Wednesday, December 31, 2014

EWGS 80th Birthday 2015

January 8, 1935  Work continues on Grand Coulee Dam.

Local committee to study unemployment insurance legislation. Committee is composed of several local businessmen: Jesse W. Burgan, Charles Hebbard, William H. Cowles, Jr., William Triplett, and Walter Norton. The group thinks the theory of job insurance is correct but feasibility is questioned
Radio programs listed and a couple I recognize from much later than 1935. KHQ had Amos and Andy. KFPY had the Adventures of Gracie  (Gracie Allen and George Burns)

January 9, 1935  They forecast rivers to heat Spokane Homes. Roy Ward was building an all electric house at W. 24 Glass  so as to be ready for the power generated by Grand Coulee Dam.

Remembering As Year's End Approaches

As this year of 2014 draws to a close, we remember EWGS friends that we have lost this year and in years past. Alas, I do not have photos of them all but we do remember Bette Butcher Topp and Susan Hunsche Heil. We lost Judy Williams at the end of December.

We are thankful and blessed to have such a wonderful relationship with the Spokane Public Library. 

We offer free genealogy help to the public every Tuesday. Here are our Tuesday Gals with Spokane Mayor David Condon and Spokane Library Director Chanse. 

We've had some wonderful speakers. Here is our EWGS group with 
Dr. George Schweitzer in October 2011. 

We've had great fun volunteering to take pledge calls for KSPS our public TV station. 

Won't you continue to help EWGS become the best it can be for all the genealogists in Eastern Washington?  It takes "a village," you know. EWGS needs all the talents of all members.  Happy 2015!!

Is Your Genealogy Ready for a Do-Over?

Is Your Genealogy Ready for a Do-Over?

With each new year, many consider making changes in their lives such as losing weight, getting more exercise, etc. Even genealogists like to get in on the act and in 2015 there’s a special online educational program that can help you get rid of “bad research habits” and learn some new tricks.

The Genealogy Do-Over™ is the brainstorm of genealogy author and educator Thomas MacEntee and since its announcement in mid-December 2014, has attracted over 1,000 participants from around the world. And the best part? The entire 13-week program which starts on January 2, 2015, is FREE. Visit the Genealogy Do-Over at to see the announcement and the latest news.

Genealogy Do-Over: A New Journey of Genealogical Discovery

Here is the short summary of Genealogy Do-Over as Thomas sees it:
I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (*certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on a long-distance trip will be retained).
Since genealogists started their research 10, 20 or 30 years ago (or more), much has changed in the areas of genealogy research methodology and education. Many now realize the need to collect facts and track them properly, including the use of source citations. Many understand the process of analyzing evidence and proving facts to reach a conclusion. In essence, as Thomas puts it: “I know a lot more about the ‘process’ of genealogical research and I want to put it to use.”

How Does the Genealogy Do-Over Work?

The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 13 mileposts or journey markers spread out over 13 weeks. Participants can choose any pace they want, and even spread the topics out over the course of a year. Or some may decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add different topics. The goal is to do whatever it takes to ensure that a firm footing to finding ancestors.

A synopsis of the planned route – the Schedule of Topics – can be found at As each week progresses, participants will continue researching and add more and more skills and areas of focus including citing sources, tracking searches, building a research toolbox, creating an educational plan, researching offline as well as online, and more.

By the end of the 13 weeks – or 13 journey markers – the group will have covered a firm foundation in genealogy and family history research. For individual participants, some focus areas may differ; participants have the freedom to add or remove content from their own Genealogy Do-Over plan. As Thomas says, “This program has to work for you and not something that you dread each week or that you find you are working against.”

What’s the Cost? What’s the Catch

There is no price. A journey that could very well revolutionize the way you’ve been doing genealogy research is priceless. When you join the Genealogy Do-Over (see below), you’ll receive weekly updates about the current topics, you’ll be part of an active and passionate collaborative group sharing genealogy tips and tricks, and more. Legacy Family Tree is hosting a FREE webinar entitled My Genealogy DO-Over - A Year of Learning from Research Mistakes ( presented by Thomas MacEntee on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

Here’s How to Be a Part of the Genealogy Do-Over

Visit the following sites to get involved and set out on your own Genealogy Do-Over journey in 2015!

