Hello GFO Supporter, As the Genealogical Forum of Oregon approaches its 75th anniversary in 2021, the Board has a really grand idea. In fact, this is a huge undertaking unlike anything we’ve ever done. It’s time that you are included in the discussion. We think the Genealogical Forum of Oregon should buy its own building. A permanent home would free the GFO of rent increases from a landlord. It would give us stability, a known space, and control of our future. Acting now could guarantee our future 25 years from now. Our current lease allows us to leave only in the summer of 2021, or 2026, or 2031. Next year is too soon to make this happen. But by 2026, our monthly rent will reach about the same level as a mortgage payment. That’s when this makes more financial sense. Why not have all that monthly “rent” go into our very own building? Yes, we realize the timing is not ideal. The pandemic is rocking our economy. We would need to raise $400,000 to $500,000 for a down payment on a mortgage and additional funds to cover required renovations of a new space by early to mid-2025, then find a building, remodel it, and move by late spring 2026. To do this will be a monumental task. We are not suggesting buying a building free and clear. That would require $1.5 to $2 million. (Please share this idea with any philanthropists in your life!) Keep in mind that we would still need to raise money in our Annual Appeal to continue paying for year-to-year operations. A capital campaign would have to be in addition to regular fundraising. That’s a very big request. We’re a small organization. And frankly, we’re not professional fundraisers. We need help. As a GFO member, we’d like your feedback. Should we aim this high? Can you help us do it? Please enter the link below to take a quick survey, or fill out the paper version enclosed and mail it back.
You’re Invited.! 2020 Deep RootsAfrican American History & Genealogy Conference 3rd Annual Conference 2nd Regional Conference to encompass Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming
Sponsored by Utah Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and Sema Hadithi Heritage and Culture Foundation This years’s conference theme is Their LegacyUtah Buffalo Soldiers, Black Cowboys & Other Pioneers September 11 – 12, 2020 An Online Virtual Event The Utah Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, (AAHGS) and Sema Hadithi Heritage and Culture, are excited to invite you to our third annual conference. We are pleased with the great learning opportunity we have put together for you. We hope you are as excited as we are. We eagerly invite you to participate in this event to learn about, commemorate and cherish our beloved ancestors. This is a special time of year for us because it gives us the opportunity to present to you stories of America that you will not hear anywhere else. Members and non-members are invited to join us at our annual conference, where we will discuss the research, preservation and presentation of the contributions of African Americans to the history of our seven western states region. We have prepared what we feel is a great mix of experiences for you. We will begin our weekend with a commemoration of the first Africans Americans documented to arrive in Utah before it was settled and became a state. There are sessions on the Freedmen’s Bureau, caring for loved ones graves and markers, and the valiant service of Black men and women who helped establish our place in the west. We hope you enjoy these wonderful presentations on how to record your family history, and cherishing the memory of our ancestors both enslaved and free. You have several registration options: Register for the full conference Register for any two presentations and the Day of Remembrance at a discounted fee Register only for the presentation(s) you are interested in (as many and as few as you like)Register Now
Friday, Sept. 11, 2020Day of RemembranceAncestral Commemoration Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020History and Genealogy Conference In the early 1800s, before the main body of settlers arrived in the territories, stalwart men and women explored the west. They were among the first to explore the Rockies and the Wasatch. The first to challenge the dangerous paths into Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Great African Americans explored, opened pathways, prepared land, and defended the territories. We commemorate and venerate their sense of adventure, fortitude, duty, and ultimate success. These are the counter-stories and fulfilling narratives you won’t hear anywhere else. We will solemnly remember and celebrate these forgotten American heroes. Friday, Sept. 11, 2020Day of RemembranceTour of Fort Douglas Buffalo Soldier CemeteryFriday, September 11⋅ 5:00 PM – 6:30 PMFiona Robinson Hill Our conference opens with a tour the Fort Douglas Cemetery where Buffalo Soldiers are interred. Participate live at the cemetery, or online. Day of Remembrance CelebrationFriday, September 11⋅ 7:00 PM – 8:30 PMRobert Burch, Director and PresidentOpening Ceremonies A special evening event to remember, commemorate, and venerate the Black ancestors of Utah, and the ancestors of our own families. There will be a presentation on Black Pioneers of Utah. Register for the Day of RemembranceSaturday, Sept. 12, 2020 We have planned six history and three genealogy presentations for the avid historian and the family historian. Engaged in an Honorable CallingSaturday, September 12 ⋅ 9:30 AM – 10:25 AMFiona Robinson Hill The stories of individual soldiers who served at Fort Douglas near Salt Lake City, UT Recovering the Names of the Wives of Buffalo Soldiers at Ft. DouglasSaturday, September 12 ⋅ 10:30 AM – 11:25 AMTiffany Greene An introduction to Minerva Atkinson, Eliza Buford, Viola Rucker Davis, and Josephine Allensworth. Using Fold 3 To Locate Your African American Soldier & Demo of Fold 3Saturday, September 11⋅ 11:30 AM – 12:30 PMCrista Cowan With nearly 600 million records, Fold3® holds unique and amazing discoveries for African American family history researchers. Elnora Dudley: The Queen of the 1898 Salt Lake City Emancipation DayFriday, September 11⋅ 12:30 PM – 1:25 PMRachel Quist This is the story about how an obscure photograph of Ms. Elnora Dudley found at an antique shop led to the telling of Salt Lake City’s first Emancipation Day celebration of 1898. (Juneteenth)Utah’s Black SuffragistsFriday, September 11⋅ 1:30 PM – 2:25 PMTiffany Greene As the nation commemorates the centennial of the 19th Amendment, the work of Utah’s Black suffragists provides a crucial element to the story of voting rights in the Beehive State. Searching the Freedmen’s Bureau for Your PeopleFriday, September 11⋅ 2:30 PM – 3:25 PMTracy Zappala The Freedmen’s Bureau gives us some of the first records you might find about your freed ancestral family. Cemetery Preservation WorkshopFriday, September 11⋅ 3:30 PM – 4:25 PMAmy Barry Discovering, restoring, and maintaining the resting place of the ancestors. Utah Territory Outlaw: From Ned Huddleston to Isom DartFriday, September 11⋅ 4:30 PM – 5:25PMRichelle Rawlings-Carroll Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming Isom Dart is the Black outlaw cowboy. Register A la Carte Pick and choose the presentations you would like to attend, or register for the entire conference. Are you ready to register for the conference? REGISTER NOW
Partner Organizations We want to thank those organizations that have partnered with us and are always there to support us: Mormon History AssociationProject SuccessSons and Daughters of the U.S. Middle PassageUtah Memorial Columns
Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, UtahSema Hadithi Heritage and Culture Foundation