Sunday, June 30, 2013

WSGS Conference 2013 at Yakima, Day 1

Left for Yakima Thursday evening since the WSGS board meeting was to start at 10 a.m. at the Yakima Valley Genealogical Society Library Friday morning and I did not want to get up at 4 a.m. to get to Yakima by 10 a.m. The wind was so calm I did not think any of the wind generators would be working, the Columbia was like glass no wind at all, but one wind generator was turning very slowly.
The board meeting was mainly working out the details for the annual meeting which happens at day #2, discussing the 2014 meeting and getting the committee reports in the minutes.
The YVGA provided lunch for the board, and people were gathering for the Friday Afternoon Bonus Seminar by Eric Stroschein. I did not sign up for this session so did a little sightseeing, got gassed up for the trip home and had dinner before heading back for the evening gab session at the YVGS library.

I got to see my second cousin Ardys Vaughn from Marcola, Oregon and talked to Shirley Penna-Oakes. I had not seen Ardys since the seminar in Spokane in 2009. Shirley had missed the board meeting because of picking up her husband Dick late Thursday.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jeanette's Example: Would You Have Her Gumption?

EWGS member Jeanette Zeromski recently told me of her searching efforts to find a map or mention of the birthplace of her father. She spent from 9:30pm to 1:30am on the search! Would you and I have that kind of gumption and stick-to-it-ivness?

She knew from his baptism certificate that he was born in Middle River, San Joaquin County, California. It took her those four hours to find Middle River on an official listing of California places. She explained to me that she just used.... and used..... and used....and used....and used Google. She went through all the California mapping websites, then the state websites, county websites, even cities-in-San Joaquin county websites. Nearing midnight she went to the California government and history websites. Even though she had to be at work at 8:00 the next morning, she kept at it.

Finally she found an in-depth website of California history. There she found a listing of all the tiny, un-incorporated places in San Joaquin County... and bingo! There it was:  Middle River. Officially listed.

The moral of the story?  Take your pick:

  • You'll only fail if you fail to keep trying.  
  • With Google, nearly anything is possible.
  • Success is predicated upon dedication as much as upon luck.
  • "We shall never, never, NEVER give up!"  (Winston Churchill) 
Thank you, Jeanette, for sharing your story and giving us all a boost.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rope Beds? Want to sleep on one?

Last May 2013, I visited New England and toured Sturbridge Village, a recreated typical New England village of 1830. There was one house/building were folks were encouraged to lie on the beds and pick up the objects. So I did..... can't say it was very comfortable but I'm sure rope beds were a vast improvement over sleeping on the floor (often a dirt floor). If you want to know more about rope beds (and our ancestors from the 1600s to the 1800s slept on such beds), click the UTube link below or Google "rope bed history."

  1. Weaving an early 19th century Rope Bed at Hope Plantation (North ...
    Apr 25, 2011 - Uploaded by Patrick Day
    A late 18th - early 19th century rope bed is being re-roped. This is the raw video (no frills or commentary) of ...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Washington State Digital Archives..... Want To Visit?

 Charles Hansen and I attended a meeting in Cheney at our Washington State Digital Archives yesterday. Assistant Secretary of State Terry Badger was there, too, and among all the business conducted Mr. Badger  invited our group to come out for a tour and/or a day of research. This is a fabulous place; we are so lucky to have it so near to us. I think this would be a great EWGS Saturday meeting in 2014; what do you think??

They have Washington records. These records document the interaction between our ancestors and the state government.... vital records, land records, naturalization records, mortgages, school records, probate records, etc. Yes, all these are slowly being digitized and will be available on their website:     but wouldn't it be such great fun to hold the actual record in your hand???

We also got to meet The Sentinel (aka the movie Matrix). He is the unofficial guardian of our Washington State Digital Archives (see him between the computer monitors to the left of Harold). Great to know he's always on guard!  (And see Charles reflected in the glass.)

It was a wonderful afternoon; I hope we all vote yes for a Saturday visit in 2014.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Susan Faulker: June 1st Speaker

Susan Davis Faulkner presented a terrific program on "Using The Family Bible As A Genealogical Resource" at our June 1st EWGS meeting. I goofed and did not take her picture but here is an image of her book..... she worked with the Images of America folks to produce a book on Early Pasco. Tiz a great read.

The concept that Susan presented to us was a new one to me and perhaps many of you too. She suggested that we consider the family Bible as a total resource to help us fill in the gaps to understanding the life and times of our ancestor. They can contain: personal notes, addresses, memorabilia, official papers (100-200 years ago where was a safe place to tuck a land deed?), funeral cards, letters, etc. etc. etc. It is surely these things that put the flesh on the bones of a grandmother.  If you're lucky enough to find a Bible and it still has all this ephemera in place, you are a lucky researcher indeed.

Her handout was a listing or table of "some of the more popular places that Bible Records can be found online." The handout also included a "sampling of book available at the Spokane Public Library.... that will either assist in a deeper understanding of items left in family Bibles or are promoted for having Bible Records information."

Susan explained that the book Religions of the World is not in the Genealogy Section but in the general reference area and is a most valuable aid to researchers. "If great-grandma was a Bible reader she likely went to church and if she mentions the denomination in her Bible and you're not familiar with it, then this book will give you that understanding."

Thank, Susan, for coming up from Kennewick to share your time and talents with us.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 1, 2013 What You Missed Bible Records

Got to the library a little early so I wandered across the Monroe Street Bridge and took this picture of the Spokane Falls and the Spokane Public Library  (the glass windows near center) across the river from where I was standing.

The program was on Bible Records and Susan Falkner from the Tri-Cities Genealogical Society presented the program. She had several examples of the the importance of looking for the family bible. Also check for the date of publication of the bible as information entered before the publication date may be suspect.

I know my family bible has some information not available anywhere else. When the Civil War started Thomas Kelly and his family got on a wagon train to California from Illinois. and in 1865 they got on a ship to Panama, crossed the isthmus, caught a ship to New York and back to Illinois. Without this story written in the bible, no one would have ever known that the family had moved to California, and why Thomas never served in the Civil War.