Tuesday, December 29, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Lee DeGolyer Patchen

This is the tenth in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous posts on Samuel Pool Weaver, Leora Cookingham Thiel, Susan Marie West Jack, Ruth Churchill Austin, Alfred Denman, Florence Ballou Brown, Harriet Jefferson Pinkham, Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie and Achsah Maltbie Rawlings.

Lee DeGolyer Patchen was the first EWGS President born in Spokane February 18, 1892 and he died November 23, 1970 at his home. He was cremated.

He was a World War I veteran, having served in the Army Air Forces. He was overseas from July 31, 1918 till December 2, 1918 and honorably discharged January 17, 1919 at Long Island, New York. Lee was married three times, the first to Nettie H. Clark who was 21 years old and from DesMoines, Iowa. They were married at Newport, Washington April 1, 1913. Nettie was the daughter of George W. Clark and Nora Kelly. I found no further information on Nettie.

His second marriage was to Mary Louise Miller at Ellensburg, Washington February 6, 1919. Mary was born at Vinton, Iowa November 8, 1891 and died of myocarditis in Spokane November 24, 1945 and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery.

Mary was the daughter of Clarence Eason Miller (b. Pacwaukee, Wisconsin April 8, 1866 d. Seattle, Washington February 22, 1939) and Ella May (Boyden) Miller (b. Eden, Benton Coounty, Iowa January 6 1868, d. Ellensburg, Washington May 6, 1918). Mary and Lee had two children both born in Spokane, Lee Harold Patchen b. April 5, 1921 and Mary Louise Patchin b. October 21, 1923.

In 1957 Lee married Ruth Marie Vibrans. Ruth was born in Colville Washington in 1918. She was a secretary and had been Northwest director of National Association of Secretaries in 1969 and 1970. Ruth died October 2, 1991 at St. Lukes Extended Care Center.

Lee worked as a carpenter for the Northern Pacific Railroad from 1912-1915. From 1915-1943 he worked for the Exchange Lumber & Manufacturing Company as a salesman and sales manager. From 1943-1947 worked as Assistant manager of Western Pine Manufacturing Company. Lee also owned the Lee D. Patchen Lumber Wholesale firm for 40 years. Lee's emigrant ancestor, Joseph Patchen came from England to New England in 1634. His mothers Olmsted family came from Canada after the War of 1812. Mary's Miller family came from Coleraine, Ireland.

In 1946 Lee joined EWGS out of curiosity about his ancestors. In 1948 he started a project to index all the books in the genealogy section of the library. One of the books was the "History of Spokane County" by the Reverend

Jonathan Edwards in 1900. There were about 8,500 names in this book. He also indexed the "History of the Big Bend Country" published 1904 and it had more than 18,000 names. Note on indexing in 1948: This was well before computers that just allow us to type in a list of names and hit sort and we have an index. In 1948 you used index cards and typed the name at the top and maybe a couple of more lines of interest on the name. So now he has 26,000 index cards and that is the start of the "Patchen File" that anyone that has researched in the genealogy section of the Spokane library is probably familiar with. Lee went on to index several other books also. I am not sure when he started cutting out obits, pasting them on a card and typing the name and dates for each obit. For a while he also made a card for all the people listed in the obit. While you can find obits back to the 1920s the majority of obits start in the mid 1950s and at the end of 1979. The cards in the "Patchen File" number about 211,000. From 1980 to 1994 EWGS indexed obits in book form not by index cards.

Comments by Carrie Lartigue: "Lee D. Patchen: Anyone that has used the Genie Room of the library should be familiar with this man's work! He spent days, then years, working on his index. He started the Tombstone project by copying nearly all the Rural Spokane County Cemeteries and made three volumes of this task. In early years he was called upon at least once a year to instruct the new members on how best to get started in research. He authored several books... Inland Empire Miscellaney and the fantastic Patchen/Patchin Genealogy."

Comments by the editor: In doing these articles I have relied a lot on the work of Lee Patchen.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New England Historical Society databases

Eastern Washington Genealogical Society is proud to announce the addition of the New England Historical Genealogical Society to the list of available online databases. This database covers much of the northeastern United States, with heavy emphasis on Massachusetts and Rhode Island. As of right now, the records in Massachusetts are complete to 1910 and they are daily adding records to 1915. If you are new to the site I would recommend checking out Getting Started . This resource is only available in the Spokane library buildings, but could be the breakthrough you need to move further back in your family’s history. So check it out and let EWGS know what you think!

Free Access to World Vital Records

World Vital Records has announced free access to their databases from December 23 - December 28, 2009. This is free as in no credit card number is needed! I went to their website and the following pop-up window appeared:

UPDATE: I just received information from an employee of World Vital Records that this IS access to the ENTIRE website, including the World Collection!

They are also offering 40% off their World Collection Membership through Monday, December 28th. Instead of $99.95 for an annual subscription, it has been reduced to $59.95, at an average of $4.99 a month.

My recommendation? Check out their free access and then determine if this is a subscription you will find useful. If so, take your opportunity and sign up for the reduced subscription!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Achsah Maltbie Rawlings

This is the ninth in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous posts on Samuel Pool Weaver, Leora Cookingham Thiel, Susan Marie West Jack, Ruth Churchill Austin, Alfred Denman, Florence Ballou Brown, Harriet Jefferson Pinkham and Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie.

Achsah Adele Maltbie was the eldest daughter of Albert Lyman Maltbie and Mary Elizabeth Dow (from the previous post). She was born at Larine, Lincoln County Washington October 9, 1888. Larine is now Davenport. Achsah married Milton Granger Rawlings at their home in Seattle October 9, 1911. Milton was the son of Harvey Hazelrigg Rawlings and Carrie S. Wright. Achsah was the grandaughter of James Downing Maltbie (1832-1891) and Achsah Wright (b.1843). Achsah graduated from Waterville High School in 1906 and then went to the University of Washington and got her B.A. there in 1910. Professor Edmond Meany encouraged her interest in History. In 1920 Milton and Achsah came to the Spokane Valley. They farmed in the Saltese area and in 1923 moved to Dishman. Milton died in 1970 and is buried in Pines Cemetery. She was a founder of the Spokane Valley Women's Club, the last surviving charter member. She helped her mother found the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. She joined the Esther Reed Chapter of the DAR in 1928. Served as chapter regent in 1939-40. She was also a 77-year member of the Eastern Star. The Spokane Indian Tribe honored her in 1982 for the gift of a collection of newspaper articles on the history of the tribe.
Her hobbies were collecting buttons and scrapbooking. She did five Lincoln scrapbooks, 14 Indian Scrapbooks, and pioneer scrapbooks. For the DAR she did Volume 2 of Genealogical Gleanings and Volumes 6 and 7 of the Families of Washington Pioneers. She subscribed for many years to the Boston Transcript and the Hartford Times and saved huge boxes of clippings from their query sections. Those queries were answered with sources by the genealogical researcher for those newspapers, so if you had New England ancestors your ancestor was probably listed in one of those articles. For EWGS she served as director for eight years, three years 2nd vice president, two years first vice president, and two years president (1949-1950). Achsah died January 27, 1984 and is buried in Pines Cemetery.

Comments by Carrie Lartigue: Achsah, daughter of the founder Mrs. Maltbie: "Also a charter member and staunch supporter of historic preservation - whether on paper or in old buildings. She was a working member of several organizations but never neglected her interest in genealogy. She was a Lincoln Scholar and vastly interested in Native Americans. She made up fourteen scrapbooks of clippings on articles about Indians (indexed by Carrie Lartigue). These were presented to the Spokane Tribe and are in their library in the Tribal Council Center at Wellpinit, Washington."

