Natalie Stien Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Natalie Stien

Today we’re introducing Natalie Stien of Redmond, Washington, who was nominated by the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State (JGSWS). She was recognized for her dedication to excellence during the 2016 International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies annual (IAJGS) conference in Seattle.

Ms. Stien joined JGSWS in 2004, volunteering right away for various positions. However, her commitment to getting the job done right was exemplified when JGSWS co-hosted the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies Annual (IAJGS) Conference in Seattle in August 2016. Ms. Stien served as a volunteer co-chair, a monumental job coordinating dozens of volunteers for the six-day conference. She was the first to arrive and the last to leave every day of the conference, often working 15-hour days. Her responsibilities included determining where volunteers would be needed, finding and adopting a software program that volunteers could use to sign themselves up for specific tasks and time slots, and dealing with last-minute schedule changes.

According to fellow JGSWS board members, Ms. Stien was often the first to volunteer for any extra tasks needed to support the organization. This display of dedication illustrates that Ms. Stien richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Claire Smith Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Claire Smith

Today we’re introducing Claire Smith who was nominated by the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society (BIGS). She was recognized for her exceptional leadership and consistent support of her local society.

Ms. Smith was instrumental in her local society’s creation in 2005, and shaped its growth, serving as president, vice president/program chair, webmaster, newsletter editor, mentor and special interest group (SIG) leader. Because of her astute business sense and organizational skills, procedures and processes were put in place, creating a legacy for the organization to rely on into the future.

Ms. Smith unselfishly shared her knowledge and time with anyone asking for help. She consistently encouraged and supported members to continue to gain and improve skills.

In Ms. Smith, BIGS found a rare combination of leadership and vision, commitment and dedication, technological know-how, and a passion for genealogy. Without a doubt, she richly deserves being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Meet the Board: Barbara Johnson

Do you know who’s running the show at the Washington State Genealogical Society? Did you know we have an Executive Committee, six standing committee chairs and three appointed non-elected officers? Who are all these people? In the coming months, we’ll introduce them to you, so you can say “hi” the next time you see them.

Barbara Gorham Johnson

In today’s “Meet the Board” series, we’re introducing you to Barbara Jeanne Gorham Johnson. Barb lives in Mount Vernon (Skagit County) and is in her first term as WSGS’s Region 1 South Representative. Besides being a member of WSGS, she is a long-time member of the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society where she has served on the Board as secretary, vice president, and currently as education chair and communications chair. She also belongs to Clan Johnstone in America and Saddleworth (Yorkshire) Historical Society.

Barbara Jean was born in Seattle in 1943, the daughter of Arthur and Emily (Kochis) Gorham. Her mother, the good Catholic that she was, named her daughter after St. Barbara and St. John. Her names mean “stranger” and “God/like/ly.” With a twinkle in her eye, Barb’s mother told her daughter that she was a “strange gift from God.” What a sense of humor!

Barbara in kindergarten

While born in Seattle, Barb grew up on the idyllic Vashon Island. After high school, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology at the University of Washington and did virus research for several years. After marrying Roger Johnson, she became a full-time mom. After that, she became a King County police officer, then did security duty at Bellevue Square. After that, she became the first park ranger for the City of Bellevue. She has also been a science teacher with Pacific Science Center’s “Science On Wheels” program. When she and Roger “retired” to Skagit County, she worked part-time as a park ranger for North Cascades National Park. This girl loves the great out of doors!

Barbara and Roger

Barb has been interested in family history for years. She used to listen to her parents talk about their childhood years in New York City and (at that time) Czechoslovakia. Barb would often ask her  maternal grandmother to tell her about the old country, curious about her native homeland. About 25 years, ago, Barb got serious about researching her roots. She has traveled to ancestral lands in Massachusetts, Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire, England.

Barbara and her family

Speaking of Yorkshire, one of her most fascinating genealogical discoveries was finding her Yorkshire cousin who helped her with her research back to the 1500’s. Barb and Roger visited him in the Parish of Saddleworth in West Riding of Yorkshire last year. He was kind enough to escort them all over the parish, regaling them with stories of ancient and family history and architectural history.

