Thursday, October 8, 2015

Serendipity "Friday" (today is Thursday)

Reason? I'll be the least among four speakers at Heritage Quest Research Library's OctoberFest on Saturday, October 10th. As it's a 6-hour drive from Spokane, I'll be heading over on Friday.

If you live near Sumner, and are not signed up for this exciting day, I don't think it's too late. Click to for information.


Hubby and I attended a wonderful presentation last evening from the Spokane Chapter of the American Archaeology Association. Dr. Robert Neyland told us all about the H.L. Hunley, the Confederate submarine that sank the U.S.S. Housatonic and then sank herself. 

Dr. Neyland related how Hunley had been found and recovered (in 2000) and was now undergoing restoration (which will take another 8 years!). Read all about it at  The most fascinating part was when he explained the recovery of the eight crew members...their bones and artifacts. At the above website they have posted photos of the cranial-face-feature reconstructions of all eight men. After all the forensic work was done, these veterans were buried under the Confederate flag in a Charleston, SC, cemetery and several descendants attended the event.

If you think you, or somebody you know, might be a descendant of a sailor aboard the H.S. Hunley, do some Googling and you'll find plenty of exciting information on this particular brave ancestor. 

Did you know:  The membership of every organization is made up of four types of bones:

1.  Wish Bones  --  These "bones" sit around and wish every one else would do the work.
2.  Jaw Bones  --  These "bones" do all the tal king but little of the work.
3.  Knuckle Bones  --  These "bones" knock everything that everybody else tries to do.
4.  Back Bones  --  These "bones" are the ones who get under the load and do all the work.

Which kind of "bone" are you????


Above the entrance to the University of Colorado Library is this carved phrase:  "He who knows only his own genealogy remains always a child."   Isn't that an interesting homile to be carved over the door of a university library?


Just discovered a new-to-me website that will help in the finding of local or still-alive people. Give it a try at  The home page describes this as "the free public records search site." 


Another way-cool website that my brother shared with me is this..... Google this phrase:  "22 Maps and Charts that will surprise you."  Posted by Ezra Klein on 11 Mar 2015, he explains:  "A good visualization helps you see what the data is telling you. The best visualizations help you see things you never thought the data would tell you. These 22 charts and maps were, at least for me, in that category: all of them told me something I found surprising. Some of them genuinely changed the way I think about the world."  Really, now, try it you'll like it.


Have you heard of Thomas MacEntee's The Genealogy Fairy? Thomas explains:  "Back in March 2015, I announced a new concept as part of my genealogy business: The Genealogy Fairy. I have seen a huge increase in business revenue related to affiliate marketing and I wanted a way to say thankyou to those who continue to support my business and believe in what I do to improve the way we search for our family history. 

What Thomas has done is to set aside 5% of affiliate income for some type of grant program. These Genealogy Fairy grants are open to all genealogical and historical organizations, especially non-profits, and to individual genealogists who seek to fund specific projects related to genealogy and family history. 

If this offer intrigues you, click to Or just Google "the genealogy fairy."  What a good guy to make such a great offer.


Been wanting to make a family book? An ONLINE family book? Like with Shutterfly?  I was just introduced to the Olive Tree blog:   Olive Tree Genealogy, created by Lorine in February 1996 was started to bring genealogists FREE genealogy records. Olive Tree Genealogy has more than 1,900 pages of free genealogy records to help you find your brick-wall ancestors and build your family tree. In a post of 1 Sep 2015, Lorine pointed to three YouTube tutorials on how to do a family book using Shutterfly. Why not take a peek?


Unserious Thought for Today:  Broken pencils are pointless. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cyndi Ingle Visits "Our" Archives

Cyndi Ingle, of fame, was the EWGS presenter at our annual Fall Workshop. And she was, of course, wonderful.

As she arrived into Spokane on Friday, and had never been to the Eastern Washington Branch of "our" Washington State Archives, I arranged tours for her. Here is Cyndi with Lee Pierce (red shirt), archivist for the "downstairs" or paper archives part of the facility out on the EWU campus in Cheney, and with Harold Stoehr (green shirt) who manages and maintains the "upstairs" or digital archives part of the building. They were both so very gracious and informative and both Cyndi and I thanked them profusely for their time.

