Wonderful reading your article but I was dissapointed when I saw the meeting date of 4th Tuesday. As long as my body allows I love playing golf with the ladies on Tue. AM. Should a rainy day fall on the 4th Tuesday I will join you. I am presuming you meet at the center and in the meantime if I run into a problem I might call one of the names in the article for some advice. Thank you for your article.
Genealogy at Trilogy Redmond Ridge
Researching Roots and Climbing Our Family Trees
Published April 29, 2012
April of 2012 marks the one-year anniversary of the Redmond Ridge Genealogy Club. Last year, Trilogy member Marilyn Waite initiated a search for others interested in sharing her passion for genealogy. She arranged a meeting for April 1, 2011 and was astonished at the response. The room was filled with beginning and advanced genealogists ready to learn and to teach.
The first year of our club can best be described as Genealogy 101. Since we had a variety of levels involved in our Genealogy Study Group, we invited the more knowledgeable members to share their way of doing their genealogical research with us. The emphasis has always been: start with yourself and work backwards. It is often enticing to start with our most interesting or most famous relative first, but most genealogists say, “start with what you know.” Gather your information in your house first and talk with and interview living relatives.
Trilogy members Betty Young and Pat Stevens taught us about Ancestry.com and the various programs that help organize your information after you have found it. Betty, a long time genealogist, also showed us her method of organizing data. She started before there were computer programs and transitioned to computer late in her research. We are lucky to have someone with Betty’s expertise in our group. She is very patient with our novice level. (She visited Salt Lake City every year until 2011 to do research. Carolyn and Dennis Buckmaster shared their experiences researching, writing, and publishing the life story of Carolyn’s great aunt, chronicling her adventures in “Healing, Romance and Revolution.” Trilogy member Don Garcia gave our most recent presentation on the topic “How DNA Can Help Our Research,” which was very interesting and informative.
We have also had speakers from the greater Redmond community who have entertained, inspired and informed us, including Susan Mitchell, DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) member and genealogy volunteer at the Redmond Senior Center, and Deborah Pierce, manager at the Center for Well-Being, who shared her experience creating a beautiful family history book for the celebration of her father’s 100th birthday.
“Aha” Moments and Special Member Projects
There have been many “aha” moments for our members over the course of the year. Two of our members had never before seen photos of their own fathers. Learning the tricks of navigating on Ancestry.com led them to find pictures of their fathers. This was quite an “aha” moment, as they had never expected to know what their fathers looked like.
Gwen Blough has been doing genealogical research for many years, but she has found that just learning one bit of information at a meeting often allows her to go that much further with her research – making the “aha” moments that much more frequent. Don Thompson had hit a brick wall with his family history studies until suddenly his research led him to find a cousin who sent him a treasure trove of information, cracking through his “Scandinavian mystery.”
Another thing we do within the Genealogy Club is encourage one another in our various projects. Through encouragement from her fellow members, Marilyn Waite was able to finish a book about her father’s life in time for the 100th Commemoration of his birthday, and she shared it last February at her family’s reunion in Southern California.
One of club member Gwen Blough’s hobbies is creating DVD videos that showcase family activities such as trips, holidays, birthdays, and years in review. When she was invited to a “Cousins Christmas Party” several years in a row, she decided to create a video featuring her paternal cousins as they grew up together. She searched through photo albums and scanned pictures of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and the houses they lived in as they were growing up. She used Roxio Easy Media Creator to put these scanned pictures into a slideshow format, then added captions, music, and movement. She burned DVD copies of the video as gifts for each of her cousins, and shared the video at her cousins’ annual Christmas dinner. Needless to say, the cousins loved the video, and they shared more stories from their past as they viewed it together. She also showed the video at a Genealogy Club meeting. The club members shared their enthusiasm about the project, and a few became inspired to create their own family videos. This is a great way to record, preserve, and share your family history
Genealogy has interested club member Marilyn Pitman Waite since her father died when she was six years old. She didn’t call it “genealogy” at the time, but soon after her father’s death she became a gatherer of family information. She now believes that this was probably an attempt to create the family that disintegrated at the time of his death. In the last 15 years, she has also been writing prose and poems. With encouragement from her fellow members in the Genealogy Club, she combined her passions for writing and family history and completed her dad’s story, which she called Dream to Reality. She self-published this book in time for her father’s 100th birth date commemoration celebration, which she organized this past February in Southern California.
Sharing and learning from others in our Genealogy Club continually encourages us to move toward leaving a written legacy for our children and grandchildren. A few members of the club decided to carve out time to write, share, and critique each other’s memoir writing. This group now meets after our Genealogy Meeting on the 4th Tuesday of the month.
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Genealogy Field Trips
As genealogy research has become more and more popular, our Trilogy Genealogy Club decided to explore resources that are available here in our own backyards by taking local genealogy field trips. One of our first trips was to the Fiske Genealogical Library in Seattle. Founded in 1971, Fiske’s goals are to provide on-going education in genealogical research techniques and to build a library of genealogical materials not readily available, especially for those townships east of the Mississippi River.
We heard a short discussion of what is available at the Fiske, and then we explored the library on our own. One of our members found that they stored older copies of “The Ogle Genealogist,” which is a publication of one of her family lines. We also discovered that the Fiske has a list of wonderful genealogy classes offered monthly. This month’s class is titled “Extracting information from Passport Applications and Passenger Manifests.” Some of us have attended classes offered at the Fiske this past year, and these have taught us some better ways of recording the results of our research.
Here in our area we are fortunate to have a regional facility of the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which contains genealogical records and is staffed by knowledgeable, helpful people. So, the Genealogy Club took another field trip this year to visit NARA Pacific Rim in Seattle, where we were taken on a tour of the archives by an experienced genealogist. We learned so much about research and records from this tour! One of our members found out how to send for her father’s WWII service records, and she is now waiting with anticipation for those records to arrive. The facility has both microfiche records and original documents stored at the site. What a treasure to have this resource so close to our homes!
Future Plans for the Genealogy Club of Trilogy Redmond Ridge
Our meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 10:00am to 12:00pm, and the Family Memoir Group meets from 12:00pm to 1:00pm. Our upcoming meetings will feature the following topics:
- May 28th: My Research to Become a DAR (Presented by Glenda Harris)
- June 25th: Group members will present information found about fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers.
- In July we’ll have a field trip to Heritage Quest Library in Sumner, Washington.
Other Speakers will be scheduled for the Fall of 2012, and we already have plans to showcase memorabilia of our ancestors in November, which could possibly lead to an exhibition of this memorabilia for the greater Trilogy community to see.
We expect that there will be many more adventures down the road as we research our rich family histories, and we encourage anyone who is interested in discovering their own family stories to join us.