Friday, September 4, 2015

Serendipity Friday

Thank you Jeanne Coe!  Jeanne, a past president of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society handed me a copy at a recent meeting that came from the website She had printed out the bit about Washington got its name. “On August 29, 1851, 27 male settlers met at Cowlitz Landing (south of present-day Olympia) to petition Congress for a Columbia Territory separate from Oregon covering the area between the Columbia River and the 49th parallel. The petition was reaffirmed by 44 delegates who met in Monticello on November 25, 1852. Congress approved the new territory on February 10, 1853 but changed its name to Washington in honor of the first president of the U.S. It was President Millard Fillmore who signed the papers creating Washington State on November 11, 1889. Did you know these details?


Does your genealogical society’s seeming lack of enthusiasm to participate get you down? Perhaps this will help. This is a blurb from the September 1975 issue of the EWSG newsletter and was titled: “There’s a Hitch to It.”  (No author given.)

With his thumb up, a hitchhiker says, “You furnish the gas, car, attend to the repairs and upkeep, supply the insurance and I’ll ride with you. But if you have an accident, I’ll sue you for damages.”
This sounds pretty one-sided but one wonders how many hitchhikers there are in many organizations and even churches. Many members seem to say, “You go to the meetings, serve on boards and committees, do the paper work, contact the legislators and take care of things that need doing and I’ll just do along for the ride. And if things don’t suit my fancy, I will complain, criticize and probably get out and hitchhike to another group.”

Hitchhiker or driver, which one are you???


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.)

We all know the nursery rhyme, Yankee Doodle. Did you ever wonder what this part really meant:  Stuck a feather in his hat and called it macaroni. Well I just found out!  Reading Edward Rutherfurd’s  New York (2010), on page 197, and the year is 1765:  “Some months ago, word had arrived of a new g roup of dandies in London. Macaronis, they called themselves. They had taken to parading round London’s West End and their extravagant plumed hats and jeweled swords had caused quite a scandal……”  A character in the book fears that the custom will seep into New York “by the next boat,” he felt that such a public extravagance could only be an offense to most people in hard-pressed New York. “Don’t let any of your family dress up like a Macaroni,” he urged.  Now you know.

“Jon” is a regular patron using the Genealogy Section of the downtown Spokane Public Library. He is not a member of EWGS nor is he interested in our meetings or classes. But he is a dedicated researcher. I recently found him studying books from our set of The Domesday Books (“a manuscript record of the ‘Great Survey” of much of England and parts of Wales completed in1086 by King William the Conqueror; it contains the records of 13,418 settlements in the English countryside). And my point is this: A genealogy library serves all wonderful sorts of patrons and we librarians must never think that “Oh, nobody uses THOSE books so let’s put them into storage,” or worse yet, donates them to the next book sale. Do you have a set of The Domesday Books in your collection? Do your library patrons use those books? If not, the probable reason why is that they don’t know about them and how to benefit from studying them. Spokane Jon could teach them!

Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, was one of the speakers at the recent NWGC (Northwest Genealogical Conference). As you would guess, and knowing she is/was a lawyer, she speaks on exacting and precise topics. Her blog post of 14 August 2015 was a tribute to the many and good records in our Evergreen State.

“Eighteenth in size among the states, 13th in population, known for its timber and aircraft industry, home of the Kennewick Man and the Space Needle, Washington State is also home to some truly amazing genealogical resources.”
Then Judy took an entire page worth to list and describe some of our resources, and ended with “This is truly a comprehensive and amazing resource for anyone with Washington State research to be done. So check it out….. the Evergreen State has a lot to offer.”
We thank you, Judy, for your sure and kind words about our Pacific Northwest home.

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