Friday, April 30, 2021

Why Join A Lineage Society?


Why would you want to join a lineage society? To have a monthly lunch date with like-minded friends? Or to honor and help perpetuate the memory of a patriotic ancestor?

Lineage societies are organizations created to honor a specific heritage or event and to document an ancestor's participation in that event. 

Those joining such societies must prove with documentation their descent from an ancestor involved or participating in historical events. That creates paperwork!! Such paperwork can be so valuable to future descendants seeking to know more about that ancestor. 

Click to for a long list of such societies. Pick one to join that appeals to you and click to their website for details on how to join. 

I chuckled as I read through the list of societies:  Bloodlines of Salem? Descendants of the Illegitimate Sons & Daughters of the Kings of Great Britain? Descendants of Whaling Masters? Military Order of the Carabao? Noble Society of Celts?  Order of the Daedalians? 

There were lineage societies for Mayflower passengers, early New England towns, ethnic heritage and most military wars. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Early English Census Occupations (Funnies!!)

 So which of these occupations, as officially listed in the British census of 1881, would you wish was the occupation of YOUR ancestor????   Fatuous pauper? Fish-Bender? or maybe Electric Bath Attendant??

Friday, April 23, 2021

Why Care About Historical Societies??


Why Care About Historical Societies?

By Donna Potter Phillips, 2021

Why keep historical materials? Why, indeed, keep all this “old stuff?”  How did this idea begin?

A Massachusetts Historical Society online presentation in January 2021, with speakers Alea Henle and Peter Drummey, answered that question.

“Historical societies preserve the cultures of the early United States,” Henle stated, “by preserving the papers and artifacts that were in their everyday use.” Where else can you go to see (and perhaps touch) kitchen tools from 1889 or 1920?

How did the idea of historical societies begin? Before 1791, when the Massachusetts Historical Society began (as The Historical Society), there was no National Archives, no Library of Congress, no big history collections. There were collections in private hands but often these were sold and scattered when the family died out. Harvard University was the first to attempt to collect the scattered materials of our country’s history which were widely scattered, some even in Europe.  The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society was formed in 1804 and the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1845. Many historical societies came from states, counties or towns wishing to mark their centennials. The Massachusetts Historical Society had as its original mission to collect materials pertaining to the whole of U.S. history but never had the money to ensure that mission’s survival. “It was only due to the dedicated officers and volunteers of these organizations that kept them alive,” said Henle.

Alea Henle showed a slide of a guest register from 1850 for the Connecticut Historical Society and remarked that in that year the Society had over 100 visitors! There were some folks who did value and seek out their history.

Today, historical societies are spread across the nation. As folks moved from east to west they took this idea with them. Initially they collected selectively and only what “they” (usually males of white European ancestry) felt was important. Native American and minority histories were not of much interest to the majority. Thankfully, that notion has long since disappeared for the most part.

Today, and I’m thinking of my own state of Washington where I have road-traveled the most, nearly every little town proudly has its historical society. And what’s in these places? Artifacts collected or donated from the people who lived there through time! If your ancestor lived in Okanogan County, surely the Okanogan Historical Society would have some item they used during their life time or something quite like it.

Historical societies are places housing the cultural history of America. The items in these places aren’t just “artifacts,” but are their things, their everyday things, the things they used.

 I must say that I have enjoyed with wide eyes and open mind each and every historical society I have visited.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Finding Catholic Records In Washington



By Jeanne Coe, March 2021

 If you are researching Roman Catholic records in eastern Washington, first contact the parish where you believe your family may have resided. The Diocese of Spokane covers approximately all of eastern Washington from Canada to Oregon, from Idaho to the Columbia River. Each parish within the diocese has their own records (marriage, baptism, confirmations, sacramental records, parishioner records, etc.) but some may have been transferred to the diocesan office.  After checking with the parish of interest (if known), check the diocesan website ( to read a brief history of the diocese and what records are in their archives department and list of parishes.  Currently Rev. Mike Savelesky is archivist and available by appointment only at (509) 358-7300 or (509) 358-7336.  The diocesan office is located at 525 East Mission Avenue in Spokane. 


