Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Spotlight on EWGS member Carol Anderson.


EWGS would be in big trouble without all the energy, help and involvement of Carol Anderson. She helps with the Program Committee, the Outreach Committee and seems to be everywhere, knowing everything and helping everybody. 

Carol and hubby Dennis live in a darling little bungalow on the Spokane South Hill where she has hosted many committee meetings. Her Lemon Scones are to die for. 

Carol was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Her parents, Dorman Westcott hailed from Norfolk, VA, and her mum, Nancy Best, from Newark, NJ. One thing you may not know about her is that she is a Spokane Master Gardner! 

Her maternal lines extend from New Jersey and Pennsylvania back to Poland. Her father's lines from Virginia and New York to England. She says she's been very lucky to have visited Virginia, England and Poland and "I'm planning to do more!" (I know she and Dennis are planning a trip to Iceland; do you have Icelandic ancestors, Carol?)

Ancestry is her most-used genealogy website; her favorite color is purple and favorite dessert? Ice cream! In her words: "I am a nut for DNA research! I am learning how to "paint" my DNA and finding so many cousins!" 

Carol says that the words that best describe her are family-centered. Love it!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Blackboards, anyone?

I had scheduled a promo post for tomorrow's Spring Seminar. I did delete that post because the Seminar has been rescheduled; stay tuned to the EWGSI.org website.  Here's a goodie for you:



Tuesday, March 31, 2020

YouTube: A Resource You Should Use



"YouTube is a free video sharing website on the internet. The website lets people upload, view, and share videos. ... Videos can be rated with likes or dislikes, and viewers can subscribe to channels they like. Videos can be commented on if viewers log into their own accounts."

This is the posted official definition of what YouTube is, but what might it mean to YOU?


To me, YouTube means that FamilySearch offers me 298 videos to watch on my laptop or iPad or phone from the comfort of my chair. YouTube means I'm offered 298 learning opportunities from FamilySearch on YouTube. 

Ancestry offers me 1108 videos!  MyHeritage offers 383 videos. 

These little videos rang from minutes to just over an hour. At Walmart I bought a pair of $12 earphones which I plug into my iPad to hear better what I'm watching. 

And if I get brain-dead from too much genealogy learning I can always see what Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund is up to, or learn that chopped up banana peels soaked in water make a very good fertilizer water for houseplants. :-)

Try it out for yourself. I think you'll enjoy what you find and see. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

EWGS Facebook Group: Did you know?


I'm delighted to help spread the word that EWGS now has an Interactive Facebook Group page.  The moderators (EWGS members) have the say in who joins because we want this to be an EWGS group. Here you can post questions and ask questions.... of a genealogical nature, that is. So click to Facebook, look for the Eastern Washington Facebook GROUP (not just "page") and ask to join. It's fun, it's free and it's easy to do. Come join us.



Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Interment.net...... What Do You Know About This Resource?



Many EWGS members remember (the late) Maggie Rail and her "energizer-bunny" dedication to photographing tombstones all over the area and uploading them to this website: www.interment.net.

I mistakenly thought this was Maggie's personal project but clearly it is not when it contains "25+million" records! 

As of a blurb posted on 1 Feb 2020, Interment.net has published 176,172 cemetery records covering 41 cemeteries across 12 states, 1 province and 2 countries and these are not available for free viewing to the general public by visiting www.interment.net/new.htm

Those of you who have been in my classes might remember my advice: If it's free, take two. So go take two looks for your ancestors place of rest at Interment.net.




Friday, March 20, 2020

Pompeii: Did You Have An Ancestor There?



Well, whether or not you did have ancestors living in Pompeii, you'll want to see the exhibit on this Italian city destroyed by ash from Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Somebody's ancestors perished in that horrific event as evidenced by the body casts left behind. 

This exhibit will only be at the MAC through May 3rd, so better get to going.  Click to www.northwestmuseum.org for all you need to know to plan your visit. 

