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

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Sylvia and Elizabeth Chime In

Sylvia writes:

“Do we ever stop being Genies??? For anyone whose pioneer ancestors are here in the PNW, please let them know that Pioneer Park will be open this coming weekend with tours of the cabins as it's Old Settlers Picnic weekend. I will be there on Sunday from 12-2 in costume in the schoolhouse. It's a great way to learn how your Pioneer ancestors really lived. Local libraries and Whatcom History Society have lots of info on family histories and genealogy.”

Festivities go from Friday the 27th through Sunday the 29th with parades, garden show, classic car show and live music every day.  Check out the activities here:  

Elizabeth chimes in too.  “I've listened to some podcasts.  Does that count as genealogy work? The Lisa Louise Cooke one that you mentioned was a great story.”

Of course, podcasts count as genealogy work.  Unless there is a hammock involved.  Often I find myself spending more time pursuing education than doing actual family research.  Oh, no!

And Elizabeth continues: “And then there is the fact that I keep running into the consequences of DNA tests in friend's families. Just yesterday, I heard from a former co-worker whose family situation includes a half-brother born before my friend's parents met. DNA showed that the father of the half-brother wasn't the man his mother thought it was.  Amusement seems to be the reaction of all involved (his mother, half-brother, friend). There was no mention of the newly IDed father. He may not know and may not still be alive. I'll be asking.

“Did you see the Nicole Brodeur column in the Seattle Times about her newly discovered (through DNA) family? 

“My "pioneer" ancestor is also too distant to be of much interest except for the fact that the pioneering was with a LDS migration. That's a first.”

Thank you, Sylvia and Elizabeth, for your comments.

I’m starting to get ready for the Northwest Genealogical Conference just south of us in Arlington, WA on August 15-18.  It’s less than a month away.  Elizabeth, Sylvia, Peggy and I have our registrations in.  Some of us are staying down there and some are commuting.  You can dip your toe in with the free beginners class on Wednesday, August 15 or try just one day.  All the details are at  Let us know if we should keep an eye out for you too.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Dog Days of Summer

Here we are in the middle of summer.  Lots of people on vacations and working in their gardens.  Any Genies out there working on genealogy?

I am mostly working on photos.  Before my trip I went through what seemed like hundreds before picking a bunch to share with relatives I would see along the way.  One cousin even scanned them all and presented me with a USB drive full.  Now I'm back thinking this would be a great time to really get all my photos scanned and organized.  We have Photoshop Elements so that will be the first stop before moving some to my family tree software and websites.  Wish me luck!

Sylvia sends you a link to a movie at the Pickford through Thursday.  "Three Identical Strangers" is the story of triplets separated and birth and adopted by different families.  The Pickford review calls it a "feel-good story" with an "unimaginable secret with radical repercussions for us all".

Family Search has been promoting a new feature about pioneers and wagon trains.  I wasn't paying much attention because I thought my ancestors only migrated as far as Arkansas.  Today I got an email trumpeting "You have a pioneer relative".  I couldn't pass that up, could I?  Most were pretty distant from me but those of you with real pioneers might find this very interesting.

Sign on to your account (free if you don't have one yet).  On the first screen in the upper left corner there is a button for "Discover Your Pioneers".  It presents each one individually with a picture, a link to the wagon train information, and some basic information.  On the lower right a button says "View Relationship".  This displays a little tree showing your family line up to your common ancestor and the line down to the Pioneer.  On this tree I found several ancestors I didn't have in my personal tree.  I'll be researching them and making sure I find proof for myself.   

One of my favorite podcasts broadcast twice a month is the Genealogy Guys.  Drew Smith (author of Organizing Your Genealogy book) and George Morgan have been broadcasting their podcast from Florida for 13 years and researching their families for decades.  They recently added a companion blog at  This points out the differences between blogs and podcasts.  Drew and George love to podcast news, answers to emails and "how to" items but sometimes news needs to go out right away.  And sometimes an explanation needs a screenshot. And sometimes there just isn't time in a podcast to fit everything in.  They just had to have a podcast and a blog and both will be superb.

Here we are in the Dog Days of Summer and genealogy is still all around us if we have the time.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Another stellar meeting on Monday

You are the stars and Cheryl will be the host.  Arrive early to help with setup.  Meeting starts at 1:00.