Schedule of Topics – Genealogy Do-Over

Week 1 – 2-8 January 2015

  • Setting Previous Research Aside
  • Preparing to Research
  • Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines

Week 2 – 9-15 January 2015

  • Setting Research Goals
  • Conducting Self Interview
  • Conducting Family Interviews

Week 3 – 16-22 January 2015

  • Tracking Research
  • Conducting Research

Week 4 – 23-29 January 2015

  • Managing Projects and Tasks
  • Tracking Searches

Week 5 – 30 January-5 February 2015

  • Building a Research Toolbox
  • Citing Sources

Week 6 – 6-12 February 2015

  • Evaluating Evidence
  • Reviewing Online Education Options

Week 7 – 13-19 February 2015

  • Reviewing Genealogy Database Software
  • Digitizing Photos and Documents

Week 8 – 20-26 February 2015

  • Conducting Collateral Research
  • Reviewing Offline Education Options

Week 9 – 27 February-5 March 2015

  • Conducting Cluster Research
  • Organizing Research Materials – Documents and Photos

Week 10 – 6-12 March 2015

  • Reviewing DNA Testing Options
  • Organizing Research Materials – Digital

Week 11 – 13-19 March 2015

  • Reviewing Social Media Options
  • Building a Research Network

Week 12 – 20-26 March 2015

  • Sharing Research
  • Reviewing Research Travel Options

Week 13 – 27 March-3 April 2015

  • Securing Research Data
  • Reviewing the Journey

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wheat in Washington ............. Did You Know?

Did you know that Washington helps feed the entire United States and the world? Wheat has been grown in Eastern Washington since the late 1800s when the first settlers arrived here.

According to Washington Wheat Facts, "about half of the U.S. wheat crop is exported, with 85-90 percent of Washington's wheat crop purchased by overseas buyers. (Japan is our #1 market.)  The U.S. ranks fourth among the world's wheat producing countries."   (We're after the EU-27, China and India..... bet you would have never guessed.)

Would you have guessed that one bushel of wheat would make:  (1) 42 pounds of white flour;  (2) 60 pounds of whole wheat flour;  (3) 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread;  (4) could fill 53 boxes of cereal;  (5) could make 72 pounds of flour tortillas;  (6)  could roll into 420 three-ounce cinnamon buns;  (7) could make 5000 four-inch cookies???

And would you have known that Washington ranks fourth in the Top Ten Wheat Producing States (after Kansas, North Dakota and Montana)?

Our Washington history is closely entwined with the production of wheat. If you want to learn more about this heritage, click to . This website has so much good stuff and so many wonderful pictures! Here is "Hauling Wheat Lincoln County." (In the smaller size it was in focus.)
Hauling wheat, Lincoln county, Washington

Betcha you could find photos on the Washington Rural Heritage website that would be great additions to your family history stories. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

EWGS 80th Birthday 2015

January 3, 1935 This is a picture of the 7 women in Congress in 1935. 

January 4, 1935  Basketball at Gonzaga: The University of Montana vs Gonzaga at 7:45 p.m.
   Saturday Gonzaga vs Desserts 8 p.m.  Who are the Desserts??
   The Montana Grizzlies took a thumping from the Desserts, but Gonzaga is expected to to defeat the Grizzlies tonight.

January 7, 1935   President Roosevelt asked Congress to keep the 3 cent stamp past the July 1, 1935 date when the rate goes back to 2 cents.
The 3 cent stamp started in 1933 and first class postage remained at 3 cents till 1959 when the 4 cent stamp started.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

EWGS 80th Birthday 2015

2015 will be the 80th birthday of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, founded in 1935 at the Davenport Hotel. So what was happening in 1935. We all know it was during the depression, many out of work, and slowly coming back to normal. The big news story was the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann accused of kidnapping and killing the Lindbergh baby. The Chronicle carried the story on the front page every day of the trial and had a whole page of testimony, along with reporters notes on what was happening.

January 1, 1935   The Tournament of Roses was having their 46th annual parade with an expected crowd of one million expected. They were to have 67 floats with the spectacular one the Tournament of Roses Float "Fire Bird" with the queen of the parade riding on that float. The Theme for this year was Golden Legends in Flowers. Harold Lloyd was the Grand Marshall.

