Thursday, December 18, 2014

2015 Scanfest Dates

Here's a handy poster to help you remember the upcoming Scanfest dates for 2015. Please remember that dates are occasionally subject to change, but I will do my best to maintain this schedule. Those marked with an asterisk will be held one week early, due to an upcoming holiday weekend (Memorial Day and the American Thanksgiving, respectively). Times are Pacific Time. We are in Standard Time until March 8th, when we switch to Daylight Savings Time until November 1st.

I'm looking forward to scanning and chatting with my genealogy friends in the coming year!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2015 Genealogy Blog Post Planner Now Available

Last year, I created a genealogy blog post planner with the hope that it would help me get a little more organized and consistent with my blogging. And you know what? It worked!

Sure, I wasn't perfect and there were times when I went too long between blog posts. But when I compare this year's blogging with the past two years, there definitely was an improvement in the quantity of my posts.

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 As you can see (and click the images to enlarge for a better view), I have created seven columns titled Day, Date, Blog Post Ideas, Notes, Draft, Scheduled, and Posted. The header includes a hyperlinked URL to Geneabloggers for more great blog post ideas.

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I color-coded each month for ease of use. Don't worry. If you want to change the colors, including going back to an all-white background, you can do so when you download this as an Excel file. In fact, you can personalize any part of this template. The only thing I've frozen are the headers, so that when you scroll down, you can always see them. Note this in the image below.

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The image above also shows how I'm already using my 2015 Genealogy Blog Post Planner. You can see that I've started planning for Scanfest and Tuesday's Tips.

To get your own 2015 Genealogy Blog Post Planner, go to At the top of the page, click on File > Download As > Microsoft Excel. If you wish to keep this in your own Google Drive, download it first, save it to your computer, and then upload it to Google Drive. You can also request this template from me via email. Also, if you're an Evernote or OneNote fan, you can paste this into your notebooks (some formatting changes may occur).

If you like what you've found here, please repost it on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+, using the icons below. Happy New Year, and best of luck in your blogging!

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Spokane, Washington High School Yearbooks Available Online

June 1915 edition of North Central High School's Tamarack

The Spokane Public Library recently announced that a free new digital collection of historical Spokane-area high school yearbooks is now accessible through their website. This collection is made available with the cooperation of the Spokane Public Schools and the Internet Archive. All the yearbooks are full-text searchable. Each is available in a variety of formats, making it viewable on many devices, including your laptop, Kindle, or phone. They can be downloaded to your computer or other device as well.

The following is a current list of yearbooks available, with the high school it features and the years that are covered. Note that in the early twentieth century, it was not uncommon to have two yearbooks per school year, to highlight seniors who graduated mid-year, as well as those who graduated at year's end.

Hillyard High School (no longer in existence): 1930-1931

Lewis and Clark High School: June 1920 - 1977

North Central High School: May 1912 - January 1915

Spokane High School (no longer in existence): January and June 1911

The yearbooks can be accessed through the Spokane Public Library website at

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Finds and Follows: 12 December 2014

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

Facebook changing again by Judy G. Russell at The Legal Genealogist - and like she says, "it's basically no big deal."

15-step social media marketing plan to help you promote your next genealogy conference by Gail Dever at Genealogy à la carte - belong to a genealogical society or on a conference committee? Here are some great tips.

Finding father by Judy G. Russell at The Legal Genealogist - don't know which DNA test to take? Here's an easy-to-understand primer.

Best Practices for Reliable Research by Elizabeth Shown Mills at Evidence Explained's blog

School library’s late fees ‘Gone With the Wind’ by Jody Lawrence-Turner at The Spokesman-Review

Story of returned 1946 copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’ grows by Shawn Vestal at The Spokesman-Review

Digital Archives, State Library among best genealogy sites, again by Brian Zylstra at From Our Corner (Washington Secretary of State blog)

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

@Fuentesarchivos, @ambrotype7, @GenealogyDocs, @ggirltalks, @BrassServices, @caitieamanda, @Areyoumycousin, @VHughesAuthor, @prsnalhistgn_dp, @heritagefamily, @WTPGenealogy, @JaneSheehan1, @scarboomum, @AchievementsGen, @Historylady2013, @alenars, @PaulJMurray1, @LMentaryFH, @GeneaWorkshop, @Wanda_Langdon, @TurisGen, @AncestoryArchiv

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":

Follow Me

Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

Online Historical Newspapers

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Book Review: The Tiny Portrait

(click photo to enlarge)

I received a little package the other day in the mail. The Tiny Portrait, by Heidi Carla, is a tale of two siblings, Tess and Toby, who discover a Memory Box full of antiques and heirlooms. As they delve into its treasures, they discover a mysterious woman named Lottie in a tiny portrait from the past. She takes them on an adventure through their community. Along the way, they learn about their family history by studying postcards and diaries, visiting the library, and meeting an antique dealer.

In reading this, I was reminded of both the movie Hugo and the best-selling children's series, the Magic Tree House. Enigmatic characters, attempts at unlocking puzzles to the past, and a little bit of magic are perfect ingredients for any enchanting tale.

