Saturday, August 30, 2008

September 2008 General Meeting to Be Held at Shadle Library

The first meeting of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society's 2008 - 2009 genealogical year will be held at Shadle Branch (2111 W. Wellesley Ave.) of the Spokane Public Library in the meeting room next Saturday, September 6th. This is a different location from our regular meeting place, the Downtown Branch Library. Coffee, cookies, and conversation will begin at 12:30 PM. At 1:00, the business portion of our meeting will begin, and at 1:30 our main program will begin. The topic of this meeting is "Oh, the Places We Went," and members and guests alike are invited to partake in sharing the great genealogical finds during summer research trips. This meeting is free and open to the general public and will end around 2:30 PM.

Parking is free, but somewhat limited in the library parking lot. Street parking along the east side of Belt Street is available, with a short walk across the edge of the park to the library. The library is also accessible via several of Spokane Transit's bus routes.

There will be various genealogical items sold at our society's Ways and Means table, as well as raffling a certificate worth $25 towards our October Workshop with Barbara Nuehring! Because the workshop cost is $25 for society members and $30 for non-members, for the winner this means either free registration or having to only pay $5 towards registration, depending upon whether they are a member.

Raffle tickets will be $1 each or $5 for half a dozen tickets.

This is a great opportunity to learn a little about the society in an informal manner and get to know others who are as passionate (or crazy!) about family history as you are!

If you have any questions, please e-mail Miriam Robbins Midkiff.

Launch of 1911 England Census in 2009, in association with the National Archives, will be managing the launch of the 1911 census, in 2009. This mammoth project is underway at this very moment. will be the first, and for a time the only place to access the 1911 census online. If you haven't already, then be sure to register on the site in order to receive the latest updates and be among the first to use the census at its launch.

FamilySearch Update: 1905 South Dakota Census and German Church Books Added

FamilySearch added the 1905 South Dakota State Census and German church books to its pilot Record Search collection online. The total number of names available for searching on the pilot site is now 478,034,410. The entire collection can be searched for free directly online at

Collection Name

Indexed Records

Digital Images


1905 South Dakota State Census




Germany, Brandenburg, Church Books




Germany, Posen, Church Books




Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yet Another FamilySearch Update!

Isn't this exciting! This is the third FamilySearch update in recent weeks!

25 August 2008

FamilySearch has updated or added three new free databases this week to its online pilot program at The new additions represent over 9 million new names. There are now over 477 million searchable names on the pilot site.

Current indexing projects include the 1920 U.S Census, 1869 Argentina Census, 1930 Mexico Census, 1945 Florida State Census, Louisiana Deaths, German Church Records, Italy Church Records, Spain Church Records, Venezuela Church Records, and Nicaragua Civil Registration Records.

A sincere thanks goes out to the great online community of FamilySearch volunteer indexers for their great work in these initiatives. Individuals willing to help with any of the current or upcoming indexing projects can begin immediately by registering online at The more volunteers participating, the more records FamilySearch will be able to make freely available online—quicker.

1870 U.S. Federal Census

Thirteen new states and almost 9 million names were added to the free 1870 U.S. Census index online. Indexes are now available for Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Dakota Territory, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. Digital images can be searched for all states except Kentucky, Vermont, and Virginia.

West Virginia Births Index

A searchable name index for West Virginia Births for 1853 to 1930 has been added. This project includes 220,000 names and is 76% complete. For a list of counties indexed in the collection to-date, see the project description at No images currently.

West Virginia Deaths Index

The West Virginia Deaths Index 1853 to 1870 is now available online. Over 266,00 names were added, and it is 80% complete. This is an index of both statewide and county death records. A link to digital images on the West Virginia Division of Culture and History website is provided from the index.

Summary of Current Projects/Updates

Collection Name

Record Type


1870 US Census

Searchable database online

Updated – 13 new states

WV Births

Searchable database online

Updated – 14 new counties

WV Deaths

Searchable database online

Updated – 14 new counties

1920 U.S. Census

Indexing Project

New states added

1869 Argentina Census

Indexing Project

New in cue

1930 Mexico Census

Indexing Project

New states added

1945 Florida State Census

Indexing Project

New in cue

German Church Records

Indexing Project

New in cue

Italy Church Records

Indexing Project

New in cue

Louisiana Deaths

Indexing Project

New counties added

Nicaragua Civil Registration

Indexing Project

New in cue

Spain Church Records

Indexing Project

New in cue

Venezuela Church Records

Indexing Project

New in cue

Saturday, August 23, 2008 Teams with JewishGen


Partnership Enables Broader Research of Jewish Ancestry Through Powerful Search Tools in One Centralized Location

CHICAGO – Aug. 19, 2008
The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, and JewishGen, a non-profit organization dedicated to researching and promoting Jewish genealogy and an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, today announced a partnership designed to provide easier online access to millions of important Jewish historical documents. JewishGen's collection of databases will be integrated and be made available for free on, making these historical Jewish records and information more accessible than ever before. As part of the agreement, the JewishGen site will also be hosted in's data center.