January 2, 1935  There was an article on The daughter of David Jenkins Emma Rue. Colonel David Jenkins had been a lieutenant in the 14th Illinois Cavalry at the close of the Civil War. He came to Spokane in 1879 and homesteaded 160 acres north of the Spokane River. The area today is from Howard to Cedar and from the River to Boone.He Gave $50,000 to Jenkins Institute a college located just about where the county Health Department Building is today, and the reason the street in front of the health department building is called College Avenue today. He also gave Spokane County the land to build the County Courthouse. Emma came to Spokane in 1881 and lived in the little house on the north side of the river, the only house on that side of the river you could see from downtown. Missionary Cushing Eels married Emma and W.H. Rue. He owned a machine shop on the "Big Island" and a sawmill in what is now Cocolalla, Idaho.  Their Daughter Mabel Rue Frederick was EWGS president part of 1958 and all of 1959 and 1960.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ulster Historical Foundation News Flash

Ulster Historical Foundation
Telling the story of the people of Ulster since 1956

Tracing Your Irish Ancestors                                                            

Since the website for our September 2015 family history conference went live, we have been delighted by the response and the number of registrations received. The extensive and innovative programme of Tracing Your Irish Ancestors is clearly striking a chord with people and we are looking forward to meeting all the participants. For more information please access or email

Publications              takes the stress out of Christmas shopping with books to suit a variety of interests at very competitive prices including Dr William Roulston’s magisterial history of the Hamilton family, Abercorn: The Hamilton’s of Barons Court (including the leather bound limited edition) and Dr Kathleen Rankin’s critically acclaimed, The Linen Houses of the Bann Valley (currently reduced to only £19.99). Furthermore, in addition to our existing selection of many special offers (and don’t forget the great reductions on most of our Ordnance Survey Memoirs ) we are pleased to include the following:

  • Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800, was £11.99 now just £5.00
  • George Sigerson: Poet, Patriot, Scientist and Scholar, was £16.99 now just £5.00
  • Feis na nGleann: A Century of Gaelic Culture in the Antrim Glens, was £9.99 now just £5.00
  • The Strabane Barony during the Ulster Plantation, 1607-41 was £9.99 now just £5.00
  • John Henry Biggart: Pathologist, Professor and Dean of Medical Faculty, Queen’s University Belfast, was £9.99 now just £5.00

Our facsimile reprint of Patrick Woulfe’s Sloinnte Gaedeal is Gall (Irish Names and Surnames) has now become available and thanks to the many of you who placed pre-publication orders. Sloinnte Gaedeal is Gall is priced at £8.99. If you are also interested in the popular, The Book of Ulster Surnames, both books are now available at the special price of only £10.00.

Please note all online book orders are subject to postage and packing charge.

In addition to great books at great prices you might consider investing in an Ulster Historical Foundation Gift Certificate, (from £30.00) which may be used to buy a family history report, family starter kit or books. The ideal present for the novice or more experienced family history researcher.

Support the Foundation
The Foundation is a registered self- supporting educational charity. We are proud that over the years, support from members and friends and the proceeds from our range of services has proved sufficient to meet the many challenges of operating in a difficult economic environment. However we must acknowledge the fact that the imminent substantial cuts in public spending announced recently by the Northern Ireland Executive are a major cause for concern and will certainly have a significant impact on our project work, educational and community outreach and historical consultancy services. While we are confident that our experience, expertise and the diligence of our staff will continue to stand us in good stead, we would be most grateful if you would feel able to make a donation (of whatever size) to help ensure the continuation of our work. Your assistance can make a real difference, as was evident in our successful Scanner and Buy A Brick campaigns. For details on how to donate, please click on the donate button located on the top right hand side of our home page, Thank you for your consideration.

