EWGS February Meeting

The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society will be meeting this Saturday, February 3rd in the meeting rooms on the main floor of the Downtown Branch of the Spokane Public Library. Paid parking is available in the library garage (accessed on Spokane Falls Boulevard) or in River Park Square (linked to the library via skywalk). Some prefer to park for free down at the bottom of the Main Avenue hill in Peaceful Valley, or across the river near the Flour Mill, and get some fresh air and exercise to boot. Coffee, cookies and conversation will begin at 12:30 PM, followed by the general meeting at 1:00. Our guest speakers will be library branch manager Dennis Frederickson and other library staff, on the topic of “The Rest of the Library.” We have a wonderful collection in our genealogy room on the third floor, of course, but Dennis and the staff will describe useful resources for genealogists in other areas of the library. The meeting should adjourn between 2:30 and 3:00 PM. Quite a few people, including myself, like to come early or stay late (Saturday library hours are 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM) and use the Genealogy Room, the microfilmed local newspaper area, or the Northwest Room (city archives) to do research. Volunteers will be on hand in the Genie Room to assist those with their research.

Although my parents and I are the first in our family to live in Eastern Washington, I’m always interested in learning about local resources…not only do I get an idea of what I can ask volunteers or paid researchers to look up for me in the libraries of my ancestral locations (like Michigan and New York), but occaisionally I discover resources for my ancestral locations in local collections! So if your ancestors didn’t live in this area, it’s no excuse not to come and learn!

As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I’ll be selling nifty genealogical items as well as tickets for our monthly raffle prizes. Also available are the genealogy magazine exchange box, and workshop cassettes that can be borrowed (I once spent a summer listening to presentations on cassettes by Arlene Eakle and Roger Joslyn on finding New York resources!). If any members are interested in signing up for our computer classes, I’ll have my sign-up sheets at the ready!

You don’t have to be a member of EWGS to attend our meetings, and we always enjoy newcomers! It’s a great way to get to know others who may be researching your ancestral locations, or even your family surnames! Hope to see you there!

EWGS February Meeting

The Eastern Washington Genealogical Society will be meeting this Saturday, February 3rd in the meeting rooms on the main floor of the Downtown Branch of the Spokane Public Library. Paid parking is available in the library garage (accessed on Spokane Falls Boulevard) or in River Park Square (linked to the library via skywalk). Some prefer to park for free down at the bottom of the Main Avenue hill in Peaceful Valley, or across the river near the Flour Mill, and get some fresh air and exercise to boot. Coffee, cookies and conversation will begin at 12:30 PM, followed by the general meeting at 1:00. Our guest speakers will be library branch manager Dennis Frederickson and other library staff, on the topic of “The Rest of the Library.” We have a wonderful collection in our genealogy room on the third floor, of course, but Dennis and the staff will describe useful resources for genealogists in other areas of the library. The meeting should adjourn between 2:30 and 3:00 PM. Quite a few people, including myself, like to come early or stay late (Saturday library hours are 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM) and use the Genealogy Room, the microfilmed local newspaper area, or the Northwest Room (city archives) to do research. Volunteers will be on hand in the Genie Room to assist those with their research.

Although my parents and I are the first in our family to live in Eastern Washington, I’m always interested in learning about local resources…not only do I get an idea of what I can ask volunteers or paid researchers to look up for me in the libraries of my ancestral locations (like Michigan and New York), but occaisionally I discover resources for my ancestral locations in local collections! So if your ancestors didn’t live in this area, it’s no excuse not to come and learn!

As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I’ll be selling nifty genealogical items as well as tickets for our monthly raffle prizes. Also available are the genealogy magazine exchange box, and workshop cassettes that can be borrowed (I once spent a summer listening to presentations on cassettes by Arlene Eakle and Roger Joslyn on finding New York resources!). If any members are interested in signing up for our computer classes, I’ll have my sign-up sheets at the ready!

