Thursday, November 29, 2012

Scanning Tip

I just read my Internet Genealogy/Family Chronicle Newsletter Vol 2 #1 (29 Nov 2012: Moorshead Magazines Ltd.) online and found this wonderful scanning tip:

Scanning Tip

Scanning lots of documents for your family history project? If so, scan them in gray scale, not color, and use a low-resolution of 72 dots per inch. This will save space and make your scans go faster.

However, if you are scanning images for the purpose of creating a report, or publishing a family history, then scanning in color or gray scale at 300 dots per inch resolution, will give you the best quality.

Scanning has become so popular for saving documents that we find in books and online. We save them to our genealogy programs but, the question is always, what scale should I use? For reprints, as suggested above, we need to use a higher resolution, but that also takes up hard drive space. Copies of censuses, city directories, maps, pension records, etc. can be rescanned later if needed for publication, so save that space on your hard drive and start scanning smaller.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

History of Vital Records

Ever wonder why we have birth, marriage and death records? Last night we found out when Susan Faulkner gave her presentation for the monthly TCGS meeting. It has been said, that to truly understand the information we learn from records, we need to know why they were created. The answer to that was loud and clear last night when Susan explained why and how vital records were started.

While I have always understood why church records were recorded, I had never thought about the origin of vital records – Statistics! Surprising? for me it was. It was purely because things were happening to the population that could not be explained. By statistically studying the effects on the whole population, patterns emerged which allowed the government to help solve or at least be aware of problems, such as health trends. Death records especially provided excellent information on why people were dying when the causes of the death were compared to others nearby as well as nationwide.

Sadly, vital record collection, in spite of knowing the reasons for collecting the information, was not begun throughout the United States successfully until 1933. Today both genealogists, statisticians, and many others know the value of recording vital events in our society, but this is definitely a 20th century accomplishment.

Susan quoted, “National statistics of death and birth were achieved only within the present generation, after two centuries [200 years!] of intermittent struggle and building. [emphasis added]”1

So the next time you find a vital record for your ancestor, thank those who championed the collecting of this information, such as John of Gaunt, Edmund Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame), Oliver Cromwell and the English, Lemuel Shattuck of Massachusetts and many others who brought modern record keeping to the United States.

If you missed Susan’s excellent presentation, some of her information can be found in Val D. Greenwood’s book, A Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2000), 203-232.


1 Oveta Culp Hobby and Leonard A Scheele in their report titled “Vital Statistics of the United States, Volume 1” dated 1950.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting the BEST from

Thank you LostCousins!
Tonight I attended the TriCity Genealogical Society presentation with a rather ho-hum attitude about the promised topic, “Getting the BEST from”. I have been an user for years. I know my way around that website like no one’s business, or so I thought. I was just sure that this was going to be one of those topics geared for beginners, but I’ve always been able to walk away with some new treat or tool from a beginner’s lecture, so what the heck. More than anything I was looking forward to supporting Margie Beldin by my attendance. I won’t list all of the hats Margie has worn for TCGS because I just know I’ll miss one or two. For me Margie has always been a part of the glue that keeps the Society going.

If I was disappointed in anything tonight it was in my initial attitude toward the topic.  Margie Beldin gave a wonderful presentation with poise and grace that captivated her audience. She spoke well, displaying that she had an expert level understanding of

Margie dissected to show so many hidden treasures that I was never aware were available. While she did this she explained that it was not necessary to have a subscription in order to take advantage of what has to offer. Not only did she walk her audience through how to get the most out of the Search Tab, but she also helped us explore the Learning Center of

I have read some of’s wiki postings from time to time, but I was not aware of the many webinars, blogs and other professionally written articles that were just sitting there waiting for me to be educationally entertained. I was amused, yet my curiosity was spiked, to discover has a YouTube channel. Imagine that! With my smartphone by my side, I will never again have to ponder what to do with that unplanned 10 minutes of waiting.

Throughout her presentation, Margie was sensitive to the cost of an subscription. She shared ways to enjoy all aspects of what has to offer by mixing registering (not subscribing) with from home and taking freely given hints to the Family History Center to explore the actual digitized documents.