Editor Note: I was loaned three scrapbooks on EWGS by Lola McCreary (Thanks, Lola!) dating back to the beginnings of EWGS, and a lot of very interesting articles in it. After researching Achsah I believe she was responsible for these scrapbooks.

Eight More Washington State Newspapers Added to the Library of Congress' Chronicling America Webste

From the Washington State Library blog:

On Friday, December 18, more than 42,000 historic newspaper pages from 8 Washington newspapers were contributed by the Washington State Library to the Chronicling America web site, hosted by the Library of Congress...More pages from other newspapers around Washington State will be periodically uploaded throughout 2010 as part of WSL’s National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant.  Pages will also be loaded locally and included in the WSL’s existing Historic Newspapers in Washington collection.

Representation from Washington State Newspapers:

I lived for five years in Colville, when I first moved to Washington State, and the newspaper now is called the Statesman-Examiner, after an obvious merge. I'm excited to see this collection, as I have an ancestor's brother that lived in this county in the early part of the 20th century, as well as a niece whose birth father's ancestors were pioneers in the area.If you have Washington State ancestors, you'll definitely want to check out these FREE resources!

Friday, December 18, 2009

News from the Washington State Library: Vashon Island Heritage Digital Collection

From the Washington State Library's blog:


The Washington Rural Heritage initiative is pleased to announce the publication of our latest collection, Vashon Island Heritage, www.washingtonruralheritage.org/vashon. A project of the Vashon Library (King County Library System) and the Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association, the collection documents life on the island from the late 1800s through the 1960s.

Read more about the project, and quickly link to some of our favorite items, on the WSL blog: www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/vashon.

Seven new digital collections are currently slated for publication in 2010, and a new Washington Rural Heritage grant cycle will be announced this spring. To learn more about participation in the initiative, contact Evan Robb, Project Manager, evan.robb@sos.wa.gov (360) 704-5228, or visit www.sos.wa.gov/quicklinks/WRH.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie (Founder, Never President)

This is the eighth in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous post on Samuel Pool Weaver, the previous post on Leora Cookingham Thiel, the previous post on Susan Marie West Jack, the previous post on Ruth Churchill Austin, the previous post on Alfred Denman, the previous post on Florence Ballou Brown and Harriet Jefferson Pinkham.

The next EWGS President was Achsah A. Maltbie Rawlings, but I think I will do this post on her mother Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie. Libbie was the actual founder of EWGS and while she served for five years as a Director of EWGS, she never was president of EWGS. She was the daughter of Joseph Godfrey Dow and Mary Ann Crouch. Joseph was born near Hampton, New Hampshire and moved to near Healsburg, California and that is where Libbie was born in 1868. Mary Ann Crouch came from Crawfordville, Illinois in 1848 by ox team at age 17 with her parents Mr. & Mrs. Edward Crouch. Joseph and Mary Ann married at Sonoma, in Sonoma county, California April 20, 1850. Her father Edward was killed near Kansas City Missouri during the Civil War by guerillas. Mary Ann Dow died June 9, 1927 in Spokane and is buried in Fairmunt Cemetery next to her husband Joseph Dow who died in Larene, Lincoln County, Washington and was first buried in Cannon Hill cemetery and then moved to Fairmount cemetery.

The Maltbie family has been traced back to 1450 in England, William Maltbie came to the USA in 1672 and settled in Connecticut. Noah Maltbie was in the Revolutionary War. Three more generations and James Maltbie was in the Civil War. James had three sons Appleton, Pierce and Albert. In 1886 Pierce and Albert bought $5 tickets to San Francisco on the Union Pacific Railroad then took a steamer to Portland and a train to Walla Walla Washington, then to Spokane where they joined their father and other brother and then to Douglas county about 3 miles from Waterville. In 1887 Libbie Dow married Albert Maltbie at Sprague, Lincoln County, Washington and their first child Achsah was born at Larene, in Lincoln County in 1888 and their second daughter Theodora was born in Waterville in 1890. Appleton became the county clerk, Pierce was elected Marshall, and served in the Spanish American War. Albert Maltbie died in Seattle August 12, 1927 and Mary Elizabeth Maltbie died in Dishman September 26, 1945. The following resolution was passed by the Society on Saturday October 6, 1945 after the death of Elizabeth Dow Maltbie, one of the society's founders.
Whereas, Our Heavenly Father, in his Infinite Wisdom, has removed from our midst our beloved member, the founder of this Society, Mrs. Elizabeth Dow Maltbie, be it Resolved, That this Society has suffered a great loss in the passing of Mrs Maltbie, whose keen interest in genealogical and historical research motivated her to call together on January 31, 1935, a group of persons similarly interested, resulting in the founding of this Society, ---and Resolved, That her counsel will be missed, and that her cheerfulness and perseverance under difficulties will be remembered by her fellow members, encouraging them to maintain the Society until her dream of a large and interested membership is realized, ---and Resolved, That a copy of this resolution will be sent to her daughter, Mrs. M. G. Rawlings, that she may know of the love and admiration in which the Society held Mrs. Maltbie, and that a copy be spread upon the minutes.
This is a certificate from the Council of the Institute of American Genealogy to Elizabeth Dow Maltbie.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spokane Area Legacy Users Group Meeting CANCELLED

The Spokane Area Legacy Users Group Meeting originally scheduled for next Wednesday, December 16th has been CANCELLED due to group leader Donna Potter Phillips being engaged at the Salt Lake City Christmas Tour and with the business of the holidays.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, January 13th. Stay tuned for more details.

Sorry for the confusion.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Harriet Jefferson Pinkham

This is the seventh in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous post on Samuel Pool Weaver, the previous post on Leora Cookingham Thiel, the previous post on Susan Marie West Jack, the previous post on Ruth Churchill Austin, the previous post on Alfred Denman and the previous post on Florence Ballou Brown.

Harriet Jefferson Pinkham was EWGS President in 1947 and 1948 and she made tremendous contributions of materials to the genealogical section of the Spokane Public Library. Harriet Ann Jefferson was born June 27, 1861 the first white child in Duluth, Minnesota to Robert Emmet Jefferson b. May 9, 1836 in Naperville, Illinois, son of Robert H. Jefferson and Cornelia Peters, grandson of Ichabod and Betsy Jefferson of Winsor County, Vermont, and great grandson of Daniel Jeppson of Glasgow, Scotland. Her mother was Lucy A. Sowles of Ohio, granddaughter of Lemuel and Catherine (Didrick) Sowles.

Harriet's father died in the Civil War. She graduated from the University of Minnesota and came west to Washington in 1888 on an immigrant train with her husband Louis Hampden Pinkham. They had two children Louis H. Jr. b. Octtober 11, 1888 and he died a Lieutenant in Army of occupation in Coblentz, Germany February 5, 1919, and Cornelia Ann b. May 31, 1890 and d. March 18, 1916. Both of the children are buried in Portland Oregon. Louis Pinkham died August 12, 1938 at Route 5 Spokane. he was a retired salesman and a member of the Gold Star Parents, and his body was buried in Portland also. Harriet Pinkham died December 17, 1956 here in Spokane and was cremated. She was survived by two grandsons and cousin Rhoda Jefferson. She was one of the founding members of EWGS, the oldest member of Delta Gamma (University of Minnesota), member of Esther Reed chapter DAR, Eastern Washington State Historical Society and the Manito Study club. She authored volumes 8 and 9 of the DAR Pioneers of Washington series of books.


