Memorial Day Free Access

Cllick the link to enjoy free access to military records on  Offer good through May 25th. Memorial Day Free Access.

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Tech Glitches Mar an Excellent Conference

As a regular RootsTech attendee, I couldn’t help comparing tech operations at NGS 2015 with those at RootsTech.  I have listed below a few of my observations of the differences. #ngs2015gen

Audio-Visual Comparisons

1. Those sitting more than a few feet from Mark Lowe at the opening session on Wednesday could not tell he was wearing a costume.  I learned about the costume later from Tweets in the Twitter feed. At RootsTech morning sessions, a central screen shows an enlarged image of the speaker.  You can count the warts on his/her nose if you like.

2. At the Wednesday opening session of NGS, those sitting at the two sides of the large conference room had nothing on the screen at each side of the room.Only those sitting in the center two sections could directly view Mark’s slides. At RootsTech huge screens are mounted all across the front of the room.  There are no bad seats in the house.

3. Some talks I attended were punctuated by abrupt termination of the show when the



computer failed to communicate with the projector.  In some cases these were rectified quickly, in others they were not.  Josh Taylor’s (T212)comment was to the effect of  “Let’s return to overhead projectors.”  I understand there were problems with connections made with HDMI cables, but HDMI cables are not new technology.  I do not recall interruptions of this kind at RootsTech.

4. Presenters should have been provided with wireless lapel mikes so that they could move around while speaking and did not have to stand within inches of the podium-mounted mikes. At F303, Donna Moughty was shown how to use a handheld wireless mike,but the mike kept cutting in and out. At F315, Jordan Jones wandered away from the podium mike until the audience shouted him back.

Other Differences:  Apps, Live Streaming, WiFi

5. The NGS app has intrusive tutorials that prevent you from quickly doing what you Sneetchwant;  users should be able to turn them off.   On the flip side, I couldn’t find instructions telling me how to populate my schedule from the session listings.  My suggestion was that attendees be told to put “Stars upon Thars” to populate their schedules. Updates to the app are too frequent and take too long to download. The RootsTech app was similar in scope and content, did not have the intrusive tutorials, and updates were less frequent.

6. NGS does not allow libraries or societies to broadcast live streaming sessions even when the required fees are paid.  RootsTech URGES societies to broadcast live streaming sessions and individuals can watch recordings of sessions from the RootsTech website for months after the convention. All for free.

7.  The last comparison favors NGS.  WiFi service was excellent throughout the St. Charles Conference Center.  It was generally more reliable and faster than WiFi service in the Salt Palace.

My conclusion is that NGS needs to emulate RootsTech to improve conference experiences of both presenters and attendees.   One recommendation (from Dick Eastman’s blog) is that big conferences be held in the same location each year so that procedures do not have to be annually re-fashioned from scratch. Develop a good crew and keep them on.

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Librarian’s Day at NGS 2015

IMG_20150512_083801What I Learned at Librarian’s Day


Librarian’s Day was held on Tuesday, May 12th in conjunction with NGS 2015, “Crossroads of America.”   The speakers included Bryan K. McGraw, Director of NARA-St. Louis, John Dougan, Missouri State Archivist, and Christina Miller, Certified Archivist.  William Forsyth, of ProQuest provided a lunchtime address. Here are a few highlights of their talks:

Bryan McGraw

Bryan McGraw

Bryan McGraw described the construction of NARA-St. Louis and explained which files were destroyed when the 6th floor of the old building was burned.   The fire resulted in the loss of 80% of the Army records for 1912-1959 and 75% of the Air Force records for 1942-1963.  He also explained that other records may be available for military personnel for those time periods.  Military personnel records may contain significant genealogical information, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, and photos along with other information.  Civil service personnel folders can also be obtained.  Obtain records at the public research room or be mail.  Forms are available for your requests.

William Forsyth

William Forsyth

At lunchtime, William Forsyth’s topic was “What’s New at ProQuest.”   First, ProQuest will begin providing library editions of Fold3 and  Libraries will be able to select which regions will be included in their subscriptions to  Fold3 will undergo some revisions intended to make search more comprehensive, requiring less browsing.  Second, Heritage Quest is still in transition, it is still being  migrated to the Ancestry format and more content has been added.  Forsyth pointed out that the HQ book collection now totals 40,000 titles including city directories.  There is a new Research Aids section and webinars are available at and on You Tube. Heritage Quest provides a Map Guide to US Federal Census, an online version of Dollarhide’s classic book.  HQ also includes PERSI but the HQ version does not contain materials added after 2009.  More recent entries can be found on the Findmypast website.  For more information about HQ updates go to Of interest to K-12 teachers, Ancestry will provide AncestryK12 access for FREE.  A grant program is available. Here’s the link,

Christina Miller

Christina Miller

The remainder of the day was devoted to a discussion of in-house digitization of records with the intention to provide internet access at libraries and societies presented by John Dougan and Christina Miller at the Missouri State Archives.  They urged all libraries and societies to develop an online presence illustrating their holdings. even if your website has only a few indexes or access to a few digital records; the purpose is to promote interest in your collection.

Dougan, John

John Dougan

Before launching a digitization project, plan to spend 84% of your time on planning, 21% indexing and describing, and 5% scanning.  The total is 110%.. indicating that an all out plus effort is needed for success.  Projects are expensive to launch and then maintain as new data formats and storage hardware are developed.

To my dismay, I learned that obituaries, births, deaths, marriages clipped from newspapers are under copyright after 1923 and may not even be clear of copyright before that date.  Newspapers may resort to litigation to protect their copyright interests.

Scott Hall

Scott Hall

At the beginning of Librarian’s Day, Scott Hall, Director of Genealogy at the St. Louis County Library, was named Librarian of the Year, an award accompanied by $1000 in cash.   This library is home to the NGS collection and books can be ordered via interlibrary loan.