You don’t have to be a member of EWGS to attend our meetings, and we always enjoy newcomers! It’s a great way to get to know others who may be researching your ancestral locations, or even your family surnames! Hope to see you there!

"I’d Like to Thank the Academy…"

Like those long-winded actors at the Oscars, I have an endless list of people I’d like to thank for nurturing this obsession of mine called genealogy. Always first on my list is the genealogical society member I’ve never met (who shall remain anonymous), who–in a Michigan courthouse 10 years ago–quietly checked my paternal grandmother’s original birth record in the county birth liber to confirm the story of who her biological parents were. Then there are the volunteers at RAOGK and Find A Grave who make long-distance research possible, not to mention the wonderful people (good friends, really) at my local Family History Center and the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society who are so knowledgeable and encouraging in my quests. Recently, it’s been my fellow genealogy bloggers who keep me abreast of the latest genealogy news and resources and whose virtual “high-fives” have sustained me through the winter blahs and blues.

But really, I have to say that the foundation of it all was laid by family (how fitting!). My father had the Robbins’ touch for story-telling. I was an only child for seven years, and remember him tucking me into bed at night when I was very little and telling me stories his father had told him of the Robbins family: of Grandpa Robbins going to GAR reunions with his Great-grandfather Robbins; of my Great-grandpa Robbins fighting in Russia during and after WWI; of tiny Great-grandma Robbins warming herself by sitting on the oven door of the old wood cook stove, and once accidentally burning her keister! Growing up in Alaska three thousand miles from extended family made them all seem like storybook characters…celebrities, even.

When I was 11 years old, we went back to Michigan for a month, to celebrate Christmas with the family. It had been nearly seven years since we had been “home.” Both sets of grandparents and an occasional aunt or uncle had come to Alaska to visit us, but none in the past 4 or 5 years since my little brother and sister had been born. To prepare us ahead of time so that we would know who all the family members were, Dad created a poster with the relatives’ photos arranged in family groups, and hung it in the living room. We’d go over the names of the aunts and uncles and cousins…how old the kids were, and what cities they lived in. And when we arrived at the Grand Rapids airport that December morning, there was a crowd of 30 or so people waiting to meet us…the ultimate family reunion! For the first time in my memory, I felt connected to a people who, although I did not know them well, seemed to know and love me.

During our stay, Mom interviewed my Great-Grandma Robbins and wrote down four generations’ worth of notes of my Grandfather Robbins’ ancestors. Mom knew her own family stories so well, but wanted to know more about Dad’s family for the sake of us, her children, I suppose. Eight years later, I started my own family tree by filling out pedigree charts and family group sheets using the notes Mom jotted down. And the rest, as they say, is history…or in this case, family history.

So here’s to all of you; and a special show of gratitude to you, Dad and Mom, with love.

"I’d Like to Thank the Academy…"

Like those long-winded actors at the Oscars, I have an endless list of people I’d like to thank for nurturing this obsession of mine called genealogy. Always first on my list is the genealogical society member I’ve never met (who shall remain anonymous), who–in a Michigan courthouse 10 years ago–quietly checked my paternal grandmother’s original birth record in the county birth liber to confirm the story of who her biological parents were. Then there are the volunteers at RAOGK and Find A Grave who make long-distance research possible, not to mention the wonderful people (good friends, really) at my local Family History Center and the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society who are so knowledgeable and encouraging in my quests. Recently, it’s been my fellow genealogy bloggers who keep me abreast of the latest genealogy news and resources and whose virtual “high-fives” have sustained me through the winter blahs and blues.

But really, I have to say that the foundation of it all was laid by family (how fitting!). My father had the Robbins’ touch for story-telling. I was an only child for seven years, and remember him tucking me into bed at night when I was very little and telling me stories his father had told him of the Robbins family: of Grandpa Robbins going to GAR reunions with his Great-grandfather Robbins; of my Great-grandpa Robbins fighting in Russia during and after WWI; of tiny Great-grandma Robbins warming herself by sitting on the oven door of the old wood cook stove, and once accidentally burning her keister! Growing up in Alaska three thousand miles from extended family made them all seem like storybook characters…celebrities, even.

