Monday, June 30, 2014

Societies: Honor Your Volunteers??

Roxanne Lowe, the chair of the WSGS committee to coordinate the awards given at the annual state conference, has asked that this notice be posted...... the conference is only six weeks away!

Societies that have nominated members or teams for a 2014 Outstanding Volunteer Award need to submit their write-ups and digital photographs to Roxanne Lowe, Recognition Committee chair, by Tuesday, July 1. If youve got questions or concerns, email Roxanne at

I added in this pix of Dottie Braithwaite because it was the one taken for her WSGS award some years back. Dottie, who has been a member of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society forever, is the designer of the EWGS logo. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Washington Pioneer and First Citizens Certificates

The Washington Pioneer and First Citizens Certificates

    The Pioneer Certificate project was begun to celebrate the centennial of Washington statehood in 1989. The initial certificates were issued to applicants who could prove their ancestors were in Washington Territory prior to its admission to the Union. These descendants' names, are printed in a three volume set of books entitled Washington Pioneers. Since the last book was printed more people have applied and so a CD was made with all the people that applied. Also the index of all the names is on the WSGS website.
    Pioneer Certificates are still being issued to descendants that can prove that their ancestor was in Washington by November 11, 1889. First Citizens certificates are available to descendants of those that arrived before December 31, 1900.
    To  obtain Either of these certificates, an applicant must prove that their ancestor was within the borders of present-day Washington State before the specified date. Some suggestions for how you can proceed follow.
Proving Your Ancestor in Washington
    After you have searched home sources for deeds, bibles, marriage certificates, letters, etc. that will show your ancestor's presence and your own line of descent, you can begin to look at other resources in county records or in libraries.
    A good place to begin is the website maintained by the Washington State Genealogical Society.
( ) Click on Pioneer Certificates for the application for the certificates. Another project is the Washington State Genealogical Resource Guide. Click on Washington Research and then Resource Guides. The Resource Guides provide a brief background on each county along with listing of sources for each county. Also listed on this website are local genealogical societies throughout the state. Many societies have their own websites with more resources (such as cemetery, marriage, and census records) for that county. Click on Washington Research for a list of libraries, societies, etc. where you can find info. Most of these are linked to the named source.
    A particularly useful site is the Washington State Digital Archives ( ) , a project by the Secretary of State. Here you can search the digital archives by name or county. Included in this collection are over 35 million records: census (territorial census are especially useful to prove residence prior to statehood), land, and other early records such as the Election Returns from Washington Territory's First Election in 1854 and Frontier Justice. They also have marriage records and early city directories. They are adding new materials all the time so be sure to check back often, and check the Secretary of State website for other and new projects.
    Early local newspapers are a place to look when your ancestors do not show up in county records. The Washington State Library has the most complete collection of state newspapers but each local library will probably have the ones for their area. The Territorial Newspaper Index is available on microfilm in many libraries and archives branches. The State Digital Archives also has a complete collection of territorial censuses online as well as many early city directories, and other sources. Here is a website for Online Historic Newspapers and Directories:
    Universities have specialized resources in their archives and libraries that may contain information not found in any other location. So do the federal (Seattle NARA branch) and state archives branches have unique items.
    Most public libraries and historical societies maintain pamphlet files and other materials on people and events from their own local area. These may even be original Records such as diaries and journals that are not indexed or listed anywhere. If you cannot travel to the area, check with the local genealogical society or library to see if someone in the area will do your research for a nominal fee or even free. These institutions also may have an index to the local newspaper or histories. Often there are free or inexpensive workshops on how to find material in the local area sponsored by genealogical societies, libraries, museums or historical groups.
     Do not let the fact that you do not have a computer or are inexperienced at using the online resources. Libraries everywhere have internet access and may even subscribe to specialized databases such as and Heritage Quest online. Many have staff that are very knowledgeable and can provide you with expert guidance. Your local Family Search Center also subscribes to all the popular paid databases.
    Joining a local genealogical or historical society in the area where you live or one where  your ancestor resided may lead you to other resources and paths for locating information. You may discover a wealth of material that will make your ancestor “come alive” or even develop an interest in the history of the region where your ancestor lived or in genealogy. This could lead to a hobby that you enjoy or a volunteer activity to preserve and share materials.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Olympia Gen Soc Marks Their 40th Anniversary

The Olympia Genealogical Society marked and celebrated their 40th anniversary a couple of weeks ago. Here is Alma Greenwood recounting the history of OGS and (bottom pix) Alma, Bill Greenwood and Don White, all Founding Members, receiving their 40-year pins. Absent was Ann Olsen.