Barb and Roger, a retired banker who is a model railroader, are the proud parents of Steven and Michelle. Steven is a Navy veteran now working for a defense contractor in Washington, D.C. Steven and his wife Jen, a school teacher who is also a Navy veteran, have two children: Jeffrey (age 12) and Lexie (age 9).  Daughter Michelle and her husband Bob live in Edmonds. She is an early education teacher at Edmonds Community College, while Bob is a home inspector.

A few more interesting tidbits about Barb:

  • Barb does DNA and genealogy presentations in Washington and British Columbia. She also participates in a living history program as Abigail Adams.
  • Favorite genealogy websites: Ancestry.com as they have wonderful Yorkshire records that have been digitized
  • Favorite color: Blue
  • Favorite dessert: Dark chocolate – Death by Chocolate, in particular!
  • When she’s not doing genealogy, Barb likes to hike, quilt, scrapbook and do needlework.
  • It’s easy to describe Barb in one word: enthusiastic!

Now you know a little more about another of the WSGS Board members. The next time you see Barb say hello and thank her for her service to WSGS.

Susan Jensen Pointer Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Susan Jensen Pointer

Today we’re introducing Susan Jensen Pointer of Longview, Washington, who was nominated by the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society (LCGS). She was recognized for her diligence and dedication to the society’s well-being.

Susan has served as the society’s treasurer for the past four years. In addition, she previously served as the LCGS secretary. As treasurer, she has diligently kept the financial records of the society. She generates the treasurer’s report each month reflecting the intake of dues, monies received from the annual rest stop fundraiser, payments to buy books and donations received for memorial books. She is also currently serving on the nominating committee, devotes her time to the rest stop fundraiser, and has written for the society’s newsletter.

Susan has always shown a willingness to participate in a wide variety of activities of the society, and richly deserved being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Bea Ritter Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Bea Ritter

Today we’re introducing Beatrice “Bea” Ritter of Vancouver, Washington, who was nominated by the Clark County Genealogical Society (CCGS). She was recognized for commitment to the satisfaction of the society’s members.

The Clark County Genealogical Society has been greatly improved by the efforts of long-time member Bea Ritter. She joined the CCGS in 1998 and has served in various leadership capacities since then. Over the past four years she has ably served as the society’s vice president. In 2015, the position of membership chair became vacant and Ms. Ritter graciously volunteered to fill in. Her efforts immediately resulted in a significant increase in member retention and new member satisfaction.

The strength of the Clark County Genealogical Society rises and falls with its membership and Ms. Ritter has made a mighty contribution to the society’s well-being. As such, she greatly deserved being a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Washington State Genealogical Society Annual Awards Ceremony

Greetings fellow genealogists and family history enthusiasts!
This year the WA State Genealogy Society Annual Awards Ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Clark County Genealogical Society Conference.  It looks to be a great program, a great speaker and lots of fun activities.  If you have not already made plans to go, please consider attending.  Events run May 25-27th, with the Conference on the 26th.   Registration forms are available on the website, www.ccgs-wa.org .  Below is more info provided by Clark Co Gen Soc.
 During an event filled weekend, our Saturday seminar key speaker will be David Allen Lambert.  Serving as chief genealogist for the venerable New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), David’s seminar topics include 1) World War 1 Military 2) Great Migration Era settler research 3) Probate & Deed Records research.  As an honored guest at our Hudson Bay Company Gala ReceptionFriday evening, he will be able to share his genealogical gems; seemingly small finds that lead to amazing stories.  We are collaborating with Friends of Fort Vancouver to bring some of the wonderful Fort interpreters as guests.  For out-of-towners the Hilton Hotel offered special rates.  The CCGS group reservation code is CCG.  Our web access page is:  http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/P/PDXVAHH-CCG-20180525/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG

David Allen Lambert publishes regularly on Vita Brevis, the NEHGS blog that serves as an exceptional family history resource.  Follow him at:  https://vita-brevis.org/author/dalambert/

A guided Cemetery Tour is proposed for Sunday along with brochures for other local self-guided tours, all available from the CCGS Library. 

