Genealogy Events

SGS Member Marilee Mulvey shares a link to free Webinars for the month of March, from the Family History Library. Lots of topics to choose from!  Check them out HERE.

Still available online – Videos from the recent Roots Tech Conference in Salt Lake. Sessions include DNA, Research Tools, Stories, and so much more. View the many topics for free HERE.

UPCOMING:
Autosomal DNA Seminar – Saturday, April 1st, 9:30 – 3:30
Presented by Oregon Genealogical Society; more info HERE.
Wesley United Methodist Church, Eugene
Speaker – Patti Hobbs, CG

Join us for the March 15th SGS monthly meeting which will feature guest speaker Howard Crombie, with a presentation on DNA. Your chance to ask questions!

 

Posted in Announcement, Guest Speaker | Leave a comment

Of Genealogy Interest and Events

G-DontMissThisThe March SGS monthly meeting will feature guest speaker Howard Crombie, with a presentation on DNA.  A good opportunity to bring your questions!

ACCURACY OF AT-HOME DNA TEST KITS – Inside Edition
Shouldn’t identical triplets or quadruplets have identical DNA test results?  View the surprising results HERE.

VIDEOS from ROOTSTECH 2017
The recent RootsTech Conference in Salt Lake City featured sessions on DNA, Research Tools, Stories, and so much more. View the many topics covered in the four day event  HERE.  Really worth checking out – not sure how long these videos will be available.

An interesting Friday session was ‘The Big 4: Comparing Ancestry, FindMyPast, Family Search, and My Heritage’.  View it HERE.

____________________

SGS member Karen Childs shares a site for warships of the American Revolution. “This site is a collection of information about the various aspects of the American War of Independence, the AWI, fought between 1775 and 1783. This conflict is alternately known as the American Revolution, the American Revolutionary War, or, to older folks, simply as the Revolutionary War.”  View it HERE.  

Upcoming Genealogy Workshops

  • Gateway to Germany Featuring Warren Bittner
    German History, Historical Maps & Territories, Meyer’s Gazetteer, German Marriage Laws & Customs
    Sponsored by Rogue Valley Genealogical Society
    April 7-8 in Medford; Register HERE.
  • O Canada Heritage Weekend (Tulip Festival)– featuring Canadian & U.S. Genealogists
    ‘Children of a Common Mother’ – Canadian and U.S. immigration Research
    Sponsored by Skagit Valley Genealogical Society
    April 22 in Conway, WA; Register HERE.

 

Posted in Events & Activities, General | Leave a comment

Genealogy Shorts – 2/15 Monthly Meeting

G-GenealogyShorts 

This month’s SGS meeting features a billboard of extraordinary stories!

* Pat Rongey will share a story about the Goat Lady of Newberg, and how she influenced her life.
* Mike Allen will tell us about Olaf Ludwig Hansen, the Heceta Head lighthouse keeper from 1894 to 1920. Photos and records will be used to describe his family life and the workings of the lighthouse itself.
* Brenda Gilmer will talk about her grandmother’s grandfather, Edgar Train, who rode horses from Minnesota to California in 1851. She will also share the love poem Edgar wrote and illustrated for his 15-year old bride before their marriage in 1861.
* Mary Colgan-Bennetts will reveal the story of an aunt who once owned a speakeasy and went on to lead a gregarious life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Siuslaw Public Library
Bromley Room

The public is invited!

The members’ business meeting immediately follows.  

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Feature Story: A 24-Year Search For Birth Parents

IMG-WaverlyBabies

Sunday Oregonian, Sept. 21, 1913

Donald T. (09 Apr 1911) was placed in Portland’s Waverly Baby Home (later known as the Waverly Children’s Home), and legally adopted in 1914. Although  he acknowledged growing up adopted into a wonderful family, the question of who his birth parents were persisted throughout his life . . . he simply ‘wanted to know his story’.

As an adult, Donald T. (“Don”) contacted the Waverly Home for his birth parents information, but due to Oregon’s confidentiality adoption law, received no information. He then petitioned the Circuit Court to obtain his sealed birth records, but his petition was denied.

The years passed for Don, though the desire and hope to know about his birth parents never ceased. By 1994 at age 83, Don was married and settled in Woodburn, across the street from SGS member Pat Rongey. He learned of her interest in genealogy, and sought her help to discover something about his birth parents. She agreed to ‘look into it’, without realizing it would become a project that would take 24 years of research to ultimately solve.

From the start, there were numerous brickwalls, mainly because Don’s information was sketchy, at best. According to Don, his birth father was Leo M. from Canada, born in England. In those years, Pat researched the traditional way – viewing original paper records, microfilm, or first generation computer screens. She could find no record of Leo M. (Her earliest sources were the Oregon State Archives Library in Salem).

In 1997, Pat encouraged Don to again petition the Circuit Court in Salem for the release of his birth records, but once more, his petition was denied. Pat continued to pursue the release of Don’s records through research and periodically calling or writing the Court.

