Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Connecting in 2016

The definition of the word “join” is simply to bring together or to connect. When we join the TriCity Genealogical Society we have many opportunities to bring together our interests in genealogy with others that have the same interest. By connecting with others of this same interest we have an opportunity to learn which helps us manage and strengthen our own personal research and interest. Being a member of the TriCity Genealogical Society is a dance that allows us to swirl in movement as we interact, learn, and teach. Our membership helps provide opportunities for this dance to occur.

We could list all of the details of each aspect of membership. If we did this we could start with the TCGS Bulletin which is an online publication written by and for genealogists. Many of the articles published in the Bulletin share struggles and successes of TCGS members. Reading these articles allows us to not only learn from their experiences but also get to know these members in a more personal light. We can casually build a contact list of who to ask questions covering various topics.

If we built a list of benefits to being a member of TCGS we could discuss the educational opportunities that are available to us monthly. Adding this to the list would possibly be a distraction as we reflect over the various Regular Meeting speakers or Hands-On Classes that have been offered in just the past year.

If we decided to build a list of benefits to joining TCGS we could consider the projects that would allow each of us to contribute to the genealogical community as a whole. We could list projects dealing with our local family history centers or even specify the indexing project for the largest family history library in the world.

In building a list of benefits that being a member of the TriCity Genealogical Society gave us we could count the social media aspects of Facebook and the TriCity Genealogical Society Blog. We would once again need to guard against distraction however because the articles and pictures of membership activity could be an interruption.

Instead of building such a list we should consider the basic principle of economics that explains that we, as consumers, vote with our dollars. If we believe in the benefit of a product and we want to see that product grow and expand and flourish we vote by spending our money in its favor. If we believe that the TriCity Genealogical Society is a group of people that contribute to the world of genealogy and that we can learn by joining with that group then we should invest in its future by paying our annual dues. We should all join the future of TCGS and pay our 2016 dues and join together as we build a list of what we want 2016 to offer.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Don’t Pay Your 2016 Dues. Win Your Membership in the October Archived Document Contest.

Entries to the Archived Document Contest in September gave the Judges plenty to discuss. They enjoyed getting to know the individuals behind the documents that were offered.

Digital copies of a scrapbook were shared. These scrapbooks were created by a businessman in the early 20th century. He collected poems that he enjoyed written by Whittier, Longfellow and Wordsworth. He also kept copies of his own poetry that had been published in local newspapers. The poetry showed a very special and unknown part of this man who was known as a businessman and Seattle politician. Typical genealogical records would have never been able to share the spiritual and sensitive side of this person, yet the scrapbook collection made it possible to get to know this side of him.

Typical genealogical records can provide insight into ancestral mysteries though. The Judges also got to review a digitized copy of a marriage certificate found at the Ellensburg library. In finding this certificate descendants discovered that their ancestor had married again after his wife had died. Not only had he remarried but he had married a woman with the same first name as his deceased wife. Without finding this marriage certificate it would have been easy to assume that his first wife had lived many years longer than she did since both women died with the same name.

After much discussion, and a lot of fun with various scenarios, the Judges decided that Mina Jo Payson was the winner of the September contest. Her document taught a very important lesson in allowing the documents to support our research. This was a difficult decision for the Judges, however, as they would love to see everyone find a scrapbook filled with items of importance to our ancestors.

This is for the documents contest. My brother came home from the library in Ellensburg and asked me if our great grandfather had a second wife. When I went up to the library, we looked for a marriage certificate and guess what? He married his housekeeper six years after his first wife, Sarah, died. Conveniently her first name was Sarah, too! This led to some more interesting discoveries about our family.

What have you discovered about your ancestor? Share a digital copy of a document on the TriCity Genealogical Society Facebook page. The document could have been found anywhere except the Internet. Explain where you found the document and how it ties into your family history research. Don’t pay your dues. Win your dues. The prize for the October Archived Document Contest is a 2016 Membership to the TriCity Genealogical Society