Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy

Does that book title ring something in your mind? It might should because for 50 years this book by Val Greenwood has been "the gold standard" textbook for learning how to do American genealogy. 


 I tuned in to hear Val Greenwood during RootsTech because I was kinda surprised to learn he was still going strong. I say that because the first edition of his book was in 1969!  During that RootsTech interview, he said "The computer age was born, grew up, had children and now grandchildren. My book's first edition did not mention "technology" and the second edition had only a brief chapter. The advances in technology are both mind boggling and wonderful."

"Much has and will continue to change but the basics of genealogy will not change...... we still seek adequate evidence to document our ancestors' lives." 

Val Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy would be a super addition to your library and a perfect personal study textbook.  Be sure to get the 4th Edition, 2017.  You can order the book from Amazon or from Genealogical Publishing Company. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

"Stop & Think Before You Post!"


Remember how we enjoyed Dave Obee's presentation on Canadian Genealogy a year or so back? When we could have in-person workshops!

Dave writes The Back Page, a regular feature in YourGenealgoyToday magazine. In the Jan/Feb 2021 issues he really spoke my mind:

"How do I say what I want to say without sounding cranky?"

"In the past few weeks, I and several of my friends have pulled out of genealogy groups on Facebook. We have all had the same reason: There is too much bad information out there and the bad is drowning out the good."

"Here's what happens. Somebody will ask a question, hoping that someone will be able to solve a mystery. Within minutes, one or two or a dozen well-meaning souls will chime in giving answers that range from silly to ludicrous.

Dave's sweet rant continues: 

"I understand that many of us are eager about what we do and we want to share our excitement with others. I understand that no harm is intended when incorrect answers are given. But please, please, slow down and make sure the information you are giving is indeed information that the other person can use."

And how to do that, he asks? By keeping yourself informed to ensure you are giving correct answers and information or (I'm adding this) by keeping your fingers off the keyboard. 

Thanks, Dave. We needed that. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Timely Tips for Today


1. Went looking in the Family History Library Catalog (online at FamilySearch) for a 1926 book on the Sutphen Family. To my surprise, it was NOT listed. But then, following another blog-post-tip, I looked in FamilySearch Books. Viola! There is was.

2. The Cobb Salad made its debut in 1937 at the Brown Derby in Hollywood and was named after its maker, Bob Cobb.  Google will tell you that the Crab Louis Salad was invented in 1919 in San Francisco but I learned at our Davenport Hotel here in Spokane it was Louis Davenport (1858-1951) who created this salad and had fresh crab rushed daily from Seattle. 

3.  Mayonnaise was invented in 1756 by the cook of French Duke Richeleu to help him celebrate the French capture of Mahon on the Spanish Island of Minorca. Richard Hellmann brought mayonnaise to New York City.

4.  Our colonial ancestors had some of the same flowers in their gardens we do we:  Hollyhocks, foxgloves, daylillies, irises, peonies.  If you're interested in planning or planting a Colonial garden, here's a link to a guide:

Friday, February 19, 2021

Amasa Campbel & His House

Amasa B. Campbell died, finally, on February 17, 1912. I say "finally," because it was a horribly long, slow, painful death. An article in the Spokane Daily Chronicle, told the story:

"The illness which let to Mr. Campbell's death began about two years ago with a serious swelling in the throat. He went to Paris and consulted a celebrated physician, who, forseeing that Campbell's breathing might eventually be stopped, inserted a silver tube in his throat below the seat of the trouble. 

"After his return to Spokane from the European trip, Mr. Campbell became worse, and went to Rochester, Minn., to consult with the Mayo Brothers. After the usual careful diagnosis, they pronounced the growth to be a malignant cancer and refused to operate on the ground that it would merely hasten death. 

"Campbell then proceeded to New York where he was treated by a cancer specialist. The serum injections then prescribed were continued without affording obvious relief until a month before his death.

"Only the ironlike constitution and determination of Mr. Campbell kept him alive for the last two months. For days preceding death, he took only ice, being able neither to drink water nor take the weakest foods. For weeks he has been unable even to whisper." The cause of death was starvation. He died, asleep, at his home on West First Avenue. 

Born in 1845 in Salem, Ohio, Campbell came west at age 22. "The deceased was a generous supporter of local charities and a liberal contributor to all public enterprises."  He made his millions in mining. 

Grace Campbell, his widow, died on November 24, 1924, "after suffering for 14 or 15 months and he strength gradually waned until the end." 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Future of the National Archives in Seattle


How many of us have been over to use the National Archives Branch located on Sand Point Way in Seattle? (I have; that's where I learned that the Soundex for Phillips and Phillip was different!  That was using the un-indexed 1920 census. So much easier now.)

Surely you've heard that it's been proposed to sell that building (developers are chomping at the bit, of course) and re-locate all the records to Kansas City, Missouri.  

My opinion: those eager developers are pushing the government to sell under an old law aimed at unloading excess federal property. 

W-H-A-T? What is "excess" about a collection of "invaluable historical records dating to the 1840s and used all the time for research about everything from tribal history to Japanese internment during WWII and fur seal hunts on remote Alaskan islands." (So wrote Gene Johnson on 4 Jan 2021.)

"This is the DNA of our region," said the Washington Attorney General. "These documents are no digitized. Moving them 1000 miles away essentially and effectively eliminates public access to these critical documents."

So what might you and I do about this???? Find out the facts and contact our/your state legislatures to express your opinion. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Travel Today Surely Isn't What It Used To Be


This little bit appeared in The Spokesman Review on June 9, 1937, page 6:


R.S. Cholmley from the Interior of British Columbia is making what may be a record for travel time from Spokane to England. He was called to Southampton, England, owning to a sudden death. He took a bus from the interior of British Columbia via Nelson, B.C. to Spokane, arriving here yesterday morning, making connection with United Air Lines noon plane to New York where he will arrive at 9:00 Wednesday morning.

The local United office wired its New York office to meet Mr. Cholmley on his arrival at the Newark, N.J. airport and transferred him to the Queen Mary, which is scheduled to sail at 11:00 on Wednesday. He will arrive in Southampton on Sunday, June 23, taking only six days for the entire trip." 

Just looked; today the flight time from Spokane to England is about 12 hours. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Quaker Conference Upcoming From the Rogue Valley Gen Soc of Oregon


I have some Quaker ancestors and I'll bet many of you do too. If you need to know more about the Quakers or finding records of your Quaker ancestors, here's an idea for you.

The Rogue Valley Genealogical Society (Medford, Oregon) presents Steven W. Morrison on Saturday, February 20, 2021, 10:00 to 4:00 Pacific Time with a presentation titled:  Profile of  A Quaker: Finding A Friend in Colonial America.

The four seminar sessions are:  (1) Profile of a Quaker; how to identify a Quaker ancestor;  (2) Simply Amazing - U.S. Quaker Records Online;  (3) Quaker Migrations Across Ye United States; and (4) Ye Best Books - for Quaker Research. 

Cost is $55 (for non-RVGS members) and register online at www.rvgslibrary.org>programs & classes > seminar registration. Paid registrants will receive the ZOOM link the day before the seminar.