Clallam County Gen Society Spotlight

Clallam Co GS

The folks of the Clallam County Genealogical Society can boast that their society is the northwestern-most such society in the continental U.S. and they’d be right on. This of about 160 members of record (with 40-50 attending meetings) may be smallish but they DO things!

Take CCGS Summer School. In 2015 they offered Part One:  “Navigating Free Databases” on the Internet. Classes offered included Google, FamilySearch, Find-A-Grave, CyndisList and the Washington Digital Archives. The attendance proved that this was a popular idea.

This year, on Saturday, May 21st, the CCGS Summer School will spotlight Ancestry, various newspaper sites, Mocavo, World Vital Records, and Fold3. (You can register at the CCGS website, or pay $30 at the door; bring your own sack lunch. Place is the Port Angeles Presbyterian Church, 139 West 8th.

CCGS also maintains a super little library that’s open four days a week with volunteer members on staff to help. They offer monthly-program classes too.

If you live in Clallam or Jefferson counties, or care to drive north to the lovely little port town of Port Angeles, do check out the Clallam County Genealogical Society.

And your society just might want to consider having a Genealogy Summer School day.

Clallam County Genealogical Society Summer School

Saturday, May 21, 2016
8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Port Angeles Presbyterian Church, 139 West 8th
Come join us and learn from the experts about Navigating the Paid Data Bases. The morning session will feature Jim Johnson reviewing Ancestry and various newspaper archives, and Ginny Majewski reviewing Mocavo. The afternoon session will feature Ginny reviewing World Vital Records, and Rod Fleck reviewing Fold 3 and the military records available through the National Archives. Heritage Books will be there too.

$30.00 after May 18th
Non-members – $30.00
LUNCH – Please bring your own bag lunch to enjoy during the one-hour break between the Morning and Afternoon sessions.
Download: Registration form

Clallam County Gen Society Newsflash


Meeting program is free + Special Afternoon Class ($15.00 advance registration)

Saturday, March 19
Meeting program is free + Special Afternoon Class ($15.00 advance registration)  (Monthly Meetings)
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Dungeness Valley Lutheran Church, 925 N Sequim Avenue, Sequim WA
Donna Potter Phillips, a dynamic and well-known genealogy speaker, will give a 2-part session focusing on finding our elusive women ancestors. Finding Lost Ladies & Missing Mothers will be given at the General Meeting. Following a break for lunch, there will be a special afternoon class: Cost for the afternoon session is $15.00 for members who pay in advance. Topic is Our Lady Ancestors were Joiners: Clubs, Societies, & Organizations. Click download form at end of this article.
Donna Potter Phillips
Donna has been sharing genealogical teachings with the Clallam County Genealogical Society for nearly 25 years. She is twice past president of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, has written regularly for all the major genealogical magazines, and had a weekly newspaper column for 15 years. She has been “Mother Hen” to the Salt Lake Christmas Tour for 30 years. When not on the genealogy road, or in libraries, she loves the water….. swimming, beaches, lakes, Hawaii! She now counts 15 in her extended family, and has her dachshund, Tika, help her with her blog-writing.

Serendipity Friday — 2 October 2015

Did your ancestors settle in western states and were first landowners? If so, you can find the information about their land at Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming land records were recently added to the database. I don’t have ancestors in those states but I did find great-great-grandfather in Kansas. Doing a search on some surnames of those I know settled in these areas produced a lot of results. Check this database for your ancestors. Read the article about these 3.3 million original landowners added to –

(Jeanine Barndt is the Head Librarian for the Heritage Quest Research Library in beautiful downtown Sumner, Washington; this bit is from the HQRL Newsletter for Fall 2015.)


I learn history best from historical fiction. And to my ken, some authors of this sort are better than others. Edward Rutherfurd is one of the best, in my opinion. The following blurb from his book New York gives a brand new insight into those old Civil War soldier photos that we prize so highly…. The year is 1863 (page 413) and then 1871 (page 488):

“His photographic  studio  was well equipped….. like the other photographers on the Bowery, his bread-and-butter business in recent years had been taking quick portraits of young men standing proudly, or sheepishly, in their unaccustomed uniforms, before they went off to fight again the South. Quicker than the old daguerreotype to take, easy to reproduce on paper, he’d  get thirty a day sometimes. It paid the rent. At first, these small “carte-de-visite”-size portraits had seemed jolly enough, like taking someone’s picture at the seaside. Gradually, however, as the terribly casualties of the Civil War had mounted, he had realized that the dull little portraits he was taking were more like tombstones, last mementoes, before some poor fellow vanished from his family forever. And if he tried to make each humble one as splendid as he could, he did not tell his customers the reason.”

The character was explaining why he didn’t get a photo of Lincoln speaking the Gettysburg Address…… Lincoln was so brief and:  “It had been no easy business getting a picture in the Civil War. The photographs were always taken in 3-D, which meant that two plates had to be inserted simultaneously into a double camera, one to the left, one to the right. The glass plates had to be quickly cleaned, coated with collodion, then, while still wet, dipped in silver nitrate before being put into the camera. The exposure time might only be a few seconds, but then on had to rush the plates, still wet, into the mobile darkroom. Quite apart from the difficulties of having people in motion during the seconds of exposure, the whole process was so cumbersome that taking pictures of battlefield action was almost impossible. “


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