The two oldest Catholic churches in the area are St. Joseph’s on West Dean Avenue and Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral on Riverside Avenue.  The Cathedral was originally also named St. Joseph’s, so for records prior to about 1919 check both for possible records.  St. Joseph’s on Dean Avenue was established about 1890 and the building now standing was constructed in 1910.


Keep in mind when researching any church records, their primary mission is religious, so be patient when requesting access.  Their office hours may be limited and the records may be offsite.  Contact by phone or email will clarify what and when records are available.  Be specific as to what records and the time period you are interested in in order to help the staff find what you want.  Also, since most parishes are run by charitable donations, consider asking about the cost of copies and the time they spent finding what you want.  You might not be able to just peruse their records so ask about their procedures for research.


In the early years when there were few priests or churches, people wanting their marriages performed by the church or their children baptized, etc., they may have gone some distance from their homes to get the church’s blessings.  For instance, I know of one couple who traveled 30 miles from their homes to another state to get their marriage solemnized in a Catholic church.  So consider that also when searching for records. 


In Washington state there is also the Yakima Catholic Diocese that covers several counties of east central Washington.  Check out their website also if you are researching in that area.  The third diocese in Washington is the Seattle Archdiocese with an informative website.  The entire state of Idaho is in one diocese; see their website for information.  In the United States, Roman Catholic dioceses vary in size and location so check the internet for the area of interest. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Irish Potatoes Or Inca Potatoes?



The potato (Solanum tuberosum) belongs to the solanaceae family of flowering plants. It originated and was first domesticated in the Andesmountains of South America.

The potato is the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat in terms of human consumption. More than a billion people worldwide eat potato, and global total crop production exceeds 300 million metric tons.

There are more than 4,000 varieties of native potatoes, mostly found in the Andes. They come in many sizes and shapes. There are also over 180 wild potato species. Though they are too bitter to eat, their important biodiversity includes natural resistances to pests, diseases, and climatic conditions.

Potato is vegetatively propagated, meaning that a new plant can be grown from a potato or piece of potato, called a “seed”. The new plant can produce 5-20 new tubers, which will be genetic clones of the mother seed plant. Potato plants also produce flowers and berries that contain 100-400 botanical seeds. These can be planted to produce new tubers, which will be genetically different from the mother plant.

Potatoes can grow from sea level up to 4,700 meters above sea level; from southern Chile to Greenland. 

One hectare of potato can yield two to four times the food quantity of grain crops. Potatoes produce more food per unit of water than any other major crop and are up to seven times more efficient in using water than cereals. They are produced in over 100 countries worldwide.

Since the early 1960s, the growth in potato production area has rapidly overtaken all other food crops in developing countries. It is a fundamental element in the food security for millions of people across South America, Africa, and Asia, including Central Asia.

Presently, more than half of global potato production now comes from developing countries.


 History of the potato

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The potato was first domesticated vegetable in the region of modern-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia[1] between 8000 and 5000 BC.[2] Cultivation of potatoes in South America may go back 10,000 years,[3] but tubers do not preserve well in the archaeological record, making identification difficult. The earliest archaeologically verified potato tuber remains have been found at the coastal site of Ancón (central Peru), dating to 2500 BC.[4] Aside from actual remains, the potato is also found in the Peruvian archaeological record as a design influence of ceramic pottery, often in the shape of vessels. The potato has since spread around the world and has become a staple crop in many countries.

It arrived in Europe sometime before the end of the 16th century by two different ports of entry: the first in Spain around 1570, and the second via the British Isles between 1588 and 1593. The first written mention of the potato is a receipt for delivery dated 28 November 1567 between Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Antwerp. In France, at the end of the 16th century, the potato had been introduced to the Franche-Comté, the Vosges of Lorraine and Alsace. By the end of the 18th century it was written in the 1785 edition of Bon Jardinier: "There is no vegetable about which so much has been written and so much enthusiasm has been shown ... The poor should be quite content with this foodstuff."[5] It had widely replaced the turnip and rutabaga by the 19th century. Throughout Europe, the most important new food in the 19th century was the potato, which had three major advantages over other foods for the consumer: its lower rate of spoilage, its bulk (which easily satisfied hunger) and its cheapness. The crop slowly spread across Europe, becoming a major staple by mid-century, especially in Ireland.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Recipes From 1831: Black Pudding Anyone?


EWGS Member Lynn Krogh shared some "delightful" recipes with me that she gleaned from a cookbook titled A Virginia Housewife, compiled in 1831. 

