Monday, September 29, 2014

Query: Where Did John Peter Oswald Die?

Today we introduce a new feature to our WSGS blog.......... queries! Queries pertaining to the Pacific Northwest, please. I will launch this feature with a query of mine:

John Peter Oswald was born in 1851 in the little town of Port Washington, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin (on the western shore of Lake Michigan, north of Chicago).

He migrated to the equally little town of Lake Linden, Houghton County, Michigan (in the Upper Peninsula) with his wife Mary. By 1910 they were living in Great Falls, Montana. By 1913 they were in Spokane, Spokane County, Washington, where Mary Oswald died in 1913 and rests in Fairmount Memorial Cemetery. Then John Peter Oswald disappeared from Spokane.

My query is: What happened to John Peter Oswald? Where did he go and where did he die?

He apparently did not go live with any of his children:

Katharine, 1877-?,  who married Edward Broderson
John Peter, 1878-1946, who married Mary Ethel Leverich (our line; they lived/died in Spokane)
Anna Catharine, 1880-?, who married Clifford Woodward
Matilda Catharine, 1886-1952, who married Roscoe Mathews
Arthur Adolph, 1891-1975, who married Marie Adamson
Clarence Nichols, 1893-1983, who married Frances Underwood

If you have a Pacific Northwest related query that you would like to see posted in our WSGS blog, please submit it to me at  We'll do our best for you!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spotlight on the Whitman County Genealogical Society, Pullman, Washington

In the fall of 2014, the members of the Whitman County Genealogical Society marked their 30th anniversary with an anniversary cake and a delightful program. 

The WCGS formulated this mission statement when the group organized:  Our purpose since our founding in 1984 has been to create, stimulate and maintain interest in all matters pertaining to genealogical and historical knowledge. I don't think the group has waivered from that goal one little bit. 

The group meets in the Gladdish Community Center in Pullman, a lovely old building that used to be Gladdish School. 

In their genealogy library room (in the lower level of this building) they have the neatest thing..... a set of wooden file drawers from the courthouse where probate files used to be kept. The group shares this room with the Whitman County Historical Society..... a darn good partnership, seems to me. 

The Whitman County Genealogical Society publishes a newsletter digitally, has a nice little website ( and stands ready to help with any Whitman County genealogical or historical request that comes their way.  Monica Bartlett Peters is the current Research Chair; address your query to her. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Washington State Archives October Archives Month Activities

Washington State Archives
Archives Month Activities
October is Archives Month!
In honor of Washington's Quasquicentennial Celebration (WA 125), this year's theme is 125 Years of Making History.  Our regional branches are hard at work, promoting all things Archives, so check out what's happening at a branch near you in the coming weeks!


18th - History Day Fall Workshop for Teachers, 9:00 a.m. - Noon -- in conjunction with the WWU Libraries Heritage Resources, Center for the Pacific Northwest Studies and the Washington State Historical Society
- Archives Building Open House, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. -- in conjunction with WWU's Fall Family Open House
28th - Basics of Personal Digital Archiving Workshop, 4:00-5:00 p.m. -- in conjunction with the
*More workshops may be added as the month approaches.  Contact the Northwest Regional Archives for more information!


20th - Common Core Tools for Teachers: The History Day Connection, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Mt. Spokane High School, Meade -- in conjunction with the Washington State Historical Society - 3 Clock Hours Provided free of charge!

2nd - Information/Resource Table--Educator Night at the Museum--LeMay Auto Museum in Tacoma, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
4th - History Day Fall Teacher's Workshops, 9:00 a.m. - Noon and 1:30-4:30 p.m., University of Washington Libraries, Seattle
18th - Basics of Historic Research, 9:00 a.m - Noon,
  • The Basics of Historical Research is for teachers, students, beginning genealogists, and others interested in exploring the past.  You'll get practical advice and learn the basic steps for gathering the information you will need to investigate and interpret a historical topic for a museum exhibit, class project, community celebration, curriculum enrichment, research article, History Day, a classroom based assessment (CBA), Common Core learning standards, or personal historical interest.  This class will cover:
  • What primary sources are--and aren't
  • What historical sources are--and how to use them
  • How to use the library system
  • How to use archival collections
  • How to find and use reliable online resources
  • How to properly cite your sources
  • How to use information from different sources
25th - Common Core Tools for Teachers: The History Day Connection, 9:00 a.m. - Noon, Suquamish Museum -- In conjunction with the Washington State Historical Society - 3 Clock Hours provided free of charge 


Join us at the State Archives in Olympia to celebrate Archives Month with a series of brown bag lunch sessions on Thursdays in October!  These sessions will feature records in our collections that may help you with your genealogical or historical research.

All sessions are from 12:00-1:00 p.m. at 1129 Washington St. SE, (The Southwest Regional Branch and State Archives) in the conference room.

Contact the Southwest Regional Archives for more information.

2nd - Penitentiary Records--Learn about what types of records may be found with an inmate number from the Digital Archives
9th - Brick Wall Session with the State Archivist--are you working on a genealogy project and have hit a brick wall?  Come in and talk to Steve Excell, our State Archivist, to get some hints and tips!
16th - Vital Records--Learn about what vital records are available at the State Archives and how to use them to find additional records.
23rd - Land and Property Research--Learn about how to research a property's history with records from the Archives.
30th - Linda Hazzard--Come and learn about this self-proclaimed holistic healer and her subsequent murder charge from the turn of the century.  Just in time for Halloween!

Feel free to bring a lunch...and your questions!


