A Witch in Your Family Tree?

Could there be a witch in your family tree? Perhaps one of your ancestors lived during a time and location where ‘witch trials’ took place. The Oct. 16th  SGS meeting will feature presentations by Mary Gill, Sally Daugherty and Karen Childs who will share the history of witchcraft and their family connections to it. ‘If you have ancestry from early Essex County, MA, you have an excellent chance of finding a connection to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692”. Join us for what promises to be an interesting, if not bewitching evening!

Technology Innovations for the 2020 Census
As the U.S. Census Bureau readies itself for smartphones and online census responses, security procedures are in place for collecting and “safeguarding information about every person living in the United States”.  Read the full article HERE.

Genealogy Classes at the  Library
Three genealogy classes are being offered at the library for beginners to family history research or for those interested in a review course.  Classes are taught by Kevin Mittge, Adult Services Librarian and Professional Genealogist.
The class schedule is :
– Beginning Your Family History Search – Thursday, Oct 17; 1 – 2:30 pm
– Finding and Using Records – Thursday, Oct. 31; 1 – 2:30 pm
– DNA Basics – Thursday, Nov. 14 ; 1 – 2:30 pm

Attendance is limited and pre-registration is required. Sign up at the library’s Reference Desk or call 541-997-3132.

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Of Genealogy Interest

Now that’s a family photo!

Members of six living generations of the Ren family from eastern China, came together to mark the completion of their family tree.  The group was so large (500+) a drone was used to photograph everyone.  Read the CNA, China News Service story HERE.

In recent years, DNA databases have come to be a valuable tool for law enforcement in solving criminal cases.  Member Debby Wright informs us that a new Dept. of Justice policy will now limit the use of the databases by law enforcement in order to address the concerns of public safety and privacy.  Read the full article from Science Magazine HERE.

Member Merilee Mulvey is looking forward to a new NBC series (by Ancestry) called A New Leaf starting October 5th. The show promises to be a journey of personal discovery, featuring stories of families as they “learn the importance of appreciating and understanding family history in order to make important life decisions.  View a preview HERE.

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Research Opportunities at the Siuslaw Pioneer Museum

During the Sept. 18th meeting, SGS members were treated to a wonderful presentation by the John Quay Heritage Players who portrayed Siuslaw pioneer families. They re-enacted scenes of historical events and life of early settlers.


In addition, the Kyle Research Library staff and volunteers described the files and resources available for research, which may be of particular interest to genealogist.  The staff created an index of Siuslaw pioneer families as a helpful research tool.  The index is available in the museum’s library, however if you are interested in obtaining the index to review on your own computer, submit a request to SGS HERE. The spreadsheet file will be emailed to you.  The index will continue to be updated as more information becomes available to the museum. As such, visit the museum library for the most up-to-date version.

Vertical Graveyards
Short on space, Hong Kong has resorted to vertical gravesites on hillsides.  View the photos and article from the MyModernMe site HERE. On his blog, Dick Eastman also described this practice HERE

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Sept 18 SGS Meeting

The September 18th meeting will feature re-enactments of scenes by the John Quay Heritage Players, portraying early life of settlers.  There will also be presentations by the Museum’s Curator and others describing resources for genealogy research.  The public is invited to attend. The SGS members monthly meeting will then follow the evening presentation.

More on the 2020 Census – AARP
SGS member Pat Rongey shares a link to an AARP article highlighting details of the upcoming census. Between March 12 and 20, most households will receive a postcard invitation to respond online to the 2020 census. Those who don’t answer will receive the census by mail. If there is no household response, census takers will go door to door in an attempt to obtain the household’s data.  

According to the article, “taking the census online is projected to save an estimated $5.2 billion.”  But it isn’t all about the money.

More people are living longer.  “Census data will be used over the coming decade to decide where to place parks, roads and hospitals. It will determine funding for community projects that benefit people of all ages, including mass transit, which helps many people remain in their homes longer. “  Read the article HERE.

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Old Search Resolved

The following is a recent, short success story from one of the SGS Library Researchers, Pat Rongey.

JJ (pseudo name) happened upon the library’s Siuslaw Room one day, after hearing it was a place where “people help a person find their family”. I learned JJ was adopted as an infant and well cared for throughout his life by a couple in Georgia. When we initially met, JJ did not possess his adoption records, but claimed to know his birth date and place of birth. Could I help him, he asked. He also had several documents from his early life, such as baby checkup records (which revealed family health information), and his birth father’s occupation.  After working with JJ, reviewing results of a DNA test, and many hours of research tracing blood lines, we were eventually able to identify his birth family! Most of his blood relatives still reside in Georgia. Although his birth parents are deceased, JJ was able to connect with an adopted brother. During our last conversation, JJ’s final remark to me was, “after all these years, my circle is finally complete. Thanks to the Siuslaw Genealogy Society and our wonderful library.”
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Picnic slideshow available for viewing HERE.

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Free Census Records Collections; Unexpected Inherited Money

Happy Anniversary, Labor Day
Member Pat Miller shares information that this Labor Day weekend is the 125th anniversary of the Labor Day Holiday in the United States and the 127th anniversary of its establishment in Canada.  As such, MyHeritage will be providing free access to 740 million census records – all U.S. and Canadian census records collections.  Take advantage of free access this weekend, from Friday, August 3 through Monday, September 2nd.  To begin searching, click HERE.

Genealogist Locates Heirs to Unexpected Inheritance
Member Merilee Mulvey suggests an article in Eastman’s Genealogy Newsletter may be of interest to those who always thought (or hoped) of one day receiving an inheritance from a long lost relative.  Read this amazing story HERE.

U.S. Census Gets Modernized – Online for the First Time in History
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most of the 2010 census responses were collected by mail, at a 74% participation rate.  600,000 census takers then went door to door to gather data from households that failed to respond to the census.  The 2020 goal is to have every person – approximately 330 million people in America, take the census online, by phone or mail between mid-March and May.  Read more HERE.

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Genealogy News

Member Karen Childs shares a recent announcement of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) intent to merge and operate as NGS.  “Leaders of both organizations believe this merger will serve the genealogy community by improving support of both individual members and societies in the pursuit of genealogical excellence.”  Read the full announcement HERE.

Ancestry DNA kit sale $59.  Hurry, sale ends Monday. Details HERE.

SGS September 18th meeting to be held at Pioneer Museum, 7 p.m.
In addition to learning about the Museum’s Research Library, the John Quay Heritage Players and volunteer staff will re-enact scenes from the life of early settlers. This is sure to be a fun and interesting event!

The museum also invites everyone to their August 30th StoryTime presentation at 7 pm.  Jesse Beers from the Confederated Tribes will discuss local native American history, customs, and storytelling. 

Thank you to all who attended the SGS Summer Picnic! We enjoyed hearing travel stories and viewing the photo display of Mike and Pat Allen’s trip to Italy, awarded prizes to winners of the trivia and “count the wine corks” contests, sampled the Italian soda bar and indulged ourselves in the many great potluck dishes! 

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