Friday, August 16, 2019

Vanity, Thy Name Is Woman

If you don't burst out laughing at seeing this old magazine ad, you're missing a big part of your funny bone:

Don't be too smug. But in your family photo collection you have ones of ladies with marcelled hair like this one shown. My mother-in-law, born in 1913, in her 20s had her hair done like this!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Whitman County Genealogical Society Free Mini Seminar

Whitman County Genealogical Society
is hosting a FREE Fall mini-seminar
Bishop Place Independent Living Social Room, 811 SE Klemgard, Pullman, WA
Saturday, September 14, 2019

featuring: DAN OWENS
Using the Public Library for
 Genealogy and Local History”
 "Archival Power: Demonstrating the Importance of Primary Sources to Stakeholders and the Public"

9:00 am: The doors open.

9:30 am-10:30 am: Dan Owens will discuss the resources in the Palouse Heritage Collection at Neill Public Library in Pullman as well as working with public libraries, in general, when doing genealogical research or learning more about local history. This can be applied to researching in any area, not just our own local area. In addition he will cover the ins and outs of interlibrary loan.

10:30 am-10:45 am: Break and refreshments.

10:45 am-11:45 am: Dulce Kersting-Lark will discuss how working with original source materials is a privilege, but it is also a complex challenge. The nature of archives makes them both authoritative and flawed. Creating a community repository in a border town is just one of many challenges that we must make our users aware of from the get-go. How we promote the value of primary source material to the broader public is another. She will also speak to the interesting and rewarding work she does at Latah County Historical Society, as well as share information about the History Relevance Campaign.

If you have any questions or need more information contact WCGS President, Sue Kreikemeier at:  or 509-635-1303. Please RSVP to Sue or
by September 7 to accommodate handouts & refreshments.

While the seminar is free, donations are welcome at the door.
Directions: Turn off Bishop Boulevard onto Klemgard Ave., follow Klemgard Ave. up the hill and turn left at the top. Do not go into the front entrance, but turn right, continuing up the hill and turn left at the white car ports. Find an appropriate parking place, enter the building through the main doors and go straight ahead to the Social Room.

Birds' Eye Maps?

Perhaps your first thought upon reading that post title was that it was going to be something about birds making maps? Nope.

Wikipedia explains: bird's-eye view is an elevated view of an object from above, with a perspective as though the observer were a bird, often used in the making of blueprints, floor plans, and maps. It can be an aerial photograph, but also a drawing.

Wikipedia didn't say when these specialty maps began but posted one for Paris in 1850. 

If you'd enjoy seeing a birds' eye map of Spokane, there is one hanging on the wall outside the Northwest Room in the downtown Spokane library. (Hurry; library closes in Jan for two years.)

Friday, August 9, 2019

Obituaries: Always Take Two

Nowadays this doesn't happen quite as much, but only a few years ago the newspaper would publish two different death notices for a person. If you read carefully, it's easy to see that each one contains more/different information. And one has a photo while the "twin" does not! And one for each lady does not carry the date of death! 

Point of this post is this: Do look for a second "obituary" or death notice (or perhaps more than two even) when dealing with newspapers. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Beer labels?

When I was blessed to visit Iceland, we went to the National Museum of Iceland in the capitol city, Reykjavik. Of course I had to peek into the archives. One set of shelves with big binders really caught my eye:

All of those binders were full of sheet protectors covering BEER LABELS! Icelandic beer, I guess. Didn't look at all of them. Isn't that the most unusual thing to find in an archives??

Friday, August 2, 2019

Opportunity: DNA classes here in Spokane

Basic DNA and Genetic Genealogy
This will be a six-week course to help you understand how to break down and apply your DNA matches.
We will be covering what DNA tests are available; the advantages and disadvantages of the major testing companies; and how to choose the right test for your genealogy questions. This course will also help you interpret your DNA test results.
Participants will be responsible for obtaining Blaine T. Bettinger, The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy. ISBN-13: 978-1-4403-4532-6.
Limited space availalbe, please contact Lynda Keenan at
The class will be held at the Shadle Public Library
Date and time:
Monday, Sept 16 12:30pm-2pm
Monday, Sept 23 12:30pm-2pm
Monday, Sept 30 12:30pm-2pm
Monday, Oct 7 12:30pm-2pm
Monday, Oct 21 12:30pm-2pm
Monday, Oct 28 12:30pm-2pm 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

DNA Seminar In Colville....Are You Going?

Several EWGS members are already signed up to go; how about you? There will be carpools. Click to their website to see this flyer full size, to print it out and send it in. (They don't have Paypal.) 

Monday, July 29, 2019

What should I do? Suggestions welcome!

In my late father's stuff I found this pin. When he was 18 in Illinois he worked as a cook in a local Greyhound bus stop. In 1939 they awarded (?) him this pin. 

My question: What to do with it now?  There is a Greyhound museum and I've tried every way I could think of to contact them and ask if they want it with nary a reply.