This delightful story is cleverly illustrated with a unique combination of photomontage and composite printing by the author's sister, Karla Cinquanta. The heirlooms in the photos are from the author's personal collection. Here are a couple of my favorite pages from the book:

(click photos to enlarge)

Ms. Carla began writing The Tiny Portrait while researching her family tree. Sure to please all ages, it would be a terrific gift to give a young relative to get them interested in their own genealogy. In fact, I have a couple of grandnieces in mind that I'm sure will enjoy receiving this as a Christmas gift! Shhh!


The Tiny Portrait by Heidi Carla, illustrated by Karla Cinquanta. Hardback, 52 pages. Published 2014 by Curly & Iceburg Publishing, Cranston, Rhode Island. Available on Amazon.


Disclosure: I received a free book from Cadence Marketing Group for review. As an Amazon Associate, I also receive a small percentage of the purchase price when readers purchase a title through the Amazon link above, although this title is available at other websites and various bookstores.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Finds and Follows: 28 November 2014

Articles and posts that caught my eye:

New Arrivals in the NW Collections at the Washington State Library blog - great fiction and non-fiction touching on the history of the Pacific Northwest

How to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks by Whitson Gordon at Lifehacker - good idea for holiday traveling

When Aunt Mable's Genealogy is Wrong by Lee Drew at FamHist

Facebook Photo Privacy Settings You Need to Know About by Matt Smith at MakeUseOf

Non-working URLs, Stable URLs, and DOIs by Elizabeth Shown Mills at EE's blog

Review: JPASS at JSTOR--A Valuable Resource for Genealogy by Thomas MacEntee at Geneabloggers

Who Pushed Thanksgiving To Be A Holiday? by Donna Potter Phillips at the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Blog

Follow World I, Week-By-Week, For The Next Four Years [Stuff to Watch] by Tim Brookes at MakeUseOf

12 Kinds of Organizations Genealogists Should Follow on Facebook by Diane Haddad at Genealogy Insider

Photo Duplication Service to Be Discontinued on Dec 5, 2014 by Diane Gould Hall at Michigan Family Trails - I'm really sad to see this go.

My New Genealogy Follows at Twitter:

@LynnsWPics, @pastonpaper, @FamilyTreeDNA, @nelleFamTree, @LaurenMahieu14, @familytreeblog, @genejean, @echoesofourpast, @genBUZZ, @DACGenealogy, @BucksResearch, @HistoryAngels, @KerrywoodLondon, @scottishindexes, @OurOwnHistory, @Suellen1971, @genealog_yfamil, @GeneRoadshow

Genealogy Facebook Pages I've "Liked":

Follow Me

Check out my websites:

Online Historical Directories 

Online Historical Newspapers

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

From the Archives: A Thanksgiving Hymn

(This post was originally published Thanksgiving Day 2007, and was republished on that same holiday in 2010.)

We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to His name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His Kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side; all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender wilt be.
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

This hymn, traditionally sung during the Thanksgiving season, is an old Netherlands folks song translated by Theodore Baker. The tune that is used is "Kremser," an old Netherlands melody in The Collection, by Adrianus Valerius, 1625. It has been my favorite Thanksgiving hymn since I was about six or seven years old, when my father explained to me the story behind the hymn, as a part of the Dutch heritage and cultural lessons he and my mother taught me at home. Those were the basis of my love for history and genealogy today. I remember singing this song a cappella for show and tell at school in second grade.

During the Eighty Years' War (a war of independence) between Spain and what would become the United Provinces of the Netherlands, the inland city of Leiden--among others--was besieged by Spanish troops from May through October 1574. People were starving, and although the Dutch had ships of food to relieve the citizens, there was no way to get the supplies past the Spanish troops. The Dutch then sacrificed their land by cutting the dikes, flooding the area outside the city along with the Spanish encampments, so that the ships could sail in and provide sustenance and relief to the city. The hymn above was written to give thanks to God for His Providence during this war.

Because of the cruel persecution the Calvinistic Dutch people suffered at the hand of the Catholic Spanish, the Netherlands became a place of refuge for the religiously oppressed. It says much of the tolerant Netherlanders that they did not become consumed with hatred for Catholicism, and thus did not become a country of violence and strife as we see in Northern Ireland today. Those southern Dutch provinces which remained loyal to Catholicism eventually--and peacefully--became the country of Belgium. The city of Leiden became a host for the English Separatists, whom we know today as the Pilgrims. They lived there from about 1608 until the majority left for America in 1620. Some of the family members remained behind until the colony was established, arriving on later ships.

As we know with history, each event was inspired and created by many others. While there were many early European groups in North America that celebrated some sort of thanksgiving event, our modern Thanksgiving holiday is most closely aligned with the one that took place in 1621 by the Pilgrims. Their arrival on this continent was an important historical event in the timeline of our country. Yet if not for the city of Leiden, its successful stand against the Spanish in 1574, and its place as a haven for the religiously oppressed, we may not be celebrating Thanksgiving today.

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