WSGS and all genealogists in the area join our hands together to clap "congratulations!" to OGS and wish them many more productive years.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Whitman Co Gen Soc Presents Its Library Holdings List

This was shared with me by Monica Peters of WCGS: 

The Whitman County Genealogical Society has completed an inventory list for their library holdings!.  We are indebted to our WCGS librarian, Janet Damm, for her tireless efforts and many hours of work to complete this project.  Others have helped over the years to complete this project, but we wish to give a special thank you to longtime member, Elizabeth Graves Gabe, for her time, energy and financial support of this project.  We hope you enjoy seeing what is available at our library and that you will be able to come and visit us some Wednesday morning, 9 AM - 12 Noon.  We share these holdings with you as part of the celebration of our 30th year as a society!  Enjoy!

The Whitman Co Gen Soc keeps their library in a downstairs room in the Gladdish Community Center in Pullman, Washington. This is a short 90 minute drive south from Spokane. If you find "your book" listed in the WCGS Holdings Book, it might be worth your time to drive down for the day. (Get yourself some Cougar Gold cheese while you're there.)  Below are pages 1 and 2 of that list........ click to their website for the complete list. 


 Whitman County  Genealogical Society ,  Box 393,  Pullman, WA 99163-0393 

Library located in Gladish Community & Cultural Center,  Rm. 103A, 115 NW State St.  Pullman, WA 

Use of the library is free, and it is open to the general public on Wednesday mornings  (except holidays) from 9:00am-Noon. Staffed by knowledgeable volunteers ready to  help you. Visit our website: 

Completed in 2013 by Janet Margolis Damm in time for our 30th Anniversary. Thank you to many other members through the years who have contributed to this project. 

974.7 10,000 Vital Records of Eastern NY Bowman, Fred Q.
979.739 ne 100 Years of Colton Washington Nelson, Lorrie B.
977.8 1300 Missing MO Marr. Rec. from Newspapers 1812-53 Wilson, Wilson, & Stanley
974.7 1850 Fed. Census Index: NY, Westchester Co. Kent, David L. and others
979.7 st 1870 Fed. Census, WA Terr. Stillaguamish Valley Gen. Soc.
979.739 co 1876 to 1976 On the Corner of Mill & Canyon Colfax United Methodist
979.739 tr 1880 Census of Whitman Co. WA Terr., Index to Tri-City Genealogical Society
979.739 co 1880 Census WA Terr. & Prod. of Agriculture Cochran, Donn & Robert King
974.1 1881 British Census LDS
979.739 1883 Whitman Co. Terr. Census
979.7 wa 1883-1910 School Census for Walla Walla County Walla Walla Gen. Soc. Members
979.739 1885 Whitman Co. Terr. Census
979.739 tw 1887 Military Census, Whitman Co WA Terr. Twin Rivers Genealogy Soc.
979.739 tw 1887 Whitman Co. Military Census Twin Rivers Gen. Soc.
979.739 1887 Whitman Co. Terr. Census
979.739 1890 Civil War Vets & Widows
979.739 ca 1895 Whitman Co WA Plat Map Book Index Cammack, Rai
979.739 ro 1895 Whitman Co Washington Plat Map Book Roberts & Fuller
929 na 1900 Federal Population Census: A Catalog of Microfilm National Archives Trust Fund
979.7 ca 1906-07 School Census for Walla Walla Co. Cady, Barbara Sawey
929 na 1910 Federal Population Census (The) National Archives Trust Fund Board
979.739 1910 Whitman Co. Census
979.739 wh 1910 Whitman Co. WA Plat Map & Index WCGS
929 na 1920 Federal Population Census: Catalog of Microfilm National Archives Trust Fund
929 ki ABC's of Amer. Gen. (The) Kirkham, E. Kay
929.2 ad Adams Family (The) Adams, James Truslow
977.2 sp Adm. Rec.: Indianapolis Asylum for Friendless Colored Spears, Jean E. & Dorothy Paul
929 be Advanced Genealogical Research Bennett, Archibald F.
973 an AIS Census Index: Pre-1790 Ancestry
976.1 Alabama Vital Records: Marriages 1808-1920 Ancestry
975.601 Alamance County, North Carolina Euliss, Elinor Samons
979.8 Alaska the Big Land Adams, Ben
979.739 ha Albion School Days Harrison, Dee
929.2 co Ambrose N. Cox, Sr., Desc. 1772-1972 Cox, Elza B.
929.2 cl Amer. Anc. of Clark-Morton & Tayman-Millar-Adams Fam Spoden, Muriel Millar Clark
929.11 do Amer. Vital Rec. from Gentleman's Magazine Dobson, David
16.929 American and British Genealogy & Heraldry Filby, P. William
NW Fiction American Diaries Duey, Kathleen
979.739 bi American Heritage & Rural Community (The) Bishop, Donald H.
periodical American Historical Society of Germans from Russia AHSGR
970.1 American Indians: A Select Catalog National Archives & Records Administration
973 wh American Vignettes White, John I.
periodical An Index To The Work Papers AHSGR
947 sp An Intro. to Russian Hist. & Culture Spector, Ivar
929.2 gu Anc. & Relatives of F. Gumm & F. Smith Gumm, Elisabeth
979.7 ta Ancestor Exchange 1981-84 Tacoma-Pierce Co. Gen. Soc.
979.7 ea Ancestor Records Eastern WA Gen. Soc.
929 wi Ancestors Willard, Jim & Terry
929.2 ha Ancestors of Hall & Gallaher & Desc. Hall, George Ernest
929.2 wo Ancestry of John L. Woods Woods, John Lucius
929.2 an Anderson Kindred & Related Families, My Skidmore, Lois Anderson
929.2 ho Anna Jane Holden her Ancestors & Desc. Newcomb, Viettia Alberta
975.255 Anne Arundel Gentry Newman, Harry Wright
979.7 st Archeology in Washington Stallard, Bruce
929.2 kr Arms of Krupp (The) Manchester, William

