Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Fall Seminar season is off and running


Fall Seminar season is off and running.  Tomorrow a few of us will be off to our annual conference in Arlington, a harbinger for a run of seminars, webinars and the like.  Don’t miss our Genies meeting next Monday.  I am eager to hear about your summer and plans for further research coming up. 

Our neighbors at the Skagit Valley Genealogical Society have two special programs coming up, Google Tools for Genealogists and a four-Saturday Intermediate class.  Both well-worth a look!

Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective, is coming to the Eastside Genealogical Society in Belle vue.  She is the biggest name in photos and I haven’t seen her in this area before.

And the biggest names in DNA and Irish Genealogy are here for one-day before a 7-day cruise to Alaska.  Welcome Blaine Bettinger, Maurice Gleeson, and Washington’s own Cyndi Ingle. 

There will be others announced soon and, for those who want to stay in their own homes, free webinars are always an option.

Ferndale Genies Monthly Meeting:   3rd Mondays, 1:00-3:30 at Ferndale Library, always free.

Aug 20:   News and tips from NWGC.  With CeCe Moore headlining the conference on Thursday I am sure we will come back talking DNA.  In addition we’ll be attending and reporting on a variety of other classes.  Everyone is invited to talk about tips and techniques that are working for them too.

There will be ample time for questions and research.  Come prepared with questions and passwords.  Bring a computing device or plan to borrow a library laptop.

A Time to Write:  Meetings are the 1st Monday of each month 2:30-4:00.  Better contact Loretta Willems to confirm meetings:  willemsloretta@gmail.com. 

Loretta Willems leads a group for people wanting to write their stories, either their own memories or the stories they revealed in their genealogical research.  Loretta is the author of The Gift of Laughter: The Story of a California Mennonite Family.  She attends the Whatcom Writers and Publishers group and spoke last month to the Ferndale Genies.  

FREE WEBINAR from Southern California Gen. Society
Saturday, September 1, 2018, 10:00 – 11:30AM PST

Kim von Aspern-Parker presents:
What Do I Do Next: How To Unlock Your Genealogy Using Research Plans

Do you get lost on the internet chasing rabbits down rabbit holes? Have you forgotten and re-ordered a vital record? This class teaches you how to keep your research moving forward.

This society offers free webinars (upcoming topics here  http://scgsgenealogy.com/webinar/jes-index.html ) and their annual big event is the Genealogy Jamboree in June.

Next meeting is Monday, September 10.  Details will be announced in early September.

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Burlington meets 2nd Sat, 1pm – 3pm
Meetings will be moving to the Burlington Library in September.  The address is 820 E. Washington Ave.

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society program on Saturday, Sep 8, free and open to the public.

Google Tools for Genealogists, 1-3 pm, Burlington Public Library, 820 E. Washington Ave, Burlington, skagitvalleygenealogy.org, genealogy0715@gmail.com

George Ridgeway will introduce the numerous ways genealogists can utilize Google to make their research more productive and streamlined.  Appropriate for beginners to advanced researchers.  Please create a free Google account prior to the session if you would like to follow along.

Skagit Genealogy Workshop (Intermediate Level)
Saturdays Sept 29, Oct 6, Oct 13, Oct 20, 10am to Noon at Burlington Library.

Barbara Johnson and George Ridgeway lead the instruction.  $15 per class or before Sep 22 $50 for all classes before Sep 22 and $60 after Sep 22.  Limit 12 participants.  For details and online registration: or at the workshop.
  Registration http://skagitvalleygenealogy.org/intermediate-genealogy-workshop/

Individual classes are:  9/29/18 Evidence, 10/6/18 DNA plus Libraries and Archives, 10/13/18 Online Family Trees. and 10/20/18 Record Keeping

Unlock the Past in Seattle, the “land conference”, Thursday, September 6
Seattle Public Library,
1000 4th Ave, Seattle, WA
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Have you heard of Unlock the Past Cruises, genealogy on the high seas? Their 14th conference cruise will be to Alaska, Sept 7-14, and sail out of Seattle. They have put together an all day, companion “land conference” for September 6. It will be held at the downtown Seattle Public Library and it is open to all – whether on the cruise, or not. Blaine Bettinger, Maurice Gleeson, Cyndi Ingle, and Wayne Shepheard will be the presenters.

If you are interested, see their website: https://www.utpinseattle.com/
At $45 prepaid Sylvia is going and is looking for others to go along.

Maureen Taylor, the nationally known “Photo Detective”, is coming to Bellevue on Saturday, September 15, 2018.

Her three presentations will help you date old photographs and maybe identify the people in them.  The cost is only $25 and Registration before September 1st is highly recommended. 

