven of the top 25 most read were on the closing of the Washington Vital Records which passed the legislature but will not be implemented till 2021. Two of the top 25 were on the Northwest Genealogy Conference and there should be many more than that as this is a very important conference. The most surprising is #3 on the list a post from June of 2015 on the University of Washington Genealogy Class.

WSGS Blog Analytics

One of the more interesting part of posting all these articles on the blog is checking to see which blog posts are read by the most people. Google Analytics keeps track of which blog posts are read the most, which have the highest bounce rate (people that only read one article), and duration of time on the article. They recently added a switch to turn off listings from known search bots which really are not blog readers.

The majority of our readers are from the United States, but we get readers from many countries, today ten countries are listed from Brazil to Slovakia. I am always amazed we get very few from Canada even though we are very close to British Columbia.

To break down where the readers are, Google Analytics also lists the city of the reader, and for the past year or so that city is Chicago. In case you did not know they collect information on conferences, seminars and even monthly genealogical programs and post them on a list of genealogical happenings for the whole country and that is done in Chicago. Number 2 on that list is always Seattle, I guess since they are the largest city in Washington. Past Seattle is a bunch of other cities that change places almost daily, but usually the next two are Spokane and Wenatchee. In this weeks top 25 is Brookline, San Francisco, Des Moines Iowa, San Antonio, Ashburn and New York. There was also two readers from Busan in Korea.

We have as of today 875 subscribers to this blog, and I guess it is one of the largest of any of the blogs from the Easy Net sites that many genealogical societies subscribe to. Only about half of those subscribed read the blog weekly. So how do others find the blog? Google is the most used method. All blogs are easily found by Google and all the other search engines. So what article was most searched by Google this last month? It was an article on the University of Washington genealogy Class that was posted in 2015: http://wasgs.org/blog/2015/06/04/university-of-washington-genealogy-class/