Comments by Carrie Lartigue:  "I remember her as a tiny little lady of ninety seven years. She and her niece Rhoda Jefferson, attended a meeting the day I joined. I never forgot Mrs. Pinkham's story.. what an inspiration to a beginner!! 'I was reading a book recently, of the life of Thomas Jefferson, when he lived at Monticello. One picture was of the drawing room. It was furnished with a diamond tufted red velvet love seat and chairs. They looked vaguely familiar to me, I knew I had seen them before. Later, I took the book back into my front room... and there was the same love seat and chair! We were so astonished! Rhoda helped me turn the chair upside down, and there stamped on the wood frame was a single word: Monticello.'"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Footnote.com Honors WWII Veterans with the First-Ever Interactive USS Arizona Memorial

-Footnote.com Opens Their WWII Collection Free To The Public During December-

Lindon, UT – December 7, 2009 – In honor of Pearl Harbor Day, Footnote.com announced today that they will make the largest interactive WWII collection on the web including the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial free to the public during December. Featuring over 10 million records, documents and photos from the National Archives, this collection helps family members and historians better understand the people and events of WWII.

Included in this exclusive collection is the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial. This online version allows people to view the actual wall of names and search for those they know. An interactive box for each name on the wall features additional information about each veteran and includes a place where anyone can contribute photos and stories. View the Captain of the USS Arizona, Franklin Van Valkenburgh, on the interactive wall.

It’s estimated that a little over 2 million WWII veterans are still alive in the United States today. However, thousands of veterans are passing away every month taking with them many of the stories from WWII. Footnote.com is making an effort to help preserve these stories by digitizing documents from the National Archives and providing interactive tools to help people connect with each other.

Christina Knoedler from Pennsylvania used the Missing Air Crew Reports on Footnote.com to discover information about her father-in-law, who is a WWII veteran. “The other night, I showed him what I had found,” explains Christina. “He couldn’t believe that these papers existed. They had not only his name but also his buddies’ names. He started to reminisce and it was quite an evening. This will allow me to go back and document many more events in our family’s history for the generations to come.”

The Missing Air Crew Reports are just one of the record collections found on Footnote.com. Other WWII collections on Footnote.com include:

· Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls

· U.S. Air Force Photos

· Submarine Patrol Reports

· Japanese Air Target Analysis

· Army JAG Case Files

· Navy JAG Case Files

· Naval Press Clippings

· Allied Military Conferences

· Holocaust Records

“People are making fascinating discoveries in these records,” says Russell Wilding, CEO of Footnote.com. “Reading some of the first-hand accounts helps you develop a different view and appreciation of our WWII heroes and what they went through.”

To experience the Interactive USS Arizona Memorial and the World War II visit http://www.footnote.com/wwii/.

Additional Resources

Follow us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/footnote

Join us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Footnotecom/52981708480

About Footnote, Inc.

Footnote.com is a subscription website that features original historical documents, providing visitors with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote.com, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit http://www.footnote.com.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Florence Ballou Brown

This is the sixth in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous post on Samuel Pool Weaver, the previous post on Leora Cookingham Thiel, the previous post on Susan Marie West Jack, the previous post on Ruth Churchill Austin and the previous post on Alfred Denman.

Florence Ballou Brown was the seventh EWGS President in 1946. She was born in Milton, Oregon October 22, 1880 and Died in Walla Walla March 25, 1964. She was the 8th child of Orlando R. Ballou b. Cayahoga Falls, Ohio 12-19-1833 d. Freewater, Oregon 7-14-1909 and buried at Walla Walla, Washington, and Elizabeth Boyd b. 5-12-1837 in Watertown, New York. She was the daughter of John Boyd b. 8-4-1794 Belfast, County Antrim Ireland d. 1853 Breckville, Ohio and Eliza Saylor b. 4-5-1801 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and d. 2-27-1900 Breckville Ohio.

Florence married in Walla Walla, 9-30-1903 David Brown born Galena, Illinois 12-5-1865, they had three children Helen Elizabeth, Gordon Ballou, and Sylvia Naudain Brown. David was the son of Sherwood S. and Cecelia (Bouton) Brown. Sherwood ran Hazelwood Farms in Illinois, and when David and his brother George Brown came to Spokane in 1888 they formed Hazelwood Farms near the Hayford-Cheney road and the Sunset Highway. Mr. Brown was the president of the company for more than 30 years. He also founded Spokane's National Apple Show. In the early 1900s Hazelwood Farms was the second largest dairy in the country, they first innovated wrapped butter, pasteurized cream, baby formula and an extensive program to encourage sanitary dairy practices. The dairy cattle specially bred became the core of the Carnation Milk Company's world famous Holstein herd in Seattle.

Florence was also a member of the Spokane Gary Chapter of the DAR and authored the Volumes 10 and 11 of the Washington Pioneer Series the DAR did in the 1930s. After David died in December 1951 Florence moved to Milton Freewater, Oregon.

Florence was also listed in the Who's Who in Genealogy 1937 by the American Handbook of Genealogy. I read the listing and it looks to me more like a place to post queries than an honor for being a famous genealogist.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Newest Newspapers Added to Washington State Library's Digital Project

From the Washington State Library blog:

The Washington State Library has added an early Snohomish newspaper to its online offerings. The Northern Star, from 1876-1879, is the library’s latest addition to the Historical Newspapers Online Project, which makes available the state’s earliest territorial newspapers to anyone with an Internet connection. Indexed by staff and a group of enthusiastic volunteers, news topics include:

The Northern Star joins Olympia’s first papers, The Columbian, The Washington Pioneer and The Pioneer and Democrat, that cover 1852-1857. Also included in the collection are historical newspapers from the cities of La Conner, Lynden, Port Townsend, Seattle, Spokane, Steilacoom, Vancouver, Walla Walla and Yakima. Additional newspapers will be brought online as they are scanned and indexed.

The newspaper Web site was purposely designed for students, genealogists, and historians to easily access historical information. It provides viewers with the ability to search by keywords, dates, subjects, and personal names. To view the newspapers, please visit www.sos.wa.gov/history/newspapers.aspx.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Alfred Monroe Denman

This is the fifth in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous post on Samuel Pool Weaver , the previous post on Leora Cookingham Thiel, the previous post on Susan Marie West Jack and the previous post on Ruth Churchill Austin.

Alfred Monroe Denman was EWGS President 1943-1944. He was born in Spokane son of Monroe Denman a farmer in the Hillyard region. Monroe was a fifth generation descendant of Scotch and North English descent and was born March 10, 1858 in Morristown, Minnesota. Monroe married Esther Piper in Spokane September 14, 1884, she was born May 31, 1864 near Lester Prairie, McCloud county, Minnesota, third daughter of William Enos Piper (1837-1928) b. Horatio, Pennsylvania died Spokane and Sarah Ellen Mayze (1843-1933) b. Marionsville, Pennsylvania died Spokane. Both of Pennsylvania Dutch descent. Alfred Denman married Lillie Rose in 1914 a native of England.

The obit for Monroe Denman says he was the Oldest Spokesman-Review carrier and his route covered 75 miles daily. He was 73 when he died in his car. Lilly Rose died July 27, 1968. Alfred Denman died December 28, 1979. Lillie, Esther, Monroe and Alfred Denman are all buried in Orchard Prairie Cemetery. Alfred Denman was also a member of the Spokane Public Library Friends of the Library.