For 5 days before and during Memorial Weekend, The Fort Vancouver Tapestry will be displayed at the CCGS Library.  Completed in 2005, this historic community project required 57 skilled stitchery workers contributing 100,000 hours over 5 plus years.  http://www.fortvancouvertapestry.com/

 

See you there!

​Ginny Majewski, President

​Washington State Genealogical Society

Barb Peterson Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Barb Peterson

Today we’re introducing Barb Peterson of Chimacum, Washington, who was nominated by the Jefferson County Genealogical Society (JCGS). She was recognized for her expertise in maintaining the financial records of the society.

Ms. Peterson has served as the society’s treasurer since 2012. She has spent countless hours maintaining the books and financial business of the society, and always provides accurate and timely reports. The importance of having an accurate accounting of the society’s funds cannot be overstated. Ms. Peterson has provided that accuracy and confidence.

Ms. Peterson is a respected and diligent member of the JCGS, and richly deserves being a recipient of a 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Noel McRae Awarded 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Honor

Since 2003, the Washington State Genealogical Society has recognized over 500 outstanding volunteers and teams, nominated by their local society or genealogical organization for their service and dedication. These volunteers are the backbone of their local society, giving their time and expertise, to the organization and the field of genealogy. In the coming months, you will be introduced to each of the 2017 award recipients and learn why they received the 2017 WSGS Outstanding Volunteer and Team Award.

Noel McRae

Today we’re introducing Noel McRae of Kelso, Washington, who was nominated by the Lower Columbia Genealogical Society (LCGS). Noel has been an exemplary member of the LCGS, as he is not a genealogist. He has been a member of the society for the past eight years in order to support his wife’s genealogical pursuits.

Noel has served as president of the society for three years. He has shared his technical experience for all program presentations, and has served as the society’s liaison with the head of the meeting facility to ensure that all equipment is in good working order. He has headed a computer interest group which meets twice a year, and has devoted his time working at the annual rest stop fundraiser.

Noel has also assisted several members who are not as computer adept as he to design PowerPoint presentations.

Noel is highly deserving of being awarded a 2017 Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Washington State Genealogical Society and Lower Columbia Genealogical Society.

For more information on the WSGS Outstanding Volunteer Award program, visit the Recognition page of the WSGS website or contact Roxanne Lowe, Interim Recognition Chair, at Roxanne@thekeeffes.com.

Clark County Gen Soc Hosts WSGS Awards

The WSGS Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony, which includes the announcement of the Outstanding Volunteer and Team awards, Outstanding Communication and Project awards,  WSGS President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Innovative Grant winners, will be Saturday, May 26, 2018 during the lunch period of Clark County Genealogical Society‘s Spring Seminar. The seminar and awards event will be held at the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site in Vancouver.

David Allen Lambert

The seminar’s featured speaker will be David Allen Lambert, New England Historic Genealogical Society‘s chief genealogist. His seminar topics include:

  • World War 1 Military
  • Great Migration Era settler research
  • Probate & Deed Records research

CCGS has planned other events during the weekend, including:

  • Hudson Bay Company Gala Reception on Friday night. David will be the honored guest and will share his genealogical gems: seemingly small finds that led to amazing stories.
  • A guided Cemetery Tour is proposed for Sunday. There will also be brochures for other local self-guided tours available at the CCGS Library.
  • For the five days before and during Memorial Weekend, The Fort Vancouver Tapestry will be displayed at the CCGS Library. Completed in 2005, this historic community project required 57 skilled stitchery workers contributing 100,000 hours over more than five years.  For more information, visit http://www.fortvancouvertapestry.com.

For out-of-towners, the Hilton Hotel is offering special rates.  The Hilton’s web access page is:  http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/P/PDXVAHH-CCG-20180525/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG. Be sure to  mention the CCGS group reservation code CCG.

The CCGS Spring Seminar flyer, including a registration form, can be downloaded by clicking on REGISTRATION FORM seminar 2018 or visit the CCGS website.