Upcoming Events:
"Winter Solstice Talk" in Waterman House, 5-33 Hill St., Belfast

Eamon Keenan, a storyteller from Belfast with a passion for the ancient irish mythologies, will entertain and surprise us with stories that relate to Yule traditions. For more information contact or phone 02890543159.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spokane, Washington High School Yearbooks Available Online

June 1915 edition of North Central High School's Tamarack

The Spokane Public Library recently announced that a free new digital collection of historical Spokane-area high school yearbooks is now accessible through their website. This collection is made available with the cooperation of the Spokane Public Schools and the Internet Archive. All the yearbooks are full-text searchable. Each is available in a variety of formats, making it viewable on many devices, including your laptop, Kindle, or phone. They can be downloaded to your computer or other device as well.

The following is a current list of yearbooks available, with the high school it features and the years that are covered. Note that in the early twentieth century, it was not uncommon to have two yearbooks per school year, to highlight seniors who graduated mid-year, as well as those who graduated at year's end.

Hillyard High School (no longer in existence): 1930-1931

Lewis and Clark High School: June 1920 - 1977

North Central High School: May 1912 - January 1915

Spokane High School (no longer in existence): January and June 1911

The yearbooks can be accessed through the Spokane Public Library website at

Saturday, December 6, 2014

WWII Enlistment Records Online at NARA

Dick Eastman's column today had an article on the WWII Enlistment records that NARA has just transcribed and put online ( ). Click on WWII records when you get to this website. I found the enlistment record for both my dad and his younger brother. I knew most of the information on the record for my dad, and parts of the information on my uncle.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bits & Pieces & the December 6th Meeting

Saturday, December 6
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Spokane Public Library Auditorium, Downtown Spokane

Super year-end event.  Our EWGS members will share stories and tips from their own experiences. They will tell us about their research rewards and the excitement of learning details about their ancestors. Also combined with this program will be a "show and tell" session.   Door Prizes!!
Cookies and coffee time begin at 12:30 p.m.  Meeting starts at 1:00 p.m.
Please bring 18 or 24 of your favorite holiday goodies for our cookie swap.  No store bought please. If there is a story you have,  like about Great Grandma's Spritz Cookies, please write a recipe card and the history.  Don't forget to sign your name, and add it to your plate. Plans are in the works to make a EWGS cook book.

Can't bake? Don't worry there will be plenty, relax and enjoy, this is a party!

Please bring your family treasures to display and to tell us about. This just might just give you some ideas of what to do with that ephemera you've collected. Please also let me know if you are bringing a family treasure to "show and tell." 

If you have questions about our party, or would like to tell me about the family treasure you plan to bring, give me a call, Mary Holcomb, or call 509-327-5337. 


"She enjoyed being in the limelight!"  Ever heard that? Any idea what it meant or where the term comes from? Here's the answer:  Limelight was once used to illuminate the stages of theaters. A brilliant light resulting from burning lime transformed the actors on stage in such a way that the audience knew they were witnessing something special. Now you know? I wonder how burning lime smelled???

My dear friend Beth, who lives in Minneapolis, and is proud of her pure German ancestry, recently shared this quote with me about the German peoples. The quote is from Alexander Solzhenitsyn. "The German is like a willow. No matter which way you bend him, he will always take root again."  What do you make of this? Do you see your German ancestors as being that flexible? Please leave a comment below.

Monday, November 24, 2014

EWGS December 6th Meeting & FamilySearch Wiki

Saturday, December 6, 12:30 to 3:00 ---Come join in the fun!

Family Memories & Holiday Festivities (EWGS Meeting)

Spokane Public Library Auditorium, Downtown Spokane

Presenter: EWGS Members

Super year-end event.  Our EWGS members will share stories and tips from their own experiences.  They will tell us about their research rewards and the excitement of learning details about their ancestors.  Also combined with this program will be a "show and tell" session.  Door Prizes!! Cookies and coffee time begin at 12:30 pm.  Meeting starts at 1:00 pm
Program: Holiday break: bring 18 or 24 of your favorite holiday goodies.  No store bought please.  If there is a story like Great Grandma's spritz, please write a recipe card and the history.  Don't forget to sign your name, and add it to your plate.  Plans are to make a EWGS cook book.
Can't bake?  Don't worry, there will be plenty.  Relax and enjoy...... this is a party!
Display of family treasures that might just give you some ideas of what to do with those ephemera we genealogists collect.
If you have something you would like to share, please contact Mary Holcomb 
or call 327-5337.  We want to have plenty of space to display our treasures.  And more treasures are needed.


