Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Pulse of Spokane: Are Your Watching/Listening?

EWGS member, Patricia Flint, shared with me that there is a YouTube channel titled The Pulse of Spokane. In these YouTube videos ("News, Views & Conversations") items of current or historic interest pertaining to Spokane are presented. Ask Google for that title and go learn and enjoy!

Saturday, May 25, 2019


This is asparagus season here in Washington! Yummy, yum, yum. So here's a question for you: Is this the world's biggest asparagus spear? What do you think? Let me know...........

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Some problems are tougher than others.

Some genealogy problems are, indeed, tougher than others. Case in point: Cuban genealogy.

Helping a friend of a friend (wondering how I got roped into it!) living in Miami, Florida, with his Spanish-Cuban genealogy. Created a tree for him in Ancestry (always a good way to start in my opinion) and entered what he'd given me...... into four generations on his maternal side. And there are no "green leaves," NO hints. Nary a one. Nada.

The surnames are: Lujan, Lecuona, Valle, Rabitel and Muro. Anybody know anything? 

Will I give up? Heck no. Are there other records to search..... like records created by the immigrant family in Florida? Heck yes. So I am proceeding onward............

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Old Postcards: Treasures!

Not too long ago at the TAG meeting (The Ancestry Group; open to all), there was a presentation about some of the lesser-used and perhaps little-known resources available at Ancestry. Old Postcards were one biggee!

How many of you can identify this scene? It is taken from the top of the Spokesman Review building, looking north along Monroe. The building is the Spokane Club. See the old railroad bridge? 

There are thousands of old postcards available to us! Click to Ancestry, then Card Catalog, and search for Postcards. Their collection of U.S. historic postcards numbers nearly 116,000! 

Do a Google search for old postcards or historic postcards and you'll be delighted at the results. Some you can copy for free; others are for sale. But how fun it would be to have a photo of that tiny town where Grandma went to school? Or the church where they were married. Go looking!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

DNA & Military Service...... Bet You Didn't Know

In way long ago days past, men who fought and died for their country were often never identified. Then along came dog tags. Now-a-days, every man or woman who joins the military has a sample of their DNA taken. America wants no more "Unknowns."  This action came about in 1991 after the Gulf War.  So if you've been in the military, your DNA is already a drop in the vast ocean of humanity. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

DNA Class? Tweak your beak??

Wanting to really dig in and better understand DNA? Particularly YOUR DNA test results and matches? If you are willing to work, there is hope on the horizon.

EWGS member, Lynda Keenan, and soon-to-be a certified DNA instructor, is planning to offer a series of DNA classes. These classes will be taught based upon a series of books, one or all of which must be purchased for the class. The place for the classes is not finalized but Lynda plans a day/evening (repeated) session on the same day and says the class size is a firm 10 people each. 

Lynda explained to me that these classes will unfold to you what you want to know but only if you're a serious student and do the reading and do the homework. (And it stands to reason, after you've taken the DNA test.) You may come and participate only up to the level you desire. Once committed, if you miss two classes, you're out for "you will have missed too much," Lynda quipped. 

If you're interested, contact Lynda at 

I do thank Lynda for tackling this complicated subject and then offering to tutor us. Think about it and if you're serious, then give her a holler.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Yellow Sage? Spokane River Factoids

On the drive out to the Fort Spokane boat launch on the place where the Spokane River empties into the Columbia River, we passed acres of YELLOW blooming sagebrush. Yellow? I thought sage bloomed purple? Riders of the purple sage and all that?

What do you know about our beloved Spokane River?  It's 111 miles long going from Lake Coeur d'Alene to the mighty Columbia. Long considered sacred to local Native Americans, the river drains an area of 6240 acres. Four dams on the river provide local electricity. West of Spokane, the Nine Mile Falls Dam creates Long Lake where the fishing, boating, water sports and swimming abound. We are lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful river. Yes, "a river runs through it," through Spokane.

P.S. Three days later: Sharon, sweet friend in Wenatchee, said that the plant is probably Yellow Bitterbrush. Thanks!