I really don't think it's the sort of thing a 21st century grandchild would ever want. What would YOU do with such a little thing??

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Report on (Irish) meeting with Ann Eccels

Report from Lynda Keenan who attended the meeting:

On Wednesday, 25 July,  several members from the EWGS had the opportunity to spend time with Ann Eccels, IGSI President for a meet and greet at the Shadle Library.  The afternoon was spent with Ann sharing her love for Ireland. We learned how most of her great grandparents came from Ireland to the New World and how she became involved with the society.  Ann also spoke about the Church of Ireland and the controversies of the Catholic Diocese.
John Grenham was also mentioned and how useful his website is for researching your Irish surnames. This site does offer a free search, however to gain information there is a fee.
Below you may find a few other resources that were shared by Ann.
The Civil records start from 1864 and can be found at, which is a free website. County Church records can also be found on this site.  
Census records for 1901 and 1911 are found online at the National Archives.
Another website that may be helpful with your family research is
For those interested in learning more about your Irish Heritage, there is an upcoming Celtic Connections Conference that will be held in Chicago, Illinois, July 31 – August 1, 2020. The conference will have 14 speakers from all over the world, who specialize with Ireland as well as Wales history.
Thank you, Ann, for taking the time to share your love and knowledge of Ireland with us.

Summer: Take a grandchild to the cemetery.

While back I offered a class on things to do this summer that are genealogy related. One thing was take a grandchild to a cemetery. Who else is gonna teach them about remembering our ancestors?

This my youngest grandson. When he and his dad visited Spokane from their home in Port Angeles, OF COURSE I took them to the cemetery to see where Grandpa and I will rest. He was politely interested and did hint that he might go to a PA cemetery to view the grave markers on his mom's side. Score!

If you don't have a grandchild handy, take any child! And if you don't have a family stone to visit, there are a thousand stories in any cemetery. Go!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Was our 1850 U.S. census the first every-name census? NOPE.

Bet you thought, as I've always thought and been taught, that our 1850 U.S. Federal Census was The First to be an every-name census of a country's population.  And what a wonderful thing that was and still is to all of us genealogists.


On our recent trip to Iceland, and our visit to the National Museum of Iceland, I spotted an exhibit factoid that rocked my socks. "The first ever every name census in the world was taken in Iceland in 1703." Following up, I find that the Family History Library has that census available for researchers. Who would have thought?

Since the above doesn't lend itself to a photo, here is one of my favorites from the trip. This is Alaskan lupine, brought to Iceland to help control soil erosion and now has happily spread thickly all over the island. And one of Iceland's several glaciers.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Take your grandchildren to the cemetery day.

Our youngest of 8 grandchildren came to visit us this summer. One of the places we went was Riverside Cemetery to visit our memorial bench for when that time comes.

In between sprinker bursts, I introduced him to where his grandparents will be buried. The inscriptions on the top of the bench have our information, our 3 children's names and 8 grandchildren's names. He took it all in stride. I do wish and hope he will remember the visit. 

Whether or not you have your cemetery arrangements made, have you taken your grandchildren on a cemetery visit? I guarantee they will love it. And ask a bunch of good questions. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

October 5th........ you are invited to come learn.

Saturday, October 5th, will be a wonderful day of genealogical education. It's the day of our EWGS annual Fall Workshop. Is the date marked out on your calendar????

While all the details are not finalized as of this post, we do know that there will be 12 classes from which you can choose. Emigration, and all the factors in the various countries leading up to this movement, will be highlighted. As well as DNA classes. As well as a beginning class. There will be something for everybody, we guarantee!!

Stay tuned to our EWGS website ( for registration information but mark your calendar with a big X on that day right now!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Celebrating July 4th...........then and now.

How did you celebrate July 4th, our nation's birthday? How do you suppose our ancestors marked the day? Mark each below as THEN or NOW or perhaps BOTH:

  • Family dinner or BBQ
  • Lake or beach visit
  • Visit to American history site
  • Hear speeches from men in suits
  • Watch a parade
  • Read the Declaration of Independence
  • Explain it to your kids!
  • Write in your journal what the day means to YOU
  • Community event
  • Church event
  • Ignored the day
  • Other

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Grave markers or tombstones........... so different and so interesting.

On the day of the EWGS project to fulfill requests for the website Find-A-Grave in Greenwood Cemetery recently, I spotted another version of a tombstone that I'd not seen before:

Anna's husband "signed" his grave marker too. I wonder if it was a pre-need project and they actually signed into the wet concrete? What do you think? Ever seen markers like this?

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Iceland ..... A lot like Washington!?

The ridged basaltic cliffs look much like home except here lots more moss turns them green.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Visiting relatives.........NOT what you imagine.

This wonderful picture tells the whole story; it takes "visiting relatives on summer vacation" to a whole new level.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Beach wear............not what it used to be for sure.

What do you wear when you go to the beach or the lake? As little as possible, right? And don't we have to both laugh and wonder when we see folks at the beach in days of yore. They must have been so hot!