P.S. If any of you have visited the actual site of Pompeii, I'd love to hear from you and share your reminiscences with others. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

"Is it possible for an adult with naturally blonde hair to have brown eyes?"

This was a question answered in the Ask Marilyn column in Sunday's Parade magazine last December 2019. Her answer?

"Inheritance of eye color is more complicated than we had once thought. So the answer is yes, but the combination is extremely rare."

Humm.   So is our actress above a natural blonde????

Friday, March 13, 2020

What Is the Difference Between Billiongraves and Find-A-Grave?


BillionGraves and Find-A-Grave are two very wonderful, and very useful, websites for finding the final resting place of an ancestor. There are many similarities between the two but BillionGraves does one thing differently that really sets them apart. They feature attaching GPS coordinates. 

Rather than scribe here 1000 words, I encourage you to click to https://blog.billiongraves.com for Parts 1 and 2 of their blog post explaining the differences. 

Another chapter in your Genealogical Learning Book, eh?

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Did You Know?

NARA to lose Seattle facility and send Northwest's records to CA and MO
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) facility in Seattle has been approved for eventual closure and sale.

The facility was recommended for sale by the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB) and approved for sale by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). As of now, a date has not been set for the closure, and the physical holdings — all of which reflect Pacific Northwest history — are tentatively planned to be shipped to Riverside, CA and Kansas City, MO.

The holdings of the State Archives will not be affected, however, we have always worked very closely with the National Archives as they are critical to historical research in the Northwest.

Friday, March 6, 2020

What Are Those EWGS Special Interest Groups?

If you missed the meeting on March 7th, were EWGS members explained our Special Interest Groups and on-going projects, here's a recap for you:

** The Valley Clan Diggers:  "The purpose and goals for the group are sharing current projects, helping each other and carpooling to meetings." Contact Alice Hostetter for info:  509-928-4198.

** RootsMagic Group:  "We study how we can best preserve and organize our genealogy data with the RootsMagic software in a way each of us finds useful."  Contact John Wilson for info: wilsonjb@gmail.com

** Ancestry Users Group;  "TAG members participate in learning how to better utilize Ancestry.com...."  Contact Marge Mero for info:  margemero@yahoo.com

** Genealogy Re-Focus Group:  "GRF members revisit their genealogy files, learn latest technologies and share ideas on Internet tools..."  Contact Lynda Keenan for info: llkeenan62@gmail.com

** Find-A-Grave:  Annually, Patricia Flint coordinates a trip to a local cemetery to fill photo requests for burials in our cemeteries from folks living elsewhere. This is upcoming on June 15th. Contact Patricia at 509-991-7079.

** Obituary Committee:  "Our goal is to create an online inclusive database of obituaries published in local newspapers of the past 100 years..."  Contact Donna Potter Phillips for info:  Donna243@gmail.com

** Facebook:  This is not really a group but EWGS does have an interactive group on Facebook where you can ask and answer genealogy questions of others. Contact Charles Hansen to become a member:  charles_hansen@prodigy.net

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

EWGS Meeting Upcoming: Don't Miss It!



The upcoming EWGS meeting on Saturday, March 7th offers you not just one pineapple but a whole basket of fruit! Are you intrigued?

Not just a 1-topic meeting, the March 7th meeting will offer explanations and invitations to you from all of our EWGS Special Interest groups and projects. 

As with a delightful, delicious basket of fruit, EWGS offers something for everybody to dig right in. Please do come and help yourself.


P.S. I'm grabbing the kiwis. :-) 

Friday, February 28, 2020

EWGS Offers Scholarships: Did you know?

Did you realize that EWGS has a scholarship fund to assist members with the registration cost to attend our workshops and seminars? And the Spring Seminar is coming right up on April 4th and I understand the price has been set at $40. If this is a stretch for you, apply for help from EWGS!

