Friday, February 27, 2015

Serendipity Friday, 27 February 2015

Guess what? New flash! Cyndi Ingle, of wide renown in the genealogy world, is coming to Spokane to be the presenter at the EWGS Fall Workshop. Practically everybody has learned from CyndisList as part of their research and now we get the chance to hear from her face-to-face. I've heard her in person several times and she is worth the time, money and effort to come to the EWGS Fall Workshop. Details to be announced, but save the date:  Saturday, 3 October 2015. 

Besides hosting that wonderful show, Genealogy Roadshow, Josh Taylor is president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. As such, he was a keynote speaker at the recent FGS/RootsTech conference. Toward the end of one of his sessions (a presentation on society management), he said this:  "To help your society take on a new idea and  start it and take another new idea and apply it to something you are already doing and make it better."  I thought that was sound and wonderful advice and could apply to any group of any ilk.

A genealogy friend who lives in New York once told me that she suffers from Squirrel Syndrome. She explained that just like a squirrel, she gets distracted and side tracked very easily. I can identify with that!  Also with Shiny Object Syndrome......... past EWGS member, Cecily Kelly, explained this malady to me. "I easily get distracted and side tracked by "shiny objects" which in my world are too many websites to click!" 

From a brochure I picked up at the Family History Library in Salt Lake:  "The People's Collection Wales is a contemporary, dynamic and bilingual online experience dedicated to the history of Wales and its people. People's Collection Wales is a place to discover and learn, contribute your own content and share your story of Wales with the world. Discover. Contribute. Share. To find out more go to "

The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. 
The film shown in the Visitors' Center at the Arecibo Observatory contained a wonderful quote:  
"Awaken within yourself the fascination of the universe." 

During our January 2015 visit to this island commonwealth, I spotted many names that "belonged" to the U.S. mainland:  Salinas, San Antonio, Carolina, Virginia, Rio Grande. Point is that it seems quite seldom to find a place name that has not been used more than once, somewhere. Do you know of any?

Bet you did not know that Spokane has a Slavic Newspaper. Slavic Ways "is a publication in the Russian language for Slavic people in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, educating legal immigrants and refugees on how to become productive and independent ASAP in the land of the free, home of the brave."  Of course, I could not read this newspaper but I could see ads for services and products that might be useful to this community plus several articles which were interesting, I'm sure. Check it out at

In early February, 2015, an AP story appeared in our local newspaper:  "Four Magna Cartas united; First-ever event marks anniversary." The blurb went on to say that a "unification event" was held in the British Library when the four surviving copies of the priceless document were put on display together for the first time, marking the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law." What does this have to do with your family history? It is believed that the Magna Carta influenced not only Thomas Jefferson when he helped draft the Declaration of Independence, but also the writers of the French Constitution and the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela. Perhaps you live freely under the law because of the Magna Carta??

Donna Potter Phillips, until next Friday. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lesson On Local Land Records

EWGS member Anna Reeves emailed an interesting question to our local-records-research guru, Charles Hansen. Their emails and answers were shared with me to share with all of you.

Anna wrote to Charles:  "My grandparents came to Spokane in 1884 and became property owners Here. Several years ago I could do down to the courthouse and search through the grantor/grantee direct/indirect indexes. Then I would go look at the deeds. The last time I was there, they were in the process of digitizing all of those records. So you know what the process is nowdays in order to do that type of research? Do I still go to the courthouse or can it be  done line? Also, what happened to the original books? I figured that they would be transferred to the state archives in Cheney but I don't see them listed anywhere."

Charles's answer was, as always, right on:  "Anna, yes, all the grantor/grantee records were digitized, and at the courthouse they can bring those records up on their computers and make a print copy for you in seconds. There is an index online; I Googled it and it is listed with several other counties, so be sure you are in the Spokane County records. The actual record books are now at Cheney. The cost for copies is $1.00 a page at the courthouse and 25 cents a page at Cheney."

Thank you, Anna, for asking such a great question and thank you, Charles, for such a thorough answer.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Latah County Historical Society Seminar

Want to discover your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors?

Many people believe that researching Irish ancestors is impossible because of the destruction of the Public Record Office in 1922. While many records were destroyed, others survived and have come online in recent years.

Join experts Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation to learn how to get the most out of Irish resources and records, gain strategies for breaking down brick walls, and grasp important historical context that may help fill in gaps in your research. Whether you are just beginning your Irish research or have been at it for years, you won’t want to miss this workshop!

Find out more at about a special Irish and Scots-Irish seminar from the Ulster Historical Foundation to follow up St. Patrick’s Day:

Tracing Your Irish and Scots-Irish Ancestors

Best Western Plus University Inn
Moscow, Idaho, March 27, 2015, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Lunch included; Pre-registration required
Sponsored by the Latah County Historical Society
Kathy and Bruce Pitman
Mary Wack

Staff from the Ulster Historical Foundation – Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt-- will present a seminar on Irish and Scots-Irish genealogy for beginners and active family historians. Mullan is Executive Director of the Foundation, an educational nonprofit organization which specializes in historical research and publications. Hunt is Research Officer with the Foundation.

Topics will include:
·        Introduction to Irish and Scots-Irish Family History Research
·        Emigration from Ireland to America and the Sources for its Study (including Famine emigration) 
·        Using land records: Griffith’s Valuation, Tithe and Estate records
·        Q&A and solving your brick walls (includes using online databases as part of solving brick walls)
The programme includes “Solving your brick-walls” – a practical internet tutorial for trying to resolve research queries. It is an extended question and answer session, where the speakers use online resources and their local knowledge to offer participants practical tips and specific advice about their personal research interests.