Posted by Barbara Basden, Official Blogger NGS 2015

link to conference website

link to conference website

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Arrival at NGS 2015 in St. Louis Missouri

link to conference website

link to conference website

This is Barbara Basden, ePublications Director for RVGS, and I’m blogging from St. Louis at the National Genealogical Society (NGS) 2015 Conference and thought I would share with you a few photos I’ve taken.  At the left  is my badge as an official blogger for NGS and below is a picture I took of my credentials at the meeting. #ngs2015gen.  Clicking on the badge takes you to the conference website.


goody bagAs an attendee I received a “Goody Bag,” shown at the left.  Just below is a picture of all the goodies and offers provided with the Goody Bag. If you look closely you can see the Oregon Pioneers card provided by RVGS/JCGL.

goody bag content

To round out the morning (1st day of the conference), here’s  a picture of the Omelet Chef at the Embassy Suites, the hotel attached to the St. Charles Convention Center. As you  can see, everyone is in good spirits here.



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Quick Help with the NGS 2015 App: Stars upon Thars

NGS-2015-OfficialSocialMediaPress-120x90I’m a regular attendee of the RootsTech grand genealogy carnival put on at Salt Lake City each spring and am grateful each year for the app they provide.   So I was a little surprised to discover I had trouble getting sessions transferred to my personal schedule in the NGS app.  Grasping at straws, I’ll put some of the blame on the popup tutorials built into the NGS app.  [I’m one of those people who explore on my own, clicking icons at whim if they look likely.]  The secret is stars, but more about this later.

I use the app primarily to figure out where to go next for each class during each day.   As I finish each class, I pull out my smartphone and go to my schedule, which when populated, lists each class, its time, and its location.   The app also provides maps to the facility to help you figure out where you are going.  The Salt Palace in immense and complex!  But you have to have the classes you selected transferred to your personal schedule.

SneetchWell, as I said earlier, you need to apply stars.  For each class that you plan to attend, click the star to the left of the title and that class with its information will be transferred to your personal schedule.  Your preferred classes will become “Sneetches with Stars upon Thars!” If you can’t decide between two or more classes you can put stars on all the competitors and make your decision based on the whim of the moment.   Another hint, search by date rather than by track if you have already made your selections from another source.

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Irish Gravestone Photographs

Irish Gravestone Photographs.

Irish Gravestones

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Irish Genealogy Summer School 2015 – The In-Depth GenealogistThe In-Depth Genealogist

Irish Genealogy Summer School 2015 – The In-Depth GenealogistThe In-Depth Genealogist.

Irish Genealogy Summer School


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Genealogy Jamboree Blog

Jamboree Webinar

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How Safe Is Your Family History? FREE Ebook on Preserving Your Family’s Oral History AND Free fold3 Access This Week!

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eNews for Rogue Valley Genealogical Society/Jackson County Genealogy Library

Classes and Events

All classes are held at the Jackson County Genealogy Library, 3405 S. Pacific Highway.  Where indicated, please register in advance.  Some classes and workshops are free but there are fees for others, please check for fees at the end of the class description.

Tue, May 5
Family Tree Maker “PC” User Group, 1:30 – 3:00 pm
FTM 2014This is an informal, casual group where everyone is encouraged to bring problems or concerns, etc. and as a group we try and resolve these issues. It is a great way to keep connected and share information, too. Please call (541)512-2340, email: or drop by the library to register for this class. Free and Fun!

Thu, May 7
JCGL Quilt Documentation Day, 10:00 am –1:30pm
quiltingQuilt owners are encouraged to bring in their quilts so that we can document and preserve information about the quilts and quilt makers for future generations. Knowing the “who, why, when and where” about a quilt adds meaning and richness to your family history. Please call (541)512-2340, email: or drop by the library to schedule an appointment well in advance. We will send you a quilt history form for each quilt (limit 2 per owner) to complete and bring with you. The cost is $10 per quilt.

Thu, May 7
“Digital Newspapers,” 2:30pm –4:30pm
OR newspapersJoin us for a two part class on digital newspapers. The first hour is presented by Sheila Rabun of the University of Oregon on the Oregon Digital Newspaper Project (ODNP) and Chronicling America (the Library of Congress’ free country-wide collection of historical digitized newspapers) and the second hour is a discussion of the three JCGL subscription websites, Genealogy Bank, NewspaperArchive, and (collections of digitized newspapers both historical and recent) by Anne Billeter. This class will be extremely helpful to librarians, volunteers and those who are trying to use newspapers in their family history research. Please call (541)512-2340, email: or drop by the library to register for this class. Free.

Sat, May 9
Family Tree Maker – Creating Charts and Reports, 10:30am – 12:30pm
FTM 2014FTM offers a wide variety of family tree charts to help you show off your work. You can add your own personal touches by customizing the charts with backgrounds, colors, photos, fonts, and more. FTM also includes a number of reports to help you organize and understand all the information you have entered in your tree. Charleen Brown is the instructor. Please call (541)512-2340, email: or drop by the library to register for this class. Cost: $10.00 for members and $20.00 for non-members.

Wed, May 13
ftm_mac-650x650_tcm23-159467Family Tree Maker ~ MAC User Group, 10am – 11:30am
Family Tree Maker User Group (Mac computers). Barbara MacMillen is the facilitator of this informal group discussing FTM, Genealogy and Mac computers. Please either call (541)512-2340 or email: or drop by the library to sign up in advance for this workshop. Free.

Thu, May 14
“Genealogy on the Go!” 10:30am – 12:00pm
iPhoneIt’s a mobile world, carry your family tree in your pocket. This class, taught by Rich Miles, will provide an overview of genealogy centric apps available for the iPhone and iPad. (Apps will be cross-referenced with Android devices, but presenter will not be able to assist with the Android operating system). You can bring your smart phone or tablet, but it is not necessary. Knowledge of how to purchase and download apps is preferred. Please either call (541)512-2340, email: or drop by the library to sign up in advance. For members only.  Free.

