Saturday, April 12, 2014

Cemetery Stories: Sears Family......... Part 1

I used to live near Fairmount Cemetery (far west end of Wellesley Avenue in Spokane). It is peaceful, there are no cars or dogs, and there is no trash to distract thinking. And I love to read all the tombstones and to imagine the stories.

One set of tombstones that caught my eye years ago were these two side by side:

 Lewis S. Sears
born Jan 26, 1857; died May 12, 1889, aged 32 yrs, 3ms, 16ds
Asleep in Jesus blessed sleep

And the smaller of the two stones read:

Little Lew
daughter of L.S. and M.A. Sears
born May 12, 1889; died Dec 26, 1890
Gone to Papa to sleep with Jesus

In my imagination I wondered what had happened? Little Lew was born the same day her father died. Was there a buggy accident? And there was no stone for mother, M.A. Sears.

Lewis Sidney Sears' death certificate online via our Digital Archives ( ):

The certificate states that he was a carpenter, born in Seneca Falls, New York, and died of typhoid fever. The duration of the disease is noted to be "fifty seven." Fifty-seven what? Hours? Days? 

(Continued next post.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

EWGS Spring Seminar A Success!

 For those 70-some EWGS members and guests, our Spring Seminar on April 5th with Leslie Lawson was a great learning time. Shirley Penna-Oakes arranged for Leslie to come and introduced her to us. Leslie then taught us some great points on Newspaper Research, Cemetery Research, Going Onsite to Research, and Locating People in the Last Century.

Leslie explained that her website has her ToolBox wherein she has posted "thousands" of helpful links that she uses and freely shares with us. Leslie is a forensic genealogist which means she does most of her work on cases that have legal implications. She told us some fabulous stories from her solved cases.

Mary Holcomb and her committee coordinated the pot luck items and the food was delicious and abundant.... Diane Boyd brought four dozen Krispy Kreme donuts!! Many wanted the recipes and Mary will coordinate this project.......... send your recipe to her at .   

Folks came from Anchorage, Alaska (she is moving here), Colville, Athol, Ritzville, Deer Park, and Sandpoint. Those who made the effort to attend were richly rewarded.

Next on tap is our Fall Workshop; stay tuned to our EWGS website for details!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 ........... do you know about this website?

This is a screen shot of  which is "the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history."  This week they're showing pictures and information about the mudslide over near Oso and Darrington, Washington. The website has a search feature where you can type in your request.

When you click to the website, click first to About Us to read the explanation of why and what the site is and offers.

Picking something from my mind, I asked for "Pinkneyville" and learned that on December 1, 1859, a post office was established at a "raw frontier town that had sprung up near the military post of Fort Colville." The town lasted until 1893. I understand that the site and the town morphed into the present town of Colville.

From the HistoryLink website, here is a soldier's drawing of old Fort Colville.

While you might be saying, "I would not be interested in this website because I do not have early Washington ancestors." But I submit to you that since we live here that we ought to be aware of our history for our own self-gratification and to help others from elsewhere who do have and are researching their Washington ancestors.

Check out you may have an enjoyable hour clicking here and there on the website.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ghost Towns In Eastern Washington?

Doing some researching work lately I've come upon some towns that aren't "alive" any longer. Methinks they've turned into Ghost Towns??

I'm talking about Beverly and Bong and Fletcher and Brents, all in eastern Washington. Beverly must be a real place because I did find this:

Further looking and I found that Beverly was named about 1905 by H. R. Williams after Beverly, Massachusetts, and in its day (1905-1920s) our Beverly was home to hundreds of railroad workers.

But of Brents (Lincoln Co), Fletcher (Adams Co) and Bong, I found nothing. And believe me you get many interesting results when you search for "Bong Washington."

Did find two most interesting websites regarding ghost towns in Washington:   and

Maybe you will come up with some information on these towns or other long-lost towns of Washington?

Monday, March 17, 2014


Sunday evening a group of EWGS volunteers gathered to help take pledge calls at KSPS our local public TV station. My oh my did we have a delightful time!  Cheryl Beck is the coordinator and she went over the top and brought wonderful deli sandwiches for the group. With the Tim's Chips and fresh popcorn, we eat and visit our way through the evening in between taking phone calls!

While we were not "live" we took about 80 calls and made a goodly sum for public television in our area.

Big thanks to all of you and hopefully we'll rendezvous again......when Cheryl coordinates with the station for their next pledge drive.

Monday, March 10, 2014

EWGS & Vests & Stuff

These are not our EWGS vests,
but are a sample of what ours
will be...... ours will be dark purple
in color and have our EWGS
logo printed small on front and
larger on back. They have two
front pockets and are quite sturdy.

I think having identifying vests for EWGS will be a dandy-fine-good thing for our group. And some 70 of you have agreed and have ordered one. They will be printed by "Grandma Deanie" up in her shop in Colville, so we're supporting a local business. The first order has gone in; if you want now to order one, please send your check made out to Deanie Franz and sent to me, Donna, at 8002 W. Mission Rd., Spokane, 99224-9572.  And I will get yours ordered asap.

I plan to wear mine to our EWGS meetings, to special meetings (like we just had out at the Cheney Archives), to our state meetings and when I attend meetings of other genealogical societies...... like up in Colville or Hayden or to the FamilySearch Symposium coming up on April 26th.  (I hope to have the initial order ready to hand out at the April meeting.)

EWGS received a postcard from Lisa Hamilton who has "a genealogy business called Personal Pedigree. I provide inexpensive and tailored research services to people who want to discover who their ancestors are, find answers to old family stories, or for those who would like a family history documented."  Her email is and her website is  I am not recommending nor endorsing this lady, nor her services, but had to share with you her website and the doggy photo on that website. That little cocker is digging up something for sure.  

What would you say to a special interest group devoted to understanding and using Especially now that the full-meal-deal of it will be free to everybody sometime later in 2014.  (Free to LDS folks in their homes; free to all others at the Family Search Centers.) This idea was proposed at the last meeting and I think it's a good one. I'll have a clipboard for sign-ups at the April meeting.

Thought Maxine and I would share a warm-fuzzy-funny with you:

Doggonit, I did use/post a Maxine cartoon without first asking Hallmark for permission....which was a real DUH on me so I removed the image. Go Google Maxine cartoons to find some for yourself!
What things are on your "Things I'll Never Do" list???

Monday, March 3, 2014

EWGS Visits the Digital & "Paper" Archives In Cheney

 Nearly 70 EWGS members (including guests and one new member...Margaret Ruby) car-pooled to the Eastern Washington Branch of the Washington State Archives for some instruction and a tour of the "paper" archives and the upstairs Washington State Digital Archives. (Thank you, Kathy Bowen, for arranging the car-pooling.) From the comments I heard, it was a great day....... despite the cold and spitting snow.

Lee Pierce (red shirt) gave the first talk about what is held in the "paper" archives and how to access that information. Then his two student-interns, Anna and Frank, told us about the digital archives. Frank used the phrase, "The digital archives are the tool to access what's in the paper archives." I never thought of it quite that way.

Members Jeanne Coe and Dianne Bongarts (and others) did some researching in the "paper" archives; Mary Holcomb, ever the helper, helps Dianne. Melody Hall is chatting with Debbie Bahn, the archives director.

Do-You-Care-Tidbit:  Would you have guessed that gray-ponytailed Lee Pierce has written a book about vampires and werewolves in Spokane? It's titled The Vampire Congress and is a Kindle book. Good read too.

Our next meeting, April 5th, is our Spring Seminar with Leslie Lawson...... EWGS just keeps getting better and better!!