For the first time ever, those interested in researching Jewish ancestry will be able to search JewishGen's databases on, taking advantage of's powerful search technologies, including tree hinting and the ability to search all JewishGen databases through one simple interface. The agreement will also give researchers the ability to make connections within family trees and to perform broader searches – searching JewishGen's databases in combination with the other 7 billion names and 26,000 databases available on In addition, visitors will be able to network with millions of members to connect with others interested in Jewish genealogy and discover distant relatives.

"We are thrilled to be collaborating with JewishGen, an elite and well-respected resource in the Jewish genealogy community," said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of The Generations Network. "Both organizations are committed to the preservation of important historical records. We look forward to working with JewishGen and to making these wonderful collections even more accessible for free on Ancestry.

"Under the new agreement, some of the important JewishGen content that will be available on includes databases from many different countries, the Holocaust Database, Yizkor Books (memorial books from Holocaust survivors), The Given Names Database and JewishGen ShtetlSeeker, among others. The JewishGen collections will be available on by the end of the year."

This important partnership between JewishGen and demonstrates a commitment both to preserving Jewish heritage and providing the public with unprecedented access to these records," said Warren Blatt, Managing Director of JewishGen. "The impact on the genealogy community will be significant; not only will genealogists now have the use of powerful search tools to make research easier, they will be able to find everything for their Jewish heritage research needs at one location."

David G. Marwell, Director, Museum of Jewish Heritage, said, "The continuity of Jewish heritage is central to the Museum's mission. We are pleased that this partnership will make it easier for users to discover their Jewish roots and connect or re-connect to their family's history."

To learn more about this important agreement, or if you would like a sneak peek of the Jewish collections that will be available on, visit

About JewishGen
JewishGen,, became an affiliate of the Museum on January 1, 2003. An Internet pioneer, JewishGen was founded in 1987 and has grown from a bulletin board with only 150 users to a major grass roots effort bringing together hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide in a virtual community centered on discovering Jewish ancestral roots and history.
Researchers use JewishGen to share genealogical information, techniques, and case studies. With a growing database of more than 11 million records, the website is a forum for the exchange of information about Jewish life and family history, and has enabled thousands of families to connect and re-connect in a way never before possible.

With 26,000 searchable databases and titles and nearly 3 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. 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 nearly 8.5 million unique visitors worldwide (© comScore Media Metrix, March 2008). To easily begin researching your family history, visit

Here is the JewishGen and Ancestry Fact Sheet:

We are pleased to announce that, the premier resource for Jewish genealogy, and, the largest online resource for family history information, have entered into a cooperative agreement.

Basics of the agreement:
  • JewishGen will make some of its databases available on the Ancestry website.
  • Ancestry will provide hardware and network support for the JewishGen website.

Benefits of the agreement:

  • JewishGen will be able to provide more robust and functional resources to genealogists throughout the world.
  • Specific and immediate improvements will be seen in the speed of the website, along with greater accessibility when searching databases.
  • More people will be exposed to Jewish genealogy and have access to a greater range of resources to assist in researching family history.
  • JewishGen's comprehensive records and information, contributed by volunteers from around the world, will continue to remain freely available on

Details of the agreement:

  • JewishGen remains an independent non-profit organization, affiliated with the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
  • There will be no change to the JewishGen management team, structure or affiliation with the museum.
  • This new agreement, combined with generosity of our donors throughout the world, will allow us to continue offering all of JewishGen's extensive resources for no charge.
  • Privacy of personal information for JewishGen users is of key importance to us.
  • Information about JewishGen registrants will not be shared.
  • Personal informtion stored on JewishGen, such as data entered into the JGFF and Family Tree of the Jewish People, will not be shared.
  • JewishGen will continue to independently administer the JewishGen website, mailing lists and affiliates.

FamilySearch Update: New Records Added

FamilySearch added over 2 million new images or indexed records this week to its pilot Record Search databases this week. Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers who help bring these projects to the Web for public access. Patrons can search these databases for free online at or directly at

Project Name: WWII Draft Reg. Cards
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 1,651,453
Type: Images
Comments: Updated - 1 new state (Ohio)

Project Name: 1930 Mexico Census
Indexed Records: 314,548
Digital Images: 104,849
Type: Index
Comments: Updated - 1 new state (Coahulia)

Project Name: West Virginia Vital Records (Marriages)
Indexed Records: 306,782
Digital Images: ---
Type: Index
Comments: Updated - 14 new counties

Project Name: Lima, Peru Civil Registration
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 134,664
Type: Waypt
Comments: Updated - User guidance added

Project Name: 1885 Florida State Census
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 8,468
Type: Waypt
Comments: New collection

Project Name: 1935 Florida State Census
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 36,019
Type: Waypt
Comments: New collection

Project Name: 1945 Florida State Census
Indexed Records: ---
Digital Images: 51,686
Type: Waypt
Comments: New collection

FamilySearch Needs Your Help

An announcement from

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is developing a new version of the Web site. This new Web site will help individuals identify ancestors and link them to families, and it will help Church members perform temple ordinances for their ancestors.