Sun, May 17 – Sun, May 24
FHLRVGS Member Research Trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City 
All reservations must be made individually, but we will gather at the Plaza Hotel in Salt Lake City and can walk together the few steps required to get to the Family History Library.  We will have the opportunity to socialize as a group and share our finds during this research trip.  A block of rooms has been reserved at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel at Temple Square for the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society for May 17 through May 24.   Call the hotel at 801-521-0130 to reserve YOUR room within that block.  Then arrange your travel to Salt Lake City. We recommend that you make flight reservations through Delta Airlines.  Delta has a direct flight to Salt Lake City that leaves and returns at mid-day.   The cost of the room is $84/night for a single or a double.  The estimated cost of the flight is $450.  Please contact Betty Miller, 541-245-3427 or  Betty will schedule a meeting before the trip to answer questions and further explain the research trip.   If you plan to go, please sign up at the library, call 541-512-2340, or email so that Betty will know who is going.
For more information about doing research at the Family History Library, read this blog post about your 1st trip to the Family History Library and what to do there.

Tue, May 19
 3rd TUESDAY Public Programs and Members Meeting, 1:30pm –3:00pm
indianThis month’s public program and general membership meeting features a presentation on Native American Genealogy by David West, Director, Native American Studies Program at Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon. Mr. West discusses the seven generation genealogy standard for Native Americans who are researching their family history and offers insights into historical perspectives as well as contemporary issues. Focus areas will be “removal rolls”, “allotment rolls”, “enrollment rolls”, blood quantum requirements, and descendancy-based enrollments. Free.

Tue, May 19
DIGGIN’ IN THE DARK: Genealogy after Hours, 3pm – 9pm
Diggin' for DataHow’s your Family History? Do you have missing puzzle pieces? Come join the fantastic volunteers who are here to assist you when the library remains open until 9 PM! Show up anytime that evening and use our computers with subscriptions to all the best genealogy research sites or our worldwide book collection. Come join us for an evening of family history FUN! Bring your known family information, a USB flash drive for saving what we find, and your dinner and leave blurry-eyed at 9 PM!  This will be the last in this series of free public programs, but JCGL will remain open until 9 pm on all subsequent Tuesday evenings.

Wed, May 20
DAR Lineage Workshop, 10am -2 pm
DAR meeting

Shirley O’Neil, state lineage chair, will explain how to get your lineage certified and stored by the DAR.  Free.

May 26
QUILTS AND GENEALOGY TALKS: “Butterflies in Time,” 1:30pm – 2:30pm
butterfly quilt“Butterflies in Time” by Cheryl Luschen and Sue Waldron – Twelve embroidered butterfly quilt blocks were found soiled and stained in a box of old fabrics. We began knowing of only a single family connection to the Brockway family and ended with new information about long-time residents of Jackson and Josephine counties. This is a one-hour talk, come and learn about how these quilts can be connected to genealogy. Free.

Fri, May 29
Irish Scots-Irish Roots Interest Group Planning Meeting, 10:30-11:30
shamrockA large number of attendees at the recent Irish Scots-Irish Roots seminar expressed an interest in forming an interest group of people researching this topic.  The initial planning session will be held on Friday, May 29, at 10:30-11:30 at the library. Are YOU interested?  Please attend and give your ideas on what you want to see in this interest group.  Register by email:, telephone 541-512-2340, or in person.  Free.

Sat, May 30
“The Why and How of Property Research,” 10:00am –2:30pm
klamath fallsScharri Brennan, from Klamath Basin Genealogical Society, shares her knowledge of property research. This two-part class starts with the 10-11:30 morning session as a broad overview of why you should tackle finding the property records of your ancestors, and how you might start to search for those records. The afternoon session from 1:00 to 2:30 will include exploring a few websites along with a question and answer period. Bring your lunch or enjoy the nearby restaurants or cafe.  Sign up today, call: 541-512-2340, email: or drop by the library. Cost: $20 for members, and $30 for non-members.

Tue, June 2
Family Tree Maker “PC” User Group, 1:30pm –3:00pm
FTM 2014In this informal, casual group, everyone is encouraged to bring problems or concerns, etc. and as a group we try and resolve these issues. It is a great way to keep connected and share information, too. Please call (541)512-2340, email:, or drop by the library to register for this class. Free and Fun!

Sat, June 6
Brick Wall Roundtable, 10:30am—12:30pm
brick%20wallBring your questions and get suggestions and answers to break through your brick walls. Please call (541)512-2340, email: or drop by the library to register for this class. Free.

Upcoming Events at JCGL: 

  1. RVGS Member Fair: Tue, Sept 15thSubmit and share your story!  Please see details in the RVGS News Section of this issue of the eNews.
  2. Scandinavian Interest Group Meeting will be Wednesday, 17 June, from 10-11:30am.   [Note the Webinar on Swedish Research scheduled for May 6!]
  3. Genealogy Week, Sept 28-Oct.3

Out of Town

May 12
Grants Pass, Oregon
GPGSGrants Pass Genealogical Society. Diana Hale will be speaking about the DAR.  She will explain how to join it.  Her talk will begin at 1:30 pm after the business meeting. GPGS meets at the LDS Church – corner of Williams Hwy and West Harbeck Road in Grants Pass. Free.
May 13-16
St. Charles, Missouri
National Genealogical Society Family History Conference: Crossroads of America
NGS2015As people traveled the waterways, trails, and eventually railroads in search of new homes, the Midwest became the crossroads of the nation. Some settlers arrived from their first American homes in the East while others traveled directly from abroad. Some migrated via east coast ports while others sailed to New Orleans then made their way up the Mississippi River to reach points north and west. All traveled with their families, their hopes and dreams, customs, occupations, and religious beliefs. Regardless of their final destinations, those early travelers left many footprints along the way as they crossed America. Explore these migration records at the 2015 NGS Conference.   RVGS/JCGL will be represented by professional genealogist member Melinda Henningfield, who will discuss migration via the Oregon Trail.   Please click on this link, NGS 2015, to bring up the conference brochure.

