Friday, February 26, 2021

"Stop & Think Before You Post!"


Remember how we enjoyed Dave Obee's presentation on Canadian Genealogy a year or so back? When we could have in-person workshops!

Dave writes The Back Page, a regular feature in YourGenealgoyToday magazine. In the Jan/Feb 2021 issues he really spoke my mind:

"How do I say what I want to say without sounding cranky?"

"In the past few weeks, I and several of my friends have pulled out of genealogy groups on Facebook. We have all had the same reason: There is too much bad information out there and the bad is drowning out the good."

"Here's what happens. Somebody will ask a question, hoping that someone will be able to solve a mystery. Within minutes, one or two or a dozen well-meaning souls will chime in giving answers that range from silly to ludicrous.

Dave's sweet rant continues: 

"I understand that many of us are eager about what we do and we want to share our excitement with others. I understand that no harm is intended when incorrect answers are given. But please, please, slow down and make sure the information you are giving is indeed information that the other person can use."

And how to do that, he asks? By keeping yourself informed to ensure you are giving correct answers and information or (I'm adding this) by keeping your fingers off the keyboard. 

Thanks, Dave. We needed that. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Timely Tips for Today


1. Went looking in the Family History Library Catalog (online at FamilySearch) for a 1926 book on the Sutphen Family. To my surprise, it was NOT listed. But then, following another blog-post-tip, I looked in FamilySearch Books. Viola! There is was.

2. The Cobb Salad made its debut in 1937 at the Brown Derby in Hollywood and was named after its maker, Bob Cobb.  Google will tell you that the Crab Louis Salad was invented in 1919 in San Francisco but I learned at our Davenport Hotel here in Spokane it was Louis Davenport (1858-1951) who created this salad and had fresh crab rushed daily from Seattle. 

3.  Mayonnaise was invented in 1756 by the cook of French Duke Richeleu to help him celebrate the French capture of Mahon on the Spanish Island of Minorca. Richard Hellmann brought mayonnaise to New York City.

4.  Our colonial ancestors had some of the same flowers in their gardens we do we:  Hollyhocks, foxgloves, daylillies, irises, peonies.  If you're interested in planning or planting a Colonial garden, here's a link to a guide:

Friday, February 19, 2021

Amasa Campbel & His House

Amasa B. Campbell died, finally, on February 17, 1912. I say "finally," because it was a horribly long, slow, painful death. An article in the Spokane Daily Chronicle, told the story:

"The illness which let to Mr. Campbell's death began about two years ago with a serious swelling in the throat. He went to Paris and consulted a celebrated physician, who, forseeing that Campbell's breathing might eventually be stopped, inserted a silver tube in his throat below the seat of the trouble. 

"After his return to Spokane from the European trip, Mr. Campbell became worse, and went to Rochester, Minn., to consult with the Mayo Brothers. After the usual careful diagnosis, they pronounced the growth to be a malignant cancer and refused to operate on the ground that it would merely hasten death. 

"Campbell then proceeded to New York where he was treated by a cancer specialist. The serum injections then prescribed were continued without affording obvious relief until a month before his death.

"Only the ironlike constitution and determination of Mr. Campbell kept him alive for the last two months. For days preceding death, he took only ice, being able neither to drink water nor take the weakest foods. For weeks he has been unable even to whisper." The cause of death was starvation. He died, asleep, at his home on West First Avenue. 

Born in 1845 in Salem, Ohio, Campbell came west at age 22. "The deceased was a generous supporter of local charities and a liberal contributor to all public enterprises."  He made his millions in mining. 

Grace Campbell, his widow, died on November 24, 1924, "after suffering for 14 or 15 months and he strength gradually waned until the end." 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Future of the National Archives in Seattle


How many of us have been over to use the National Archives Branch located on Sand Point Way in Seattle? (I have; that's where I learned that the Soundex for Phillips and Phillip was different!  That was using the un-indexed 1920 census. So much easier now.)

Surely you've heard that it's been proposed to sell that building (developers are chomping at the bit, of course) and re-locate all the records to Kansas City, Missouri.  

My opinion: those eager developers are pushing the government to sell under an old law aimed at unloading excess federal property. 

W-H-A-T? What is "excess" about a collection of "invaluable historical records dating to the 1840s and used all the time for research about everything from tribal history to Japanese internment during WWII and fur seal hunts on remote Alaskan islands." (So wrote Gene Johnson on 4 Jan 2021.)