At the end of the evening I spoke with many of the genealogists that have been researching their family history for years. The tone in the room was a mixture of “That Margie. She sure is a class act. She gave another awesome presentation” with “Shoot. I’ve been a member of and I never knew half the stuff that was revealed tonight.”

Curious about the picture and caption above? Margie's finale was information on how to get a great discount on an subscription. Go to http:\\ to learn what she shared. Sign up for LostCousin's newsletters to stay on top of breaking news and various discounts.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Indexing Project

The TCGS meeting for the Washington State Archives Cemetery project will take place at 7pm  Thursday, 23 August 2012, at the Richland Family History Center.

Now that the 1940 U.S. Census indexing project has finished, John Covey, TCGS President, has found another wonderful indexing project for us. This one closer to home, we are indexing local cemeteries. Washington State Digital Archives, at the request of the Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, is asking societies to index their local cemeteries for preservation in the digital archives.

Over the years, members of the society have been indexing the cemeteries but there is still plenty of indexing to do. If you are interested, please attend this meeting tomorrow evening.  If we all pitch in, we can get our cemeteries online and hope that others are indexing the cemeteries in the areas we are interested in researching. Let’s not let the enthusiasm from indexing the 1940 census die.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

TCGS Helps Index 1940 Census

1940 Community Index logoThe figures are in: TCGS did an amazing job of contributing to the 1940 US Census Community Indexing Project.

At the last TCGS Board Meeting, John Covey, TCGS President, announced that we had indexed 83,754 names and arbitrated 154,116. This makes a grand total of 237,870 names.

Surprisingly, of all the societies indexing, our society came in 16th in the Large Society Group (16 or more members)! That is very impressive considering the size of our society and the number of people doing indexing.

There are some who outdid themselves with indexing, but no matter how many or few you may have indexed, your contribution has been counted and allows us to post the 1940 Community Indexing Project logo.

Many thanks to all!


16th in the Large Society Group (16 or more members)

Friday, August 3, 2012

WSGS 2012 Recognition Awards

FaulknerMcKinnon 1It is with great pleasure that we introduce the TCGS recipients of the WSGS 2012 Recognition Awards. Janet McKinnon and Susan Faulkner were both recognized for their “exceptional and consistent support of the goals and operation of”1 the Tri-City Genealogical Society; Gary Miller has been recognized “for outstanding efforts in the identification, preservation, dissemination or publication of information of genealogical importance and value to researchers interested in the families of Washington state.”2

Janet, as most of you know, has served as TCGS’ Vice-President and Program Chair since 2010. In addition, she was instrumental in organizing the annual Washington State Genealogical Society State Conference held in Richland in September 2011. Janet also serves regularly in the Richland Family History Center helping others learn more about doing genealogical research. And, at the end of 2011, when no one came forward to run for TCGS Vice-President, Janet agreed to continue for a second term.

Susan received recognition for serving as TCGS President from 2010-2011. It was she who enthusiastically accepted the opportunity for TCGS to host the 2011 WSGS State Conference and worked hard to see its successful fruition. In addition to serving in these capacities, she also made several presentations both to our society members and other members of the community and still found time to contribute articles to our TCGS Bulletin.Gary Miller

Gary Miller was nominated for his efforts in record preservation for TCGS. He helped with the photo indexing project for CREHST Museum in Richland, Washington.  After retirement, he contributed time indexing the Benton and Franklin County school censuses covering 1910 to 1933. In an effort to resolve some issues with the school census indexing project, Gary drove to Ellensburg to obtain better images of the census pages. At the end of that project, he created a document explaining what was done and where there might be some problems with the index. With the school census project finished, Gary turned his efforts to helping with the 1940 US Census indexing 20,000 names since April 2012.

We congratulate all three WSGS Recognition Award recipients and thank them for their efforts to sustain TCGS. These recognitions will be formally awarded at the 2012 WSGS Annual State Conference September 8th in Port Angeles, Washington.


1 Washington State Genealogical Society. Annual Outstanding Volunteer Awards Program: Introduction to Outstanding Volunteer Awards. Union Gap: WSGS, date unknown. Web.