Cyndi was especially impressed with these two wrapped sets of disks.......... Harold took us into the very innermost vault and let Cyndi hold the external backup to the entire contents of the state's digital archives.  (Don't panic; there are multiple backups.) Cyndi was big-eyed-impressed with being able to hold such a treasure in her hands.

Cyndi hails from Puyallup and we here in Washington are very proud of our own home-grown bigwig celebrity in the world of genealogy. I was happy to show her some "eastern Washington" resources in person.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

EWGS Fall Workshop with Cyndi Ingle of

This week was a great week for Cyndi Ingle to come to Spokane, the Chinese Lantern Festival at  Riverfront Park, nice weather and a great seminar with Cyndi Ingle.

Here is Cyndi and Margie Beldin from the Tri-Cities.

Then Dani Lee McGowan and Doug Floyd announced the winners of the writing contest.

Third Prize to Marge Mero.

Second Prize to Anna Corwine

And First prize to Jerry Heston

Cyndi talked all day and I think everyone was in a hurry to get home to try out all we learned from Cyndi today, and I hope more people will join us on Facebook, or other social media to find help with researching their ancestors.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Serendipity Friday - 2 October 2015

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.)


I learn history best from historical fiction. And to my ken, some authors of this sort are better than others. Edward Rutherfurd is one of the best, in my opinion. The following blurb from his book New York gives a brand new insight into those old Civil War soldier photos that we prize so highly…. The year is 1863 (page 413) and then 1871 (page 488):

 “His photographic  studio  was well equipped….. like the other photographers on the Bowery, his bread-and-butter business in recent years had been taking quick portraits of young men standing proudly, or sheepishly, in their unaccustomed uniforms, before they went off to fight again the South. Quicker than the old daguerreotype to take, easy to reproduce on paper, he’d  get thirty a day sometimes. It paid the rent. At first, these small “carte-de-visite”-size portraits had seemed jolly enough, like taking someone’s picture at the seaside. Gradually, however, as the terribly casualties of the Civil War had mounted, he had realized that the dull little portraits he was taking were more like tombstones, last mementoes, before some poor fellow vanished from his family forever. And if he tried to make each humble one as splendid as he could, he did not tell his customers the reason.”
 The character was explaining why he didn’t get a photo of Lincoln speaking the Gettysburg Address…… Lincoln was so brief and:  “It had been no easy business getting a picture in the Civil War. The photographs were always taken in 3-D, which meant that two plates had to be inserted simultaneously into a double camera, one to the left, one to the right. The glass plates had to be quickly cleaned, coated with collodion, then, while still wet, dipped in silver nitrate before being put into the camera. The exposure time might only be a few seconds, but then on had to rush the plates, still wet, into the mobile darkroom. Quite apart from the difficulties of having people in motion during the seconds of exposure, the whole process was so cumbersome that taking pictures of battlefield action was almost impossible. “


Next is a great little bit from my friend, Barbara Zanzig; the Ten Commandments according to Norwegians:
Da Ten commandments
1. Der's only one God, ya know.
2. Don't be idolizing dat fish on yer mantle.
3. Cussin' ain't Minnesota nice.
4. Go to church even when yer up nort.
5. Honor yer folks.
6. Don't kill; Catch an' release.
7. Der's only one Lena fer ever Ole.  No cheatin'.
8. If it ain't yer lutefisk, don't take it.
9. Don't be braggin' 'bout how much snow ya shoveled.
10. Keep yer mind off yer neighbor's hotdish.


If you want to Show-and-Tell your grandchildren into better behavior, take them to the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum in Port Townsend……….. this organization is housed in the old city hall and in the basement are the scariest jail cells I’ve ever seen. I visited with three teenagers and they were impressed and vowed never to have to be put in a place like this. 

This is the solitary confinement cell. Notice the leg irons in the back. Believe me it was cold and dark and awful. Notice the little “trap door” on the wall where the food was pushed in to the unfortunate person…. and then the trap door was closed, leaving the person in almost total darkness.