When I was 11 years old, we went back to Michigan for a month, to celebrate Christmas with the family. It had been nearly seven years since we had been “home.” Both sets of grandparents and an occasional aunt or uncle had come to Alaska to visit us, but none in the past 4 or 5 years since my little brother and sister had been born. To prepare us ahead of time so that we would know who all the family members were, Dad created a poster with the relatives’ photos arranged in family groups, and hung it in the living room. We’d go over the names of the aunts and uncles and cousins…how old the kids were, and what cities they lived in. And when we arrived at the Grand Rapids airport that December morning, there was a crowd of 30 or so people waiting to meet us…the ultimate family reunion! For the first time in my memory, I felt connected to a people who, although I did not know them well, seemed to know and love me.

During our stay, Mom interviewed my Great-Grandma Robbins and wrote down four generations’ worth of notes of my Grandfather Robbins’ ancestors. Mom knew her own family stories so well, but wanted to know more about Dad’s family for the sake of us, her children, I suppose. Eight years later, I started my own family tree by filling out pedigree charts and family group sheets using the notes Mom jotted down. And the rest, as they say, is history…or in this case, family history.

So here’s to all of you; and a special show of gratitude to you, Dad and Mom, with love.

FREE Genealogy Conference – Spokane, Washington

We’re very lucky here in Spokane to have not only a great genealogy society (the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society), but four (count ’em!) Family History Centers within the county. Not only that, but there is great cooperation between the two organizations, apparent in the annual Family History Conference held each March at the North Stake LDS Church on Regina (for you local yokels, it’s the next road north of Pattison’s Roller Rink).

Just announced: The 2007 Family History Conference will be held Saturday, March 10, and–as always–it’s FREE!

If you wish to purchase a syllabus, you can pre-register, and order a printed copy ($5.25) or receive it on a CD to use at home after the conference ($2.00); you can also request a free syllabus via e-mail, available afterwards.

They also offer a lunch (in the past, it’s been catered by Subway, with a sandwich, chips, and bottled water). Cost: $3.75. You are welcome to bring your own sack lunch, if you prefer, or visit a nearby eatery on Division Street/Highway 395, the “Y,” or at Wandermere Mall.

What a bargain! Most genealogy workshops or seminars are anywhere between $20 and $50, not counting lunch and a syllabus.

As usual, there are some great topics and speakers. First off, is Ugo Perego from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. He is the keynote speaker…and guess what! They are offering FREE DNA testing! Bring in your four-generation pedigree chart or GEDCOM to participate. You can bring in your spouse and children (age 7 or older) to participate in the DNA testing, even if they don’t attend the conference.

Additionally, Donna Potter Phillips and Beverly Smith Vorpahl will be speaking. You may recognize their names from a variety of national genealogy magazines (Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, Family Tree Magazine, Ancestry, Heritage Quest), and we are so lucky to have them in EWGS! Joyce Hawkins, who owns Huckleberry’s Paper Patch (a scrapbooking supply store) in Spokane Valley will present a creative family history/scrapbooking class. She’s the lady that created the multi-page handout on preservation which I give out to all my Online Genealogy students the last night of each quarter’s class. Besides, Donna and Bev, Shirley Penna-Oakes and Doris Woodward are from the Eastern Washington Genealogy society, and both are great speakers as well. There are other speakers, some new (to me), and every class looks very interesting! (By the way, you’ll see yours truly presenting a couple as well). So go to Grave Concerns and click on the pre-registration to see the classes available. I hope to see you there!

Found! – Cornelia McCLELLAN in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census

Perseverance pays off. Sometimes, boredom does, too. Some of you know that I’ve been home all week with a nasty case of laryngitis; since I teach, I’m pretty much useless at work. I’m not feeling too badly; just a little fatigued, and mostly bored. So I’ve spent a lot of time on the computer the last few days.

