Monday, October 20, 2014

EWGS members attend the Hayden Family History Fair

Both Miriam Robbins and Donna Phillips were speakers at the annual Hayden Family History Fair, sponsored by the Hayden Family History Center and the Kootenai County Genealogical Society. 

This is an annual free event (date for next year is October 17th), with a free lunch, and many great classes from which to choose. 

About a dozen EWGS members were there; it was a good day and plan now to attend next year.

Family History director, Connie Godak, was the emcee and is the moving force behind the Fair.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tony & Janette Birch explain how we can add our own surnames to the EWGS website.

Tony and Janette Birch have been supporters and helpers for EWGS for several years and (bless them!) they are still willing to participate. And they continue to be the official greeters (complete with purple badges) at our meetings.

Tony and Janette used to collect from EWGS members information on what surnames, along with dates and locations, that they were researching. They would then enter that data into our website.

Now we have a new development! YOU can directly add YOUR OWN surname information to our website. Janette sent the instructions for doing so: 

When dealing with those pesky brick walls you need every trick in the book to take down that wall brick by brick.  One handy trick is to go to and click on Members Only, put in  your Login Name and Password then click on Surname Research to look for family surnames.  If you haven't yet put in your family surnames then please share and put them in.  Directions are easy to follow.  Others will also be looking for their family surnames and may come across a family name that they have in common with you and can contact you with information.  If you're not a member then go to and click on Join Us to become a member and be able to access all our website information, including over 600 surnames.  One of them may be yours.

Thanks, Tony and Janette!

Monday, October 13, 2014

EWGS November Program Will Have A Military Theme To Honor Veterans' Day

Did you realize that during the Civil War, 1861-1865, the Confederacy adopted three different flags?

This is a link to the website of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, and you can learn all about the different flags there.  I do know that the one we see most often, and think it represents the Confederacy, is an incorrect assumption on our part. That one, the one we most often think of, was only the battle flag.

Dale Ryan, a member of the local SAR group, will be one part of our November 1st program. He'll be bringing examples of some different flags and teaching us about them.

A speaker from Honor Flight will be there, too, along with EWGS member Patty Harrison to explain our EWGS Civil War Ancestors' Units project.

Meeting starts at 12:30 with Coffee, Cookies & Conversation at the downtown Spokane Public Library. All interested genealogists are invited!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Speaker Steven Morrison & EWGS Writing Contest Winners

Saturday, October 4th, was a great day for EWGS. Steven Morrsion came from Olympia (with his lovely wife Gloria) to teach us the fundamentals of doing Irish Research both from home and if you go to Ireland.......... either to Dublin or Belfast. One very basic thing I learned was the meaning of the Irish flag. The green stands for the Catholics; the orange symbolizes the Protestants, and the white center means that there should be peace between them. Northern Ireland recognizes and uses the British Union Jack.

Steven also encouraged us by explaining that in the four provinces of Ireland, a bigger percentage of the parish records did survive the 1922 fire at Four Courts than you might have realized: In Ulster, 63% survived; in Connaught, 50% survived; and 39% each survived in Leinster and Muenster. That was encouraging news. "But make no mistake," Steven counselled. "Doing Irish research is hard.

During the lunch break, Dani Lee McGowan and Doug Floyd announced the winners of the 2014 EWGS Writing Contest and presented certificates and checks to the winners:  

 Dani Lee McGowan and Doug Floyd

First Place Winner was Betty Ellis.

 Second Place winner was Charlotte McCoy Sullivan.

Third place winner, Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, was unable to attend to claim her prize in person.

Doug announced the EWGS Writing Contest theme for 2015. In honor of the 80th anniversary of EWGS, the contest theme will be "My Family In 1935."  Wherever they were, tell us about them and their lives during that year. Contest deadline is 30 May 2015. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

EWGS Fall Workshop Features Steven Morrison Teaching Irish Research

Are you registered? Are you coming? It's going to be a super great day!!
I surely hope to see YOU there!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral in Spokane

Last May, I found this postcard way back in an antique mall in Verona, Virginia. Of course I had to have it! There is nothing to date it (was no message on the back), so I went to our Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral website, and to the "History" tab, and found this:

"In August of 1881, Jesuit Father Joseph Cataldo converted a carpenter's shop into the Church of St. Joseph, the first Catholic church in the Spokane Township. Like the smallest of seeds, the mustard seed, the Catholic faith here had humble beginnings. Only five people attended the first Mass in that wooden shed which measured just fifteen by twenty-two feet.
Soon the seed sprouted and found sustenance in this soil. Five years later, a large brick church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes replaced the original structure, and a school opened under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Names. The seedling's continued growth required an even more significant move. The cornerstone for the present church was laid in 1903. In 1906, the new school was completed. In 1913, this mustard seed became what the Gospels celebrate as the "largest of plants," when Our Lady of Lourdes became the Cathedral for the newly created Diocese of Spokane."
I would guess that this postcard image dates back to about 1906? Do any of our EWGS members have stories about their ancestors attending this church?? I'll bet many of them did and over many years. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Washington State Archives October Archives Activities

Washington State Archives
Archives Month Activities
October is Archives Month!
In honor of Washington's Quasquicentennial Celebration (WA 125), this year's theme is 125 Years of Making History.  Our regional branches are hard at work, promoting all things Archives, so check out what's happening at a branch near you in the coming weeks!