For more information on the Jefferson County Historical Society and Museum in Port Townsend, click to


If you do travel to the peninsula, after your visit to Port Townsend continue on to Port Angeles, the home of the Clallam County Genealogical Society.  This little-but-very-active society supports a dandy library. Here is CCGS president Ginny Majewski in front of their library:

They have several shelves full of local, one-of-a-kind material, like these binders of the several censes of the Makah Indians who live further out on the peninsula in Neah Bay.

Another thing that really impressed me was this rack of nametags……… each nametag on this rack belongs to a library volunteer. Clallam County Genealogical Society surely does support their local 

(genealogical society) library!         

Archives Month Celebtates Washington Bridges

Archives Month celebrates WA bridges

If it’s October, then our State Archives is celebrating its annual Archives Month. This year’s theme is Washington’s historic bridges, those indispensable links for moving people and goods around the state. I’m a big fan of our bridges and have my favorites, as I’m sure you do.
I want to give you a head’s up that as part of the month-long celebration, the main State Archives in Olympia and the regional branches in Bellevue, Bellingham, Cheney and Ellensburg will host open houses or Basics of Historical Research workshops on Saturday, October 24. Contact the State Archives at (360) 586-1492 or for more information about these events. Another research workshop will be held October 10 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center in Stanwood. For more info about the Stanwood workshop, contact Janette Gomes at the Northwest Regional Archives at or (360) 650-2813.
A great-looking free poster helps commemorate Archives Month. The poster (shown here) is available in the State Archives headquarters in Olympia, the front desk of our Executive Office at the Capitol and at all regional Archives branches, as well as several local historical societies, universities with archives/library collections, museums and heritage centers. Get your poster while supplies last! If you want to see the digital version of the new poster, just go here. The poster was designed by Archives’ own Benjamin Helle.

If you want a larger version of the poster go here:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Facts To Ponder

Fact:  Cyndi Ingle is coming to town............ Saturday, Oct 3rd.

Fact:  Cyndi Ingle is a BIG WIG in the world of genealogy and she's coming to teach US.

Fact:  Cyndi is the originator and manager of the website, links to nearly 300,000 genealogy-related websites.

Fact:  Cyndi is one of those folks who are as easy to follow and learn from .... she's comfortable as old bunny slippers. 

Fact:  Cyndi will be giving us an all-day workshop for the registration fee of $25 (non-EWGS members $30). 

Fact: Cyndi provides a syllabus;  EWGS provides a potluck lunch. 

Fact: Visit our website for all the details:

I plan to see YOU there!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Serendipity Friday

We Washingtonians recognize how important our apples are to the world.

Back in the first decade of the 1900s a series of National Apple Shows were held across Washington…….
This photo was from the first-ever-held National Apple Show in 1908 in Spokane. The photo comes from our Washington State Digital PHOTOGRAPH collection……….. bet you didn’t remember that there were many, many older photos available via this website. (They were Charles Libby photos.)

Doing a Google search for “national apple show,” I found this newspaper quote (from the San Francisco Call ) for December 6 and 8, 1908:

“President Roosevelt will press a button at 10:30 tomorrow morning Pacific time which will give the signal for the formal opening of the National Apple Show to be held in Spokane December 7 to 12. The exhibits, ranging all the way from a single apple to carload lots will fill twenty thousand feet of floor space………… the exposition is the greatest and finest exhibition of apples, apple products, implements and machinery associated with the cultivation of the apple that has ever been assembled anywhere. The array is bewildering in magnitude and beauty.

“The bulk of the exhibits come from Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon but some are from western Canada and Luther Burbank sends an exhibit from California……….. there are exhibits from Japan, France and England, Norway, Germany and several U.S. states…….”

“One feature of the show is the presence of sixteen young women from the Domestic Science class at Washington State College in Pullman who will demonstrate the cooking and serving of apples…. they have 56 ways of cooking this one fruit.”

Think about it; would YOU have been excited to go to an Expo all about apples?????