Write a letter to EWGS President, Dolly Webb, explaining why you wish to attend our EWGS Spring Seminar, and send it to her at dol872@comcast.net.  Must be received by March 15th, please. She will contact you. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Spotlight on EWGS Member: Sharlee Mikelson


EWGS is "blessed" to have Sharlee Ann Wilson/Mikelson as our Hospitality Chair. She is a "force of nature" as she and her committee keep our meetings happy with coffee and cookies.

Sharlee explained the origin of her name:  "When I was born here in Spokane at Sacred Heart Hospital, Grandfather Charles D. Wilson wanted me to be named after his favorite aunt whose name was Elenore Anastasia Gilbert/Wilson. My mom thought that was a big name to live up to and so did I as a child. Now it would have been nice because of my interest in genealogy. Elenore served during WWII where she was part of the Signal Corp and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. My mom got creative and named me Sharlee after four generations of Charles and my middle name after my grandmother Anna Wilson.

Her main ancestral lines extend into England and then to the Northwest by way of Australia! "The Gilberts, who changed their name to Wilson, were from England and went to Australia and then my great-great grandfather came to the Northwest." Sharlee says her most interesting find has been "learning more about my mom's biological parents; it's been fun for both of us."

Sharlee uses Ancestry the most, she explains. Her hobbies, when not doing genealogy, are going camping with our family and best friends of 48 years.Her favorite color is Navy blue; her favorite dessert is Pumpkin Pie. The one word she chose to describe herself: blessed.

EWGS is so lucky to have such a wonderful and dedicated member as Sharlee Ann Wilson Mikelson.


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Graves moved due to Grand Coulee Dam flooding..... was your ancestor moved?

From the Spokane Daily Chronicle, 25 March 1939:

"Undertakers of the state will vie with one another this spring for the biggest mass burial contract in the history of the west.

"Bids will be called soon for the removal of a thousand graves of Indians and whites within the area to be flooded by Columbia River backwater above Grand Coulee Dam, F.A. Banks, Bureau of Reclamation construction engineer at the dam, said today.

"The plan calls for giving the contract to a licensed undertaker. He and a crew of men (preference is to be given to Indian workmen) will dig up the remains along the river shore. Most of the Indian remains will be taken to main Indian cemeteries at Keller and Inchelium.

"Heirs of all white people buried within the reservoir limits have been notified of the removal plans. The bureau will re-bury their relatives in graves near by, or if it is desired to move the remains to burial grounds far away, will deliver the caskets to relatives. 

"The bureau last year employed Cull White, early settler and friend of the Indians, to help locate the graves. Some were found in plowed fields. Beause Indians had a habit of camping near the water's edge and burying their relatives nearby, many grave were found in the area which will soon be a lake bottom."

Friday, February 14, 2020

WSU was a Land Grant College..... did you know?


WSU came into being as a result of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts of 1862 and 1890. This legislation allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges in the U.S. using the proceeds of federal land sales. 

A need was recognized in the 1830s for the creation of "agricultural colleges." The first known such college was in Michigan, established in 1855.

Washington State College was established as a public research university on 28 Mar 1890, barely five months after Washington statehood. By law, the mandate of such institutions was "to teach practical disciplines related to agriculture and the mechanic arts for the nation's industrial and working classes." 

(Did you notice I used the correct color for this post? :-)  


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Equalized Compensation? Ever heard of it?


After World War I, and by an Act of Congress passed on 19 May 1924, monetary benefits were granted to veterans of American military service in that "war to end all wars."

Not everybody was in favor of this legislation. President Warren Harding (1921-1923) was not. He vetoed the bill granting bonuses to veterans of WWI saying that "patriotism...bought and paid for it not patriotism." But Congress overrode his veto a few days later. 

The collection of these digital records for Washington, spanning years 1921-1925,  are to be found at www.FamilySearch.org. These records can contain soldier's name and rank, length of service, place/date of induction, his company, his discharge date, his date/place of birth, his present occupation, name/address of nearest relative, name/address of parents at time of enlistment. What a goldmine!

If your ancestor was a WWI veteran, living in Washington state, during that time period, he might have applied. Check it out. 


