Ancestry Day in Washington State

ancestryJoin Ancestry, Washington State Archives, Washington State Library, Legacy Washington and the Washington State Historical Society as they present Ancestry Day in Washington State, Sept 23-24, 2016.  Both novice and experienced genealogists are welcome at this event.  Registration for the Ancestry Day on Saturday, Sept 24 is $35.00 and includes admission to all Saturday classes presented by Ancestry.  Lunch tickets can be purchased for an additional $15.00, which includes a box lunch and the lunch speaker.  Special presentations will be offered by the Washington State Historical Society and the Washington State History Museum on Friday, Sept. 23, for $15.00.  These are limited to the first 225 participants that register for Saturday. Pre-registration is encouraged and available online thru 5:00 pm, September 17, 2016.  If you miss the pre-registration deadline, you can purchase a ticket at the door for Saturday’s event ONLY.  Once you select the ticket for Saturday, you will have the option to purchase tickets for Friday, and also a box lunch on Saturday, which includes attendance to the lunch speaker as well.  We are excited to have you come to our Ancestry Day in Washington State, but realize that sometimes things come up to prevent you from coming.  Please be aware that the last day you can request a cancellation with refund is Saturday, September 10, 2016. Please read the FAQs below for answers to common questions: 1.  Where can I park? Are there parking fees?               There is parking around the venue, and there are parking fees.  There are also public                transportation options.  Please refer to these links for more information:                Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center -                Washington State Historical Society – 2.  Is the facility handicap accessible?                Yes, it is fully ADA accessible. 3.  Is there handicap parking close to the facility?                There is a drop off area at the front of the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade                Center. Parking Lot A in the garage is Van Accessible 4.  Do you have a special rate for the area hotels?                There are no special rates, but here is a link to hotels and activities in the area:                            Trip Advisor has a list of hotels near the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center:                Greater_Tacoma_Convention_Trade_Center-Tacoma_Washington.htm 5.  Can I bring my own lunch on Saturday?                  The conference center does not allow guests to bring in outside food. 6.  Are there restaurants nearby?                  There are restaurants in the area but not particularly close by.  You may purchase                  a ticket for a box lunch, which also includes the lunch speaker.    7.  How far is the venue from the airport?                  The Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center is located about 25 miles from                  the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. 8.  What is the dress code for this event?                  Casual, but we recommend bringing layers as rooms can be warm or cool and the                  weather in the Pacific Northwest can be sunny or rainy. 9.  Is the venue within walking distance of the hotel?                   There are several hotels within walking distance of the venue. 10.  What should I bring with me?                    Something to take notes on, and a light sweater or jacket 11.  Can I bring a water bottle into the venue?                   Yes,  you can bring a personal water bottle 12.  Will this event be just for searching in Washington, or will it include general searches as well?                    This will be appropriate for anyone that is interested in doing family history                   research.               13.  Will there be a Wi-Fi connection?                    There is free Wi-Fi, but it is limited 14.  If the events for Friday are sold-out, will there be a waiting list?                     There will be a waiting list.  If someone cancels, an email will be sent to the next                    person on the waiting list.  They will have 1 day to respond and purchase the                   available ticket.  If they don’t take action, an email will be sent to the next person                   on the list.  15.  What is there to do in Tacoma on a Friday evening?                     Here is a link with information on what there is to do in Tacoma:             

Source: Ancestry Day in Washington State

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FREE WEBINAR: Genealogy Jamboree Blog

Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 6:00 p.m. PDT
Teresa “Tessa” Keough

What’s In a Name? Every Surname Tells a Story

Join us!


Surnames tell a fascinating story about our ancestors’ past. From origin to meaning, migration to frequency, come learn how to find and include that story in your own family history.

Source: Genealogy Jamboree Blog

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Tracing Your Ancestor’s Education

ancestry school

[Click the line further down on the page to get a free 5-page pdf file to help you locate school records.  This resource has been provided by, available on all patron computers at Jackson County Genealogy Library, Medford, OR.]