Comments from Carrie Lartigue on Alfred M. Denman: "He was a determined man and good researcher. He was into many organizations; Sons and Daughters of Washington Pioneers, S.A.R., and others. He was especially proud that he still lived on the old family homestead in the Hillyard area."


Received this note from Deloris Biegler and she gave me permission to post it here:
Hi, I found the article on the Denmans' very interesting, you see Alfred Denman drove the school bus I rode to Arlington grade school; on to Rogers High School, during the late 1940's; 1950's. Mr Denman may have been one of the very first that cultivated my lifetime interest in History; later on Genealogy.

One of my first memories instilled even today was Mr. Denman telling me how he still lived on his family's homestead that sits just above the road that curves off North Freya and onto join Market street to the east. I have never passed the old homestead sitting above the north side of the curve in the road, with out thinking of Mr. Denman. He told how his father's homestead was chosen to enable the family to observe any Indians that might approach the place. Just recently, I have noticed the new North highway being built is encroaching right through Mr Denmans old homestead. This has made me very sad to think about. Mr Denman was very proud of his roots in that area.

Once Mr Denman discovered my father's family the Gardners settled on Pleasant Praire [in the] 1880's, Mr Denman would speak of old timers in the foothills north; east of Hillyard as if I could recall them, I wasn't born until 1942. Now that I read of Denmans roots; see his father was married to daughter of Pipers, I recall my father pointing out the old Piper homestead on Bigelow Gulch road that heads across the top of the prairie joining the road down to Millwood. This old home sat vacant all the time I was growing up. The trees grew up around it; made it quite scary looking to children. When we rode our horses by there we did so swiftly. In the last 20 yrs or so, someone restored that old homestead; it now looks great.

Those foothills are steeped in Spokane county History. Years ago when the original old wooden, St. Michaels Mission was moved out to Spokane Falls Community college. While growing on the edge of Bigelow Gulch in the 1950's, all us kids with horses would ride to the old Mission, tie up our horses; picnic, it was such a beautiful peaceful place. Never was there any vandalism, garbage or trash laying around. That was a wonderful time to grow up when remnants of history still remained; children were taught to respect them all. Passing by the location today breaks my heart, sitting askew by the ditch, is only a monument noting the location where many Indian people received their first communions, close by with brush grown over are graves of native people that once inhabited the foothills; southern Peone Prairie. The descendants of those buried there I believe for the most part moved onto the Flathead Reservation of western Montana along with Baptiste Peone, some did move to Fort Colville. Spokane co. land records show Baptiste's sale of his land on the southern edge of Peone Prairie, Indian records show Peones living on the Flathead reservation, after leaving the Spokane area.

Mr. Denman came off as a grouchy ole character as I remember, but he ran a tight ship on the school bus all those years. I think he had to come off in the former light to remain in control of a bunch of rowdy kids. However once those same kids boarded the ole yellow school bus, at times traveling over some pretty icy roads, they towed the line the entire trip to and from their school. I was either the first or last to climb on his bus in the mornings; visa versa when going home in the afternoons. I had the choice of getting on first or waiting for the bus to travel its route; then pick me up on the way by as it passed by my home on the corner of Francis; Freya, once a Stockyards, close to the Great Northern cattle loading pens, with several homes on the property. Therefore many times I was on Mr Denmans bus alone, the gabby kid I was; I'm sure I climbed up in the seat behind Driver Denman; talked his leg off. I think of him fondly today; would love to walk over his family's homestead with a metal detector, knowing what is occurring there now I know in my heart Mr Denman would appreciate my interest.

Have a nice day,
Deloris (Gardner) Biegler

Friday, November 20, 2009

DAR Databases Now Online

From the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution:

After nearly a decade of scanning, indexing, and other behind-the-scenes work by DAR members and employees, the Daughters of the American Revolution is pleased to announce the availability of the DAR Genealogical Research System on our public website. Here are the direct links:

http://www.dar.org/library/online_research.cfm or www.dar.org (and click on the Library button at the top, then the second tab in the left-hand column).

The GRS is a growing collection of databases that provide access to many materials collected by the DAR over the past 119 years. Included in this collection of databases is the GRC National Index which has been available to researchers for the past few years. There are still some kinks we’re working out here and there.

When you go to the link above, you will find several tabs that will enable searching in the various databases:

Ancestor – established DAR Revolutionary War Ancestors and basic information about them with listings of the applications submitted by descendants who joined the DAR [updated daily]

Member – limited access to information on deceased/former DAR members – not current members.

Descendants – index of generations in applications between the DAR member and the Revolutionary War ancestor. There is much eighteenth and nineteenth-century information here. [ongoing indexing project]

GRC – everyname index to 20,000 typescript volumes (some still being indexed) of genealogical records such as cemeteries, Bibles, etc. This index is not limited to the period of the American Revolution at all.

Resources [In particular, the digitized DAR Library Revolutionary Pension Extract Card Index and the Analytical Index Cards. Other information sources will be coming in the near future, mostly relating to Revolutionary War service, bibliographies, Forgotten Patriots (updates), etc. Read the introductions to these to learn why these are both important genealogical indexes. For example, the Rev. War pension index includes the names of people mentioned in those pensions that were abstracted (not just the pensioner or widow)!!!!]

Library Catalog – our book, periodical, and manuscript holdings

Each of these has interrelated content, and a description of each is given more fully on the website. You will notice restricted information in many search results. This is the result of a concerted effort to protect the identity of our members while providing historical genealogical information to researchers.

The national numbers of members (without the names of living members) given in the search results are needed to order copies of applications and supplemental applications. They do not lead online researchers to any other information about the member.

P.S. Randy Seaver has written a wonderful tutorial on using these databases on his genealogy blog, Genea-Musings.

Digital Updates to the Washington State Library

From the Washington State Library Blog:

Digital Updates

Historical Newspapers in Washington – 1 new title.

The years 1861-1864 have been added to the Puget Sound Herald in Historical Newspapers in Washington online project, which now covers six years of Steilacoom pioneer news, from 1858 to 1864.

Classics in Washington History

We have added a new category – 20th Century Events – to our Classics in Washington History. This category currently contains the Works Progress Administration Papers and, new to the collection, papers by the War Relocation Authority on the Japanese Internment :

The Community Analysis Report concerns how authorities should “deal” with the Japanese and Japanese American people they have incarcerated through an understanding of their customs and cultural background. Causes of social unrest, segregation, education, Buddhism and labor relations are topics covered within these papers.

The Community Analysis Notes “reveal the life experience and viewpoints” of the incarcerated Nisei. Why did many young men say “no” to two questions on the Army registration form? How did the Japanese deal with engagement and marriage in the camps? How did it differ from pre-internment days? How did they adjust to life in the camps?

The Project Analysis Series analyzes various events that occurred during the relocation project. What happened at Tule Lake in November 1943? Why did it happen? What was the reaction to opening Selective Service to Nisei? What are the motives behind Nisei requesting repatriation?

Other additions to Classics in Washington History are :

Reminiscences of Washington Territory by Charles Prosch

The editor of the Puget Sound Herald, Charles Prosch, recounts his memories and opinions feely on such subjects as newspapers, the army, churches, and doctors in the early days of Washington Territory.

Seattle General Strike

Account of the Seattle general strike from the point of view of the unions, written by the History Committee of the General Strike Committee.