Friday, February 7, 2020

Ellis Island photos of your ancestor? Maybe.


We might not ever be lucky enough to travel to New York City to do research in the New York Public Library, but we can still access a good many wonderful things digitally.
If you click to catalog.nypl.org and then select prints & photos and then type in "Ellis Island" you'll be rewarded with 264 photos of that famous immigration station!

Will your ancestor be in one of those photos? Maybe or maybe not. But you will get a better feel for their experience.

And it's FREE!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

February Goals? Right for YOU??


Forget January's goals. Let's have some February Genealogy Goals!


  • Choose a family to really focus on.
  • Put that tree as a working family tree on a genealogy website.
  • Carefully review the record hints for each member of that nuclear family.
  • Go to each member's profile and search for new records.
  • Look for errors and fix loose ends.
  • Identify new sources.
Thanks to FamilyTree Magazine's FREE "2020 Goals At A Glance" for this bit. 

If this motivated you to act, please let me know the results. Maybe you will inspire others!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Potpourri Day!


Today, loosely defining the word potpourri as a mixture of things, I share some interesting (hopefully) bits and pieces.

EWGS lost another long-time member. Mary Jean Freese was 87 when she passed away recently. Many remember working on various committees with this dedicated member.

For "only" $199 you can get a DNA kit for your dog which will "help you find his long lost relatives" (?????) but help identify breed-related diseases. I think for $199, Tika and I will take our chances.

Here is a puzzle from Ask Marilyn in the Sunday Parade magazine: what do this words have in common, other than having six letters:  abhors,  adopt,  almost,  begins, bijoux, biopsy,  chimps, chinos, chintz?

Got a question? Google has the answer! The above made me wonder if our ancestors enjoyed puzzles:  The first known published crossword puzzle was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. December 21, 1913 was the date and it appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World. 

Now we know. Here's the answer:  the letters in each word appear alphabetically. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

New meeting place for February!


Don't forget to park your car at our new meeting place on February 1st, our next EWGS meeting. Due to the library's closing, we'll be meeting at 153 S. Jefferson for the next couple of years. 
It's easy to find...see the railroad overpass? And there is a 20-car lot plus lots of metered street parking (bring quarters!). 
Melode Hall (whose family owned a dairy once upon a time) will be our presenter. Her topic is Identifying Ancestors in Old Photos. 

Time is 12:30; hope to see you all there!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Differences: Ancestor travels yesterday vs. Our travels today.


In days of  yore, and roughly prior to the Civil War, our ancestors came to America aboard sailing ships......... which voyage could easily take over two long MONTHS.
Today, we can travel from America to most any part of the world in HOURS. Isn't that miraculous?

BUT.  Here in Washington, come 1 Oct 2020, if your drivers license does not have the ENHANCED endorsement, you likely may not be allowed to board your domestic flight. Note, you'll still need a passport for international flights and they can be used for domestic flights too.

BUT. If you don't want to carry a passport just to fly within the U.S., come October 2020 you better have an ENHANCED DRIVERS LICENSE. Word to the wise. 

(This was a blurb in the AAA Magazine.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A clue why your ancestor changed the spelling of his name?


Working on extracting obituaries from 22 drawers of biographies housed in the Ferris Library at the MAC, Jeanne Coe and I have come upon some interesting stuff. Case in point:

"Eugene S. Eugene, 85, longtime Spokane florist, died yesterday... born in Poland, he'd lived in Spokane for 61 years... his son was also Eugene S. Eugene and "the double name of both the father and son was legally assumed in 1917 when Eugene, Sr., opened his store here. Since his Polish surname was difficult to pronounce, many of his customers called him 'Mr. Eugene.' "
Maybe this scenario does not apply to your family but it surely is food for thought. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Genealogy Refocus Group: Good meeting was had!