929.2 ar Armstrong Ancestry: A Genealogy of Descendants (An) Armstrong, John Edward

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Vests........ WSGS & Other Society Vests

Thought you all might like to see a photo of "Gramma Deanie" (Deanie Franz) who runs the little shop up in Colville, Washington, where she does our wonderful society vests. She's done the dark green WSGS vests and the dark purple EWGS vests and would be happy to do vests for your society. It's a great coming-together thing! The good folks of the Northeast Washington Genealogical Society started this ball rolling.

Here's what you do: poll your members, see if they are interested. I can tell you they cost right at $30.00 each with postage.  EWGS decided that we wanted our members to have them so we subsidized them; members paid $15. They come in S-M-L-XL-XXL-XXXL. They are of study poplin with a pocket on each side of the front. You pay a one-time fee of $40 for her to set up your image (which you send to her digitally) and whether you have one or two colors in the printing affects the cost (NeWGS had two colors). The vest itself comes in many colors. You get an order ready, send the money and the list to Deanie and darn soon all your members will be wearing a society vest!

Contact "Gramma Deanie," or Deanie Franz, at 251 N. Main St, Colville, WA  99114,
509-684-3604, or  

We think the vests are great and I think it's great that we're supporting a local Washington business.

Donna, WSGS Blogger

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Whitman County Genealogical Society Marks 30 Years

A 30th anniversary celebration was held by Whitman County Genealogical Society in Pullman, WA on Sun., June 8, 2014.  Approximately 50 people attended to feast on gourmet desserts, including a cake inscribed with the WCGS logo.  The logo was designed by Randall Johnson, a Whitman County native, who also designed the WSC/WSU logo.  Special recognition was given to Cornerstone members who made extra contributions when WCGS began.  Their names were read and are inscribed on a plaque which hangs in the WCGS library.  Former and present WCGS board members were introduced.

Board members from early days of WCGS:  Front Row (L to R)  Linda Scott Lilles (1st WCGS President and co-founder of the group); Sheli Stoner Carroll; Kaye Straight (co-founder of the group); Kirsten Johnson Straight (co-founder of the group).  Back Row (L to R):  Celesta Bennett Dailey, Monica Bartlett Peters, Janet Margolis Damm, Judy Standar McMurray.  Jean Innerarity (co-founder of the group) could not attend.  Linda, Kaye, Kirsten, Monica and Judy are also Cornerstone members of the group.  Monica is the only continuous board member since the group's inception in Oct. 1984.

Current WCGS Board members:  L. to R.:  Marge Muir, Judy McMurray, Janet Damm, Cindy Rice, Sue Kreikemeier (President), Monica Peters, and Mary Simonsen.


The program featured Russ Wheelhouse, owner of Antiques by Russ in Moscow, Idaho, who did a mini-Antiques Roadshow.  People brought items for Russ to appraise, figure out what they were, and/or where they could sell them. 
Some of the accomplishments of WCGS throughout these years:  Continual research to help people find their Whitman County roots; publication in 2014 of a library holdings book; maintaining a library in Pullman in the Gladish Community Center which is shared with Whitman County Historical Society and working in partnership with them; establishing an endowment fund through Inland Northwest Community Foundation in honor of former WCGS member and researcher Dorothy Sevier Matson (1920-2002), who made a substantial financial gift to the society; presenting a scholarship each spring to a Pullman High School senior with the funds earned from the Matson endowment, and engraving a plaque which hangs in our library with the recipient's name; publication of many books of Whitman County records throughout the years; publication of a WCGS newsletter 6 times per year.