Take some of your extra or relaxing time over the holidays to do some personal enrichment or learning. How much do you know about the FamilySearch Wiki?

The Wiki "is not about finding the names of your ancestors.  It is not, in fact, about finding people at all.  The Wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found."     This is a quote from the website, .  The FamilySearch Wiki is a "place-records-tutorial & how-to" place for learning. 

Need to decipher German handwriting? Need to know about cemeteries in Iowa? Need to know about Castle Garden? Need to know about finding records in China? There is a Wiki entry for that!  Go find out for yourself. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Who Pushed Thanksgiving To Be A Holiday?

Just how did Thanksgiving become a national holiday? With big thanks to American Spirit, magazine of the Daughter of the American Revolution, Nov-Dec 2015, for this information (from which article I liberally quoted).

We can thank Sarah Joseph Buell Hale who convinced President Lincoln to issue that famous proclamation.

Sarah Josepha Buell was born in New Hampshire in 1788. In 1813 she married David Hale who left her a widow with five young children in 1821.

Having to support her children, Sarah took to writing was was successfully published. While she was self-educated she pushed for women's rights and wrote many editorials using her authority to promote a variety of causes she was passionate about.

In 1837, Sarah wrote the first of many editorials aimed at making Thanksgiving a national holiday. At the time, it was observed at the state level, usually on the last Thursday in November. Sarah kept up her efforts through the 1840s  and in 1860 she wrote, "This year the last Thursday in November falls on the 29th. If all the States and Territories hold their Thanksgiving on that day there will be a complete moral and social reunion of the people of America in 1860. Would this not be a good omen for the perpetual political union of the States? May God grant us not only the omen but the fulfillment is our dearest wish!"

The clouds of the Civil War were gathering on the horizon and Sarah felt them keenly and dreaded what the war would bring to her country, family and friends.

After one more letter to him in September 1863, finally on October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation making the last Thursday in November a national day of Thanksgiving.  Not fully satisfied, Sarah continued her efforts into 1871 pressing Congress to enact legislation proclaiming a set date for Thanksgiving.

When you gather friends and family, and serve that roast turkey this year on November 27th, remember Sarah Josepha Buell Hall for helping establish this holiday.

Remember, too, that in the fall of 1863 the war was raging and yet President Lincoln took time for this. That tells me how important this day really is.  Donna

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

EWGS Makes Money From YOUR Shopping!

EWGS, now approaching their 80th birthday continues striving to provide their members, and the community, educational and self-learning growth opportunties.  

We do this by being able to have the funds available to support workshops, research classes and seminars to mention just a few activities.  

One way to acquire these funds is to develop partnerships with vendors that offer products and genealogical research tools.   In return, these vendors give EWGS a small referral fee for each sale they get from our referral.   We carefully select companies that we feel reflect our dedication to genealogy research  to help our members and the community with their journey in finding their ancestors.

On our web site, you will find a new TAB:  Shop and Support EWGS.  The companies we currently have partnerships with are:,,,   We hope when you are joining or renewing services from our partners, you will remember to access them through our web site. 

You can also qualify for discounts from some of our partners which are available through our web site. If you know of any company that shares our interest in genealogy please let our web managers know so they can add them to our partnership program. You can contact them by emailing to: 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Patty Harrison & EWGS Civil War Project

Here's another spotlight on the EWGS meeting you might have missed on November 1st, 2014.

Patty Dana Harrison has been an EWGS member for a long time. A couple of years ago she launched a project to coordinate among EWGS members the companies or units that their Civil War ancestor might have fought with. Great idea, Patty!

At the meeting, Patty told us that of the EWGS members who have registered their ancestor's unit there has already been two matches! As this project is on-going, you can still add your ancestor's information into this database. To request the form, email Patty at .

Her handout for that meeting carried a nice list of Internet resources to use when searching for information on your Civil War ancestor. She brought to the meeting room a cart of books from the upstairs Genealogy Section that deal with the Civil War and are helpful to finding and documenting your Civil War ancestor's service. (Visit the downtown Spokane Public Library on a Tuesday when EWGS volunteers will happily assist your search.)