Inside Scoop

Tracing your ancestor’s education.
Whether you’re looking for a valedictorian or a class clown, education records can open a priceless window into someone’s younger years. You might get a look at their academic endeavors, extracurricular interests, athletic achievements, bosom buddies; maybe even a glimpse of their prom date.

So where do you find these pearls of insight (and possible incrimination)? Well, sit up straight and sharpen your pencils because Juliana Szucs is sharing her crib notes on how to find out where, when, and whether your ancestor made the grade.

Get the guide
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U.S. Coast Guard’s Birthday

[Find these records on Fold3, available to patrons of Jackson County Genealogy Library, Medford, OR.]fold3

Find: U.S. Coast Guard’s 226th Birthday

This August marks the 226th birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard, originally created as the Revenue Marine in August 1790 by Congress. The Revenue Marine was formed at the request of Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, as an armed service to collect and enforce customs duties at U.S. ports. Though the Continental Navy was created before the Revenue Marine (in 1775), the Navy’s disbandment between 1790 and 1798 makes the Coast Guard the oldest continuous maritime service in the U.S.

By 1894, the Revenue Marine had officially taken on the name the Revenue Cutter Service. Then, in 1915, the Revenue Cutter Service was combined with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to create…Continue Reading

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Find-WWII Letters Home

[ is available to all patrons at Jackson County Genealogy Library.  Check out their valuable collection of newspapers.]

For family members on the home front during World War II, receiving letters from sons and daughters serving overseas was often a happy occasion, as it meant their child was still alive—at least for now. Some families received letters from their children, only to later receive a dreaded telegram informing them of injury or death. Though for a lucky few, the reverse was also sometimes true: the family erroneously received a telegram from the military, only to receive a letter from the serviceman dated after the telegram, letting his family know he was alive.

Due to military censorship, and the servicemen and women’s own desire not to worry the folks back home, the letters were often…Continue Reading

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The Ancestry Insider: Gordon Atkinson and Fold3 – #BYUFHGC

Here are some good tips on getting the most from Fold3, the military records resource. Source: The Ancestry Insider: Gordon Atkinson and Fold3 – #BYUFHGC

At the 2016 BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy Gordon Atkinson presented “Getting to Know Fold3.” is owned by Gordon started at Ancestry in the early 2000s. He [and others?] left in waves in 2006 and created the company Footnote. It launched in 2007 and went well because of its relationship with the National Archives and Records Administration. In October 2010 Ancestry acquired Footnote. We went back into “the mothership” as we liked to call them. Afterwards Ancestry rebranded them as Fold3. When the flag is folded there are 13 folds. The 3rd fold honors those who have given their all to their country.

In the last year and a half, they changed their logo from a folded flag to a chevron. They are adding non U.S. content and this logo is more universal. Their colors used to be orange and blue. Perhaps it was because Gordon and their designer liked the Denver Broncos.

They just recently moved their offices from Lindon to the new Ancestry building in Lehi. “We moved in with them. That’s a big step in any relationship,” he joked. Gordon thinks It’s a beautiful place and will allow for better collaboration. And it has chocolate milk on tap!

Fold3’s content is harder to organize than Newspapers are easily organized by location and date. Military records are a whole other ballgame. They are difficult to index. The content varies from record to record. A record often doesn’t have birth and death information; searching by that information won’t find your ancestor.

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Do’s and Don’t on Ancestry

Five Genealogy DOs and one DON’T on
Posted by Diane

For folks who are newer or less-frequent users on, we’re sharing some genealogy DOs and a DON’T for searching for ancestors on the site. They come fromFamily Tree University’s Master Workshop next week, Aug. 15-18. is a genealogy staple, but because it’s so large and contains so much information, it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for. As the site evolves, certain views and features change, too, which can add to your confusion. If you want to take advantage of the full complement of’s databases (which number more than 30,000 and range in size from 2 million-plus names all the way down to one name), there are some essential steps you should add to your to-do list:

