Friday, January 29, 2016

Serendipity Day

WASGS_LogoPresident Mike McKinnon and I as WSGS vice-president, as you to consider contributing some of your time and talents to WSGS by taking the position of Region Rep. The duties of a WSGS Region Rep are:
  • Attend Board and general meetings to represent the society members in their region.
  • Communicate regularly with all societies within their region.
  • Share with WSGS the activities, concerns and interests of all societies within their region.
We need a representative for Region 7 comprising the counties of Spokane, Pend Oreille, Ferry, Lincoln and Stevens (with only two busy societies).
We need a representative for Region 8 comprising the counties of Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant (with only 2-4 busy societies).
We need a rep for Region 1 comprising the counties of Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island and Snohomish (not sure how many societies).
WSGS meeting are held quarterly, January-April-June-September. The meetings are usually held in Yakima with the exception of the state conference (2016 will be in Tacoma during the Tacoma Pierce County Conference in June).
WSGS could surely use your ideas and your help, as could the genealogical societies within your region. Won’t you consider helping? Please contact me, Donna Phillips, at 

Good follow-up to Charles Hansen's post; this image needs no more words.
To those who poo-poo the usefulness of FamilySearch, here is a great answer.  According to the compiled statistics for 2015, show these things:
  1.  There are more than 1.1 billion people in the Family Tree.
  2.  There are 5.31 million searchable reccords.
  3.  Over 12 million volunteer hours via FamilySearch Indexing have made the above possible.
  4.  There are nearly 300,000 visits daily to
  5.  There are nearly 5000 Family Search Centers around the world with half being in the U.S.
  6.  Nearly 4000 folks serve as volunteer online FamilySearch support missionaries.
Are you asking yourself, "Why am I not making more use of this great resource???"  I surely am!
American Ground
Book Review:  The American Ground by Nathan Dylan Goodwin
“The dawn sky appeared deep grey, as if it had been sucked up from the sea itself. The snow that had threatened for several days finally began to fall, a fine dusting coated the rooftops and untrodden  edges of the pebble-beach walkways. The dimness of the day had forced the early illumination of candles throughout the Ground; to a stranger out at sea, the scene before him would have been one of resplendent beauty.”
“The squat oblong of glass and concrete that was the Kent History and Library Centre, just outside of Maidstone town centre, had been purpose-built in 2012. It was, like many other modern archives, light and open-plan with crisp white pillars and wooden flooring throughout.”
“(After talking to Bunny in her shop) Morton nodded absentmindedly as the door clattered open behind him and a large group of pensioners began to throng through the door.”
Harriet, speaking to a solicitor, “I be here about the inquest….is there anything you can be a-doing to help us? Blame me, everyone on the America Ground be as worried as I ever did see them.”
“Oh, Christopher,” Harriet wailed. “I be needing a rest, I’m rattleboned,” she announced, heading out of the door. “I’m going for a lie down.”
Is there any doubt that author Nathan Dylan Goodwin is an Englishman and writes from his home in Kent?
I quite fell in love with both Morton Farrier and Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s books after reading his first book, Hiding the Past. Goodwin weaves the dozen complicated story lines into a genealogical mystery and then unravels the mystery by going back and forth in time as we follow Morton into libraries, archives and using
The American Ground is Goodwin’s third book chronicling the genealogy-mystery solving abilities of Morton Farrier. The first two books, Hiding the Past, and The Lost Ancestor, were try-to-read-in-one-sitting books…..they were that good.
In the Author’s Note, Goodwin writes:  “This novel is set against the backdrop of a real moment in history and a real place. The American Ground; a piece of land outside Hastings, Sussex in the 1820s.”  Those facts are true; Goodwin’s work is a work of fiction.
In a stretch of new land created at the base of a high cliff near the sea, folks built a town and living for themselves. When threatened by the King to take away their property, they declared, “like America,” that they were free, independent and part of America.  Into the hundred years or so of the town’s history, Goodwin weaves a tale of intrigue and murder as told through the people who lived the story (a fictional story). Goodwin added that he “took the opportunity of reviving some colourful nouns, verbs and phrases from the wonderful old Sussex dialect…sadly now forgotten.”
The American Ground can be purchased through either in paperback or for Kindle. Goodwin’s first two books are also available through Amazon.
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I'm sure you recognize this as one of those pamphlets handed to you as you enter, or at the Visitor's Center, of our national parks and monuments. I have a box of these wonderful resources (from all over America) and am looking to give them away. Great for teachers; great for home-bound travelers; great for personal interest.  Please contact me at and I'll ship them off to you.
The following might really be of immediate interest to all of us as we plan our summer genealogy travels....................
Editorial, 2 Jan 2016, by Froma Harrop, as appeared on our paper, The Spokesman Review (quoting only portions of her editorial):
“In America, any state-issued driver’s license had long been acceptable ID for passing security checks at airports. That lax attitude changed after Sept 11, 2001, when terrorists turned four commercial jetliners full of passengers into missiles, killing thousands more on the ground. All four planes took off from U.S. airports.
“On the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, Congress passed the Real ID Act. It tightens standards for state driver’s licenses used to board flights. Among other information, applicants must provide their Social Security number and immigration status. The licenses must also contain a chip of other technology that can be read by a computer. The deadline for compliance is approaching.
Some state have done their duty and issued secure driver’s licenses. Other have made enough progress that their licenses are acceptable for the time being. And a few states….Washington, Minnesota and New Mexico, for example…. Have largely not complied.  Barring another extension of the deadline, their driver’s licenses will soon be inadmissible as proof of identity at airport security.”
The article/editorial went on for several paragraphs discussing the ideas the nay-sayers are blathering (“too hard,” “violation of rights for immigrants,” yadda yadda) but all the fussing will not change these rules. The day is coming when to go through airport security you will need what Washington (state) calls an Enhanced Driver’s License.

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