Thank you, Patty, for managing this project so thoroughly and so enthusiastically and we'll look forward to many matches in the future!

The database will eventually be accessible from our EWGS website.  Stay tuned. 

And did you notice that Patty is wearing her EWGS vest??? 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Free Access to ArkivDigital this Weekend, November 8-9


National Archives Day in Sweden is on the second Saturday of November each year. The regional archives are open to the public offering lectures, exhibitions and archive tours.

ArkivDigital, your online digital archive with more than 50 million images, will be hosting an “open house” this week-end. We invite all who are interested in their Swedish history free access to our entire online historical archive on Saturday and Sunday (November 8-9, 2014).

Take the opportunity to discover the wealth of records in the archive including the church books, estate inventories, passenger ship manifests, military records, court records and many other types of records.

All current subscriptions will be extended two days because of the two free days.

Monday, November 3, 2014

EWGS Learned About Confederate Flags At November Meeting

EWGS member (and SAR member) Dale Ryan came to the November 1st EWGS meeting with a bundle of flags and flag polls and gave us a great lesson on Civil War Confederate flags. He first explained how important flags were in those battling days of no communication. "Flags were the rallying point for the company; flags were the means of communication. Through the smoke and haze of the battlefield, men would look for their flag and run towards it."

Dale, with help from John Wilson, showed us the first official Confederate flag. "The trouble with this flag was when it was hanging limp on its pole it looked too much like the U.S. flag. Not good for Confederate soldiers to run to the wrong flag!"

This was the next "official" flag, but again, "hanging loose it looked too much like a flag of surrender. Again, not good in battle."

This was the final "official" flag and it was okay "but by then most everybody was using the one we recognize today, the one called the Stars & Bars."

Even as this Stars & Bars flag was never the official flag of the Confederacy, it is forever associated with the southern states and the Confederacy.

Thank you, Dale, for giving us this Civil War history lesson!

Monday, October 27, 2014

EWGS Turns 80 in 2015 !

It was back in 1935 (January 31st to be precise) that nine ladies met around a large table on the mezzanine of the Davenport Hotel to form the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. Our wonderful society will turn 80 next year in 2015.

Not sure what those nine ladies wore but this is a good 1935 guess. Ditto for the Davenport.

At that organizational meeting, offices were established and officers elected..... certainly a gentleman for president! But Samuel Weaver, while he consented to be elected never really "was" president and never served, was elected for a 2-year term. Other position were filled by the ladies..... all listed as "Mrs. X.X. xxxxx" and not by their names. Initial dues were established at fifty cents.

With this organizational meeting in 1935, EWGS became the final form of three years of plans. The goals of the new society were: "to create interest in genealogical and historical research; to assist members in searching for an 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."

EWGS wants to plan their June program to be a celebration of our 80 years. We have already secured Garrin Hertel of Nostalgia magazine to give us a "What Was Spokane Like in 1935?" presentation. We need a committee and a committee chair. Won't YOU step up to help? Call Donna Phillips at 509-624-4118 or 

Monday, October 20, 2014

EWGS members attend the Hayden Family History Fair

Both Miriam Robbins and Donna Phillips were speakers at the annual Hayden Family History Fair, sponsored by the Hayden Family History Center and the Kootenai County Genealogical Society. 

This is an annual free event (date for next year is October 17th), with a free lunch, and many great classes from which to choose. 

About a dozen EWGS members were there; it was a good day and plan now to attend next year.

Family History director, Connie Godak, was the emcee and is the moving force behind the Fair.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tony & Janette Birch explain how we can add our own surnames to the EWGS website.

Tony and Janette Birch have been supporters and helpers for EWGS for several years and (bless them!) they are still willing to participate. And they continue to be the official greeters (complete with purple badges) at our meetings.

Tony and Janette used to collect from EWGS members information on what surnames, along with dates and locations, that they were researching. They would then enter that data into our website.

Now we have a new development! YOU can directly add YOUR OWN surname information to our website. Janette sent the instructions for doing so: 

When dealing with those pesky brick walls you need every trick in the book to take down that wall brick by brick.  One handy trick is to go to and click on Members Only, put in  your Login Name and Password then click on Surname Research to look for family surnames.  If you haven't yet put in your family surnames then please share and put them in.  Directions are easy to follow.  Others will also be looking for their family surnames and may come across a family name that they have in common with you and can contact you with information.  If you're not a member then go to and click on Join Us to become a member and be able to access all our website information, including over 600 surnames.  One of them may be yours.