18th - History Day Fall Workshop for Teachers, 9:00 a.m. - Noon -- in conjunction with the WWU Libraries Heritage Resources, Center for the Pacific Northwest Studies and the Washington State Historical Society
- Archives Building Open House, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. -- in conjunction with WWU's Fall Family Open House
28th - Basics of Personal Digital Archiving Workshop, 4:00-5:00 p.m. -- in conjunction with the
*More workshops may be added as the month approaches.  Contact the Northwest Regional Archives for more information!

20th - Common Core Tools for Teachers: The History Day Connection, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Mt. Spokane High School, Meade -- in conjunction with the Washington State Historical Society - 3 Clock Hours Provided free of charge!

2nd - Information/Resource Table--Educator Night at the Museum--LeMay Auto Museum in Tacoma, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
4th - History Day Fall Teacher's Workshops, 9:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:30-4:30 p.m., University of Washington Libraries, Seattle
18th - Basics of Historic Research, 9:00 a.m - Noon,
  • The Basics of Historical Research is for teachers, students, beginning genealogists, and others interested in exploring the past.  You'll get practical advice and learn the basic steps for gathering the information you will need to investigate and interpret a historical topic for a museum exhibit, class project, community celebration, curriculum enrichment, research article, History Day, a classroom based assessment (CBA), Common Core learning standards, or personal historical interest.  This class will cover:
  • What primary sources are--and aren't
  • What historical sources are--and how to use them
  • How to use the library system
  • How to use archival collections
  • How to find and use reliable online resources
  • How to properly cite your sources
  • How to use information from different sources
25th - Common Core Tools for Teachers: The History Day Connection, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Suquamish Museum -- In conjunction with the Washington State Historical Society - 3 Clock Hours provided free of charge 

Join us at the State Archives in Olympia to celebrate Archives Month with a series of brown bag lunch sessions on Thursdays in October!  These sessions will feature records in our collections that may help you with your genealogical or historical research.

All sessions are from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at 1129 Washington St. SE, (The Southwest Regional Branch and State Archives) in the conference room.

Contact the Southwest Regional Archives for more information.

2nd - Penitentiary Records--Learn about what types of records may be found with an inmate number from the Digital Archives
9th - Brick Wall Session with the State Archivist--are you working on a genealogy project and have hit a brick wall?  Come in and talk to Steve Excell, our State Archivist, to get some hints and tips!
16th - Vital Records--Learn about what vital records are available at the State Archives and how to use them to find additional records.
23rd - Land and Property Research--Learn about how to research a property's history with records from the Archives.
30th - Linda Hazzard--Come and learn about this self-proclaimed holistic healer and her subsequent murder charge from the turn of the century.  Just in time for Halloween!

Feel free to bring a lunch...and your questions!

11th (Tentative) - The Eastern Regional Branch and Digital Archives are planning a Saturday Open House Event, with tours and presentations on how to use the Digital Archives, what's new on the DA, and how to access the Eastern Regional Archives records.  Details to follow, but it will likely be held from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.

The focus will be on the Expo '74 slides and records in the collection, as it has been 40 years since that landscape-changing event took place in Spokane!

For more information as the date approaches, contact the Eastern Regional Branch.
Central Regional Branch to host Volunteer Recognition Event!
Each year, the Office of the Secretary of State hosts a recognition event to thank volunteers. This year, on October 7, we'll be in Ellensburg at the Western V.I.P. Room at the Kittitas County Events Center.  As part of this exciting day, the Central Regional Branch will open its doors at 1:30 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes tour!
Archives Month, 2013
October 7, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (PDT) -- Presented by Tracy Rebstock and Lori Larson

Designed for staff of libraries in Washington, this free web presentation lets attendees share their skills and successes, while learning about new topics.  Join Legacy Washington and the Washington State Archives as they educate us about our history, and how to locate and access the historical resources available through these two sources.

Do You Have What it Takes to be a 'Scribe?'
  The Historical Records Project recruits volunteers to transcribe and index records, making them searchable on the Digital Archives.  Volunteers work from home.  Get involved today, and be a part of preserving Washington State History!
Check Us Out on the Web!
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Steve Excell, State Archivist, Washington State Archives

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