Big handclaps, kudos and congratulations, WCGS! Your 30 years of service to the genealogy community in your area is a wonderful accomplishment. May you have 30 more years!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Washington State Library Service Changes

Our very big wish with this WSGS blog is to keep all genealogists in our area informed about important changes that affect us all. To that end, Bonnie Jean McDonald shares this bit......... it is from Kathryn Devine, Public Services, Washington State Library. 

Please, Region Reps, send this out to your contacts in each society. 


I am sending this notice to let you all know about the unfortunate reductions in services and public hours at the Washington State Library (see below). I know the library has been a great resource for area genealogists in the past.

I would appreciate if you could pass this information on to your members by email, an announcement in your newsletters, or on your websites.

Due to budget and staff reductions, the Washington State Library will discontinue its obituary lookup service effective June 16.  We will also be reducing our building and phone hours from 8-5, Monday – Friday, to 12-5,Monday – Friday.  If you wish to research at the library in person, we strongly recommend that you call ahead before your visit.

Details about our budget situation and reduced service hours can be found in the attached press release and in the blog post here:

Suggestions for how to get a copy of obituary are listed on our website:  Customers are also welcome to visit us and search for obituaries themselves.

If you have any questions about these changes, please feel free to contact us.  Comments and concerns should be directed to Rand Simmons, Washington State Librarian, at or 360-570-5585.

Kathryn Devine, Public Services

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Skagit Valley Gen Soc's Summer Seminar..... Coming Up VERY Soon!

MOUNT VERNON – Genealogy for Everyone! A Summer Seminar for genealogists of all levels from beginning to advanced.  Saturday, June 14 with registration beginning at 8:am and first class beginning at 9:00 am.  Register online and find complete details on the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society .  $45 registration online or at the door. Walk-ins welcome.  Questions? Contact: Hazel, 360-630-0170 or svgsgenealogy@gmail.comSign-up today.
Recent trends note that genealogy has become the most popular hobby in the United States. The digital age of social media, combined with television programs such as, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and other trending uses of electronic technology -- think's huge database -- and Skype technology, that can connect us now with cousins in Canada, Europe and across the world . All these 21st Century influences have made it easier than ever for family historians to discover their roots across the globe. Now, a simple and affordable DNA swab can quickly reveal your ethnic makeup and help confirm your research  "across the pond." DNA really puts back the "geneĆ¢"  in genealogy. Yet, to be successful in one's research, solid practices and research methods need to be developed early-on or errors can send a learn-as-you-go researcher "up the wrong tree.

"Genealogy for Everyone
!" – A Summer Seminar by the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, will help beginners get off to a good start with their research, and provide more advanced researchers with helpful techniques to become more effective and know where to look for information.  Two special guest presenters highlight the full-day program. Dave Obee, an internationally known professional genealogist from Victoria, B.C. will present, The 7-Habits of Successful Genealogists, and Finding a Genealogical Library in the Cloud. Spokane area genealogist, nationally known speaker and author, Donna Potter-Phillips, will present, "How to Research at a Distance When You Live Here and Your Ancestors Live There" and "Answers to Your Genealogical Questions."

Several other genealogists-educators fill-out the program with two educational tracks to choose from. One set of consecutive classes for beginners and the other track offers classes for more advanced family historians. Mix and match to your level of experience and interest. Topics include:
 Getting Off to a Good Start with Your Research for Beginners, Genealogical Proof Standards, Understanding DNA for Genealogists, and several more topics to choose from.

A special invitation is extended to our Canadian genealogist friends and neighbors to the North to attend this special appearance by Dave Obee. Register today online at:  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WSGS Conference Update

Conference Update: Early Registration and Class Availability 
May 31, 2014
Early registration for the Washington State Genealogy Conference ends June 15, 2014If you’ve already registered, thank you. We’re looking forward to meeting everyone and learning together. If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time, but some of our classes are already near capacity.
Some quick registration updates:
Conference Milestone
  • On our way to 200 registrations!  With more than 180 registrations already, we are on pace to break 200 attendees in the coming days. Why do we think this is a milestone? It’s a little bit about the more the merrier, and a lot about connecting, learning and sharing. We all have different experiences, styles and most importantly — family information! You might just find your 3rd cousin twice removed who has the missing piece to your brick wall challenge!
Get Connected on our Social Media Channels
  • Like us on Facebook  – you’ll get conference updates as well as general genealogy and family history news and information around Washington State.
  • Follow us on Twitter – we follow many of our conference speakers and attendees so come join the conversation.