Family Tree Magazine Has a New Website!

Have you seen Family Tree Magazine’s new website? It’s amazing! Not only am I a devoted reader of their magazine, which is a fabulous resource in and of itself, but I have been a regular user of their website for quite a while, recommending it as a necessity to the students of my online genealogy courses. Completely apart from their magazine, this website is a must-visit one for anyone serious about their genealogy. I particularly enjoy the 101 Best Websites of the Year lists they’ve been running for a number of years now, plus all the heritage resources.

The site now has a new, clean look with easy-to-find links to the many resources available: links to articles, free forms and charts, state research guides, videos and podcasts. Nearly everything on this site is free, and the few for-sale items (such as their helpful state research guides) they offer are priced are very reasonably. You can now order them easily online! Family Tree Magazine has worked hard to create an online presence that’s user-friendly, and their forums and blogs are great places to interact with others and stay abreast of all the current genealogy news. Many of the links now have RSS feeds, so you can be alerted whenever there are updates!

You do not have to have a subscription to their magazine to access the site, but I’m telling you, once you see how wonderful it is, you’ll want to subscribe! The magazine offers articles of interest to those at any level of research experience: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. I encourage you to check out the website and seriously consider subscribing to their magazine.


September 2008 EWGS General Meeting to Be Held at Shadle Library

The first meeting of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society’s 2008 – 2009 genealogical year will be held at Shadle Branch (2111 W. Wellesley Ave.) of the Spokane Public Library in the meeting room next Saturday, September 6th. This is a different location from our regular meeting place, the Downtown Branch Library. Coffee, cookies, and conversation will begin at 12:30 PM. At 1:00, the business portion of our meeting will begin, and at 1:30 our main program will begin. The topic of this meeting is “Oh, the Places We Went,” and members and guests alike are invited to partake in sharing the great genealogical finds during summer research trips. This meeting is free and open to the general public and will end around 2:30 PM.

Parking is free, but somewhat limited in the library parking lot. Street parking along the east side of Belt Street is available, with a short walk across the edge of the park to the library. The library is also accessible via several of Spokane Transit’s bus routes.

There will be various genealogical items sold at our society’s Ways and Means table, as well as raffling a certificate worth $25 towards our October Workshop with Barbara Nuehring! Because the workshop cost is $25 for society members and $30 for non-members, for the winner this means either free registration or having to only pay $5 towards registration, depending upon whether they are a member.

Raffle tickets will be $1 each or $5 for half a dozen tickets.

This is a great opportunity to learn a little about the society in an informal manner and get to know others who are as passionate (or crazy!) about family history as you are!

If you have any questions, please e-mail Miriam Robbins Midkiff.

Launch of 1911 England Census in 2009, in association with the National Archives, will be managing the launch of the 1911 census, in 2009. This mammoth project is underway at this very moment. will be the first, and for a time the only place to access the 1911 census online. If you haven’t already, then be sure to register on the site in order to receive the latest updates and be among the first to use the census at its launch.

FamilySearch Update: 1905 South Dakota Census and German Church Books Added

FamilySearch added the 1905 South Dakota State Census and German church books to its pilot Record Search collection online. The total number of names available for searching on the pilot site is now 478,034,410. The entire collection can be searched for free directly online at

Collection Name

Indexed Records

Digital Images


1905 South Dakota State Census




Germany, Brandenburg, Church Books




Germany, Posen, Church Books




News from just published its 100th issue of its free newsletter, the Family History Bulletin. You can take a look at some of their original newsletters and see how it’s evolved over time. They’ve also announced a new partnership with the Dundurn Group to bring more than 400 genealogical and historical books online. And lastly, they are still offering their World Games Special of $88.08 for a one-year membership to their world collection, a savings of over $60.

Labor Day Savings from

This Labor Day weekend, you can save $$ on some of your favorite genealogy products. From today through 11:59 PM EDT, Monday, September 1, 2008, you can order any product available at at a discount of 15% off the current selling price of the books(s) or CD(s) of your choice.

To take advantage of this holiday discount, simply add the special code LD08 (caps, no spaces) in the Discount Code box on the “Calculate Shipping and Discounts” page of the check-out process.

You can use your special LD08 discount code as many times as you like, so long as you place your final order by 11:59 PM EDT, Monday, September 1, 2008.

You can use your holiday code on anything you find at, including

Be sure to take advantage of this terrific opportunity while you can, and have a great holiday weekend.

CONTACT US is the online home of Genealogical Publishing Company and its affiliate, Clearfield Company. For general information about our companies and their products, please e-mail us at To order on-line, please e-mail us at

To order other than online, you can:

1. Order by mail: 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260 – Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953
2. Fax your order to 1-410-752-8492
3. Call toll-free to our sales department at 1-800-296-6687

The Grave of Orville Isaac LUKE (1855 – 1943)

Source: Gravestone of Orville Isaac Luke, Park Hill Cemetery, Vancouver, Washington. Digital photograph. Privately held by Miriam Robbins Midkiff, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Spokane, Washington. 2004.

A number of years ago, before I was a member of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Conference, I attended one of their annual October workshops, and noticed a three-volume set of books for sale on their auction table. Excitedly, I realized that it was Park Hill Cemetery (Vancouver, Washington) published by the Clark County Genealogical Society, and although I really couldn’t afford it at the time, I purchased the set, because I knew many relatives of my husband were buried there. After I got it home and started looking up his various surnames, I began to realize just how many of his family members were interred at Park Hill. Many names of collateral relatives–siblings of some of my husband’s great-grandparents who actually were buried in other cities altogether–were found listed in the books. These transcriptions are now available online, so I have passed on the volumes.

We try to visit my husband’s parents at least once a year (it’s a 360-mile one-way trip), and four years ago, we visited on Memorial Day. I thought it would be a perfect time to visit area cemeteries and we made the most of it that weekend, visiting three cemeteries within 55 miles. While we were mostly recording my husband’s family’s burials, one cemetery held the graves of one set of my great-great-grandparents; two of only four ancestors of mine buried west of the Mississippi River.

This grave of Orville Isaac LUKE, although surrounded by others, is “alone” as far as not having other apparent family members’ graves nearby. Orville was the third of 14 children of Isaac LUKE and Rebecca HEWITT, and an older brother of my husband’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Angelia Rebecca (LUKE) MARTIN. I have not researched Orville nor his family, but what little information I have shows that he was born 17 March 1855 in Wonewac, Juneau Co., Wisconsin; that he was married first to Laura JOINER on 23 September 1883 in Ironton, Sauk Co., Wisconsin; that he later married Chloe May SMITH and had at least one child, Homer Oscar LUKE, b. 10 May 1892 in Bon Homme Co., South Dakota.

When Orville died 23 March 1943, he was buried in Section D of the cemetery. Homer was the lot owner, but he and his wife Jennie were buried in Section V. Chloe, whose cemetery information states that she was born in Minnesota in 1871, died 21 April 1937 (probably in Vancouver) and was buried in Section C. There are also three other Luke family members buried in two other sections of the cemetery, and until more research is done, it is not known if they are related. I find it curious that this family did not have a central plot, but perhaps they could not afford to do so, and bought each plot as needed, based upon what was available and what they could afford.