2 Ibid.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

TCGS Member Marilyn Swanda Earns Washington State Pioneer Certificate

Marilyn SwandaMarilyn Swanda was recently awarded the Washington State Pioneer Certificate for her research on her grandfather, Adam Scroggie. Her grandfather was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1862 and emigrated to Washington in 1889. Adam Scroggie homesteaded in 1891 in Spokane County and worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad in Sprague in 1895. Family tradition holds that Adam was a stow away on a ship carrying cattle to the U.S.

Marilyn proves that attending TCGS monthly meetings is worthwhile. She learned about the Washington State Pioneer Certificates at one of our monthly meetings. She says she believes she may have other ancestors who emigrated to Washington before 1900 and plans to pursue certificates for those ancestors as well.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Southern California GS (SCGS) Jamboree

Jamboree Artwork“Join the participants of the Southern California Genealogical Society's (SCGS) Streamed Video Sessions.  A total of 10 sessions will be streamed during the coming weekend, June 9 and 10.” is the message I received this morning in my email box.

Did you miss RootsTech streamed videos? Want to attend a really BIG genealogy conference but haven’t the time, money, or confidence to go? Here is your chance to listen to ten of the countries foremost genealogists teach you how to improve your research techniques.

The speakers who have agreed to live-streaming their presentations are Warren Bittner, Lisa Louise Cooke, Josh Taylor, Curt Witcher and Laura Prescott to name just a few.

I, for one, would do anything to listen to Curt Witcher or Josh Taylor speak about genealogy. I always come away with at least one new idea and am always inspired by their presentations. All these speakers will have something important and useful to share or they otherwise would not have been invited to speak at the SCGS Jamboree, one of the biggest genealogical conferences in the nation.

To access the schedule and plan your weekend, go to the SCGS Jamboree blog site at

I’ll be in front of my monitor watching, will you?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

June 13th Meeting Features Guest Speaker, Donna Potter Phillips

For TCGS Members, having Donna come speak to our society has become a yearly treat, this year no exception.

Donna Phillips, 2012-04Donna always brings an interesting and inspiring presentation but this year she has chosen to bring us an eclectic look at genealogy “… or at least a new way to teach something old. Our upcoming seminar will prove that once again. Donna is coming with her netbook and six pages of questions, news, notes and answers and we will all talk at once and learn together. She advises that you do bring a notebook for taking notes; she offers no handout as she expects you will jot down the points that YOU need. Come learn with us!”

Donna’s upbeat personality and interesting lectures always bring fun to learning genealogy. No one can ever walk away without having learned something.

Please mark your calendars for this special presentation sure to inspire all of us in pursuit of our family’s history.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

12 Days Until the 1940 Census Opens

1940 censusEarlier this month, Legacy Family Tree Webinars hosted Thomas MacEntee’s Navigating the 1940 Census. It was so good, I suggested it be bought for our society library and Ray Baalman, our illustrious librarian, did just that! So in a week or so, you can view the CD at the Richland Family History Center and learn all you need to about accessing your family members in the 1940 census even without having an index.

Speaking of which, have you signed up to index the 1940 census with TCGS? Just contact John Covey, our TCGS President, to get your name on our list. It is possible there are incentives for our society if we can help with the indexing. If you are already indexing, it is just a matter of adding your work to the society totals, at least that is the understanding.

And, for those of you who want to go one step further and really understand why censuses were created (and surprise, surprise, they were not created so genealogists could find their ancestors), the attitude of the people about censuses and why some of our ancestors resisted being counted in the census, you may want to listen to the podcast Beyond Numbers: A History of the US Census from the website Backstory with the American History Guys,

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bibles and Genealogy

Last night brought us another excellent presentation from Susan Davis Faulkner, past president of TCGS. Susan’s witty and thorough coverage of why and how to use Bibles for our genealogical research was outstanding.

TCGS’ monthly general meeting was held at the Mid-Columbia Library to celebrate the exhibit Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible. How wonderful to learn we were only one of two cities in the whole state of Washington to be a part of  this special exhibition. Thanks to Susan and Michael, MCL staff member, for arranging for this wonderful and unique opportunity, the exhibit of several locally-owned Bibles and Susan’s informative presentation.

Susan gave us some good background on the existence of Bibles in our world. Did you know that it took 350 years after the King James Bible was first written for another Bible to take its place along side it? Wow! That’s staying power if there ever was any. And, to be sure, the KJV has not been replaced. Many people today still use it in spite of a handful of other versions.