The January 2020 meeting of GRF (Genealogy Refocus Group) met at our new location, the Spokane Public Library out on north Indian Trails Road. Lynda Keenan, as group honcho, did a great job with a large group of attendees. The program was a review of three popular genealogy programs...... ones for YOU to keep on YOUR computer:

Kathy Warren explained about Family Tree Maker;  Sonji Rutan touted Legacy;  John Wilson did a show-and-tell for RootsMagic (he is the local leader of that special interest group).

I gleaned two great quotes from this meeting:  From Lynda Keenan:  "If you can research yourself, you can research anybody."  And from Jamie Shanahan: "Be a researcher not a searcher."

Next meeting is Wednesday, February 19, 1:00, Indian Trail Library. All are welcome.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

"He swallowed a snake...." WWHHAAATTT?


Dan Earl hails from Michigan and has been a speaker at the Northwest Regional Genealogy Conference in Arlington, WA, the last three years because YES, he's that good. I understand that he'll be there again this year too.


Dan was one of our professional helpers at the recent Salt Lake Christmas Tour and he showed/told this almost unbelievable story which was published in the newspaper.

Can you imagine? Swallowing a snake? I'd guess he was in "great agonies."  Since no name was given, and it was in Pennsylvania, might it have been an ancestor of yours?


Friday, January 10, 2020

Networking Does Work!


Can you define networking? That's the word used to describe "it's not what you know but who you know." I can testify and verify to you that that is so true!


My granddaughter in law' surname is ABAD which originates in Mexico. When I was last in Salt Lake at the Family History Library, I searched the catalog for books on that surname. There was one listing and when I tried to chase down that book, I learned that it is "currently unavailable" whatever that means.

So here is this 97-page book on the Abad Family, written (of course) in Spanish out there somewhere and how am I gonna get a look at it?  Going back to the Library catalog, and scrolling down, it showed in WorldCat other places that might have that book. One place was the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. 

That's when I had my ahah moment!  I remembered a friend I'd met in Salt Lake years ago who lived in Albuquerque and who was of Spanish ancestry. VIOLA!  I contacted her and of course she is happy to go to that library and check out that book for me. 

Aren't I right? It's not always what you know but who you know? 


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Breaking Brick Walls



Hope you didn't miss our January 4th, 2020, EWGS meeting and luncheon. Our webinar/speaker was Lindsay Fulton from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Her topic was "Do You Have Brick Walls?"

Whether or not you were able to attend, I'll just bet you have brick walls to break down in your genealogy. Lindsay's tips were super but when I asked Google for genealogy breaking down brick walls I got 2,700,000 results! 

Point here is that you don't have to throw up your hands just because you currently have a brick walls. Take the time to educate your self from over TWO MILLION tutorials and see if that helps. Will give you all sorts of new ideas, that's for sure.

Unless your ancestor beamed down from the planet Klingon, there is hope. 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Library Card Collage


Do you have a current Spokane Public Library library card? If so, great! If not, why not? For we genealogists, libraries are still places where miracles happen. Even when the building is remodeled beyond belief. Think of your grandchildren. Take them to get their very own library card and you'll be doing them a humungous push towards their education.


I found it interesting that most all library cards here in Washington are green or brown. Why would you guess that is so???

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Tips from the New York Public Library



EWGS member, Jamie Shanahan, shared this link and bit of news with me about a month ago. Sorry, Jamie, for taking so long! But to you all: It's worth the wait. Click and check it out.

Jamie Shanahan

AttachmentsDec 13, 2019, 8:29 PM
to me
If you wish to share this on the blog until the day we have a FB page that I can post to.  If not, it’s cool.

https://www.nypl.org/blog/2019/06/22/genealogy-tips-research-ancestors-home?fbclid=IwAR16l3QgqtXKW5LGgah71cFYnWqNa2s_h-Dnxp2N9u46pB3UV9ihfno3Qwg


Jamie, with my second, is thinking to hatch a new and hopefully helpful project for EWGS: an interactive Facebook page. This would be a forum/place where each of us in the group (closed group to EWGS members and friends) could post timely tidbits and ask questions. Think you'd be interested???  Please comment yes or no.