Sunday, December 14, 2008

What You Missed: The November 2008 General Meeting

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The November 1st meeting was a Brick Wall Panel of experts answering queries sent in by EWGS members. The panel of experts consisted of Barbara Brazington, Charles Hansen, Bill Hire and Bette Topp. We were introduced an moderated by Beverly Smith Vorpahl because our program chairman Pat Bayonne-Johnson was in the Caribbean on a genealogical cruse. Queries were due by October 15 and we received seven queries. Barbara was sick on November 1 and we really missed her.
The first was looking for a death date an place for Jeannie Coe's grandfather. He was in the 1910 Washington census and disappeared before the 1920 census. I suggested trying the Idaho and Oregon Death indexes in the library, and also the possibility that he went to live with one or the other of his children and possibly died where the child lived.
The next was a query from Inez Hodge on looking for the correct date of birth of an ancestor. She had a birth record and a death record that told his age in years, months and days and the two dates were not the same. I used the date calculator in PAF to come up with his date of birth from his death record, which was about six months earlier than his birth record, so was the death age wrong, could be since the birth information on a death certificate could be incorrect due to the informant not knowing. Inez came up afterwards and said if the death information date was correct he would have been born less than nine months after his parents were married, so they may have changed his birth record to show his birth nine months after the marriage.
Joan Martin had a query about an Italian family in New York City between 1900 and 1910, and the panel was not much help on this query, Barbara did find a possible marriage for the lady Joan was looking for, but other than that we did not find much to help her.
Gerry Gosche sent several queries, one on the Ship the Fortune that tradition says her ancestor left Ireland on in 1848, was shipwrecked and they went back to Ireland and got on another ship to America. She was not able to find a passenger record in New York and wondered if this story was true. The internet had several ships called the Fortune, but none of us could find anything about it being shipwrecked in 1848 or any other date. I checked the New York Times website and they had a review of a book where the people in the book had been shipwrecked in 1848 on leaving Ireland , came back to Ireland and eventually came to the USA. The panel suggested for Gerry to try alternate ports of entry, Boston, Philadelphia or even Canada.
Gerry's next query was on looking for birth mother of a child of a serviceman and a lady in Taiwan in the 1960s. Bill had been in Taiwan as a serviceman and he suggested the American Embassy, and we suggested birth records, but with so little to go on that may never be solved.
Gerry's next query was looking for a surveyor Thomas Gallagher that supposedly disappeared in the 1860s in “Indian territory”. While the government was surveying for a railroad about then and the area was starting to be settled it is possible he may never be found. I did have a suggestion on how I found my great-great grandfather was a surveyor, I checked the DAR books in the library on Washington Pioneers, and there was many pages listing my great great grandfather, and so I checked them. It was copies of deeds he had surveyed as the county surveyor in Missouri. So maybe the DAR had collected some information on her Thomas Gallagher.
Gerry's last query was what happened to the Lockwood Studios and their old pictures? I checked the city directories and followed the Lockwood studios to the Valley, and through a name change to Cunningham Studios which is still operating here in Spokane.
At the end the panel opened it up to queries from the audience, and also help from the audience.

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