They fully protected themselves from the sun but the "proper-ness" of their lives extended even to the beach. See the suits, white shirts and hats on the gents?? Sitting on the sand, sweltering in all those petticoats. Notice the "beach chairs" too.

We have come a long way; some better and some not. Swim wear, and going into the water and not just looking at it, is way better. Bet you agree. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

Nine Mile Falls Historic Site............ever been there?

Ever been out to Nine Mile Falls in the northwestern-most corner of Spokane? It's not just a name but is a FALLS, albeit a dam-created falls. Judy Benson shares these photos with us:

Nine Mile Falls Historic Site
The Nine Mile Falls hydroelectric plant was completed in1908 to provide power to the rail network outside of Spokane. Street cars had become the preferred mode of transportation allowing for the city’s continued expansion. Because the distance from downtown to the dam was more than 16 miles, in1928 ten English brick bungalow cottages (7 are still standing and being renovated) were built for the power plant workers and their families.

This Hydroelectric Power Plant Historic District is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the best-preserved historic power sites in the state. It’s a perfect destination for lunch in the provided picnic area; while watching the beautiful views of the falls and strolling through the street of days past with these cozy charming homes. 
This would be a fun summer drive. Go west on Francis to the end, down the hill (only one road) and stay on this road until you get to the dam (at the "town" of Nine Mile Falls). Turn left over the dam and the cottages are on your right. They appear to be still lived in. 

As you imagine, or visit, think upon what historic things to see are in the areas or towns where your ancestors lived?? Ever been there?

Friday, June 21, 2019

OCIP...... an EWGS project that you didn't know about

This photo is of most members of the OCIP project group. What what is this, you ask? Obituary Clipping Project! Our goal is to make available any Spokane obituary since our newspaper began about 125 years ago and in the easiest and quickest way possible for the researcher. 

Left to right: Donna Phillips, Patricia Flint, Lynda Keenan, Jeanne Coe, Sonji Rutan and Charles Hansen. Missing that day were PJ Farrance-Rabel and Sandi Gaffney. 

Here's the plan: In the near future, a researcher wanting a certain obituary (say 1942) from Spokane will click to our website. There will be a link to a master list of where to request an obit from that year. Some will request from EWGS; some will request from the Eastern Washington Historical Society Library (MAC). We were given a 4-foot stack of fairly recent newspapers collected by John Ellingson and have been clipping them, gluing them to archival sheets and will next index them. The boxes in the photo show a really good start on the work of this part of the project.

Want to shout out a big kudo to this team for their dedication. When we began this project in January, we really had no idea how involved it would be. But we are dedicated to see it through to the end.   

Don't YOU think this is  worthwhile project and will be a valuable family history resource in the future?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Did that one word title catch your eye? It surely did catch my eye back on June 10th when Patricia Flint honchoed the EWGS Find-A-Grave project day in Greenwood Cemetery. 

Who were you, dear Ramona???? At the time, didn't think to look at the surnames on the nearby grave markers. I just stood and shed a tear for Ramona. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Grandma's Feather Flowers................Really?

Back in the day when every day life included lots of feathers (chicken for dinner), our great-grandmothers (who were just as "crafty" as we are today) used some of those feathers as decoration.

These feather flowers were in my dear friend, Janet McKinnon's guest bedroom and they were so lovely and so different to my eyes.

It was back in 1873 that a craft book of instructions (of the day, remember) came out showing how to make feather flowers. 

Any feather flowers among your family heirlooms???

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Ballard Reuse: Salvage To The Max

Was just in Seattle with my daughter and we visited Ballard Reuse. This place brought me new understanding of "building salvage." When a building is ready for demolition, the last folks to be called in are licensed salvage folks. They can take whatever they find that's left: old oak flooring, old brass fixtures, old windows and doors, old chandeliers, old anythings! Wandering the stuffed warehouse of this place I was just amazed.

Where else might you find a long-forgotten 1900s baby carriage or a pink or green or yellow bathroom sink????  If you're really into vintage for your home, remember to check out the building salvage businesses. Just might surprise you. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Hallowed Ground

It is a couple weeks past Memorial Day but I just got around to watching a PBS special titled Hallowed Grounds.
This hour-long special tours 23 Overseas U.S. Military Cemeteries located in eight countries, the final resting place for thousands of American men and women who gave their lives in WW I and WWII. (The program pointed out that since WWII casualties are returned to the U.S.) 

Sitting with my iPad, I just Googled "hallowed grounds PBS" and it came right up. Using my $8 earphones, I spent a memorable hour remembering. Remembering. Remembering. I do recommend it to you. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Needing info from a Washington State newspaper???

Do you need information from a Washington State newspaper? Do you know about the new Washington State Digital Newspaper website?

I would not be so bold as to say this website has every newspaper for all dates from every Washington city or town but they have lots. 

Wouldn't you like to know your Bloomsday time from a decade ago? Or Grandma Ethel's obituary from 1967? Or what was happening in your home town the day you were born?

Check it out.