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!