June 5-7
Burbank, California
Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree: Genealogy FANfare
icon-jamboree-handshake-logoLos Angeles Marriott Burbank, Burbank, CA.

100 + Lectures

  • Workshops | Exhibit Hall
  • Free Sessions Friday AM
  • Speakers include Craig Scott, Judy Russell, Tom Jones
  • 2015 Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus! Thursday, June 4, 2014 from 8:30 am – 7:00 pm

Go to for registration and more information.

August 13-15
Arlington, WA
Northwest Genealogy Conference 2015
NWGCThe annual Northwest Genealogy Conference is dedicated to bringing high quality, national level genealogical education to the Pacific Northwest.  NWGC is also committed to supporting local experts and speakers with our incredible venue. The 2015 conference will build upon the success of 2014. Located about one hour north of Seattle, this genealogy conference is right between Seattle and Vancouver British Columbia.  Featured speakers include Judy Russell (Courthouse Day), Angela Packer McGhie (General Genealogy Day), and CeCe Moore (DNA Day). Go to to learn more.

September 17–19
Syracuse, NY
New York State Family History Conference
NYStateThe New York State Family History Conference will be held in Syracuse, NY. For more information the website is:

September 19
Klamath Falls, OR
Cyndi InglesFull Day Seminar with Cyndi Ingle, Founder of Cyndi’s List
Klamath Community College Program Room
1) A Guided Tour of Cyndi’s List 2.0.
2) Ten Resources I Use Every Day: Miscellaneous Tips for the Online Researcher
3) Pin Your Ancestors Down with Google Maps & Google Earth
4) Evernote for Every Genealogist
Members: $35 Non Members: $50
Visit the Klamath Basin Genealogical Society Website for more information.

Genealogy Webinars
For a complete listing of free webinars, Dear Myrt provides a website listing ALL genealogy webinars available on the internet.  To access the calendar go to  and check back frequently for topics of interest to you.  You can add the geneawebinars calendar to your personal calendar to avoid missing classes of interest to you.  I’ve listed some May 2015 webinars of interest below:

Around Brick Walls Sideways: Using Collateral Lines to Further Your Genealogical Research
Sat, May 2, 1pm – 2pm
HOSTED by Southern California Genealogical Society PRESENTED by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA REGISTRATION:
‘What is a collateral line, and what use is that to me?’ Collaterals can be a great help in working around brick walls. In genealogical terms, a collateral line is any line of descent from one or more of your ancestors through any other than your own direct line. Gary M. Smith is President, GSG and Second Vice President/National Conference Coordinator, ISFHWE. He was a founding member, Great Lakes Chapter, Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). He has written for numerous genealogical publications and enjoys speaking across the US and at sea.

Researching Your Swedish Ancestry in the 21st Century
Wed, May 6, 8pm – 9pm

HOSTED BY: Minnesota Genealogical Society PRESENTED BY: Ginny Sharp Sommarstrom REGISTRATION: TIME ZONE CONVERTER:
Researching your Swedish-American ancestors has become much easier in the last ten years, thanks to the availability of numerous Swedish and American resources in digital format, all accessible from the comforts of your home. This presentation will provide a framework for tracing Swedish-American ancestry that is based on four essential questions that must be answered. Resources for answering those questions are illustrated and discussed. With answers to those four questions in hand, we will delve into U.S. immigration, Swedish emigration, and Swedish church records. Clear step-by-step examples will help the listener find their own ancestors in these records.

Need Direction? Try City Directories! – Jean Wilcox Hibben
Tue, May 12, 9pm – 10pm 
Presenter: Jean Wilcox Hibben Date: May 12, 2015, 8:00 pm Central Description: More accessible than ever, City Directories can fill in blanks between census years, opening new chapters in your family history research. Learn how to find, navigate, and cite this valuable record source. Registration: This webinar is presented by the Illinois State Genealogical Society This webinar is sponsored by FamilySearch (

Wednesday, May 13
9:00pm –10:30pm
GenealogyBank – The Power of Finding Our Ancestor’s Stories by Tom Kemp (map)
Families often have one or two family traditions passed down over centuries – but how do we document them? Do we have old family letters or journals? If not – we need to focus on newspapers to discover and document our stories. About the presenter: Thomas Jay Kemp, a well-known genealogist, librarian and speaker, Tom has been working in libraries for the past 50 years. He is the author of more than 40 books and has lectured around the world. He is the Director, Genealogy Products NewsBank, Inc. He has served as the Library Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Time zones: 9PM Eastern, 8PM Central, 7PM Mountain, 6PM Pacific, 1AM GMT (May 14).

Martha Benshura – Enemy Alien by Judy Russell
Wed, May 20, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Not all our ancestors were naturalized. The ones who didn’t become citizens suddenly became suspect when war divided their native countries from their new residences, creating the kinds of records genealogists love. A genealogist with a law degree, Judy G. Russell is a lecturer, educator and writer who enjoys helping others understand a wide variety of genealogical issues, including the interplay between genealogy and the law. Visit her website at

Ticked Off! Those Pesky Pre-1850 “Tic Marks”
Thu, May 21, 8pm – 9pm
PRESENTED BY: Peggy Clemens Lauritzen, AG®
It’s exciting when we are able to find our ancestors on every census they appeared on, until we reach 1840 and beyond. Those pesky tic marks seem to get in our way as we work to extend our pedigrees. Just what do they mean, and how can they help me? Are they throwing us into a dead end, or can they tell us more? This lecture provides a case study following an eastern Kentucky family back into the area of Germantown, Pennsylvania.

Migration Patterns East of the Mississippi Prior to 1860 by Mary Hill
Wed, May 27, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Why did people migrate from one location to another? What routes did they follow, and how can identifying migration trails help you find your ancestors? Learn from maps and historical details how to follow the trail of your ancestors.

Rogue Valley Genealogical Society News

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! RVGS Makes the Front Page!