F. A. Chenoweth letter to Gov. McMullin

This Letter to Gov. McMullin from F. A. Chenoweth, a justice on the Territorial Supreme Court, concerns his role in and opinions on the controversy over the proclamation of martial law by the previous governor, Isaac I. Stevens. He outlines his disagreements with Stevens and explains his actions during the events and his disapproval of the arrest of Judge Landers.

Oregon: the claim of the United States to Oregon

This small book contains the diplomatic correspondence between the U.S. and England regarding the claim of America to the Oregon Territory. These arguments and counter-arguments were part of the negotiations leading to the Treaty of 1846 and the establishment of the border between the U.S. and what is now Canada.

The Whitman Massacre of November 29, 1847 provides a painful window into a time of conflicting cultures, priorities and prejudices. The State Library has added two works to the Digital Collections that further illuminate this painful event.

Authentic account of the murder of Dr. Whitman and other missionaries by Fr. J.B.A. Brouillet

For decades after the tragedy at the Whitman Mission, writers, preachers and others sought to place blame for the event itself and for the underlying causes. Resentments against the Hudson’s Bay Company and religious prejudices often colored narratives, and led to charges of cowardice or malice.

One viewpoint comes from Fr. Brouillet, the Catholic priest who first discovered the massacre and helped to bury the dead. His brief book, published in 1869, attempts to refute Rev. Henry Spalding’s accusations that the Catholics fomented resentments against the Whitmans among the Indians. He does this by gathering statements and letters from people present in the territory at the time and involved in the events, and by trying to analyze the underlying causes. See an Authentic account of the murder of Dr. Whitman and other missionaries in Classics in Washington History.

Journey across the plains in 1836 by Narcissa Whitman

This work contains three separate sets of letters from Narcissa Whitman to her friends and relatives, both back east and in the Oregon Territory. The collections include several letters from Marcus Whitman as well. The letters were published as part of the proceedings of the Oregon Pioneer Association, and the speeches and committee reports of the Association are also included, as is a separate essay on “The Schooner ‘Star’”.

The letters reveal a woman who is determined to live up to her religious ideals. She accepts the loss of home and her extended family. She accepts her husband’s frequent absences and the physical hardships of frontier living. Yet, she continually begs her family to write more often, and is without any letters from home for two years due to long distances. She is never quite at home with the Indians and has difficulty learning the language. There are hints in her narratives about the tensions among the missionaries and the discouragement when few others arrive to join the mission effort. The letters, though relentlessly optimistic, create a portrait of an intensely social and conventional woman laboring in isolation and surrounded by a culture that remains foreign to her.

Footnote Announces Their New Native American Interactive Collection

We are excited to announce the release of our latest interactive collection: the Native American collection. Working together with the National Archives and Allan County Library, Footnote.com has created a collection featuring over 1.8 million records that will help people discover new details about Native American history and genealogy.

Visit the Native American Microsite today and explore records only found on Footnote.com:

* Ratified Indian Treaties - dating back to 1722

* Indian Census Rolls - featuring personal information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood

* The Guion Miller Roll - perhaps the most important source of Cherokee genealogical research

* Dawes Packets - containing original applications for tribal enrollments

* And other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RootsMagic Releases Free Genealogy and Family Tree Software

"RootsMagic Essentials" Brings Free Tools for Family History

SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — November 18, 2009 — RootsMagic, Inc. announced the immediate availability of RootsMagic Essentials, free desktop genealogy software based on their award-winning RootsMagic 4 system. RootsMagic Essentials contains many core features found in its namesake that allow the public to easily start tracing their family trees.

Essential Features for Everyone
“Many of our users have told us that they have friends and family members who are interested in getting started in family history but aren’t ready to invest in a more comprehensive package like RootsMagic,” said Bruce Buzbee, president. “RootsMagic Essentials gives them the features they need to start researching and recording their family tree at a price that can’t be beat—free!”

RootsMagic Essentials shares many of the same features with the full RootsMagic software including clean and friendly screens, the ability to add an unlimited number of people and events, pictures and media management, the SourceWizard to write your source citations for you, powerful merging and clean-up tools, dozens of reports and charts, support for international character sets, FamilySearch integration, and the ability to share data with other people and software programs. The full version of RootsMagic is available for purchase and includes features not available in RootsMagic Essentials.

Free and Available Now
RootsMagic Essentials is available now for free at http://www.rootsmagic.com. Users of other genealogy software products will find it easy to experiment with RootsMagic Essentials using their own data. RootsMagic Essentials can directly import data from PAF, Family Tree Maker (through 2006), Family Origins, and Legacy Family Tree. It can also read and write data using the popular GEDCOM format.

"We're excited to make RootsMagic Essentials available to the community," said Michael Booth, vice-president. "Our mission is to provide 'software to unite families' and our hope is that RootsMagic Essentials will encourage more people to record their family trees and connect with their family histories".

About RootsMagic, Inc.
For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose—to unite families. One of our earliest products- the popular "Family Origins" software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.

That tradition continues today with "RootsMagic", our award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. "Personal Historian" will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. "Family Reunion Organizer" takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And "Family Atlas" creates beautiful and educational geographic maps of your family history.

For more information, visit http://www.rootsmagic.com.

Source: RootsMagic, Inc.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Ruth Churchill Austin

This is the fourth in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous post on Samuel Pool Weaver, the previous post on Leora Cookingham Thiel, and the previous post on Susan Marie West Jack.

The fourth president of EWGS was Ruth Churchill Austin in 1941 and 1942. She was also another founder of the Spokane Public Library Friends of the Library. She was born 1884 in Niles, Michigan to Francis N. Churchill and Ella L. McKay. Francis died 27 September 1937 in Spokane county and Ella died 11 April 1927 in Spokane. Francis was the son of William and Olive (Remington) Churchill and Ella was the daughter of A. and Sarah (Mayhu) McKay.

Ruth married John Frederick Austin here in Spokane November 23, 1904. John was born in Bay City, Michigan April 3, 1883 and is an eighth generation descendant of Robert Austin of Kingstown, Rhode Island (The book on Robert Austin is in the genealogy collection of the Spokane Public Library). Ruth and John had two children: Helen Austin b. August 13, 1906 in Seattle, Washington and John Churchill Austin b. October 19, 1914 in Spokane.

John Frederick Austin was a floriculturist and horticulturist and organized the Spokane Flower Growers association and managed it from 1925 to 1948. He was president of the Society of American Florists from 1942 to 1945 and a director of the society from 1935 to 1944. He was a member of the Northwest Florists association, board member of Associated Industries of Spokane, Early Birds Breakfast Club, Spokane Club, and El Katif Shrine. He was a trustee of the Chamber of Commerce and past President of Spokane Retail Trade bureau. He died January 25, 1951 in Spokane and was cremated.

Ruth (Churchill) Austin died in Seattle November 24, 1973 (her daughter Helen lived in Seattle). She had been a member of the Daughters of American Revolution and Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. Ruth also had donated many books to the Spokane library and was generous with cash contributions also.


Comments by Carrie Lartigue on Mrs. Ruth Austin:  "She said many times, 'You can't separate history from genealogy, both are composed of events and people and genealogy is only history with the personal touch.' Ruth also gave books to add to the collection at the library."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spokane Area Legacy Users Group to Meet Wednesday

If you are a Legacy Family Tree genealogy software user, or are simply curious about this genealogy software program, you may be interested in the Legacy Users Group (LUG), which will meet next Wednesday, November 18th, from 1:30 to 3:30 PM in the meeting room of the Shadle Park Branch of the Spokane Public Library at 2111 W. Wellesley. Regular attendees will take turns in the role of moderator for each meeting. If you have more questions, please contact Donna Potter Phillips here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Susan Marie West Jack

This is the third in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous post on Samuel Pool Weaver, and the previous post on Leora Cookingham Thiel.

