“Traveling Through Time” Hard to Sit Through

About 65 individuals had a difficult time sitting through the Traveling Through Time seminar with speaker William Dollarhide. Within minutes of his opening remarks there was a desire to leave the room and research.

The first session of the all-day seminar was titled “Dollarhide’s Five Rules – Essentials for Successful Genealogical Research.” Rule number 1 was “Treat the brothers and sisters of your ancestors Lectureras equals.” With this rule Dollarhide encouraged everyone to obtain those important census records, vital records, and various historical documents on all collateral lines. He provided a great case study of locating his own Dollarhide Family Bible by following this rule. Most genealogists, he explained, focus so closely on their ancestral line that they overlook the very important clues that are available by examining records left behind by aunts, uncles, and cousins of every generation. With this he also told everyone that they had an awful lot of work to do. It was a difficult way to begin the day as we knew that we were only beginning to understand how little we had done. Continue reading

Fred Pflugrath Receives President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement

Lynda Pheasant accepts Fred's President's Award from Roxanne Lowe and Mike McKinnon

WAGS President Lynda Pheasant accepts Fred Pflugrath’s President’s Award from Roxanne Lowe and Mike McKinnon

Fred Pflugrath was named the first recipient of the WSGS President’ Award for Outstanding Achievement at the WSGS Conference in Ellensburg last month. He was nominated by the Wenatchee Area Genealogical Society (WAGS).

Over the last dozen years, Fred has single-handedly identified, researched, and documented information about almost 2,500 Civil War veterans from all over Eastern Washington. Much of his research is available in 35 notebooks in the WAGS library with an index available online. Additionally, he has taken the extra step to submit the information to the National Grave Registration Project (part of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, SUVCW).

Fred has connected families with their Civil War ancestors, arranged for headstones and markers, and orchestrated dedication and memorial ceremonies. He has willingly shared information, resources and expertise with anyone wanting information, including those outside Chelan and Douglas counties.

As if that isn’t enough, Fred also gives tours of local cemeteries and has been the WAGS newsletter editor.

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Skagit Valley GS Earns First Outstanding Project Award

Kris and Chris, proud Skagit Valley GS members, accepting the Outstanding Project Award

The inaugural WSGS Outstanding Project award was awarded at the WSGS Conference in Ellensburg last month to the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS) for their “Making Connections Through Roots (Researching Our Origins Teens With Seniors)” project. This deserving effort was a community collaboration between SVGS, the Burlington Public Library and the Burlington-Edison Alternative High School. The purpose of the project was to teach 12th grade students who were at risk of dropping out of school basic researching methods by researching their own unique family histories. In addition to the dedication of many committed individuals, this innovative project received a $23,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Foundation. The SVGS received a certificate and one-year membership to WSGS for their accomplishment.

Upon reviewing the ROOTS nomination, one reviewer commented,

“I can only find positive remarks to make about this marvelous project. It perfectly combines answers to various struggles that genealogical societies encounter. It embraces youth and validates them. It is an amazing tool for outreach…I applaud the mastermind that created a solution to address so many concerns. I also applaud each and every person that participated in this project. I would love to see this project duplicated by every genealogical society in every county of every state of this great country. Bravo!!”

If you would like to hear more about this outstanding project, contact John Hayes, SVGS President. In addition, the Washington State Library featured a recent First Tuesday webinar about the project. https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?sid=2008170&psid=2015-01-06.0907.M.51A1F6BD288768B43F3C46EBA9B642.vcr

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Columbia Gorge GS Earns Outstanding Communication Award

The Columbia Gorge Genealogical Society’s “Tales and Trails” quarterly newsletter was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Communication Award at the WSGS Conference in Ellensburg last month. The society received a certificate and will have possession of the perpetual Outstanding Communication Plaque for the next year.