  • Do search specific collections. It’s easy to head straight for the global search on the home page, but the other, smaller collections listed in the Card Catalogmay turn up hidden gems.
  • Do create a game plan for your search. It’s tempting—and it can be useful—to just type in a name and hit Search, but you end up with a lot of results to wade through. Once you get past the relevant results on the first couple of pages, try a different approach: Set a specific goal for the type of information you want to find and the kind of record that would contain this information. Adjusting your search terms accordingly (and using filters when you view your matches) will bring more-accurate results.
  • Do familiarize yourself with everything has to offer—from trees and shaky leaf hints (yes, these can be very helpful when used with care)—to historical records, message boards (which are free for anyone to use), andAncestryDNA.
  • Do try for free during a free-access weekend (usually around holidays such as the Fourth of July or Veterans Day), at a FamilySearch Center, or at a library that offers Ancestry Library Edition. This way, you can get comfortable with the site before you subscribe (or decide not to).
  • Do revisit your searches every so often, as databases are frequently added and updated. New results may show up.

And we’ll add one don’t:

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Vital Records for Jackson County and Josephine County Oregon at JCGL

50th logoJackson County Genealogy Library located at 3405 S. Pacific Highway in Medford, OR is the largest genealogy library between Redding CA and Portland OR.   Our website, Jackson County Genealogy Library, contains a plethora of indexes to vital records as well as a very large number of obituaries for both Jackson County and Josephine County. [See the August 2 post about our obituary collection.] JCGL is a nonprofit, volunteer-run library that does not receive public funding.

Indexes to our vital records are alphabetized and clearly indicate the person whose birth record or whose marriage record you might receive. [Our thanks to volunteer Terry Fischer for updating our indexes.]  To get to the the indexes on our website, select the <Vital Records> link and then select the type of vital record you are interested in as shown in the list below.

  • Birth Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Conger Morris Mortuary Records (1904-1922)
  • Early Funeral Card Collection
  • Abstracts of Death Records (1906-1926)
  • Death Certificates (1904-1959)

As an example of the breadth of our vital records offerings in each category, we have indexes to marriage and anniversary announcements from the Medford Mail Tribune and other local newspapers from 1942 through 1915.   We also have digital copies from the Jackson County courthouse of marriage certificates for 1863-1954 and marriage affidavits for 1951-1970.  Because the year ranges overlap you can obtain a copy of both the court record and the newspaper announcement for $10.  Simply make that request when you place your order.  You can place your order for records through postal mail or for faster turnaround use PayPal.  (You do not need to have a PayPal account to use PayPal.)

A separate category for records created during the pioneer era is also available.   Go to our website and click on the <Pioneer Records> link to view that selection.

It’s easy to search our website using Google.  Enter your search term in the Google Search box then follow the search term with  This is the quick a dirty method for checking for hits.  A much more thorough way is to go to the website, select the type of record and year range in which you are interested and then examine our alphabetized indexes.  We are all all too familiar with transcription errors in indexes to be satisfied with the quick and dirty global search technique.


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Headright Grants

Headrights were grants of land to settlers and played a significant role in the expansion of the American colonies in North America prior to the American Revolution. Both the Virginia Company and Plymouth Company offered headrights to settlers as an incentive to come to the American colonies. The headright system was used in several colonies, primarily Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, and Georgia.

Most headright grants were for 1 to 1,000 acres of land, and were given to anyone willing to cross the Atlantic Ocean and help populate the colonial America. Headrights were granted to anyone who would pay for the transportation costs of a laborer or indentured servant. These land grants usually consisted of 50 acres for someone newly moving to the area and 100 acres for people previously living in the area.

Read more at Genealogy Blog.

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Findmypast Friday, August 5th 2016 – Findmypast – Genealogy, Ancestry, History blog from Findmypast

United States, Canadian Border Crossings

United States, Canadian Border Crossings contains over 6.6 million highly detailed records. The collection is made up of four collections from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), including both indexes and passenger manifests of entries from Canada into the United States through St Albans, Vermont, between 1895 and 1954.

Passage to Canada was generally less expensive than travelling directly to the United States. If you have been unable to discover how your ancestors arrived in the United States using other US travel and migration records, it could be because that they chose to take this route.

Explore US/Canadian border crossings and Yorkshire parish records

Source: Findmypast Friday, August 5th 2016 – Findmypast – Genealogy, Ancestry, History blog from Findmypast

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