11th (Tentative) - The Eastern Regional Branch and Digital Archives are planning a Saturday Open House Event, with tours and presentations on how to use the Digital Archives, what's new on the DA, and how to access the Eastern Regional Archives records.  Details to follow, but it will likely be held from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.

The focus will be on the Expo '74 slides and records in the collection, as it has been 40 years since that landscape-changing event took place in Spokane!

For more information as the date approaches, contact the Eastern Regional Branch.

Central Regional Branch to host Volunteer Recognition Event!
Each year, the Office of the Secretary of State hosts a recognition event to thank volunteers. This year, on October 7, we'll be in Ellensburg at the Western V.I.P. Room at the Kittitas County Events Center.  As part of this exciting day, the Central Regional Branch will open its doors at 1:30 p.m. for a behind-the-scenes tour!

Archives Month, 2013

October 7, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (PDT) -- Presented by Tracy Rebstock and Lori Larson

Designed for staff of libraries in Washington, this free web presentation lets attendees share their skills and successes, while learning about new topics.  Join Legacy Washington and the Washington State Archives as they educate us about our history, and how to locate and access the historical resources available through these two sources.

Do You Have What it Takes to be a 'Scribe?'
  The Historical Records Project recruits volunteers to transcribe and index records, making them searchable on the Digital Archives.  Volunteers work from home.  Get involved today, and be a part of preserving Washington State History!

Check Us Out on the Web!
Come see what's new!

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our photos on flickr  
Contact Us
Steve Excell, State Archivist, Washington State Archives

Washington State Archives |

Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Forward this email

Washington State Archives | Telephone: (360) 586-1492 | 1129 Washington Street | SE Olympia | WA | 98504-0238

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eastside Genealogical Society's Meeting Upcoming On 9 October 2014

9 Oct 2014 – Bellevue, WA

The Eastside Genealogical Society General Meeting will be held (7 to 9 pm) at the Bellevue Regional  Library, Room 1 at 1111 – 110th Ave NE, Bellevue.  Doors open at 6:30 pm for networking.  Visitors are always welcome. 

Bob will present “Organizing Photos Using Windows Photo Gallery”, which gives a step by step demonstration of the features of Windows Photo Gallery (formerly Windows Live Photo Gallery) using his own pictures.  Windows Photo Gallery is an image organizer, photo editor and photo sharing app.

Our Society website is    .  Check this website for FREE genealogical help and under the “Calendar” tab, find the times and locations of Special Interest Group meetings (Czech/Slovak, German, Irish & Scots-Irish, Italian, Scandinavian, Family Tree Maker software or the Legacy Family Tree software).  Visitors are always welcome at these meetings, too.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Also will you please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail?

Thank you,
Dorothy Pretare
EGS Publicity Chairperson

Monday, September 15, 2014

Concrete: The Gateway to the North Cascades

Did your ancestors ever live in the proud little town of Concrete, Washington? With a population of 900, Concrete is located on Highway 20, some 23 miles east of Sedro-Woolley. This little town has been incorporated since 1909. 

The town of Concrete has undergone several incarnations, the earliest being a settlement at the northwestern junction of the Baker and Skagit Rivers, known as "Minnehaha". Amasa "Peg-Leg" Everett was one of the earliest settlers and in 1890, the townsite was platted by another settler, Magnus Miller. Shortly thereafter, a post office was established and the town name changed to "Baker". In 1905, a settlement across the Baker River came into being due to the building of the Washington Portland Cement Company and was named "Cement City". After the Superior Portland Cement Company plant was built in Baker in 1908, it was decided to merge the two towns. Inhabitants of the new community settled on the name "Concrete" and the town was so christened and officially incorporated on May 8, 1909.

The Washington Portland Cement Company and the Superior Portland Cement Company supplied the materials to build the Gorge, Ross and Diablo Lake Dams, and were opened in 1905 and 1908 respectively. The town is also home to a number of historic buildings and the Henry Thomas Bridge.

This bridge was completed in 1918 and was then the longest single span cement bridge in the world and is listed on the Washington State and National Historic Registers. 

If you've driven over the North Cascades Highway, then you might have blinked and not noticed the little town of Concrete, but it is proudly there!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Bannocks? From the Brewster Herald, 1900

According to a bit appearing in The Brewster Herald on September 9, 1911, two men (McKinley and Robinson) were voted the champions at making bannocks."

I had no idea what a bannock was so went I asked Grandma Google (who knows everything). I learned that a bannock is a variety of flat quick bread made from grain, shaped into a round and fried in a greased skillet or baked in the oven. As in Dutch oven in 1911??

Bannocks sound easy to make:  3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 TB baking powder, 1/4 c butter,melted, 1 1/2 cups water.  Measure dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well; pour butter and water over the mix; stir to make a ball. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead about ten times. Pat into a flat circle about one inch thick. Cook in a greased skillet about fifteen minutes on a side or for 25-30 minutes in a 350o oven.

So could we say that a bannock is a Washington heritage bread? or food?

Volunteer Award for Lola McCreary

Probably one of the best reasons for joining a genealogical society is the people you meet, and the volunteers that help run the society are the best. So I was glad when EWGS nominated Lola McCreary for the Volunteer award that WSGS gives out at their annual meeting. Sadly Lola did not attend this years meeting so here she is receiving her award from WSGS vice president Donna Potter-Phillips.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Clallam County Gen Soc Features Cyndi Ingle

If you can drive to Port Angeles on October 18th, then DO plan to go and learn from "our" Cyndi Ingle!!