Thanks, Tony and Janette!

Monday, October 13, 2014

EWGS November Program Will Have A Military Theme To Honor Veterans' Day

Did you realize that during the Civil War, 1861-1865, the Confederacy adopted three different flags?

This is a link to the website of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia, and you can learn all about the different flags there.  I do know that the one we see most often, and think it represents the Confederacy, is an incorrect assumption on our part. That one, the one we most often think of, was only the battle flag.

Dale Ryan, a member of the local SAR group, will be one part of our November 1st program. He'll be bringing examples of some different flags and teaching us about them.

A speaker from Honor Flight will be there, too, along with EWGS member Patty Harrison to explain our EWGS Civil War Ancestors' Units project.

Meeting starts at 12:30 with Coffee, Cookies & Conversation at the downtown Spokane Public Library. All interested genealogists are invited!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Speaker Steven Morrison & EWGS Writing Contest Winners

Saturday, October 4th, was a great day for EWGS. Steven Morrsion came from Olympia (with his lovely wife Gloria) to teach us the fundamentals of doing Irish Research both from home and if you go to Ireland.......... either to Dublin or Belfast. One very basic thing I learned was the meaning of the Irish flag. The green stands for the Catholics; the orange symbolizes the Protestants, and the white center means that there should be peace between them. Northern Ireland recognizes and uses the British Union Jack.

Steven also encouraged us by explaining that in the four provinces of Ireland, a bigger percentage of the parish records did survive the 1922 fire at Four Courts than you might have realized: In Ulster, 63% survived; in Connaught, 50% survived; and 39% each survived in Leinster and Muenster. That was encouraging news. "But make no mistake," Steven counselled. "Doing Irish research is hard.

During the lunch break, Dani Lee McGowan and Doug Floyd announced the winners of the 2014 EWGS Writing Contest and presented certificates and checks to the winners:  

 Dani Lee McGowan and Doug Floyd

First Place Winner was Betty Ellis.

 Second Place winner was Charlotte McCoy Sullivan.

Third place winner, Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, was unable to attend to claim her prize in person.

Doug announced the EWGS Writing Contest theme for 2015. In honor of the 80th anniversary of EWGS, the contest theme will be "My Family In 1935."  Wherever they were, tell us about them and their lives during that year. Contest deadline is 30 May 2015. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

EWGS Fall Workshop Features Steven Morrison Teaching Irish Research

Are you registered? Are you coming? It's going to be a super great day!!
I surely hope to see YOU there!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral in Spokane

Last May, I found this postcard way back in an antique mall in Verona, Virginia. Of course I had to have it! There is nothing to date it (was no message on the back), so I went to our Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral website, and to the "History" tab, and found this:

"In August of 1881, Jesuit Father Joseph Cataldo converted a carpenter's shop into the Church of St. Joseph, the first Catholic church in the Spokane Township. Like the smallest of seeds, the mustard seed, the Catholic faith here had humble beginnings. Only five people attended the first Mass in that wooden shed which measured just fifteen by twenty-two feet.
Soon the seed sprouted and found sustenance in this soil. Five years later, a large brick church dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes replaced the original structure, and a school opened under the direction of the Sisters of the Holy Names. The seedling's continued growth required an even more significant move. The cornerstone for the present church was laid in 1903. In 1906, the new school was completed. In 1913, this mustard seed became what the Gospels celebrate as the "largest of plants," when Our Lady of Lourdes became the Cathedral for the newly created Diocese of Spokane."
I would guess that this postcard image dates back to about 1906? Do any of our EWGS members have stories about their ancestors attending this church?? I'll bet many of them did and over many years. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Washington State Archives October Archives Activities

Washington State Archives
Archives Month Activities
October is Archives Month!
In honor of Washington's Quasquicentennial Celebration (WA 125), this year's theme is 125 Years of Making History.  Our regional branches are hard at work, promoting all things Archives, so check out what's happening at a branch near you in the coming weeks!