"This is the DNA of our region," said the Washington Attorney General. "These documents are no digitized. Moving them 1000 miles away essentially and effectively eliminates public access to these critical documents."

So what might you and I do about this???? Find out the facts and contact our/your state legislatures to express your opinion. 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Travel Today Surely Isn't What It Used To Be


This little bit appeared in The Spokesman Review on June 9, 1937, page 6:


R.S. Cholmley from the Interior of British Columbia is making what may be a record for travel time from Spokane to England. He was called to Southampton, England, owning to a sudden death. He took a bus from the interior of British Columbia via Nelson, B.C. to Spokane, arriving here yesterday morning, making connection with United Air Lines noon plane to New York where he will arrive at 9:00 Wednesday morning.

The local United office wired its New York office to meet Mr. Cholmley on his arrival at the Newark, N.J. airport and transferred him to the Queen Mary, which is scheduled to sail at 11:00 on Wednesday. He will arrive in Southampton on Sunday, June 23, taking only six days for the entire trip." 

Just looked; today the flight time from Spokane to England is about 12 hours. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Quaker Conference Upcoming From the Rogue Valley Gen Soc of Oregon


I have some Quaker ancestors and I'll bet many of you do too. If you need to know more about the Quakers or finding records of your Quaker ancestors, here's an idea for you.

The Rogue Valley Genealogical Society (Medford, Oregon) presents Steven W. Morrison on Saturday, February 20, 2021, 10:00 to 4:00 Pacific Time with a presentation titled:  Profile of  A Quaker: Finding A Friend in Colonial America.

The four seminar sessions are:  (1) Profile of a Quaker; how to identify a Quaker ancestor;  (2) Simply Amazing - U.S. Quaker Records Online;  (3) Quaker Migrations Across Ye United States; and (4) Ye Best Books - for Quaker Research. 

Cost is $55 (for non-RVGS members) and register online at>programs & classes > seminar registration. Paid registrants will receive the ZOOM link the day before the seminar.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Revolutionary War: Strange, Amazing, and Funny Events that Happened During the War.


Just spent some delightful time with a new book by Jack Darrell Crowder (title above), published in 2019 by Clearfield Company, a division of Genealogical Publishing Company, which has been offering genealogy books for decades.

Author Crowder gives snippet-stories by chapters of time periods spanning 1765 to 1783. Each little bit has a reference, which I greatly appreciated.  Examples:

"Doctor James Thacher served for eight years in the Revolutionary War. In the diary he kept he wrote about a very lucky soldier: 'A brave soldier received a musket ball in his forehead, observing that it did not penetrate deep, it was imagined that the ball rebounded and fell out; but after several days, on examination, I detected the fall laying flat on the bone, and spread under the skin, which I removed. No one can doubt but he received his wound while facing the enemy, and it is fortunate for the brave fellow that his skull proved too thick for the ball to penetrate." 

"At the time of the Revolutionary War about 20% of the Colonial population of 22-million were black and the number of blacks that fought for the Americans was over 5,000. By 1779, some 15% of the army was black. These men served in an integrated army which would be the last one until the Korean War."

"Once the war began gold and silver coins were scarce. Each state printed its own money to pay for the way and because so much was printed and it was easy to copy, the paper money lost most of its value. When one soldier was paid $80 Continental money, the dollar was worth less than 1/4 of a penny. It was just enough money to pay for breakfast and a bit of rum. Many people called the money 'shin plasters,' because they felt that the only use it had was to bandage a sore leg."

If you'd enjoy reading the entire 145-page book for yourself, click to  Price is $30 but tell them Donna Potter Phillips sends you and ask for your discount. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

EWGS Special Interest Groups Offer Education


Like finding gold nuggets in a stream bed, it is super exciting to make a genealogy find. Do you agree?

EWGS, in addition to our monthly programs, offers several Special Interest Group meetings. Two of these are TAG and GRF.  Are YOU availing yourself of these learning opportunities?

TAG is The Ancestry Group, honcho'd by Marge Mero for years and now under the leadership of Janice Moershel.  All the details for taking advantage of this group (and all the other special interest groups) is on the webpage.

GRF is The Genealogy Refocus Group, honcho'd by Sonji Rutan for years and now under the leadership of Lynda Keenan. 

These groups offer monthly ZOOM meetings........... and if you're having trouble with ZOOM the directions are also on the EWGS webpage.

These wintery-at-home days are perfect for more genealogy education!