Mail TribuneOn April 15th, the Medford Mail Tribune featured an article written about a successful genealogy sleuthing task performed by Anne Billeter.   Read the article by clicking this link, Genealogy Sleuth.  It’s nice to get good press!

Spotlight for Excellence 2nd Quarter 2015


Chosen by the RVGS board for Spotlight for Excellence, Projects Division.

DaveBarbeNewsDave and Barbara are both retired professors who moved to Oregon over 10 years ago from Fresno, California. They have two children a daughter in California and a son in Amsterdam….a long distance to visit grandchildren.

They enjoy travel, learning, music, participating in the AAUW garden club,  and their church. Their love, however, is technology and RVGS is the benefactor.
The Spotlight of Excellence for Projects was easy to agree on with the many years of help Barbara and Dave have committed to the technology growth for JCGL. They have supervised projects, developed two websites, added many social media sites, and made many donations for equipment and subscription sites. Dave continually fixes, updates and adds to the sites. Barbara has served many years on our board, taught classes throughout the years, fixed equipment, compiled and edited a society newsletter and the list goes on and on.  Thank you Basdens—You are deserving. You are valued!!!!!


Chosen by the RVGS board for Spotlight for Excellence, Volunteer Division.

Chuck Eccleston 2012Chuck had to miss a board meeting which gave us an opportunity to unanimously vote him our spotlight choice as outstanding volunteer. A retired engineer, he married Colleen, a genealogist, and became bitten by the bug! RVGS was the winner!  As he searched for Eggelston, Eccleston and others, he turned his energy to helping others and everyone appreciates him. Even in trips to SLC, his time is spent assisting those struggling or even lost in that large library.

No one enters JCGL without getting to know Chuck and his many contributions…. Where do we start? He is a life member, with membership number 43! He has been involved since 1978. Currently, he is our volunteer coordinator, board member, and helper in whatever we ask of him. He has taught classes, served on committees, helped individuals with their genealogy projects, and was a daily worker during the new library renovation project in our current location. He is the reason we have a great library, a working team, and  an “all volunteer” organization!  Chuck said this picture of him taken during the library renovation cleanup was the best he’d ever seen!
Thank you Chuck for the years of service.

New Members, RVGS Board of Directors

Public Relations Director: Barbara Northrop

Barbara NorthropBarbara replaces Rhonda Rockwell on the board and brings good PR training to the job.
Here is Barbara’s brief autobiography:
Barbara Northrop, MSW

I have worked for social service agencies in the Rogue Valley for the last twenty-five years.  I received my undergraduate degree in Criminology at Southern Oregon University and master’s degree in Social Work at Portland State University in 2005. While in graduate school, I became interested in my family genealogy. I have had the “bug” ever since. I am currently working on my Genealogy Certificate through Salt Lake City Community College. I plan to become a Certified Genealogist.
I have been married for nearly 40 years, have two children and two fabulous grandchildren.

Barbara works with other volunteers who contribute to this big job, including Amy Spieler, David Hodson, and Rhonda Rockwell.

Welcome to the team Barbara!
Finance Director: Rich Miles

Rich MilesRich Miles replaces Barbara MacMillen on the board and brings good tech skills to job.  This month he is teaching a class on mobile apps for genealogy.  Here is Rich’s brief biography:

Our new Finance Director, Rich Miles, moved to the Rogue Valley in 1975 from Klamath Falls to attend college at Southern Oregon State College. After graduating, he was hired as an elementary teacher in the Central Point School district where he taught at Jewett and Richardson Elementary Schools. He taught one year at SOSC in the Education Department. After completing his master’s degree at SOSC and his administrative credentials at University of Oregon in 1990, Rich was hired as an elementary school principal in the Medford School District at Jacksonville Elementary School. In 1997, Rich was transferred to be the principal at Lone Pine Elementary, and in 2005 he was made Director of Elementary Education for the school District. Rich retired after 33 years in education in 2012. He and his partner opened Togo’s Great Sandwiches in Medford in 2011 and  recently sold the restaurant allowing Rich to fully retire from business and join our board. Rich has two children. His daughter, Stacy, and her husband Florin, live in Seattle, where she is an orthodontic technician. His son, Zach, and his wife Mandy, live in Medford. Zach works in Special Education at North Medford High School. In addition to genealogy, Rich is a fan of Star Trek, Disney, and comic books. He travels frequently to Comicon and Star Trek conventions, as well as destinations around the country. He has made one Europe visit and hopes to return soon.

Welcome Rich, glad to have you on board!

Rogue Valley Genealogical Society:  2ND Annual Member Fair

fairPlan ahead and participate on Sept. 15, 2015.  Last year we had a lot of fun at our Member Fair. Members shared stories on a wide variety of interesting topics about their research and experiences.  This is your society; join in the fun yourself at this year’s fair.  We would like to have five to six presentations featuring you, our members.  Think about what you have found, interesting places you visited doing your research (or plan to visit during the summer perhaps), new family members you met, or tips you can offer to others.

A sign-up sheet for presenters is in the class sign-up binder at the library. If you want to be one of our presenters, contact us at the library by email:, telephone 541-512-2340, or in person.  Please provide your name, member number, and contact information, in addition to a short summary of what you would like to talk about.  The deadline to sign up is  August 1st.

From the list of potential presenters, the Education Committee will select five or six.  We will contact you by August 15th.  At the Member Fair you will have 10 minutes for your presentation.  The details about the presentation will be finalized once the presenters have been selected. Questions?  Send an e-mail to Marilyn Ayres, Education Director at:

Welcome New and Returning Members!

