Monday, October 29, 2012

Tika and Fall Days

This is how Tika, and her big sister Dolly, prefer to spend their fall days...... snoozing in the sun through the windows........ with even their bone ignored..... doing not much of anything. 

While that's okay, it's not very productive and I choose not to follow Tika's example! I'm happy for these inevitable fall days with "outside" no longer calling to me, to work on my several genealogy projects. Mostly I need to begin my cleaning off my desk...... there are piles everywhere and piles on top of piles. Would be fun for you and me to compare lists: who has the most unfinished projects? Maybe we should trade projects :-) 

I have gathered into a box the story of my Dad's Air Force career and this waits to be scanned in for sharing. I want to write our obituaries and ideas reside in a folder. I want to take all my genealogy T-shirts and cut off the logo and create a sort of vest or jacket to wear to conferences; that's in a pile on the floor (complete with pattern). I want to write up some stories for our local society publication, our Digital Digest  (  ).

Anybody wanna trade projects??? And Tika is no help at all, snoozing in the sun.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tika & Mountains

Tika knows that Mt. Spokane dominates the skyline northeast of the city of Spokane; in fact she's been in car rides up there to take fall walks. She does not realize (nor care) that Mt. Spokane has an elevation of 5880 feet .  Thinking of mountains, I was reading to her the other day about Mt. Everest..... in 1856 the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India established the height of Everest at 29,002 feet. The name came in 1865, given in honor of Sir George Everest, the first surveyor general of India. Remember those trivia facts for Thanksgiving dinner!

And what does this have to do with genealogy, my Tika is asking? Maps and mountains are important to your family history. Picture or plot your family on a topographical map..... where was the nearest church of their denomination? where was the nearest county courthouse?  and did they live near a large stream or a river...and how did they get across? how many miles did they have to go in their horse and buggy or on foot?

Point is, our ancestors may have lived in Jefferson County but may have attended church or tended to their official business in Madison county because it was easier to get to. Such imaginary lines as county lines meant little to them. Ditto for newspaper coverage. It was the custom of oldtime newspapers to fill their pages with local gossip (national or world news was hard to come by). The local newspaper might have been the Madison County Journal but would have included the doings of Jefferson County's residents because Jefferson County was in their readership area.

Tika says, "well, alrighty. Can we go for a walk now?"  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tika & Treats

Even a sunny sleeping dog will wake up for a homemade peanut butter doggie treat made by Maureen!  She again says Woof-Woof-Thank You!!

And today's genealogy message? Wanna know how to "awaken" your family to all the family history you've found..... especially your children and grandchildren? Find and offer them a "treat"....... an ancestor story that really will pop their eyes open. And (sad to say) if you look, really look, you will find such a story.

Quote:  "Ever found an ancestor hanging on the family tree?"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tika & A Good Friend

Maureen is one of Tika's best supporters and friends. She lives in Chelan, Washington, and I was just to that beautiful area and great little genealogy society last Saturday. Maureen makes special little Peanut Butter Doggie Treats and sells them at the local farmers' market. They're put into these  white bags which her 99-year-old mother stamps with doggie designs. Of course I had to post a photo of one of Tika's best friends........... and Tika says "the treats are yummy and thank you very, very much." 

And the genealogy connection here? Maureen is either the 3rd or 4th generation in her family to live in this area; her pioneering family is written up in all the local history books. And two weeks ago when I was in Kelowna, BC, I chatted with a new friend that was 14th generation Canadian she proudly told me. And I guess my happy point here is this: in probably any local area there are folks who know the local and family history there because their family lived it! So it's vitally important that if you need local help, contact the societies in that area and ask for their help. They are the ones who know. 

Needing help in the Chelan or Douglas counties are of central Washington? Contact the Chelan Valley Genealogical Society!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Tika & Civil War Ancestors

Tika quite enjoys sitting on my lap and listening to stories. And lately, I've been full of Civil War stories. Our local genealogical society  ( ) has been awash with Civil War stuff. We just had our third annual Walking with Ancestors in a local cemetery.... we chose one where many Civil War veterans rest.... and it was a resounding success. I portrayed the great-great niece of Dr. John Gundlach, who died in 1905 here in Spokane and who served as a teenager in the Union Navy during the Civil War.

Our Society is also wrapping up a year-long writing contest for members, "My Civil War Ancestor." We've had a goodly number of submissions and it will be a judged contest with a years' subscription to as the prize. Those stories will eventually be published in our Society's Digital Digest (on our website but under Members Only).

And there have been Civil War related stories in our local paper, The Spokesman Review. .

John Caskey gave a very informative presentation to the members of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society a few months ago wherein he detailed all the varied and various reasons why Civil War vets came west and so many of them ended up in Washington state. A primary reason was land.

"Not my ancestors!" sniffed Tika. "I come from Idaho, remember..... and maybe far-back from Germany." Ah, Little Tika........

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tika & Bigfoot & KDGS

When I told her about it, Tika was very glad she did not go with me to Canada this past weekend..... for I saw Bigfoot!!!

Going west from Spokane and turning northwest to follow the Okanogan Valley into Canada, Hwy 157 takes you over Disautel Pass and on the summit there he was!!! To be fair, it was a huge metal sculpture but it was way cool. "No matter that he wasn't real," chirped Tika, "he'd eat me." Well..............

The reason for my going was that I'd been invited to be a speaker (a minor speaker) at the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society, headquartered in Kelowna. It was a beautiful place, right on fantastic Okanagan Lake....... I think I could live there (if I could get Tika past Bigfoot). I enjoyed chatting with folks who are 14th generation Canadaian; genealogy so very different from my own. If any of you have research needs in this area, do contact for they are a busy, happy, knowledgeable group and I know they'd furnish excellent help to you.

(You noticed? It's OKANOGAN in Washington and OKANAGAN in Canada........ and we're talking about the same valley.)