This seminar provides very practical and detailed information on how to trace your Irish ancestors. The presenters are from one of Ireland’s foremost genealogy research organisations and publishing houses and they will give advice on what to do and where to go next. These sessions will help the beginner and the seasoned genealogist alike.

What better way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day itself, than by making a start on your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestral quest? Your Irish genealogy is waiting to be discovered.

With over 55 years’ experience of serving Irish people everywhere, let the Ulster Historical Foundation help you discover your family’s story.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

EWGS 80th Birthday 2015

February 19, 1935

Modern Bakery Bakes Animal Food.

Income Tax Bill Introduced in Lower House
The CCC was busy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

EWGS 80th Birthday 2015

February 16, 1935

Draw Up Plans for Airport Hanger at Felts Field Plans for a city owned commercial airplane hanger at Felts Field being prepared by volunteer architects. The hanger is designed to hous the largest commercial airliners and would cost between $100,000- $150,000.

February 18, 1935

February 19, 1935

EWGS 2015 Writing Contest......... Did You Get The Word?

2015 EWGS Writing Contest

In honor of the 80th Anniversary of
Eastern Washington Genealogical Society

My Family in 1935

            This topic allows any EWGS member the opportunity to write a piece of their family history and genealogy, no matter where their family lived in 1935.

Subject: You may choose either your paternal or maternal line or do both and show how living conditions may have been different for both families in 1935 because of where they lived, occupations, etc. 

Documentation: Include your sources at the end of your entry.  This is an opportunity to use both the 1930 and 1940 census records.

Length:  One to six pages.  For your final entry, please convert your text to Arial 12 font. This gives everyone pages of equal size and makes it easier for the judges to read.

Prizes: $100 - First Place   $75.00 - Second Place   $50.00 - Third Place

Winners Announced: 2015 October Workshop/Seminar

Judging: By EWGS members (who will remain anonymous throughout the judging)

Final Thoughts: Run your spell checker.  Have someone preview your story before entering it to ensure you said what you wanted to say with good grammar. 

Contest Deadline: May 31, 2015

Enjoy digging out your research, dusting it off and writing about your family all the while creating a story you will enjoy sharing with your family.

1935 - 2015

80 years

Friday, February 20, 2015

Serendipity Friday, February 20, 2015

Sharing some bits and pieces brought home from RootsTech 2015 last week:

Going to be in Indiana this summer?  The Indiana Historical Society is holding their annual Midwestern Roots conference on 1-2 August in Indianapolis. Advance notice:  the dates will be 15-16 July in 2016, also in Indianapolis.  Google it to learn the details.

FamilySearch Apps.... did you realize you can have a whole family of genealogy apps on your phone from FamilySearch? And of course they're free. FamilySearch has partnered with many companies to offer to you their services. Companies like Ancestry,  Billion Graves, FamilyTree DNA,  Find A Grave, Find My Past, Fold 3, Kinpoint, Genealogy Bank, My Heritage, NEHGS, RootsMagic and Legacy and several more. Such a nice deal.  Stay tuned to (If only I had a smart phone..... I'm in the dwindling army of those with dumb phones.)

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services has a genealogy program. Who would have thought? If you are seeking records between 1906 and 1951, you might want to click to 

The BYU Family History Library (http://sites.lib/ offers you direct links to research sources. For instance, under Digital Archives, there are links to all fifty U.S. state archives. Another link is for Libraries & Historical Societies and there is one for Periodicals & Newspapers. How will you know that there is nothing there for you unless you go looking??

Here's a fun one: Text in a Bottle ( Set up a free account on this website and you can send very special messages to friends and family. I say "special" for the message pops from a bottle and unrolls for the recipient to read. And you can post-date these messages to come tomorrow, next month or long into the future. Great to go through your birthday calendar and have birthday messages all done and ready to be sent!!

Anybody but me ever do a book using Ancestry's MyCanvas? And remember how bummed we were to hear that Ancestry was discontinuing this service? Well, as you might have guessed would happen did happen. Now it's MyCanvas by Alexander's and is still reachable from a link at Ancestry or directly at  Sigh. All is not lost.

Ancestor Cloud ( is another new opportunity I learned about at RootsTech 2015. Their blurb reads:  "AncestorCloud is a global marketplace of passionate researchers that work together to solve their research problems. Whether you're stuck and need a records lookup, local photograph, translation, research help, or anything else, AncestorCloud is the online community for you." Here's how it works. Click to the website and create a profile. Then type into the box what you are wanting and how much you're willing to pay for the help. When somebody responds, offering to help you, that amount is deposited in their online-money account built into the website and then they can use it to "buy" help they need. Pretty cool idea, really.

Whenever I'm in Salt Lake City, I try to attend the "Music & The Spoken Word,"  the live half hour broadcast on Temple Square. Before RootsTech, I was lucky! Lloyd D. Newell always gives an inspirational and non-denominational message and this time his message centered around Broadway musical star Idina Menzel. She realized that in her performances on stage that she might not hit every note correctly every single time. But that's life and that's okay. Lloyd Newell ended his remarks that Sunday with this:  "We are all far more than the notes we hit....or fail to hit. Perhaps we should define ourselves not by what we are today but by what we can be, by what we aspire to be. Wherever those aspirations are leading us, let us accept that success can happen over time, little by little. With this perspective, our mistakes and shortcomings can teach us instead of condemn us. In reality, this is what it means to do our best."