Private consultations with her are available afterwards at an additional cost.

The event will be held on Saturday, September 15, at the Vasa Park Ballroom, 3560 W Lake Sammamish Road SE, Bellevue, WA  98008.  Free parking and doors open at 9 am with presentations from 9:30 am to 2 pm.

For more details about the presentations and lunch, see our website  https://eastsidegenealogicalsociety.com/save-the-date/    Of course, you can register for the event using our website.

“Harvest Your Family Tree” Genealogy Conference, Kelowna, B.C. https://kdgswix.wixsite.com/kdgs/  September 21-23

September is the perfect time for a road trip – the tourists have mostly gone home, the roads are in good condition and the weather is perfect!  What could be better?  Well, how about a Genealogy Road Trip?
Why not get a few friends together and come to Kelowna for the “Harvest Your Family Tree” Genealogy Conference, taking place from Sept. 28-30, 2018 – Western Canada’s Largest Genealogy Conference?  Sharing the costs and enjoying the companionship of like-minded friends is a wonderful way to see the countryside. All you need is your passport! Don’t want to drive? Our airport has direct flights between Seattle and Kelowna via Horizon Air.

We are thrilled to offer Eleven acclaimed speakers, including: Blaine Bettinger (genetic genealogist/DNA specialist); Cyndi Ingle (Cyndi’s List); Helen V. Smith (from Australia); Dave Obee (Canada’s preeminent genealogist); Lesley Anderson (Ancestry). Of the 31 workshops on offer, only five are on Canadian records so there is something for every researcher no matter where in the world you are searching.

You can read more information at their conference website.


Monday, August 6, 2018

Genealogy is about personal identity


“Genealogy is about personal identity, not ethnicity.”  I stole my title from this Irish Times article  https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/why-we-find-irish-roots-for-famous-visitors-like-meghan-markle-1.3571339.  This article, which I heard about in the Extreme Genes email, points out how important visitors and people researching family history are to Ireland.

And from there you can go to the Irish Family History Centre at this link:  https://www.irishfamilyhistorycentre.com/.  This site offers a “how to get started” button, research tips, webinars, chat, ask the experts, free digital genealogy magazine, free newsletter…need I go on? 

What if you are not Irish?  I’m not Irish.  At least not much.  I’m Croatian.  More than a few years ago you wouldn’t have heard me say that.  I wasn’t raised to be Croatian.  I knew my grandmother was born in Croatia.  I knew she spoke German and Croatian as her first languages.  I knew she got on a ship when she was five and traveled in leaky steerage to get to Ellis Island.  But we never called ourselves Croatian. 

When my great-grandfather Frank Ferencevic boarded the ship in Bremen, he stated his “Nationality” as Hungarian and his “Race or Ethnicity” as Croatian.  In the subsequent US Censuses his birthplace was Hungary, Austria, then Yugoslavia.  His birthplace didn’t move just the political boundaries. 

So when did I become Croatian?  When I found an Australian whose DNA matched mine and whose great-grandmother Juliana was my great-grandfather Frank’s sister.  When I friended him on Facebook and saw him proclaim “I’m Cro and I’m proud”.  

I only know the World Cup is on when he starts to crow about his national team.  This year I followed the Croatian team to the semi-finals when they were the third smallest nation to ever get that far.  And when they made the finals, my cousin Tom and his father Josip hopped on a plane to go to Croatia.  In the middle of the night Croatians were gathering in the Dubai airport to get home for the final game.  And when they didn’t win, I celebrated being second best in the world and Tom raised a glass with all his friends and relatives in the homeland.  Maybe next time I will get a red and white checked shirt and join the Croatians.

I believe genealogy is about personal identity.  My DNA doesn’t say Croatian.  At some testing services it doesn’t even say Eastern European.  When people don’t chase down their matches, they are missing the hidden gold, the richness buried in their genes. 

We all have roots somewhere whether its lederhosen, kilts, or checked shirts.  Many nations have sites and resources like the Irish above and we can have fun exploring them. 

Friday, July 27, 2018

John H Recalls a very Old Settlers Weekend

Here's a note from Genies' friend John H. 

Since this is Old Settler's Weekend in Ferndale, I thought you might be interested in these photos of my ggggrandfather Nicholas Sheffer with some of his early pioneer friends. I believe the photos are from 1905. One shows downtown Ferndale during the parade!






The 2018 Old Settlers Parade will be much different this one 113 years ago.  The roads have improved too. Wouldn't you say?


 The Grand Parade starts at 11 am Saturday morning on the corner of Washington Street and 3rd Avenue.

Thank you, John