Black Pudding: Catch the blood as it runs from the hog, stir it continually till cold to prevent its coagulating; when cold thicken it with boiled rice or oatmeal, add leaf fat chopped small, pepper, salt, and any herbs that are liked. Fill the skins and smoke them two or three days; they must be boiled before they are hung up, and prick them with a fork to keep them from bursting.  

Maybe Yankee Cake would be more to your liking:  Dry half a pound of good brown sugar, pound it and mix it with two pounds of flour, and sift it. Add two spoonsful of yeast and as much new milk as as will make it like bread. When well risen, knead in half a pound of butter and make it in cakes the size of a half dollar and fry them a light brown in boiling lard. 

Or Broiled Eels?  "Clean the eels and cut off their heads and dry them. Rub them with the yolk of an egg strew over them bread crumbs mixed with chopped parsley, sage, pepper and salt. Baste them well with butter and set them in a dripping pan. Serve them up with parsley and butter for sauce.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Route Taken: "U.P.R.R. route by wagon"

 An 1878 application to join the Spokane Historical Society (housed in the Spokane Public Library) where Rev. Jonathan Edwards was on the Board of Trustees, was a delight to find. As was the newspaper story................

Name: A.L. Christian

Where born: Fondulac (sic) County, Wisconsin, March  30, 1852

Ancestry: Mother: French / Father: German

States settled in turn: Moved from Wisconsin to Washington

Married to: Juliaetta Gifford at Mondovi, Wisconsin on 4th day of Oct 1876

Children: 3 - Gifford A., Eva May and Mabel A.

Started to Washington: May 1st, 1878...5 months by wagon route

Where from: Mondovi, Buffalo County, Wisconsin

Route taken: U.P.R.R. route by wagon  (Union Pacific Rail Road)

Arrived at Spokane on 1st Oct 1878

First location in Spokane County was Stevens County, now Spokane

Final settlement: 40 miles south of Spokane, now Latch, was then known as Hangman Creek P.O.

Occupation: Farmer to H.D. NE 4th Sec 24 T21 R 44.

Religious preference: wife Baptist

Politics: Republican always

Present residence address: 1704 Mallon Ave, Spokane

Other wars:  Uncle John Christian was in the Civil War; also uncle Jeremiah Plennon in Civil War, both from Wisconsin

A bit in the newspaper:  3 Oct 1936, Pioneers Observe Wedding Anniversary

"M/M Henry Luppert, W 3214 Glass, Sunday honored Mrs. Eva May Luppert's parents, M/M A.L. Christman, who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. M/M Christian wee married in Mondovi, Wis, October 3, 1876 and have lived in Spokane since 1878 comping here after spending a few years in Latah. 

They came west in 1878, crossing the plains in covered wagons as members of a party of 42 people who left Mondovi May 1, 1878. Mr. Christian has in his possession a copy of a diary of the trip......Gifford Christian, now deceased, was a baby in arms when his parents started across the country. They encountered terrific rain and thunder and snow storms. Their wagons leaked and they counted 25 poles struck by lightning. Death diminished their ranks and at one time they were in the midst of a band of Indians who were on the warpath.  All reached Washington Territory safely......

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Spokane History: Websites Abound is just one website where you can find the tidbits and facts about Washington history. Another is

Other sources to learn about Washington's history include YouTube! Click to YouTube and do a search for Washington State History................ keep you entertained for hours.

Okay, maybe you don't really care about Washington State history. Your ancestry is in other states. I'd lay odds that whatever state you want to know more history about that they would have websites similar to these for Washington. Check it out?

Friday, April 2, 2021

Following Up On RootsTech Connect...... Don't Miss Out!


Did you realize that more than 1,117,000 people attended RootsTech 2021???  They were from 242 countries and territories (and there are only 192 sovereign countries in the world!!) and offered more than 1200 learning sessions????

Did you print out the 18 pages of those sessions and highlight the ones you want to watch, knowing you have a full year to do so??  (I did.) 

Will RootsTech be virtual again in 2022? I'd bet a nickel on it to be so. 

Click to RootsTech Connect to start learning now............ with 1200 sessions and only 365 days in a year, we're gonna have to watch 2 or 3 per day to get them all in!