Friday, December 3, 2021

EWGS December Program---Another Winner


Are you ready to learn why we kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas time? And does mistletoe have white or red berries..... 0r both? And won't it be fun to learn about Santa's sleigh? Thanks to all who planned and executed that wonderful meeting.

I really truly hate to burst your bubble but despite what the can states, Libby's pumpkin is NOT technically pumpkin?? It's a strain of Dickenson squash which is thicker and creamier; the FDA did say it's okay to call it pumpkin. What do you think? Do you care? (And, by the by, canned pumpkin is yummy and safe for dogs.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

EWGS December Meeting Is Always a Gift To Members



So sad that we won't be meeting in person again for our fabulous December meeting. We wanted to have an in-person Ugly Sweater Contest.......but guess that will wait until 2022.  But for some EWGS Christmas cheer, don't miss our December meeting.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum........ Visited There Yet?

 A field trip to the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum will be a treat for your genealogy minds, I guarantee.  This is especially so if you live in the Spokane Valley. Note that they are opened "year round, Wednesday through Saturday." Good cold-day get-a-way for sure.  Maybe a post-Thanksgiving outing?????



Friday, November 19, 2021

Scotch, Scottish and Scots-Irish.... Know the Difference?


This wonderful bit comes from the Family Tree Magazine blog for 

10 September 2021. This blog always contains “good stuff.”

A question posted to the above blog: "A 1755 Virginia militia Muster roll has "Scotch," "Scottish," "Irish," and "English" as places of origin. Is "Scotch" always short for Scotch-Irish or might Scotch and Scottish be used interchangeably?"

Answer: Although the Oxford English Dictionary states that "Scotch-Irish" was first used in 1744, nearly the time of your militia roll, earlier examples abound. The first known colonial reference appears in Maryland in 1689. From 1717 until the American Revolution, more than a quarter-million "Scotch-Irish" immigrated to North America...but keep in mind they came from Ireland, not Scotland.

They descended from about 200,000 Scottish Lowland Presbyterians who relocated to Ulster, in northern Ireland, with the encouragement of the Protestant British government. Britain hopes the Scottish "plantations" would tighten its grip on mostly Catholic Ireland.

When they migrated again across the Atlantic, these ethnic Scots from Ulster were typically referred to as Irish, given their most recent home for as much as a century. It was only after large-scale Irish migration began that these Protestants widely adopted the "Scotch" (or "Scots") qualifier, to distinguish themselves from the new Catholic arrivals. Eventually, nearly two million "Scotch-Irish" left Ulster for North America.

The term Scotch-Irish, though common in the U.S., is all but unknown in England, Scotland and Ireland. Today, the people of Scotland prefer the terms Scottish and Scots, using Scotch exclusively to refer to whiskey. We can only guess what the recorders of your 1755 muster roll might have been thinking, but it's certainly possibly that both Scotch and Irish referred to what we not call "Scotch-Irish." Indeed, given the era and these immigrants' recent history, Irish was probably the preferred term; only a few Irish from outside Ulster had arrived by 1755.


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

History of the Railroad Caboose


Last September I visited EWGS past president and long-time friend, Dale Hastin, who now lives in Denver, Colorado. We spent a delightful day at the Colorado Railroad Museum........... I was in this very caboose!

Dale drove us south to visit the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, CO. This museum has over 100 railroad cars of various types, mostly donated by a collector in Arizona who began collected narrow-gage cars when the railroads switched to wider gage.  I took a tour of several cabooses and learned the fascinating history of the caboose from Phil Smith, a long-time volunteer. And he’d worked on the railroad in his past so he was very knowledgeable. First thing he taught us was never to step ON the rails but always between the rails. Also, who is in charge of the trail, the engineer or conductor? The latter.

Why are there no cabooses on trains now? Technology. The rear-end car to watch the rails behind and the cars in front where men perched in the cupola of the caboose was replaced in the 1970s by FRED. This was a rear-end device that computer monitors everything and is a better safety device. This replaced two brakeman and even the conductor, who used to ride in the caboose, now rides up with the engineer.

Cabooses in days of yore were twenty or less cars so the caboose fellows had a good view of all the cars. (Nowadays they can be up to 200 cars!)

The earliest cabooses were empty box cars at the end of the train. This car contained a desk (for the conductor) and the many and various tools for the brakemen. There might be bunks (for resting between runs), a stove for heat and cooking. Initially a hole in the caboose roof was cut and the brakeman stood on boxes to see the train. In 1860 a cupola was introduced to better be able to watch the train. Each car carried two workers: a flagman and a brakeman.