Robert Lyn Allen
 S. B. Bolt
 Leota Cantrall
 Susan Duncan
 Julia Eastes
 Kendall Engelund
 Wendy Fountain
 Elaine Goodner
 Patrick Graham
 George M. Hansen
 Elizabeth Hellman
 Nancy L. Hunt
 John Olson
  Philis  Garcia
  Anita  Ritchey
  Tana  Smith

Financial News

  • Annual Fund Drive

By now, every RVGS member should have received their copy of the Annual Fund Drive letter with donation card and return envelope. (If you haven’t received yours, just contact the library and we’ll make sure you get a copy.)
The Rogue Valley Genealogical Society accomplished a great deal in 2014. Membership grew to over 709 single and family memberships, over 17,667 volunteer hours were recorded, and thanks to the Leave A Legacy drive, the 5/60 Club, and the sale of our old building, our mortgage has been reduced to $74,763 from the original $325,000! Members donated over $11,740 to the Annual Fund last year. With your assistance, we can accomplish even more in 2015!
This year, our Annual Fund goal is $20,000. Although we have made great strides in paying down our mortgage, the payment adds to our operating expenses and reduces the programs and services we can provide to our members. The sooner the mortgage is paid off, the sooner we can expand existing programs and services.
Your contribution to the Annual Fund will allow RVGS to keep our membership dues low as well as assist in covering operating expenses. Membership dues only cover about 33% of our operating expenses. The remaining expenses are covered by monies raised through our Annual Fund Drive. Any amount you give will help to provide support to RVGS and continue the current level of programming. By financially supporting the RVGS and the Jackson County Genealogy Library, you are investing in your own family history research and the preservation of historical records.
Your generous and faithful participation in our Society is vital. Contributions can be made in three ways. 1) You can return the enclosed donation card with your check in the envelope provided, 2) go to to make a donation online, or 3) you can drop off a donation at the library at 3405 S. Pacific Hwy, Medford. When donating, please designate that funds are to go the Annual Fund. All donations are tax deductible as RVGS is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. If you take Required Minimum Distributions, you can donate all or any part of the distribution directly; send your request to the administrator of your fund. In addition, if you donate a matching amount to the Oregon Cultural Trust, you can receive a tax credit for the ENTIRE amount of your donation. Just go to for more details. (Note, the RVGS/JCGL address still shows as Phoenix on their web site, we are working to get that changed.)
As an all-volunteer organization, all donations are put into the operation and improvement of the library. No funds are received from any government sources. It is because of YOU that the library has grown to be the largest genealogical library between Portland and Sacramento. We hope you will consider making a generous donation to the RVGS Annual Fund this year.
Rich Miles, RVGS Financial Director

April 2015 Donations to Leave a Legacy; 5/60 Club; and the Annual Fund Drive.  A Big Thank You to All Our Donors!  


5/60 Club

Beron, Albert; Engelund, Kendall; Kious, Steve; Leibeg, Norbert; Pocan, Bob & Judi; Shrewsberry, Barbara

Leave a Legacy

Benke, Michael; Culmer, Carita; Gilmore, Beth; Horton, Larry S.; Vaughan, Nancy; Williams, Evelyn

Annual Fund

Asche, Karen; Bartlett, Gloria; Billeter, Anne; Brannick, Ellen; Brewer, Pat; Brown, Darlene; Bryden, Vicki Anne; Carlson, Edith; Collins, William & Marion; Craig, Carolyn; Croly, Richard; Culmer, Carita; D’Allura, P. J.; Eccleston, Chuck & Colleen; Fulbright, Marie & Bryan; Haas, Cheryl; Hawk, Robert; Herzberg, Alice; Horton, Bruce; Horton, Larry S.; Pruitt, Ida; Kelly, Ken; Lamoree, Lynn; Leiberg, Norbert; Leissler, Lynn; Matchett, Barbara; McCown, Margaret; Middaugh, Barbara; Montes, Virginia; Noble, Helaine; Patterson, Dennis; Patterson, Jack & Andrea; Perdue, Wanda; Rodkey, David; Rhodes, Shirley; Ritchie, Richard & Sonya; Rugg, David & Carol; Scott, Karen; Sindt, Linda; Throne, Dorothy; Williams, James; Wolf, Gene & Carol.

Your Opportunity to Honor YOUR ANCESTOR or Any Prominent Jackson County Resident.   

50thquiltThe Rogue Valley Genealogical Society will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2016.  To commemorate that event, The Quilt Committee will create an Anniversary Quilt for RVGS and its supporters.   Deadline to submit Book Names is May 31stth. The name of the person you choose to honor will be embroidered on a fabric patch cut to represent a book spine, so that the person’s name is the “Book Name” (title) of the book. The “Books” will be arranged on “Book Shelves,” similar to the example shown here:
Only 110 Books will be depicted so don’t miss your opportunity to select a person to be honored in the Quilt.  The price of each Book Name is $50.  Mail the Book Name Application along with your check to JCGL, 3405 S. Pacific Highway, Medford, OR 97501 or drop it off at the library.  You can also purchase Book Names online by making a donation to RVGS using the Donate Button on the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society website. Send a copy of the Book Name Application to RVGS, 3405 S. Pacific Highway, Medford OR 97501, specifying that you donated online.   Click here Book Name Application to obtain a printable copy of the application.

 Jackson County Genealogy Library News

Great Publicity for JCGL/RVGS; Kudos to Anne Billeter

Mail TribuneThe front page of the Sunday, April 19th Medford Mail Tribune contained a very friendly-to-JCGL  and thorough report called, “Unsung Sleuths,” by Vickie Aldous.  Vickie told the story of Anne Billeter’s successful search for Larry Dean Root’s biological parents.   Larry Root fathered Margueritte Hickman, who is currently Ashland Fire & Rescue’s fire marshal.  Anne Billeter’s work is described as a local version of “Who Do You Think You Are.”  Anne is the director of Jackson County Genealogy Library.  Please see picture below of this article.   Click this link to read that story.

JCGL Expanded Hours Adopted Beginning June 1

  • Mon 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Tue 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Wed – Sat 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Note:  With the new hours we will discontinue offering the free evening service, “Diggin’ in the Dark.”