Susan Marie West Jack was the third EWGS President, she served 1939 and 1940. Susan was born February 14, 1878 in Iowa. Susan Marie was the sixth child of Francis Marion West born 12 March 1845 Franklin County Indiana, and Jemima Harvey born 12 January 1848 and died 10 July 1932, and granddaughter of Stephen Harvey born 6 October 1811 and Susanna Lee born 10 July 1827 and James Lytle West born 22 December 1815 in South Carolina, and Susan West of Brookville Indiana. While her surname is the same she is from a different West family. The Harvey and Lee families were from upstate New York, and the West family was from North Carolina area but believed to be from early New England West families (no sources on this last statement so take it as a suggestion for further research).

Susan Marie West married Lawrence Jack in Altoona, Iowa 2 May 1906 and they came to Spokane the same month. Lawrence Jack was born in Bruce County Ontario Canada 22 March 1876 and he died 25 August 1926 here in Spokane. In the 1915 City Directory Lawrence was listed as a lawyer 610 Hyde Building. I checked for his obit and did not find one. They had one son Lawrence Jack Jr. born 22 March 1907 here in Spokane.

Susan died 25 August 1975 at Bainbridge Island Washington. Her granddaughter Suzanne M. Gordon lived at Bainbridge Island. She was a member of Women of Rotary, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society (past President of both of these), YWCA, Cultus Club, Liberty Park WCTU, Daughters of American Revolution, and co-founder of Spokane Public Library Friends of the Library. She is buried at Riverside Cemetery.


Comments on Susan Jack , by Carrie Lartigue:  "Susan was a charter member and traced her lines back to the Robert E. Lee family in Virginia. She generously gave of her books and talents. I have as personal keepsakes from her; several hand-painted plates."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Leora Cookingham Thiel

This is the second in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous post on Samuel Pool Weaver.

Mrs. John Jacob Thiel was born Leora Cookingham and was the second and sixth EWGS President. She held office in 1937-1938 and in 1945. Leora Thiel was also a founder of the Friends of the Library for Spokane Public Library. I found almost nothing on Leora's Cookingham family. It does look like an English family name, but there are no Cookinghams in England so it may be a derivative of another surname. John Jacob was the son of Jacob and Lizzie (Strombecker) Thiel, both Germans from Russia. The parents came to America in 1878 and lived in Franklin and Hitchcock counties of Nebraska, before coming to southern Idaho then Baker City and Walla Walla in 1882. In the spring if 1883 they drove to Adams County and homesteaded there. They raised four sons, John Jacob, Mike, Henry and Fred. I did not find as much on John Jacob as I thought I would, since he was born in Russia and grew up in Washington. The main reason was I kept disregarding information I found on the internet for John Thiel from Kansas, but when I found the biography of Fred Thiel, John's brother in the History of the Big Bend, it said John was a professor at Winfield College in Kansas. John died April 15, 1946 in Spokane at age 69 and was buried in the cemetery at Ritzville Washington. His obituary says he had lived in Spokane for 16 years and was associated with the County Auditors office and was survived by wife Leora, his three brothers and one sister.

Leora Thiel died January 3, 1950 in a local hospital. She was a charter member of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, a member of Spokane Garry chapter , Daughters of American Revolution and the Friends of the Library. Her obit says John Thiel was the director of the 1940 census in Spokane. I checked the Ritzville cemetery and Leora is not listed there, and her obit says she was cremated.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Major Announcement from Footnote.com


-Footnote.com to feature original documents from every publicly available
U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1930-

Lindon, UT – October 29, 2009 – Today Footnote.com (http://www.footnote.com) announced it will digitize and create a searchable database for all publicly available U.S. Federal Censuses ranging from the first U.S. Census taken in 1790 to the most current public census from 1930.

Through its partnership with The National Archives, Footnote.com will add more than 9.5 million images featuring over a half a billion names to its extensive online record collection.

“The census is the most heavily used body of records from the National Archives,” explains Cynthia Fox, Deputy Director at the National Archives. “In addition to names and ages, they are used to obtain dates for naturalizations and the year of immigration. This information can then be used to locate additional records.”

With over 60 million historical records already online, Footnote.com will use the U.S. Census records to tie content together, creating a pathway to discover additional records that previously have been difficult to find.

“We see the census as a highway leading back to the 18th century,” explains Russ Wilding, CEO of Footnote.com. “This Census Highway provides off-ramps leading to additional records on the site such as naturalization records, historical newspapers, military records and more. Going forward, Footnote.com will continue to add valuable and unique collections that will enhance the census collection.”

To date, Footnote.com has already completed census collections from two key decades: 1930 and 1860. As more census decades are added to the site, visitors to Footnote.com can view the status for each decade and sign up for an email notification when more records are added to the site for a particular year.

View the Census Progress Page on Footnote.com.

In addition to making these records more accessible, Footnote.com is advancing the way people use the census by creating an interactive experience. Footnote Members can enrich the census records by adding their own contributions. For any person found in the census, users can:

• Add comments and insights about that person
• Upload and attach scanned photos or documents related to that person
• Generate a Footnote Page for any individual that features stories, a photo gallery, timeline and map
• Identify relatives found in the census by clicking the I’m Related button

See the 1930 Interactive Census record for Jimmy Stewart.

“The most popular feature of our Interactive Census is the I’m Related button,” states Roger Bell, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Footnote.com. “This provides an easy way for people to show relations and actually use the census records to make connections with others that may be related to the same person.”

Footnote.com works with the National Archives and other organizations to add at least a million new documents and photos a month to the site. Since launching the site in January 2007, Footnote.com has digitized and added over 60 million original source records to the site, including records pertaining to the Holocaust, American Wars, Historical Newspapers and more.

“We will continue to move aggressively to add records to the site, specifically those that are requested by our members and others that are not otherwise available on the Internet,” said Wilding.

Visit http://www.footnote.com/census/ to see how the census on Footnote.com can truly be an interactive experience.

Additional Resources
Follow us on Twitter – http://twitter.com/footnote
Join us on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Footnotecom/52981708480

About Footnote, Inc.
Footnote.com is a subscription website that features searchable original documents, providing users with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote.com, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit http://www.footnote.com.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

EWGS Presidents: Samuel Pool Weaver

2010 will be the 75th anniversary of EWGS, but as early as 1932 Florence Brown and Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie had met at the Carnegie Library (1st and Cedar) and discussed forming a genealogical society. On October 12, 1933, Mrs. Maltbie, her daughter Mrs. Rawlings, Mrs. Mercer, Mrs. Pinkham and Mrs. Wetherill met on the mezzanine of the Davenport Hotel to plan a Historical/Genealogical Society. The DAR had been working on the Washigton Pioneer project and this led to the idea of forming a genealogical society.
On Tuesday January 31, 1935, nine people met around a large round table in the mezzanine of the Davenport Hotel to form Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. Founder and organizer Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie conducted the meeting. Elected to the first offices: Samuel Weaver President (he had consented to be elected for a two year term, but was not present and never served); Mrs. David Brown, Vice President; Achsah Adelia Maltbie Rawlings (daughter of Mary Maltbie), 2nd Vice President; Mrs. G.W. Rogers, Secretary; Mrs. J.J. Thiel, Corresponding Secretary; Mrs. L.S. Wood, Treasurer; and Mrs. A.B. Keith, Librarian. The Board of Directors elected were Mrs. Louis H. Pinkham, Miss Mattie Wetherill, Mr. Hiram B. Ferris and Mrs. Maltbie. Initial Dues were 50 cents. Goals of the society were 'to create interest in genealogical and historical research; to assist members in searching for and determining their own ancestral lines; to collect genealogical and historical materials; and to assist the Spokane Public Library in building up the Genealogy section by securing books, magazines and manuscripts.'
--from the Volume 22 of the Bulletin on the 50th anniversary of EWGS in 1985.

Samuel Pool Weaver was the first President of EWGS, and as noted above never served a day as president. He was born in Greensburg Pennsylvania October 20, 1882 son of Jacob Peter Weaver (1843-1927) Greensburg Pennsyvania and Mary Jane Pool (1848-1917). He had at least two wives: first one was Elsa Eberbach of Ann Arbor Michigan born July 24, 1885. They had one son William Pool Weaver. In 1957 he married Mary Helen McCrea, daughter of Mr and Mrs. William McCrea. She was a librarian. Samuel was a lawyer and moved from Cheney to Spokane in 1922 and practiced law till 1939. From 1928 he was also president of Great Northwest Life Insurance Company till he retired in 1955, a professor of constitutional law at Gonzaga Law School from 1929 to 1948. He was also a WWI veteran, having been inducted at Cheney, Washington October 19, 1918, and served with the Students Army Tng (training?) Corps at the State Normal School at Cheney, Washington to discharge. He was a private. He was honorably discharged December 17, 1918. In the Spokane Public Library there are two books by Samuel; Autobiography of a Pennsylvania Dutchman [1953] in the Northwest Room. Very interesting book, but no mention of being an EWGS president. The second book is Weaver, Kiehl, Pool, Bierer-Muller families; genealogical data and charts. [1953]. This book is in the Genealogy section on the third floor. I wondered if he was related to my Pools, but his was from England and mine were from Holland. Samuel Pool Weaver died in Miami January 23, 1963 and is buried in Fairmount Cemetery.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do you Volunteer?

The Wizard of ID has been running cartoons on volunteering
You can see previous days by clicking the previous link near the bottom of the cartoon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ten-Spot for Technology?

Do You Have a Ten-Spot for Technology?

Do you think $10 could buy you a new, state of the art computer? Well, maybe not one for your home but it could potentially buy a lot of new computers, printers and software for the libraries. We’re looking for $10 from 2700 people in order to raise the $27,000 required in matching funds needed to take advantage of year two of the Gates Opportunity Online Technology Grant. The match this year is greater than it was last year. In year one we had to obtain just 30% in matching funds and that was achieved thanks to The Johnston-Fix Foundation, The Friends of Spokane Public Library, The Inland Northwest Community Foundation, Cathy and Charles Simon and The Spokane Public Library Foundation. Their generosity enabled us to access nearly $43,000 from the Gates Foundation resulting in an infusion of $57,200 into the library. This money was used to purchase new computers for all six branches replacing many of the outdated computers we were using.

We are now working on year two of the grant and have to raise a 50% match in order to qualify for $27,300 from the Gates Foundation. This is where we need your help. The Spokane Public Library Foundation is handling the fundraising for these matching funds and they have donation boxes in all of the library branches as well as at all Global Credit Union locations (thank you Global Credit Union!). We only have until March 1, 2010 to raise this match or we lose the Gates Foundation monies. Look for the "ten-spot for technology" donation boxes and please consider dropping in a 10-spot (or more) so that we can reach our goal and continue to upgrade the computers in our libraries. Imagine our success if everyone who came to our libraries kicked in $10 (over 85,000 visits to the libraries just in the month of July)!
Why is this so important? Computer usage at the libraries is growing like crazy. Approximately 600 people use the Internet computers every day and countless others use our word processing computers and wireless access. More and more customers depend on the library’s computers as their own computers age out or they cancel their Internet at home. The monies will also allow us to expand our computer education classes and create a mobile computer education lab that can be used at all of the branches. Libraries are an integral part of the information age and good computer access is key! Think about what just $10 can do"

For more information please call The Spokane Public Library Foundation at 444-5318. Donations in check form should be made out to The Spokane Public Library Foundation. They can be dropped off at any branch or mailed directly to the Foundation at 906 W. Main Ave, Spokane, WA 99201.

EWGS uses these computers for the Internet Genealogy classes, so hopefully our members will help.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, RootsTelevision!

RootsTelevision is three years old today; can you believe it? To celebrate, they've listed their top 10 videos here! Stop by and wish them many happy returns of the day in the comments section and enjoy the videos!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

WSGS State Conference: Day Three, by Miriam

EWGS team blogger Charles Hansen shared his excellent summaries of the conference held September 11 - 13th at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane here, here, and here with posts of photos here and here. I thought I'd share mine as well, and we welcome any of our readers who attended to share theirs in the comments at the end of this post.

EWGS members enjoy breakfast in the Elizabethan room at the WSGS state conference

On Sunday, I was able to sleep in a bit before heading back to the Davenport for breakfast and the last presentation by Megan. Breakfast was held in the Elizabethan Room, so called because of its beautifully ornate medieval-style wood carvings all around the room. The meal was a delicious buffet of freshly-baked muffins and sweet breads, fresh fruits, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, quiche, yogurt, coffee, tea, milk, and fruit juices. Megan and I had been meaning to get a photo taken together all weekend, but had both been too busy to do so. I had bought fresh batteries for my camera the previous afternoon, so was able to get a photo taken. Megan took one on her iPhone and posted it on Facebook and Twitter with a caption, "Guess who?", hoping one of the many geneabloggers would respond.

Miriam Robbins Midkiff and Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak
(Megan is very tall and was wearing heels, and I am very short and was wearing flats!

We held the last drawing for door, table, and raffle prizes, and then listened to Megan speak on "Newspaper Research Online." She highlighted some of the best known and largest collections, but also mentioned some of the smaller and specialized ones. She also spoke about obituary websites, since they tie in so well to newspaper sites, but cautioned that while many of our ancestors may not have had a regular obituary, it may be possible to find out about their deaths from regular newspaper articles written about them, especially if they died in an accident. The main thing I learned is that many of the large subscription websites, such as Ancestry, have contracts with newspaper sites that provide digitized issues for certain time periods that fluctuate instead of remain static. So if you find an article about an ancestor or relative, copy or download it while you can. Six months down the road, the coverage for those years may no longer be available through that subscription website. The advantage is, if you can't find articles for your family now, you may be able to find them at a later date when different years of issues are made available.

Megan takes questions from the audience after her presentation

All too soon, the conference had come to a close. But the day wasn't over yet! I met with some of my fellow conference committee members for coffee at a nearby mall to kill some time before lunch. We mulled over our successes and challenges at the conference, and even started planning for an event for Family History Month in October! Then we walked across the Spokane River to Anthony's Home Port restaurant to confirm our reservations. The others remained while Donna Potter Phillips and I returned to the Davenport, visiting the whole way and then met Megan, asking if she would rather walk or ride to the restaurant. She preferred walking, so the three of us had a pleasant stroll and chat back to the restaurant, while Donna pointed out historical points of interest along the way.

At Anthony's, we had a nice luncheon (I picked my favorite dish, a crab salad) with Megan and about ten of us who had served on the conference committee present. It was nice to just relax and "let our hair down." We wondered why none of the geneabloggers had commented on the photo Megan had posted to Facebook; Megan asked if maybe Thomas had organized the bloggers for some event that had kept them away! Finally, Bill Hire, EWGS president, got out his iPhone and posted a caption identifying Megan and myself. :-)

After lunch, Donna, Megan, and I strolled back to the Davenport and then said our farewells. After all our hard work, I think we all felt like the conference had been a roaring success! In many ways, it was hard to return to work the next day; transitioning from my genealogy life to my family and work life was a challenge! I am very proud of the work our committee did and look forward to attending future state conferences. The 2010 Washington State Genealogical Society's state conference will be hosted by the Lewis County Genealogical Society. Stay tuned to their website to keep updated on this event!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Posted by Picasa

Looking north from genealogy reference desk.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

WSGS State Conference: Day Two, by Miriam

EWGS team blogger Charles Hansen shared his excellent summaries of the conference this weekend here, here, and here with posts of photos here and here. I thought I'd share mine as well, and we welcome any of our readers who attended to share theirs in the comments at the end of this post.

After four-and-a-half hours of sleep(!), I arrived at the Davenport at 7:00 AM to meet vendors who still needed to set up for the day. We had quite a well-rounded selection of vendors, all of whom were featured in posts on the EWGS blog: the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Archives in Seattle, the Washington State Digital Archives/Eastern Regional Archives of Washington State, MaKaNcy (the retro card ladies!), the DAR and SAR, the Northwest Chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association, Creative Memories, Susan Faulkner (author of Finding Pasco), the Puget Sound Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, RootsMagic, Generation Maps, Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, and the Washington State Genealogical Society. Megan sold her books in the dining rooms after the meals and sold out all she brought. Unfortunately, with my responsibilities to the vendors and at our own EWGS vendor table, I didn't get an opportunity to purchase any of her books. :-(

A continental breakfast was set up buffet-style in the Marie Antoinette Room, and like dinner the night before, we had more attendees than expected. I ended up sitting in the balcony because all the tables on the main floor were full (I hadn't been able to get in at the start of breakfast to get a "good seat" since I was working with the vendors to get set up). The meal consisted of croissants and a variety of sweet breads and muffins (including gluten-free ones), as well as fruit platters of melon, berries, and grapes. Fruit juices, coffee, and tea were also available. Since I had a great view of the room from the balcony, I took out my camera with the newly-charged batteries...and it didn't work. I quickly figured out that my charger was the culprit and realized I would have to snag photos from other EWGS members to share on my blog. I didn't have long to sit and stew about the matter, because there were door and raffle prizes to hand out (another one of my duties at each meal) and then Megan began her presentation on "Reverse Genealogy: Finding Your Lost Loved Ones."

Megan explained how she uses reverse genealogy to track down living relatives of the military deceased in her job with the U.S. Army, and how these steps can be used to find missing relatives or friends, find other genealogy "playmates", attract reunion attendees, find DNA study participants, locate--or return--family heirlooms, photos and Bibles, and save lives by finding donors or warning relatives about disease predispositions. The sound system was working better in this room and we didn't have the hearing difficulties we did the evening before.

After a 15 minute break, Session A began. I chose Pat Bayonne-Johnson's African American Genealogy presentation. I had heard her presentation to EWGS in the past about her search for her roots in Louisiana, but I enjoyed being in a smaller group where we had more opportunities for Q & A. She has some great resources in the syllabus, and I was sorry more people didn't attend this session. Too many European Americans out there don't realize that in order to get past your brick walls, you must study the research strategies of those who have huge challenges from the get-go in their searches due to a dearth or the destruction of records: African-American, Jewish, Eastern European, and Native American. People with these roots are constantly having to think outside the box, use alternate sources, find unusual repositories, wade through oral histories to find nuggets of truth, learn genealogical terms in foreign languages and alphabets, and use DNA in their research; and those of us without these ethnic roots can learn so much from them!

After Session A, I had to answer some questions for some vendors. I was running late for Session B anyway, and was still pretty tired from the lack of sleep the night before. Also, not being a morning person and always needing some time to get my bearings together over a cup of coffee, I felt it would be to my advantage to just sit out that session instead of feeling frazzled all day. Originally, I had planned to attend the session on NEHGS Databases, because at that time, I did not have a membership, was curious about the website, and felt the presentation might be a good introduction. Between signing up for the session last spring and the conference opening, I had joined NEHGS on a summer special deal and am now familiar with their online databases, so I felt I could safely skip that session. I asked a couple of people afterward about it and they both said it was a fine presentation and that the syllabus had a good outline. Meanwhile, I chatted with vendors, including Carol Buswell of the National Archives in Seattle, who told me about free classes NARA offers on their virtual academy (I'll write a post on this later)!

Following Session B, we had lunch, again in the Marie Antoinette Room. This meal was also done buffet-style, and I had to admit, I was a little disappointed by the selection. It featured the same chicken, salad, and rolls we had had the evening before, with orzo instead of sticky rice. There was also some nice salmon, but since a lot of attendees probably felt the same way I did about the chicken, most of it was gone by the time I came along at the end. I was able to snag a seat near the front of the room this time, which made it much easier for me to get up to hand out prizes. Before Megan's next presentation, we had the WSGS Annual Meeting, with the appropriate society representatives standing to be acknowledged, as well as various reports being read. Then each society honored one or two volunteers, and I was honored, along with Cecily Cone Kelly, Conference Committee Chairperson, as a EWGS Volunteer of the Year.

Megan's mid-day presentation was "Trace Your Roots with DNA". She explained the different kinds of tests (Y-DNA, mtDNA, SNP, ethnic, etc.), and also shared the story of figuring out whether she was related to her husband (both her maiden and married names are Smolenyak). She also talked about the various companies that provide DNA testing, the best-known, the lesser known, and some of the "new kids on the block."

After lunch were two more sessions. I attended Bruce Buzbee's "RootsMagic Genealogy Program", and even though I'm a long-time user of RootsMagic and am familiar with the newest version (RootsMagic 4), I am glad I attended, since I learned some new things. I think it's great when you can sit down and listen to a presentation of software by the developer, because you get some real insight into the nitty-gritty of the details. RootsMagic is such a user-friendly program, and I was able to obtain a copy of the brand-new user's manual.

For Session D, I chose Steve Baylor's "Drawing and Keeping Society Members in an Internet Environment." Rather than being presented in lecture-style, it was held in a group-setting, with contributions expected from each participant! We had to introduce ourselves, tell what society we belonged to, and describe our roles within that society. Steve drew heavily on the book Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam, a sociologist, explaining how genealogy societies are not alone in loss of members. Nearly every social group out there, from lodges to bowling leagues to civic organizations has seen a loss of membership since their peak during the post-World War II years. We learned how society as a whole has become less civic-minded over the years and how the media (television, internet, etc.) has also left its impact. We discussed how as societies, we must learn to use social media in order to stay viable. We must also understand the personality types of individuals (machers [go-getters] vs. schmoozers [social butterflies]) who join our societies--and their strengths and weaknesses. By avoiding personal agendas, encouraging respectful dialogue, using common group wisdom, having clear goals and a common consensus on projects, societies can remain viable and even have growth. I was very impressed by this presentation.

By the end of the day, I was very weary and my mind was quite full! Dinner was to be "on your own" and although I was invited to out to dinner with the WSGS Board and EWGS Conference Committee, I declined and opted to go home and get some rest after making sure the vendors had been able to break down and clear up.

So ended Day Two!