Friday, December 28, 2007

Grizzly Bear Genealogy??

According to Paul Turner's column in The Spokesman Review today (28 Dec 2007), grizzly bears in the Pacific Northwest are, indeed, into genealogy. Turner conducted an email interview with Theo, spokesbear for the group. In answer to Turner's question, "Do grizzlies get into genealogy?" Theo answered, "Yes. And it turns out every one of us claims to be directly related to the bears who scared the pemmican out of Lewis and Clark." So know we know!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2008 Membership Dues and January Luncheon Fees Due

It's that time of year. Annual dues for membership in the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society for the 2008 calendar year are due as of Monday, December 31st. You can send your check made out to EWGS to P.O. Box 1826, Spokane, WA 99210-1826. If you are becoming a member for the first time, please download and fill out this application and mail it in with your check. The cost for an individual or a family are $25.00; a lifetime membership for either an individual or family is $375.00. UPDATE: Earlier I reported that lifetime membership was $300.00. I had read some outdated information. The correct cost is $375.00, which is 15 times the cost of the annual dues, per society bylaws.

Also, the $20.00 per-person fee for the January luncheon--to be held at 12 noon, January 5th, 2008 at the Mukogawa Commons--needs to be sent in as soon as possible. The deadline is this Saturday, January 29th. If that deadline is a problem, please contact Pat Mielbrecht at once; her phone number is in the directory. The luncheon fee can be mailed to the post office box listed above. Please also enclose your name(s) and phone number, along with the number of chicken or beef meals for which you are paying. Details and an order form are available here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lost Cousins is Completely Free Until 2008!

I received the following message today in an e-mail:

All users of the LostCousins site will have totally free access from December 26 to January 6, so it's a great opportunity to find and contact living relatives who share your ancestry!

The LostCousins website has a unique system that identifies living relatives who share the same ancestors automatically, confidentially, and with virtually 100% accuracy. It's all done using census data, most of which is available free online at the FamilySearch site.

The more relatives you enter on your My Ancestors page, the better your chance of finding a cousin immediately - and the more cousins you'll find over time.

Founder Peter Calver explained why the system works so well: "Using the census ensures that two members who share the same relative enter precisely the same data - this means we can not only match you automatically, but do it with 100% accuracy.

"Once you've told us about your relatives from the census, it takes just seconds to search for other members who share your ancestors - and you can repeat the search as often as you like, even after the offer ends. Our simple search and accurate matching will save you an enormous amount of time and effort that might otherwise be expended following up false leads."

A recent survey revealed that the average LostCousins member has been researching her family tree for over 10 years, so the cousins you find are likely to have lots of useful research to share - as well as photographs and other memorabilia.

Although new members are required to register, no credit card or other financial information is requested - so there's absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain by taking part. From January 7 onwards you'll need to be a subscriber to initiate contact with a new cousin, but otherwise you'll continue to have full access to your data and to the site.

The LostCousins website can be found at:

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

FHL & Major FHCs to Receive Free Access

I received the following just a few minutes ago, via e-mail from FamilySearch:


FamilySearch and The Generations Network Agreement Give Patrons Access to More than 24,000 Databases and Titles

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch and The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, today announced an agreement that provides free access of to patrons of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the 13 largest regional family history centers effective today.

With this new agreement full access will be provided to more than 24,000 databases and titles and 5 billion names in family history records. In addition to the Family History Library, the following 13 regional family history centers have been licensed to receive access to

* Mesa, Arizona
* Los Angeles, California
* Oakland, California
* Orange, California
* Sacramento, California
* San Diego, California
* Idaho Falls, Idaho
* Pocatello, Idaho
* Las Vegas, Nevada
* Logan, Utah
* Ogden, Utah
* St. George, Utah
* Hyde Park, London, England

“We’re excited for our patrons to receive online access to an expanded collection of family history records on,” said Don Anderson, director of FamilySearch Support. “’s indexes and digital images of census, immigration, vital, military and other records, combined with the excellent resources of FamilySearch, will increase the likelihood of success for patrons researching their family history.” The Generations Network and FamilySearch hope to expand access to other family history centers in the future.

FamilySearch patrons at the designated facilities will have access to’s completely indexed U.S. Federal Census Collection, 1790-1930, and more than 100 million names in passenger lists from 1820-1960, among other U.S. and international record collections. Throughout the past year, has added indexes to Scotland censuses from 1841-1901, created the largest online collection of military and African American records, and reached more than 4 million user-submitted family trees.

Free access is also available at Brigham Young University Provo, Idaho, and Hawaii campuses, and LDS Business College patrons through a separate agreement with The Generations Network.

“FamilySearch’s Family History Library in Salt Lake City is one of the most important physical centers for family history research in the world, and we are happy that patrons to the Library and these major regional centers will have access to,” said Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of “We’ve enjoyed a ten-year working relationship with FamilySearch, and we look forward to continued collaboration on a number of family history projects.”

About (visit
With 24,000 searchable databases and titles and more than 2.5 million active users, is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. The site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection, 1790-1930, as well as the world’s largest online collection of U.S. ship passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including,, and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 8.7 million unique visitors worldwide and more than 416 million page views a month (© comScore Media Metrix, October 2007).