Friday, May 10, 2019

TAG Meeting Highlights (if you missed that gathering)

The May 2019 TAG meeting (The Ancestry Group) was a winner once again under the capable leadership of Marge Mero.

Marge always reviews for us what is new with Ancestry and reminds us of other EWGS-genealogy happenings going on. She opened a group review of what the future holds for the Shadle Library and for TAG. (Good!)

EWGS member Carol Rancourt presented her French-Canadian Journey, highlighting and explaining to us the things she learned about this sort of research. She highlighted the Drouin Collection, simply put, this is a collection of parish records from the 1600s to 1900s. "But written in old French and not the easiest to read," she quipped. She also stressed that this collection is a tremendous asset for French-Canadian research. 

One website she recommended was .  This is a Quebec based research website.

The next TAG meeting is Thursday, June 13, Shadle Library, 1:00, and the topic, presented by Janice Moerschel, will be an update on what's newly available from Ancestry.

P.S. Lynda Keenan is contemplating starting a DNA class for serious DNA researchers only.  Participants will be expected to purchase the three guide books. Particulars TBD. If interested, contact Lynda at 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Fall Workshop 2019 Will Be A Dandy!

The EWGS Program Committee met yesterday and thrashed out most of the details for a Dandy Wonderful Fall Workshop coming up on Saturday, October 5th. 

Remember the long-ago movie "Around the World in 80 Days?" Well, we've borrowed that theme and our Fall Workshop will be "Around the World in 12 Classes." Think about this.... let your imagination run amok. 

More details will be forthcoming over time but for now take a red pen and put a big red balloon on that date so it stays free for a wonderful day of genealogy learning!

Monday, May 6, 2019

May meeting: the future of our libraries and our genealogy society.

So what is the future of EWGS and the various Spokane Public Libraries? At the May 4th meeting, Barbara Brazington sat on her stool and explained the results of the members' "think tanking" as to what we wanted for the future of EWGS. Jason Johnson, a SPL librarian and one who is apparently heavily involved in the myriad details of the expansion planning for the Spokane libraries, had a slide show of "what it maybe will look like."

Jason went first; his slide show of drawing showed how the Hillyard, Eastside, Shadle and Downtown libraries will be improved upon (thanks to Spokane citizens passing the library bond issue. Shadle will be expanded but kept to one story. A new facility, the Libby Center, maybe (in two years) will be a place for EWGS to have our meetings "with plenty of free parking."

The Downtown main library was the big news. It's been decided that the library will be totally closed for at least 18 months  while all the remodeling takes place. Much easier to do this with people not underfoot! This construction is scheduled to begin in April 2020 and it means that for 18 months, our EWGS meetings will be moved elsewhere. As will the library holdings too. 

Barbara began with announcing that "EWGS is ready to re-brand itself" with a new name and new logo. She announced a contest for members to submit their ideas and/or suggestions for a new name and/or logo. (Send your idea to Barb then went over the results of what we members had indicated that we wanted: more education, more social time, more real mentoring

"But what do you mean by 'mentoring,'" Barb asked? A couple dozen idea balloons went up from the group. "That must be addressed first," she stressed. "What do you want? Where will you help??" 

To my ears, retired professional librarian Barbara stressed more member involvement. "We are in this society to help each other. That is the only real and main key to our future." I concur 100%.

With her customary big smile, Barb did reassure us that "EWGS is alive and well!" That was really good news. Here's to our future!

Do you suffer from nomophobia??

Today there are many new conditions and diseases popping up. The newest one to my eyes and ears is nomophobia. And just what is this and do you have it???

Nomophobia is the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power. A phobia is by definition an irrational fear.

All I can say is "heavens to murgatroid." What next? 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Genealogical Education..... Opportunity for YOU?

Under the umbrella of EWGS, and in keeping with its mission to provide genealogical education to members and the public, monthly classes are offered at the South Hill branch of the Spokane Public Library. This photo is from yesterday's class where I presented the topic of The Family History Guide

The class is held on the first Wednesday of the month, 10:00 to 11:30 and (of course!) is free to attend. The topic for June is yet to be determined so I will ask YOU: what subject do you need to know more about to help you researching your ancestors??

Stay tuned...........