At loooooooooong last, I’ve found my 3rd-great-grandmother on a census prior to 1880. Cornelia McCLELLAN appears with her parents and two younger brothers in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census in New Haven Village, Armada Township, Macomb County, Michigan. It took some tricky searches to find them, as her father is enumerated as “Levy MACLALLEN.” Cornelia herself was indexed as “Amelia” and her mother as “Charissa.” Thank goodness for Ancestry’s “correct an error” feature for census records! I sent in the correct and alternate spellings for all three.

I still can’t find these people in 1860, although I have done many rigorous searches late last night and early this morning. A search in the 1880 census for the other family members (I already had Cornelia’s enumeration for that one), gave me a possibility for Levi in Detroit, with a possible second wife (Mary C.), new son (Ira, age 10), and step-son (George, age 14). This Levi matches in approximate birth year, birth place, and occupation (carpenter) my Levi of 1870. Clarissa and Edmund (probably both deceased) are nowhere to be found. There are several possibilities for William in the state.

The 1900 census does not enumerate Levi, or at least, I haven’t found him. I did find an Ira whose birth year and birthplace match, residing in Washington Twp., Macomb County. His occupation is a (stove/steve/? joiner). Joiners and carpenters are pretty much the same occupation, and if this Ira is Levi’s son, above, it’s possible he learned the trade from his father.

Any of you who’ve done this for a while understand what I’m talking about when I say there are certain families that you can trace all the way back to the ship, with plenty of supporting documents; and then there are those that make you want to bang your head on the wall (like this family)! However frustrating the latter are, they are the ones I learn from the most. I learn to use alternate spellings, think creatively, analyze, organize my information, and simply to persevere. And these are the ones that make genealogy so interesting and rewarding!

FREE Genealogy Conference – Spokane, Washington

We’re very lucky here in Spokane to have not only a great genealogy society (the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society), but four (count ’em!) Family History Centers within the county. Not only that, but there is great cooperation between the two organizations, apparent in the annual Family History Conference held each March at the North Stake LDS Church on Regina (for you local yokels, it’s the next road north of Pattison’s Roller Rink).

Just announced: The 2007 Family History Conference will be held Saturday, March 10, and–as always–it’s FREE!

If you wish to purchase a syllabus, you can pre-register, and order a printed copy ($5.25) or receive it on a CD to use at home after the conference ($2.00); you can also request a free syllabus via e-mail, available afterwards.

They also offer a lunch (in the past, it’s been catered by Subway, with a sandwich, chips, and bottled water). Cost: $3.75. You are welcome to bring your own sack lunch, if you prefer, or visit a nearby eatery on Division Street/Highway 395, the “Y,” or at Wandermere Mall.

What a bargain! Most genealogy workshops or seminars are anywhere between $20 and $50, not counting lunch and a syllabus.

As usual, there are some great topics and speakers. First off, is Ugo Perego from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. He is the keynote speaker…and guess what! They are offering FREE DNA testing! Bring in your four-generation pedigree chart or GEDCOM to participate. You can bring in your spouse and children (age 7 or older) to participate in the DNA testing, even if they don’t attend the conference.

Additionally, Donna Potter Phillips and Beverly Smith Vorpahl will be speaking. You may recognize their names from a variety of national genealogy magazines (Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, Family Tree Magazine, Ancestry, Heritage Quest), and we are so lucky to have them in EWGS! Joyce Hawkins, who owns Huckleberry’s Paper Patch (a scrapbooking supply store) in Spokane Valley will present a creative family history/scrapbooking class. She’s the lady that created the multi-page handout on preservation which I give out to all my Online Genealogy students the last night of each quarter’s class. Besides, Donna and Bev, Shirley Penna-Oakes and Doris Woodward are from the Eastern Washington Genealogy society, and both are great speakers as well. There are other speakers, some new (to me), and every class looks very interesting! (By the way, you’ll see yours truly presenting a couple as well). So go to Grave Concerns and click on the pre-registration to see the classes available. I hope to see you there!