Because the “family Bible” was a precious commodity, many people chose not to write their family data in it. In spite of this, the Bible owned by your family may still holds pieces of gold. People often kept such important documents as deeds, wills, bonds and land records in their Bible. In addition, one might also find funeral cards, pictures, letters, locks of hair and pressed flowers. Most of these can be used to enhance your genealogical research.

Bibles are especially useful for research because vital records are more rare than one would think. In essence, they are, except for a few instances, a 20th century invention, while the Bible has been around since 1611. Of course, many of the other written records or pictures that wind up in Bibles are also pretty modern concepts, so hopefully your ancestors took the time to record your family’s heritage in the family Bible.

The Manifold Greatness Exhibition will be at the Mid-Columbia Library until the end of March. At 7pm, Thursday, March 22nd, there will be another presentation entitled, “A Visual History of the King James Bible” with author and scholar Donald Brake, Ph.D. In addition, the movie Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible will be showing at Fairchild Cinemas in Pasco, 7pm Thursday, March 29. Both the presentation and movie are free.

King James Bible

Thursday, February 9, 2012

RootsTech Live Stream Schedule

Last night, TCGS Members attending our general meeting saw an overview of the very successful RootsTech 2012 Conference. It was mentioned that the now-videotaped sessions are running at the site but no schedule had been posted.

Dick Eastman posted a list of the sessions that were available through Live Stream. This list should help with finding the session you want to listen to.

The link will take you to the EOGN blog where Dick posted a list of each day's sessions and the times they would occur. Do not worry about the exact times, but calculate the length of each presentation to approximate where you might find them in the now-playing live stream repeats.

Here's your link:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

At RootsTech!

TCGS Members, Are you following RootsTech?

Classes are available to follow by going to The directions are pretty straight-forward.  The live streaming seems to be playing over and over, so you won’t miss them even if you are not home at the exact same time they are being presented.

Please leave your comments on this blog or Facebook so I can incorporate them in my presentation.

Thanks for your help and hope you enjoy the conference as much as we are.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Richland FHC Director, Richard Allen, Doesn’t Disappoint!

As always, we are offered treats when our FHC director, Richard Allen, gives a presentation whether it is for TCGS as it was Wednesday or at the Richland Family History Center.
This month, he again returned to his favorite website,, that just seems to be get bigger and better all the time, especially if you listen to Richard. He always finds the gems and presents us with new and interesting ways to research using
Below is a list of the topics he covered followed by a link to a list of all 27 videos on demo’ing the many facets of that ever-growing website. Richard used several of the videos in his presentation but those were just a taste of what has to offer. Check them out!
Kudos to Richard for always giving us such tantalizing and useful peeks at what is available to all of us free-of-charge and just a few clicks away on the internet. - A Treasure Trove of Family History Information provides FREE online access to:
• BILLIONS of indexed original records.
• BILLIONS of original record images.
• Family Trees from the Ancestral File and the Pedigree Resource File.
• A Catalog of all materials (including microfilm, microfiche, and publications) found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
• Thousands of scanned and downloadable books (Family Histories, County and Local Histories, etc.) from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and other major genealogy libraries.
• The Research Wiki with thousands of family history articles and links to other sources of family history information.
• Hundreds of free online Research Courses covering a variety of topics and geographic areas.
• FamilySearch Forums where you can obtain answers to your specific research questions.
• FamilySearch Blogs with information about new and upcoming resources and capabilities.
• Getting Started Videos to help you begin your family history.
• Technology Tips such as how to use your Smartphone for genealogical research, or how to tag people in digital photographs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Make TCGS a Part of YOUR New Year’s Resolutions

Wednesday evening, Richard Allen, the director of the Richland Family History Center will speak on “FamilySearch”.

In the webinar, “10 Ways to Jump Start Your Genealogy” by Thomas MacEntee, just aired this evening, it was suggested you join a genealogy society and “Get Out!” to freshen your perspective and re-energize your research.

Starting your New Year with Richard Allen introducing us to all that is new with FamilySearch certainly could help us “jump start our genealogy.”

Make a resolution today to attend all that TCGS has to offer. You may be surprised at all you will have gained by December.

7pm Parkview Estates 7820 W Sixth Avenue in Kennewick

See ya there!

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