Before air brakes, it was the job of the brakeman and flagman to run back and forth on the top of the train, hopping from car to car, hand setting the brake on each car, day or night, rain or shine. This was a dangerous job indeed. A federal law was passed by 1900 that all trains would have air brakes. Of course they squawked because it was expensive and cheaper to hire new men to replace those killed or maimed. Why would any man want to be a brakeman? It was the beginning career step to be a conductor. And remember that the only means of communication between the engine and caboose was voice, hand signals or lanterns.

The age of a particular caboose can be best guessed by the placement of the cupola….. front, end or middle. If you wish to know more about cabooses and their history, just do a Google search.

Phil Smith ended our tour with these words:  “As in everything, technology and computers have replaced men over time and a better and safer job is done. Steam engines and cabooses are now history,” he added nostalgically.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Would you guess that Washington has 70 Native American-origin place names?

Would you ever have guessed that there are over 70 town names in Washington that come from Native American words??  

Recently I enjoyed a browse through The Atlas of the North American Indian, by Carl Waldman, first published in 1985 and updated in 2009. I found the pages explaining the Northwest Indians and their culture to be so interesting.

One unexpected thing I gleaned from this book was a list of place names in Washington that are of native origins. Could you have come up with this list of 73 places?? (The list does include two names of French derivation.)

“TN” denotes a tribal-origin name. Places were tribal names, chief’s names, or of Indian derivation. For some names, the tribe was designated and for others it was not. Sometimes the meaning was given and sometimes not.

Anatone – TN

Asotin – Nez Perce “elk creek”

Cathlamet – TN

Chehalis – TN “sand”

Chewelah – TN

Chimacum – TN

Chinook – TN

Clallam – TN “big brave nation”

Conconully – TN “cloudy”

Copalis – TN

Cowlitz – TN “power”

Ilwaco – Chief El-Wah-ko-Jim

Entiat – TN “rapid water”

Kalotus – TN “hole in the ground”

Kittitas – TN “shoal people”

Klickitat – TN “beyond”

Latah – Nez Perce “place of pines”

Methow – TN

Moclips – Quinault “place where girls were sent during puberty rites”

Napavine – TN “small prairie”

Naselle – TN

Nespelem – TN

Nisqually – TN

Okanogan – TN “meeting place”

Omak – TN

Palouse – TN “grassy expanse”

Pend Oreille – French; “ear pendants”

Potlach – TN “give”

Puyallup – TN “generous people”

Queets – TN

Quilcene – TN

Quillayute – TN

Quinault – TN

Sanpoil – TN

Seattle – Chief Sealth

Selah – TN “still water”

Sequim – TN “quiet water”

Simcoe – TN “waist spine”

Similk – TN

Skagit – TN

Skamania – TN “swift water”

Skamokawa – Chief name

Skykomish – TN “inland people”

Snohomish – TN

Snoqualmie – TN “moon”

Spokane – TN “people of the sun”

Stehekin – TN “pass”

Steilacoom – Chief name

Sultan – Chief name

Suquamish – TN

Tacoma – TN “mountain god”

Tenino – TN

Tieton – TN “roaring water”

Toppenish – TN

Touchet – French; “fire cured salmon”

Toutle – TN

Tucannon – TN “bread root”

Tukwila – TN “land of hazelnuts”

Tulalip – TN “by with small mouth”

Tumwater – TN “heart”

Twisp – TN

Wahkiakum – Chief name

Walla Walla – TN “little river”

Washtucna – Chief name

Waukon – Chief name

Wauna – TN “spout creature”

Wenatchee – TN “river from canyon”

Whatcom – Chief name

Willapa – TN

Yacolt – TN “haunted place”

Yakima – TN “growing families" 



Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Thomas MacEntee Teaches EWGS Again

Thomas MacEntee ZOOMed to EWGS from Chicago for our Fall Workshop on November 2, 2021. He quipped, about his hometown: "Chicago, where many are cold but few are frozen." 

He shared four presentations with us:

  • Smarter Search Strategies for Genealogy
  • Brick Wall Breakthroughs
  • Turning Genealogy Clues into Genealogy To Dos
  • Did I Get Everything? A Checklist for Online Research
Thomas provided a 3 or 4 page handout to accompany each presentation. If you have a copy, grab it from the pile and read it, take notes and DO IT........meaning follow some of Thomas' suggestions. 

Isn't that why we attend these meetings????? To learn and then do and then rejoice??

If you don't have a copy of those handouts, we'll get them to you. Contact me: