Monday, December 31, 2012


 Too many of us make New Year's Resolutions that have not a chance of ever happening in our lives. Am I not right? I've done this for years but not this year....... not for 2013. I've decided upon a simple, a do-able, a worthwhile and a kinda fun resolution for 2013. This is it:


This might be cleaning out a drawer or a closet but it could also mean (and to me it does mean) going through all these genealogy notes and files and throwing away things that are not right, not pertinent, and not true and downright no darn good. 

It's a day early but I've already begun: I cleaned out the 'fridge today and a pile of To-Dos on my desk! I'm on my way. Care to share your resolutions with EWGS????

2012 Year in Review

Well the EWGS Blog has been pretty busy this year, just for the month of December 335 people visited the blog.

Countries in order of visits were United States, Philippines, Canada, India, Australia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

Cities in order of visits:  Spokane, Seattle, Fayetteville, Yakima, Coeur dAlene, New York, Pasig, Manila and Sydney.

For the year 4939 people visited the blog and this is some of the top visited posts:

Spokane Daily Chronicle online Free
1940 Enumeration District Maps vs Ancestry Library Edition
Hoover Dam Workers and Pioneer Families
Earthquake in Spokane
1940 Census

So here is the list of the top 10 2012 posts with the number of visits:

148  Spokane's Vintage Postcards
148 Personal (Genealogy ) Newspaper Ads
125  Everywhere a Name
118  EWGS Board for 2013
116  Three Biggee Events Coming Up
111  Need A Cannon?
110  EWGS April 7 Meeting 1940 Census Party Pictures
110 Write your own Obit
109  EWGS Fall Seminar a Success
107  Washington State Library Blog
101  Family Search Continues to Teach Folks

Friday, December 28, 2012

Spokan or Spokane

From the Spokesman Review June 5, 1895 page 4.
Spokane was originally called Spokan
Falls, early on the Falls was dropped so
Spokan for a while, but later the 'e' was
added to make Spokane. It was still
controversial in 1895.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Grandmas & Family History

Rosemary and Donna share kids...... her son married my daughter..... and so we also share four grand-boys and newly added two grand-daughters-in-law. But that's not what I want to share with you today! She brought a big box of genealogy papers to give him...... papers documenting her line back to Peter Knopp who served in the Revolution. Rosemary is a DAR member and very proud (rightfully so) of her ancestor.

Also included in the box were some old photos and here she is asking me if I think the young woman is the same as the older woman (I did). Can you think of a better thing to do on Christmas Day than to share/compare/swap/tell/enjoy/look-at and ooh and aah over old genealogy photos and papers?? Maybe this might be a great New Year's Day project for you and ?????

Monday, December 17, 2012

December Meeting Pix

Thanks to our Historian, John Ellingson, for sharing these photos. They're of our December meeting and Book Auction....... EWGS netted $268.00 from this auction (and thanks to Bill, our auctioneer). Mary, EWGS VP, conducted the meeting in her Santa hat and Dolly followed suit with her reindeer head dress. It was a good day.......... EWGS meetings are always good days!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012 Used It?

Ever wanted a pix of the ship your ancestor came to America on? Or the ship your ancestor served aboard? This website,, may give you that pix. Here is the blurb from their most recent (free) newsletter:

What kind of content will you find in the database? contains citations for vessels mentioned in books, magazines, websites, databases, CD-ROMs, and more. (You can find a complete list of all resources in the database here.) So, if you see a mention of a ship in a book, it means that that vessel is mentioned in that specific book, on that particular page. (If the page number is hotlinked, that indicates that you should be able to see the actual page through Google Books. This doesn’t always work, depending on how much of the book is visible through Google Books, where your computer is physically located [ie, the IP address of your computer – if you’re outside the US, Google generally hides more content than they do for someone inside the US], and several other factors. But it works, most of the time.)

Many – but definitely not all – citations have links that will take you to the full text. If the citation is at an online location, the link will take you right to the entry. Many digitized resources are available this way; we estimate that fully 85% of the citations in the database can take you to full text. On the other hand, sometimes you can’t get to the full text at all, because the book or magazine or CD-ROM isn’t available in Google Books. What do you do then? I firmly believe that knowing a citation exists is 75% of the way to finding the information itself. If you don’t know the citation exists, you’ll of course never find it.

So, once you know the citation exists, there are several things you can do. In most cases, you’ll see a “Find in a library” link on the results page; if you click this link, you’ll be taken to WorldCat, a massive bibliographic database that can be used to tell you which libraries own the books you’re seeking. Enter your location, and it’ll identify the libraries nearest you with that book or resource. You can also click on the link to locate a copy of the book to purchase.

Always feel free to contact a librarian for more help if you need it. Good librarians have lots of little tricks for locating copies of books, and most libraries will borrow the book for you from another library for a small fee, or sometimes for free.

What happens when you have an especially common ship name, like Mary? In the premium database, you’ll end up with thousands of citations, and that is, admittedly, a real challenge. The best way to manage this is to look at the complete citations, and see if you can narrow down the content to something that’s more manageable. For instance, if you’re looking for a ship from the era of the US Civil War, it’s a pretty safe assumption that you should ignore citations mentioned in Passenger Lists of Ships Coming to North America, 1607-1825: A Bibliography or The Private Papers of John, Earl of Sandwich, First Lord of the Admiralty, 1771-1782, and you should certainly pay attention to citations in publications like Paul Silverstone’s Civil War Navies, 1855-1883, or Accessible Archives’ Civil War Newspapers collection.

Look at the publication title and also at the citation itself. If the publication title isn’t specific (for example, a journal like Mariners Mirror, or a general title like Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia), the citation might give a lot of useful information. When you see a date, it’s important to remember that that date may refer to almost anything – sometimes it’s the date of vessel launch, sometimes it refers to an event in the vessel’s life, such as a specific voyage or collision or loss, and sometimes it refers to the date of publication of something else – for example, in the Civil War Newspapers collection, dates refer to the year of publication, and may publish a remembrance of an event from many years earlier. The complete notes about the resource will generally tell you more about how to read the citation, and what the year might refer to.

That’s all for this week. I hope you find the database useful! If you do, I’d love to hear how it helped you – or how you’d like to see it improved. You can always contact us via our contact us page on the website. The next issue will talk about notifications, and how you can stay up to date on new content that is added to the site.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Christmas Tree/Family Tree Idea

Need a new idea for decorating your Christmas tree? This is the tree displayed on B-1, the International Floor, at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. The folks who work on that floor helping patrons with any research other than U.S., Canada, and British Isles, made ornaments from their family photos and then hung them on the tree. It was a most unusual and very striking Christmas tree. If any of you do this, share a photo of it with us (with me), please?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

EWGS Book Sale December 1, 2012

These were the last of the EWGS publications books, on the free by tables.

Two more Free by Tables
These were the books for sale, with Bill Hire the Auctioneer
 Bill Hire and Mary Holcomb before the sale started.

Monday, November 26, 2012

December 1st Meeting: A Book Auction!

Do not think EWGS will have this many books available at the book auction at the next meeting, Saturday, December 1st, 12:30pm, downtown Spokane Public Library. But I've seen the stacks that our librarians have been sorting and setting aside for this auction. And I know that many EWGS members have donated genealogy-related books that they are no longer using to this auction. So it promises to be a splendid day!  Hope you're there.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Washington & Cranberries

When you enjoy cranberries or jellied cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving would you guess that your treat came from Washington state??

On December 5, 1914, the Ilwaco Cranberry Company incorporates under the laws of the State of Washington. The firm sought to capitalize upon the available bogland and climate in the vicinity of the Pacific County town to turn otherwise economically useless land into cash crops. Ilwaco Cranberry Company will not last long but the bogs will eventually be turned into the state's major cranberry producing region and one of the few places outside New England where cranberries are grown commercially.

Commercial cranberry harvesting on the Long Beach Peninsula began in 1883 using vines imported from New Jersey. Cranberries grow in marsh environments, requiring acid peat soil and a moist climate. The fruit flourishes in only a few areas of the United States, primarily in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Washington, and Oregon. Native peoples consumed wild cranberries both as food and as medicine.  

As of 2010, the state's cranberry crop value was $6,720,000. Read the complete story by clicking on  (or copying/pasting) the link below:

Monday, November 12, 2012

EWGS Board for 2013

This is your EWGS Board for 2013.... Dolly, Lola, Juanita, Diane, Bill, Doris, Dianne, Mary and Donna. Missing is Doris.  These good folks have stepped up to give their time and lend their talents to ensuring that EWGS has a bright future. Thank you, Good Folks!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Phosphorus: Who Would Have Guessed?

We remember (perhaps) from our chemistry classes that phosphorus is one of the primary elements. I do not recall how important phosphorus is in the human physiology, but in 1896 they really did not understand.

Looking for an obituary in the Spokesman-Review for 14 October 1896, I came upon this teeny little bit:  "Phosphorus In The Brain. The human brain contains a considerable proportion of phosphorus, varying from 1/20th to 1/30th of the whole mass. If the average weight of the brain be taken at 47 and 1/2 ounces it will then count phosphorus as amounting to 1 and 1/2 ounces. Phosphorus is found to be almost entirely wanting in the brains of idiots."

And how, I wonder, did they know that?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Railroad Trivia & History

How many of you have heard trail whistles blowing? Ever given any thought to what those toots might mean? I live in the West Plains area and regularly hear those rather mournful sounds. It finally occurred to me to do a Google search to find out what they mean and sure enough...... do a locomotive horn signals yourself........ and there will appear a great little graph explaining the railroad toots and whistles! What I've heard most often is 2-long, 1-short and 1-long and sure enough that means "the train is approaching a public crossing." 

Did you know there used to be a railroad tunnel under a portion of Greenwood Cemetery? John Caskey, in his Historic Spokane Ghost Tour last week really piqued my interest and I've been doing some digging........ and will do more; stay tuned.  But I learned that the Great Northern RR built the tunnel so its main line could connect with the Spokane, Portland & Seattle road. Work began in February 1909 at both the north and south ends of the tunnel and workers met within two inches in the middle on April 1, 1910. It was finally sealed off and the tracks removed in preparation for Expo '74. 

So where is this tunnel? If you park at the north end of Greenwood, right next to Mount Nebo, and walk to the back, rocky, wall you'll see where it most probably was.... the "V" indent into the cliffs is smothered by mounded vines and trees. Really, don't bother. 

But who would have thought? A railroad tunnel under Greenwood Cemetery. Doesn't Spokane have some fascinating history?  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tuesday Bunch waits to help YOU.

       Left to right:  Mary, Dolly, Susan, Juanita and Pat. 

These are the helper-volunteers from the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society who are there in the downtown Spokane Public Library every Tuesday just waiting to help YOU with your family history projects and problems.

They are there from 10:15 (when the Library opens) until late afternoon with an hour or so off for lunch. Parking is in Riverpark, under the Library, west-down the  Main Street hill (past the Spokane Club) or even north across the Monroe Street Bridge...... or you can certainly take the bus downtown and walk the block to the Library.

This is yet another service EWGS provides to the community. Consider joining EWGS to take advantage of all the genealogical benefits to YOU.   ( )

Monday, October 22, 2012

Local History: Fun & Important

Did you realize that the Douglas Fir, that we all admire, was named for an early explorer who tromped around the Pacific Northwest from 1825-1833? Our MAC museum (Museum of Arts & Culture) currently has an exhibit all about Douglas and his time in the area. If you're at all interested in the history of the area, this would be a delightful visit. The MAC is open Wed-Sat, 10-5, and is located at 2316 W. First in Browne's Addition. My parents came to the area in 1954 but I know many whose ancestors came barely 20-30 years after David Douglas had been here. I recommend this as a Thing To Do.

Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii
Lambert, The Genus Pinus, Volume 2, 1830
The tree named for David Douglas was greatly admired by the collector for its great size, its variable habitats, and its potential as a timber resource.

Taxidermist Igor Carogodin

The condor, a “beautiful buzzard of the Columbia”, fascinated David Douglas. Unique specimens of a recently preserved California condor and an albatross with a 9-foot wingspan will be included in this exhibit.

David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work

Through August 24, 2013

Naturalist David Douglas traveled the Columbia River and interior Northwest (1825-1833), identifying and collecting over two hundred species of plants, animals, and birds previously unknown to science. Learn of his interactions with native tribes and fur traders of the Columbia country. Explore a unique scientific legacy, including his namesake, the Douglas fir. Enjoy a multi-disciplinary experience that links geography, science, art, and cultural history.
Lead sponsors: The Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation and the Joel E. Ferris Foundation

Monday, October 15, 2012

Names, Names.... Everywhere A Name

Names have always fascinated me....... and really unusual names always catch my eye.

Like Zackquill Morgan............ Capt. Zackquill Morgan, Jr., was born 1 Aug 1782, the son of Col. Zachquill Morgan, Sr.,  near Bladenburg, Monongahela, Virginia and died in the War of 1812, 24 Aug 1814, during the retreat from Washington, DC. He was a drummaster. On 28 Apr 1805 he had married Elizabeth Madera. I Googled his name to find this information.

Like Ambazilla...... ages ago I was looking at the Coroners' Records in our Spokane County Courthouse and caught this lady's name. Doing a search of the Washington death records (on ) the only Ambazilla I found was Mrs. Spencer Owen, a real estate agent here in Spokane in the 1900 census. Doing the math, she was born in 1861 in Iowa and married in 1880. They had five children, all born in Nebraska;  such an interesting start to a family history.

Bet you're like me and unusual names catch your attention too. Care to share any of your special ones with us??


Monday, October 8, 2012

Need a canon??

Do you have a need for your very own personal Parrott Rifle? It weighs 500 pounds, costs $1041.70 (plus shipping) and the rolling cradle is extra. Oh, and you better have a humungous truck to go fetch it. And where can you get such an item? In Post Falls, Idaho! Would you believe?

Hern Iron Works "is the successors to the respected Washington Machinery Foundry and the National Iron Works, established in 1884. Hern Iron Works was constructed in the 1970s on a wholly-owned 30-acre parcel ...... " near Post Falls.This company offers a goodly line of products including different kinds of canons!

You can buy a Revolutionary War Howitzer, an English Swivel Gun, a Coehorn Mortar and a Parrott Rifle (which is really a #1000 canon!), an Ordnance Rifle, and a Carronade.  Who would have thought that such a company is right in our back yard???

F.Y.I.  The Parrott Rifle was developed by Robert Potter, supervisor of the West Point Foundry from 1836-1867. This canon was easy to use, cheap to make and quick to produce...... "the best practical thing that could be got at the time." It was a cast iron canon.

Now who would buy such a thing? Those who re-enact historical times, that's who!

At our recent Walking with Ancestors we were admiring a vintage Civil War canon in Greenwood Cemetery and it was Charles Hansen who tipped me off that you can buy your own right here in our neighborhood. Who would have thought?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2012 Walking With Ancestors

This picture was taken by Jerry Johnson at Greenwood cemetery for the Walking With Ancestors, Thanks Jerry.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

2012 Walking with Ancestors

What is really important are the people that participate, especially those that researched their Civil War Veteran and told the story over and over all day. I did not get either group picture but have been promised a copy. Since I do not know the names of several of the people here I will not put names on any of these pictures.
You can click on the photos to make them larger.

I only got pictures of the backs of a couple of the guides, but want to thank all of them also.
I also want to thank Shirley Penna-Oakes and Barbara Brazington for all their hard work.
We also had several jets flyover during the talks and at least one actor seemed to attract the airplanes, but John will probably kill me if I tell who attracted the airplanes.

2012 Walking With Ancestors

 This is the EWGS booth still being set up. You can click on the photos to make them larger.

 Right next to the EWGS booth is the NeWGS booth, thanks for coming so far.

 Karen Struve a EWGS-NeWGS member was demonstrating how to do grave stone rubbings.

 Evergreen Cemetery north of Hillyard on the road to Mead.

 This is how a civil war couple would have dressed and a typical table set up.

 John Ellingson at the SAR booth.