I am sending along a link to Lisa Louise Cooke's most recent newsletter.  She has a special talent to motivate and inspire and she is raving about a special podcast that she says will keep you glued to your earbuds.  Plus lots of other educational content.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ancestry 40% membership discount alert

Rick alerts us to discount through July 4th. You gotta hurry. Go to  It's at the top.  He's thrilled this turned up when he needed it.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Our Favorite Resources and Upcoming Events

At our June meeting the most of the ideas shared were about ways we can educate ourselves about genealogy.  My favorites: come to Genies Meetings and read the emails I send out.  That's nice.  And there are so many more:  magazines, books, newspaper archives, podcasts, YouTube, blogs, webinars and classes.  The list is long and rich.  You can search for sources that address a specific challenge you are having or learn general information with magazines and podcasts.

This led me to updating some of the tabs over at our blog.  For this I suggest you go to the Genies blog and follow along.  You can click on the blue title of today’s email and it will take you there.

See the tabs across the top.  I updated Local Resources to include Tech Resources at our Public Libraries at the bottom.  It’s a need county libraries are offering more ways to fill.

Our favorite sources are there under separate tabs for websites, blogs, webinars and podcasts. 
Cheryl and others reminded me how valuable newspapers can be, mentioning subscription sites  Genealogy Bank and  

I heard a podcast from Sunny Morton about all the US newspapers that are accessible from which we typically think of as mostly UK.  Again, this is a subscription site but it is free to search and get a little snipit.  That’s what they call it, a snipit.  If is seems like your ancestor, you can go to the Family History Center subscription to see the article. 

And Rick reminded us how much success he has had contacting the city or county library where your ancestor lived.  Every library has different rules and prices but it is worth a try.

EVENTS   I’m publishing our whole events schedule here and under the Events tab.  You’ll see that I am really starting to plan ahead.  Personally, I’m thinking about the Skagit group's four sessions of Intermediate Genealogy in October and thinking about an out-of state trip to Salt Lake City or San Diego.  Time to plan ahead, right?

Ferndale Genies Monthly Meeting:   3rd Monday  1:00-3:30 at Ferndale Library.

July 16:  Conversation with Cheryl

Aug 20:   News and tips from NWGC

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.  Contact Loretta Willems to confirm dates and location: 

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.  

Whatcom Genealogical Society (WGS):    No meetings July or August.

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Burlington  July-August – no meetings
2nd Sat, 1pm – 3pm

Meetings will be moving to the Burlington Library in September.

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 in9struction.  $15 per class or $50 for all classes.  For details and online registration: or at the workshop. At only $20 (early bird) for a full day in an online conference is the Family History Fanatics.

Family History Fanatics will be producing "A Summer of DNA" eConference on August 4th.  Speakers and topics will include:
Diahan Southard - Your Tree is Full, There is Still Room for DNA
Sam Williams - Ancestry DNA Tools
Michelle Leonard - Adoption and Unknown Parentage
Kitty Cooper - Segment Triangulation
The online sessions will begin at 9am Central Time on August 4th. A final panel discussion will end the day.  All registrants will be able to view the conference for 30 days.  Register and get your questions answered by some of the most popular genetic genealogy educators! Presentations are live, not pre-recorded, and you can ask questions throughout.
Price is only $19.99 until July 21st and then it will be $24.99.  Also, we will be having DNA kits and other stuff as door prizes that will be given away.  You don't have to be present to win, but you do have to register.
More information is available on the website:

Unlock the Past in Seattle, the “land conference”
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 :
At $45 prepaid, Sylvia is going and is looking for others to go along.

Northwest Genealogy Conference, Aug 15-18, Arlington, WA
Wednesday is a free Beginners Class all afternoon.  Three days of nationally-known speakers.  Info at

“Harvest Your Family Tree” Genealogy Conference, Kelowna, B.C.  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.

National Events:  Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, May 31 - June 2, 2019

For details look under Jamboree:
50th Birthday Bash starring CeCe Moore, Judy Russell, and Josh Taylor.
Also streaming 2018 Conference sessions for a fee.
Society offers free monthly webinars.

RootsTech, Salt Lake City, UT, Feb. 27-March 2, 2019