Can you volunteer an hour of time to help evaluate this new Web site? Do you know someone else who might be interested? We are looking for feedback to help make the Web site as easy and enjoyable to use as possible. We are especially interested in feedback from individuals who are new to family history.

Anyone over age 18 interested in participating in this evaluation is invited to go to the following Internet address to sign-up:

Thank you for your interest and enthusiasm. We greatly value your time and opinion.

The FamilySearch User Experience Evaluation Team
Family History Department
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Pricing Changes at Footnote

From Russ Wilding, CEO of

Dear Valued Footnote Member,

Thanks for making this such an exciting year at Footnote.

When we opened our doors in January of 2007 we had fewer than 5 million images on the site. Since then we've added 2 million images a month and have made improvements to the site. Today you can access more than 42 million images on Footnote. Along the way, we've worked hard to keep our costs down and subscriptions affordable.

With challenging economic conditions, the time has come to make a modest adjustment to our subscription fees.

Starting September 1, 2008, the monthly All-Access Membership price will be $11.95 and the annual All-Access Membership will be $69.95 (an additional 83 cents per month for annual members).

To help with the transition to the new prices, we're inviting Members to renew and extend their subscriptions at the current prices.

As a current annual subscriber, you can add an additional year to your subscription for $59.95 if you email or call us before September 30, 2008-email: or phone: 1-800-613-0181.

We believe that at these prices, a Footnote membership continues to be a great value and a low-cost alternative to traveling to an archive to access the same records. We hope you agree.

We appreciate your support and feedback and look forward to continuing to serve you.

Best regards,

Russ Wilding
CEO, Footnote

Washington State Genealogical Society 2009 State Conference to Be Held in Spokane

Save the dates! The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society is proud to be the host of the 2009 Washington State Genealogical Society's State Conference, to be held September 11 - 13 at The Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Washington.

The featured speaker will be Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, author, popular speaker, and professional genealogist, whose books include Trace Your Roots with DNA and Honoring Your Ancestors. Her online television channel,, offers genealogy lessons, tips, and heart-warming stories, and recently won four Telly Awards in its first year of business. Her latest project is Unclaimed Persons, reuniting the unclaimed remains of the deceased with family members, utilizing the help of online researchers.

The beautiful, historic, four-diamond Davenport Hotel will be the venue for our meetings, vendors, and meals and is offering special accommodations packages for guests. Single- and double-occupancy rooms are $155 per night, triple are $175, and accommodations for four are $185 per night. These are shared prices; for example, if you are sharing a room with two others (triple-occupancy), the cost will be $58.33 each. The hotel currently is taking reservations for that weekend. (Please note that there is corrected/updated information in the previous paragraph.)

Conference registration prices will be set in Spring 2009 and will be published on this blog, as well as the EWGS and WSGS websites. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Genealogy Classes Offered Locally

Are you interested in taking a genealogy class? Here are a couple being offered through the Community Colleges of Spokane's Community Education and Senior Programs. They are both held at CenterPlace at Mirabeau Park, 2426 N. Discovery Place (across the street from the Valley YMCA). Both classes require a basic working knowledge of computers and the Internet.

Donna Potter Phillips will be teaching a Seniors Only class "Using the Internet to Find Your Family's History" on Friday mornings from 10:00 AM to noon, October 10 - November 21 (class will not meet on November 14). The course number is M215 and cost is $32. Call 533-4756 to register, or register online here.

Miriam Robbins Midkiff will be teaching a Beginning Genealogy Online class on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 - 8:00 PM, October 7 - 28. The course number is L109 and cost is $41. Call 279-6000 to register, or register online here.

If you know an individual or group who is offering genealogy, heritage, or local history classes that you would like to see featured here, please e-mail the information to us and we will be glad to highlight it on this blog.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Spokane Area RootsMagic Users Group to Meet Tuesday

If you are a RootsMagic user, or are simply curious about this genealogy software program, you may be interested in the RootsMagic Users Group, which meets at 7 PM on the second Tuesday of each month at the LDS Church at 808 E. Sitka (this month's meeting is on August 12th). Lew and Trudy Lundy lead this group. For more information, e-mail them here.