New Resources Added to JCGL Website

  • Obituaries.   We recently added indexes to scanned obituaries from the Medford Mail Tribune for the years 1941-1943.   With this addition, the JCGL website now has a complete collection of obituaries for the years 1941-1970.   There are two advantages to this collection over the obituaries published in books at JCGL: (1) the collections are complete, not hit and miss, and (2) publication dates are available.   The obituaries can be ordered online by selecting a year from the obituaries page.  You can order the obituaries from the website by providing the name, year, and scan number by mail or by use of the Buy Now button.
  •   Pioneer Records.  The Pioneer Records link on the JCGL website contains a variety of records dating back to the early 19th century.   If you are looking for vital records collected before governmental and newspaper accounts were available, please check under Pioneer Records.  Indexes recently added to this collection are (1) Catholic Church Records for the Jacksonville area (broadly defined) and the Roseburg area; (2) an account of pioneers in the Eagle Point area, including Brownsboro, LakeCreek, Climax provided in a book titled, A Journey Back.

New Subscription Website Now Available at JCGL

My HeritageMy Heritage has been added to the Website Menu on patron computers at JCGL.  Just click on the link in the menu to search records or trees on this international site.  My Heritage provides access to US, UK, Scandinavian and other censuses, access to 1.5 billion records in My Heritage family trees as well as family tree records from Geni, Family Search, Wikitree and others.  Vital records are available from a variety of European countries as well as US and UK.  Some of the more amazing features of My Heritage are its Smart Matches and Instant Discoveries tools.   Read this blog post from FamilySearch blog to learn more about My Heritage and this post to learn about Instant Discoveries.

Subscription Websites at JCGL

In reviewing subscription website usage, we have determined that several are not being used. In order to keep within our budget and continue to offer the best resources to our members, we have made the following decisions. Dropped when the subscriptions run out will be: World Vital Records (continues through middle of 2016), (terminates end of April 2015), and NewspaperArchives (continues through the end of 2015) as well as the dormant subscription to Genealogy Today. Continued will be: Ancestry Library Edition, Genealogy Bank, Fold3, Find My Past, American Ancestors, and

To be added in 2015: My Heritage and ArkivDigital [a subscription donation added for one year to assist Swedish researchers.]  All Scandinavian and other international researchers will find new material at My Heritage– census records, international newspaper records and much more. My Heritage will be available to members for at-home use. Watch for an email to RVGS members only from

Classroom Visit to JCGL

On March 12 we received an inquiry from Ashland High School teacher Lindsay McNeill asking if we might provide a beginning genealogy presentation to her high school class.  Anne Billeter responded to the inquiry telling Lindsay there would be no charge for the tour/visit and that there is no charge for grades 7-12 students using the library to do genealogical research.  Anne also described the facilities available to the students at JCGL. With Lindsay’s prompting, the students arrived with their ancestor charts filled in as far as able, and at least one student had a Family Search account and her family tree loaded on

The class visit by four special Ashland High School students was a great success.  “AD” was so eager that he came two days early, and arrived early on the day of the event.  He needed very little assistance Monday and none today.  He’s very bright and totally “psyched” and will undoubtedly be back on his own to continue his research.

AB has local roots and was very pleased to find marriage and 60th wedding anniversary Medford Mail Tribune story for her still-living grandmother, plus more…she worked well on her own after being shown our rich Jackson County resources and how to find them.
Another student has Italian roots and was helped greatly by Joy Durrett, who also has Italian roots.  He, too, was deeply engaged in this research project. This leaves the 4th very reluctant and disengaged student, who needed constant attention from his teacher, but who near the very end of his time found new information. One of the accompanying teachers found 12 pages of useful information for her personal research.

Anne was quite impressed with how effective their two-hour visit was.
It will be interesting to see whether we receive requests from more teachers in the future, as a result of teachers sharing with other teachers their positive experience with us.  (There were three teachers and/or teaching assistants on this field trip.)  REMINDER:  It is RVGS policy that students in grades 7-12 may use JCGL free for genealogical research.  We will see AD for sure…and maybe others.  Welcome them…they are our future!

Wanted:  Volunteer Librarians 
JCGL is increasing library hours on June 1st, and needs more volunteer librarians.  Day shifts are 9:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Monday through Saturday); 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Tuesdays).
Volunteers are asked to work at least 2 shifts per month.  Tuesday evening and Saturday shifts are especially available.  A few partial shifts may also be available, depending on schedule compatibility:  9:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.; 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Volunteer Librarians work in pairs, perform receptionist duties, and assist library patrons in using the library effectively.  Training is provided by Library Director Anne Billeter and includes an introduction to the library collection, the online catalog, and the subscription databases.  This is an opportunity to become a more effective genealogy researcher…and to help others.
Please email or call Anne Billeter:  541-944-3802.

Free!  World War II Records on Fold3…Just Click on the picture to go to the Fold3 website [From Home!] 


New Ancestry Discoveries with Ancestry DNA (This article was re-posted from the Ancestry blog and was written by Anna Swayne.)

ancestry dnaEarly in April, Ancestry announced a new AncestryDNA experience called “New Ancestor Discoveries” based on years of research and development by our science team that is revolutionizing the way people discover, preserve, and share their family history. New Ancestor Discoveries combines DNA testing with the power of 65 million trees to help you discover your story in a way never before possible—until now.  Learn more about the announcement here.

How can New Ancestor Discoveries help you?

  • Find ancestors you may have never known, even if you know absolutely nothing about your family history, through this high-tech combination of DNA, family trees, and family history expertise.
  • Cross the pond in your research with new ancestors from England, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, and more.
  • Go back as far as the 1700s in an instant through your AncestryDNA test.
  • Find relatives that you may never have found with family trees or historical records alone.
  • Grow your family tree with genetic evidence.

New Ancestor Discoveries represents the next BIG step for unlocking the family stories in your DNA. Your DNA knows something that you don’t. It’s time to discover it.
Check out our new step-by-step guide on “Getting the Most from Your New Ancestor Discoveries.