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Genealogy Search Engine Upgrade at MyHeritage Research

I received the following message from MyHeritage Research:
MyHeritage Research, the genealogy search engine on, has been significantly upgraded this week. This genealogy tool specializes in finding ancestors and advancing your family research. There is nothing else quite like it on the Internet. It is free and you're invited to use it on this link.

MyHeritage Research now searches across more than 10 billion records to provide you the most extensive genealogy searches available anywhere on the Internet, and it's free. This week we've released version 2.0, adding hundreds of new genealogy databases to its coverage. So even if you've tried it in the past, you're encouraged to use our new version, as you're likely to find more results.

To use MyHeritage Research, click [here]. In the search form, enter the last name you are researching, or a combination of a first name and last name. MyHeritage Research will then search for it in 1,400 genealogy databases and Websites on the Internet that cannot be searched by regular search engines like Google. Searches can look for an exact spelling, or multiple spelling variations (we call this Megadex). Because of the sheer extent of this search engine, some searches may take several minutes to complete. This search engine is particularly useful if you are researching a rare last name, or an uncommon combination of a first name and last name.

We also have good news for anyone interested in Jewish Genealogy. Thanks to our new collaboration with JewishGen, the top Website for Jewish genealogy, we've been able to add a JewishGen All-in-one search to MyHeritage Research. So searches on MyHeritage Research will now include almost all JewishGen databases, a feature not available anywhere else on the Web.

If you would like to share success stories, or send requests for covering additional sites in MyHeritage Research, or have bugs to report, please use our support forum available here. We appreciate all feedback.

What's next? Here at MyHeritage, we're constantly working hard to bring you new tools for advancing your genealogy hobby. We've recently developed a breakthrough - Smart Matching technology which connects family trees submitted by our users. Stay tuned for exciting information about this very soon.


MyHeritage team

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What You Missed: The November 2007 Computer Class

I absolutely hate missing our wonderful computer classes that we offer freely to members of EWGS, but last month I was ill and so I didn't get the opportunity to hear Bette Butcher Topp's lesson on finding and using the terrific genealogical society websites available online.

Did you know that many genealogical societies transcribe data and then offer it in database form on their websites for out-of-area researchers like you and me to access? I can think of one society in particular that I'm a member of that has fantastic online material: the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. They have an index of newspaper death notices and obituaries from 1910 to the present, as well as engagements, weddings, and anniversaries from 1976 to the present. They also have school census indexes, marriage indexes, and funeral home indexes, just to name a few. With 12 family surnames living in Western Michigan from the 1840s to the present, I use their databases all the time!

And did you know our very own Eastern Washington Genealogical Society has a page of databases and indexes on our website here? We're also working on an obituary database to eventually put online, and you can contact Carol Nettles (see the member directory) to volunteer for that project.

Well, it's treasures like these that Bette highlighted in her class on November 17th, and if you missed it, you can email me at kidmiffatgmaildotcom (substitute the appropriate symbols). I'll e-mail her excellent syllabus to you so that you don't miss out again!

The next computer class will be held January 19th and will be presented by Miriam Robbins Midkiff. Her topic is "Using" If you are interested in signing up, please contact me, Miriam Robbins Midkiff, at the e-mail address listed in the previous paragraph, or see our member directory for my telephone number. Currently, there are a few spots available during the 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM and the 1:30 - 2:30 PM sessions. You must be a current EWGS member to attend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sons of the American Revolution Still Going Strong

Here's an interesting story from our local paper that highlights a twenty-one-year-old young man who has recently joined a local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (click on the first link on this page). With his dark hair in a ponytail, Travis Miller makes quite a contrast against the other silver- and white-haired members of the SAR, but he is among a growing population of young people interested in their roots. Kudos to EWGS members Bill Ailes and John Ellingson for also being featured in this article, either by being photographed or quoted.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Images of Scotland

Rampart Scotland has a color supplement each week with online photographs taken in Scotland to show the current season and its flora and fauna. See each week's color supplement here.

Each year, a calendar illustrated with pictures taken from around Scotland is added to the Rampant Scotland site. The calendar gives a choice of graphics for each user to select to print for his/her calendar. The calendar is available throughout the year but clearly it is accessed more to view the pictures of Scotland, rather than printing pages for the remaining months of the year. So to make viewing easier, there is a slide show of all 48 of the pictures used for the 2008 calendar. The graphics are copyrighted by Rampant Scotland - but you can feel free to use them for personal, non-commercial use. To view a slide show of the photographs, go to Calendar. You can also print the 2008 calendar from this web page.

Scotavia Images provides a quality aerial photography service for Scotland. A large number of their excellent photographs, largely of the north of Scotland and the Highlands, have been included in their site. They give a unique view of castles, golf courses, glens, Highland scenery, towns and villages, stately homes, events, archaeology, events - and oil platforms. If you have ancestors with a Scottish Highland origin, they can provide an aerial view of the area they came from! See Scotavia Images here.