18th - History Day Fall Workshop for Teachers, 9:00 a.m. - Noon -- in conjunction with the WWU Libraries Heritage Resources, Center for the Pacific Northwest Studies and the Washington State Historical Society
- Archives Building Open House, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. -- in conjunction with WWU's Fall Family Open House
28th - Basics of Personal Digital Archiving Workshop, 4:00-5:00 p.m. -- in conjunction with the
*More workshops may be added as the month approaches.  Contact the Northwest Regional Archives for more information!

20th - Common Core Tools for Teachers: The History Day Connection, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Mt. Spokane High School, Meade -- in conjunction with the Washington State Historical Society - 3 Clock Hours Provided free of charge!

2nd - Information/Resource Table--Educator Night at the Museum--LeMay Auto Museum in Tacoma, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
4th - History Day Fall Teacher's Workshops, 9:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:30-4:30 p.m., University of Washington Libraries, Seattle
18th - Basics of Historic Research, 9:00 a.m - Noon,
  • The Basics of Historical Research is for teachers, students, beginning genealogists, and others interested in exploring the past.  You'll get practical advice and learn the basic steps for gathering the information you will need to investigate and interpret a historical topic for a museum exhibit, class project, community celebration, curriculum enrichment, research article, History Day, a classroom based assessment (CBA), Common Core learning standards, or personal historical interest.  This class will cover:
  • What primary sources are--and aren't
  • What historical sources are--and how to use them
  • How to use the library system
  • How to use archival collections
  • How to find and use reliable online resources
  • How to properly cite your sources
  • How to use information from different sources
25th - Common Core Tools for Teachers: The History Day Connection, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Suquamish Museum -- In conjunction with the Washington State Historical Society - 3 Clock Hours provided free of charge 

Join us at the State Archives in Olympia to celebrate Archives Month with a series of brown bag lunch sessions on Thursdays in October!  These sessions will feature records in our collections that may help you with your genealogical or historical research.

All sessions are from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at 1129 Washington St. SE, (The Southwest Regional Branch and State Archives) in the conference room.

Contact the Southwest Regional Archives for more information.

2nd - Penitentiary Records--Learn about what types of records may be found with an inmate number from the Digital Archives
9th - Brick Wall Session with the State Archivist--are you working on a genealogy project and have hit a brick wall?  Come in and talk to Steve Excell, our State Archivist, to get some hints and tips!
16th - Vital Records--Learn about what vital records are available at the State Archives and how to use them to find additional records.
23rd - Land and Property Research--Learn about how to research a property's history with records from the Archives.
30th - Linda Hazzard--Come and learn about this self-proclaimed holistic healer and her subsequent murder charge from the turn of the century.  Just in time for Halloween!

Feel free to bring a lunch...and your questions!

11th (Tentative) - The Eastern Regional Branch and Digital Archives are planning a Saturday Open House Event, with tours and presentations on how to use the Digital Archives, what's new on the DA, and how to access the Eastern Regional Archives records.  Details to follow, but it will likely be held from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.

The focus will be on the Expo '74 slides and records in the collection, as it has been 40 years since that landscape-changing event took place in Spokane!

For more information as the date approaches, contact the Eastern Regional Branch.
Central Regional Branch to host Volunteer Recognition Event!
Each year, the Office of the Secretary of State hosts a recognition event to thank volunteers. This year, on October 7, we'll be in Ellensburg at the Western V.I.P. Room at the Kittitas County Events Center.  As part of this exciting day, the Central Regional Branch will open its doors at 1:30 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes tour!
Archives Month, 2013
October 7, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (PDT) -- Presented by Tracy Rebstock and Lori Larson

Designed for staff of libraries in Washington, this free web presentation lets attendees share their skills and successes, while learning about new topics.  Join Legacy Washington and the Washington State Archives as they educate us about our history, and how to locate and access the historical resources available through these two sources.

Do You Have What it Takes to be a 'Scribe?'
  The Historical Records Project recruits volunteers to transcribe and index records, making them searchable on the Digital Archives.  Volunteers work from home.  Get involved today, and be a part of preserving Washington State History!
Check Us Out on the Web!
Come see what's new!

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Steve Excell, State Archivist, Washington State Archives

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