FREEBIE: Free Online Genealogy Education Resources
This past January Thomas MacEntee was honored to give a presentation entitled Free Online Genealogy Education Resources to the American Library Association Mid-Winter Conference in Chicago. Now he is making his handout with over 25 FREE resources available to you!

New Additions to the JCGL Collection

491.6 Sco
Scots-English English-Scots Dictionary

929.05 Gen
Genealogist [American Society of Genealogists]
v. 29, no. 1, Spring 2015

Genealogy How-To
929.194 Pat
Paton, Chris
Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians

929.194 Rou
Roulston, William J.
Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors: the Essential Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800

Family Histories
929.9 Baylor
Baylor’s History of the Baylors: A Collection of Records and Important Family Data

929.2 Lincoln
Clarke, Albert J. II
Ancestors and Descendants of Nedabiah Lincoln, Sr.
v. 1  Taunton Massachusetts, October 25, 1758 – Greenfield, New York, May 6, 1834
v. 2  The Lincolns of Hawaii

929.2 Mask
Hegne, Barbara
Saga of the Mask Plantation North Carolina: Slaves Journey to Oregon

929.2 Miles
Miles, Bruce R.
Six Miles to Texas

941 C721 Key
Key to the parochial registers of Scotland, from the earliest times through 1854

941.5 D318 Wou
Woulfe, Patrick
Irish Names and Surnames

941.5 H388 Ord
Ordnance Survey Memoirs of Ireland,
v. 1-20
v. 32-40
plus index volume. (vols. 21,27,and 31 are on order)
[“The Memoirs are a uniquely detailed source for the history of the northern half of Ireland immediately before the Great Famine…they act as a nineteenth century (1830-1840) Domesday book…”]

941.6 H388 Men
‘Men and Arms’: The Ulster Settlers, c. 1630

941.6 H388 Per
Perceval-Maxwell, M.
Scottish Migration to Ulster in the Reign of James I

941.6 H388 Rob
Robinson, Philip
Plantation of Ulster: British Settlement in an Irish Landscape 1600-1670

941.6 H388 Uls
Ulster Port Books 1612-15

Norwegians in the U.S.
973 H388 Hol
Holand, Hjalmar Rued
History of the Norwegian Settlements: A translated and expanded version of the “1908 De Norske Settlementers Historie” and the “1930 Den Siste Folkevandring Sagastubber fra Nybyggerlivet i Amerika”

South Carolina
Circ 975.74 P273 Bull
Bulletin: Chester District Genealogical Society, Serving Chester, Fairfield. Lancaster, Union and York counties [South Carolina]
v. 29 #1 Mar 2005

976.848 C242 Sco
Scott, Betty M.
Cemeteries of Trousdale County, Tennessee with added genealogical data

976.8484 C242 Mac
Macon County, Tennessee Cemetery book, Volume I
v. I
v. II

976.8484 G242 Mac
Macon Roots: A Record of the families of Macon County, Tennessee in 1850

976.8484 H388 Mac
Macon County, Tennessee History and Families

976.8484 N298 Sco
Scott, Betty C. Meadows
Macon County Tennessee Obituaries and Articles
v. 1 From Late 1800’s through December 1936
v. 2 From January 1937 through May 1944

976.851 V381 Shr
Shrum, Shelta R., transcriber
Jackson County, Tennessee Marriages and Death Records

976.852 C242 Lyn
Lynch, Louise Gillespie
Cemetery Records of Smith County, Tennessee

976.852 C242 Smi
Smith County, Tennessee Cemeteries, South of the Cumberland River

976.852 C242 Smi
Smith County, Tennessee Cemeteries, North of the Cumberland River

976.852 C338 Mag
Maggart, Sue W.
History of Carthage United Methodist Church, Carthage, Tennessee

976.852 C597 Smi
Smith County, Tennessee Minute Book 1799-1804 & 1835

976.852 H388 His
History of Smith County, Tennessee

976.852 M177 Smi
Smith County, Tennessee Marriages, 1881-1920

976.852 M381 Smi
Smith County, Tennessee Bible and Tombstone Records with Some Church Minutes

976.852 N298 Car
Carthage-Smith County, TN Newspapers, Vol 1: 1809-1913

976.852 W344 Wil
Willis, Laura
Smith County, Tenn. Wills & Adm.
v. 2  Dec. 1808 – Feb. 1815
v. 4  Aug. 1816 – May 1818

976.853 P751 Maj
Majors, Betty, abstractor and compiler
DeKalb County, Tennessee Genealogy from Administrator’s Settlement Books (1846-1907)

976.883 G242 Nel
Nelson, Virginia Knight
Rhea County Relatives: A History of the Bolen, Fisher, Goad, Jewell, Knight, Purser, Ryan and Spence Families

Overland Journeys
Circ 978 H388 LaS
LaSalle, Michael E.
Emigrants on the Overland Trail: the wagon trains of 1848

978.2 G242 Col
Coleman, Ruby
Genealogical Research in Nebraska

Circ 978.8 C242 Wom
Wommack, Linda R.
From the Grave: A Roadside Guide to Colorado’s Pioneer Cemeteries

Circ 979.4 P273 Cal Nug
California Nugget

979.5 L142 Ore Index
Oregon Donation Land Claims Abstracted from Applications: Geographic Index for Volumes I & II

979.5 S227 Ore 1967
Oregano 1967, University of Oregon [annual]

979.5 S227 Ore 1966
Oregano 1966, University of Oregon [annual]

Oregon – Jackson County
979.527 S227 Tal 1943
Talent, the 1943 Yearbook, [Talent High School, Talent, Oregon]

979.527 V381 Jac 1911-1914
Jackson County, Oregon births 1911-1915 [ie, 1914]

979.735 H388 Har
Harrington, in the heart of the Big Bend Wheat Belt of Eastern Washington

979.735 H388 Wom
Womach, Marge, compiler
Harrington History, Volume I: Wagon Wheels

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