Besides news, reports and announcements that pertain to their 38-member society, the newsletter features interesting and useful information about genealogical research and family history. It’s no easy task for Editor Jim Bull to constantly be on the lookout for quality material. He has been the Editor in Chief since 2010.

Formerly “paper copy only,”  the newsletter has now transitioned to an “on-line” edition that is available to society members, other genealogical societies, family history centers and libraries. Those without computer access still receive their copy in the mail. The change to electronic publication has resulted in a higher quality newsletter, which can be published at less expense.

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Conference Almost Here!

Have you registered to hear David Rencher, FamilySearch’s Chief Genealogical Officer, talk about “Strategies and Visions for the Future”? It’s not too late!! Here’s the brochure and how to register.

I’m so looking forward to meeting and greeting David, but I’m also going to take advantage of some other great happenings! On Thursday, I’m going to  take a self-guided driving tour of more than 100 large quilt squares painted on the side or end of local barns. The Barn Quilt Trail celebrates the area’s agricultural heritage, as well as the folk-art of the American quilt.

On Friday, I’m going to tour the Central Washington branch of the Washington State Archives sometime between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m., then I’ll drop by the Kittitas County Genealogical Society open house at their Research Library, 413 N. Main Street, from 4:00 -6:00 p.m. And THEN, I’m going to visit the Computer Lab that’s set up at the Quality Inn (conference headquarters, 1700 Canyon Road, Ellensburg) from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. to check out four of the most popular genealogical software programs: Family Tree Maker, Roots Magic, Legacy, and PAF. I’ll have my research (GEDCOM format on a flash drive) to test drive the programs. Experienced users will be there to help me.

On Saturday, I’ll be up bright and early (okay, maybe just early…) to grab breakfast before spending the day learning about the future of genealogy and networking. During the day, I’ll also be staffing the WSGS information table (stop by to say hi!) and presenting awards at the Annual Meeting to Outstanding Volunteers and Teams, Outstanding Project, Outstanding Communication, the President’s Award and the Innovative Grants to amazing projects sponsored by local societies.

Visit this Blog and our new Facebook page often — the Blogging and Facebook teams will be posting pictures of the festivities!

Kittitas County’s Diane Huckabay Promotes Genealogy


Genealogy display at Ellensburg Public Library

Diane Huckabay,  President of the Kittitas County Genealogical Society, has become the driving force behind a new opportunity for local library visitors to learn about genealogy and family  history research. Every Friday afternoon for the next couple of months at the Ellensburg Public Library, Diane is helping those interested in genealogical research. At her first session, Diane discussed family group sheets and pedigree charts. In addition, she provided resources and encouragement to those attending.

According to the library’s press release, one-on-one research consultations are also available to more experienced visitors and visitors with specific research questions. In addition to promoting genealogy and family history, Diane is encouraging interested visitors to attend the upcoming WSGS Conference at the Quality Inn in Ellensburg on Saturday, June 27, 2015.

There are preliminary plans, if successful in Ellensburg, to expand the family history research opportunity to neighboring libraries. The Ellensburg Public Library is located at 209 N. Ruby Street.

More Than Your Basic ABC’s — Much More!

Ever wonder what all the letters behind a professional genealogist’s name stand for? They stand for lots of hard work, dedication, and commitment.

David Rencher, the headliner at the 2015 WSGS Annual Conference on June 27 in Ellensburg, has a veritable alphabet book behind his name.

◾AG — Accredited Genealogist with the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen)
◾CG — Certified Genealogist with the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG)
◾FUGA — Fellow of Utah Genealogical Association (UGA)
◾FIGRS — Fellow of the Irish Genealogical Research Society, London

And don’t overlook that he’s the CGO (Chief Genealogical Officer) at FamilySearch, past President of FGS (Federation of Genealogical Societies) and has a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Family and Local History from BYU (Brigham Young University). That’s a lot of letters!!!

Sign up now to spent the day listening to David share his expertise and vision for the future of genealogy. You’ll understand why he’s got all those letters behind his name!