In 1998, Oregon voters passed ballot Measure 58*, allowing adult adoptees to order birth certificates listing their biological parent(s). However before the measure could go into effect, it was appealed (11/1998), stayed a number of times, reviewed by the Marion County Court, the Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon Court of Appeals (12/29/1999 – upheld constitutionality of Measure 58), Oregon Supreme Court (1/7/2000 – request for review denied), and an unsuccessful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (5/31/2000). After 18 months of appeals, stays and extensions, the law finally went into effect on May 31, 2000.  In the first year alone, the Center for Health Statistics issued 5,565 birth certificates. (Source: Annual Report, Oregon Health Authority, Measure 58 History)

Oregon Adoption Search and Registry Program
The “Department of Human Services (DHS), through Oregon’s Adoption Search and Registry Program has a record of all adoptions that have finalized in Oregon since 1920.” Source: Oregon Department of Human Services

While the law applied to the release of records for adoptions from 1920, Don’s adoption occurred in 1914, six years prior to that date.

FINDINGS:
Following many years of research and advances in digital records, Pat obtained information for both sides of Don’s family, back to 1600. A key part of her research was determining the correct names for his parents.

FATHER
In 2002 as digital records became more accessible, Pat was able to determine Don’s father was born in 1883 in Queens, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The 1930 U.S. Census lists his occupation as a gas station operator. He died in Portland in 1993. She also learned Don’s birth name was A. W. Donald.
Sources: Ancestry.com; Library of Congress Newspapers, Census records, Search Angels.

MOTHER
Initially, Pat could find no information on Don’s mother. She even researched various forms of the last name ‘Donald’, including MacDonald and McDonald whose spouse was named Mary. According to Don, his mother’s name was Mary W., from Tillamook, Oregon. Pat discovered however, her name to be Matilda (“Tillie”) G., born about 1885 in Minnesota and a year younger than Don’s father. She was one of 13 children. Her father was born in Canada and her mother in Minnesota. They came by train to Portland in 1888.
In 1930 Tillie became a partner in a successful Portland real estate company, working there until 1974. She lived to be 102 in Portland – much of that time less than 30 miles from her birth son Don T.
Sources: 1930 Census – Place: Portland, Multnomah, Oregon; Roll: 1954; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0497; Ancestry.com, Newspapers – Wedding anniversary announcement for parents; Library of Congress digitized newspapers, various State of Oregon websites.

Don passed away in 2002, without knowing the results of Pat’s research. In his final days, he thanked Pat for her research efforts and made a request that when his birth mother was discovered, she place a flower on her grave for him. Recently, Pat discovered Don’s parents are buried in adjoining plots in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland.
Sources: Ancestry.com, Newspapers – Wedding anniversary announcement for her parents; FindAGrave.

To finalize her 24-year research, Pat contacted Don’s granddaughter (in Beaverton) to arrange a visit to the grave of Don’s parents, and to fulfill Don’s request of placing a flower on his mother’s grave.  Pat intends to print her research (thru Family Tree Maker’s publish feature) and provide Don T.’s daughter with a Gedcom file of her research.

* To view a Timeline of Oregon’s Measure 58 Pre-adoption Birth Record Law, click HERE. Source: Oregon Health Authority

________________

SGS member Pat Rongey is a volunteer Genealogy Researcher at the Siuslaw Public Library.  She is also a Master Recycler and manages the successful fundraising Recycle Project for the Siuslaw Genealogical Society.

Posted in Feature Story | Leave a comment

January 18th SGS Meeting

The Wednesday, January 18th monthly meeting will feature a video presentation:  “Three Minutes in Poland:  Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film” with Glenn Kurtz.  Join us in viewing this interesting story!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Siuslaw Public Library
Bromley Room

The public is invited!

The members’ business meeting immediately follows.  

 

Posted in Events & Activities | Leave a comment

DNA Test Kit Comparison

Still undecided about which DNA test kit to order? SGS member Karen Childs suggests looking at an autosomal DNA testing comparison (compiled by an ISOGG member) to determine which company might be best for you.  VIEW CHART.

FINDING YOUR ROOTS CLASS
Kevin Mittge will be teaching two classes on starting your family history research. ‘Finding Your Roots’ is Friday, January 13th and ‘Finding Records’ is Friday, January 22nd. Both classes are free and scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. in the library’s Siuslaw Room. Each class is limited to 10 participants. Sign up at the reference desk.

Posted in Education, General | Leave a comment

November SGS Meeting

The November 16th evening’s speaker will feature Gail Elliott Downs, who will provide a presentation based on her book “The Black Suitcase Mystery”.  This real life mystery took four years to solve, and centers around a World War II airman’s 200 letters and a family suitcase.

Wednesday, November 16th
7:00 p.m.
Siuslaw Public Library, Bromley Room
The public is invited!!
_________

The Siuslaw Genealogy Society’s regular monthly meeting will follow the presentation.  

Posted in General | Leave a comment