When Your Ox Is in the Ditch

Genealogical How-to Letters By Vera McDowell A book review by MaryLynn Strickland

“That’s a very good book,” someone said, pointing to a bright orange and yellow volume on the book sales table. 

“Hmmm,” I thought, “I’ll have to remember that.  Someday I’ll buy it.”  A few years later I did just that.  Then, from time to time, I glanced at pages as the book was moved from coffee table to bookshelf.  I can’t say that I ever fulfilled my intention to read all of it.

Recently, when I was looking for reading material in the middle of the night, the book literally fell off the shelf and opened to page 54 where I read:

“To understand the four nationalities that make up the United Kingdom, we must recognize that:
“SCOTS: Keep the Sabbath and everything else they can get their hands on.
“IRISH:  Don’t believe in anything and will fight like hell to defend it.
“WELSH:  Pray on their knees and everybody else.
“ENGLISH:  Feel like they were born to rule the world and relieve the Almighty of any respons…


By Barbara Mattoon

A plateau rises between the valleys of the Green and Cedar Rivers stretching from the Springbrook area of Renton to an area near the salmon hatchery south of Auburn, an area of approximately 70 square miles.    The plateau is drained from Renton in a southeasterly direction toward where it empties into the Green River by Soos Creek and several smaller creeks.

The first white settlers claimed land in the valleys because it was more suitable for farming than the land on the plateau.  Later arrivals had to content themselves with the rockier soil on the plateau which being less suitable for farming, was better suited for dairying, raising poultry and livestock.

Early settlers on the plateau were primarily from Scandinavia.  They were driven to emigrate by severely depressed economic conditions in Europe in the latter half of the 19th century.  The Puget Sound area was attractive to them because of its similarity to their homelands.    Many descendants of these early se…

What is the DAR?

By Winona I Laird
This is the question I’m always asked when I say, I have a DAR meeting today, or I am a member of the DAR, or the DAR will be marching in the Veterans Day Parade.  To answer the question. What is the DAR? It’s Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a lineage society that is a non-profit, 501 (C )  (3)  charitable organization dedicated to historic preservation, education and patriotism. Any woman 18 years or older-regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background-who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible for membership.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890, with the mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. The objectives of the Daughters of the American Revolution are:

Historical – to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence. DAR members participate in a wide variety of Historic Preservation…

Organizing Your Family History Stuff

By Dorothy Pretare

In my prior post, “What Will Happen to Your Family History Stuff”, we identified 1) the types of family history stuff and their possible locations, 2) your hopes and possible options, and 3) some steps to help ensure your hopes/wishes will be honored.

One of those steps was to “Organize Your Stuff”.  This step will help you in your research and make it easier to share information with others.  First, each of us may approach tasks in different ways -- think about handing an unorganized grocery list to a few people and watch them shop in an unfamiliar store.  Since there are many ways to organize items, I suggest you check “The Organized Genealogist” on Facebook or “Organize Your Family History” ( or Cyndi’s List ( for her list of links to various methods.  Just select a method you think will work for you and remember you can always change your method of organizing your items.

As you organiz…

February 2019 SKCGS NEWS

By Barbara Mattoon
The Society offers many opportunities to learn and develop genealogy skills in both large and small groups. We endeavor to offer activities at times and locations that will allow the largest number of members to participate.  March will  kick-off with the Family Tree Maker Users Group meeting on Saturday March 2, at the Auburn Library from 10:15 – 11:45.  Winona Laird will teach us how to use Error Reports in FTM.  Please RSVP to Dave Liesse at as soon as you know you can attend.  We are outgrowing our space at the Auburn Library and may have to find an alternate location.  If that happens, we want to be able to let you know where to find us.

ANNOUNCEMENT                          ANNOUNCEMENT                       ANNOUNCEMENT  
Our long-awaited DNA Special Interest Group has arrived!  The Genetic Genealogy Group will  meet for the first time on Monday, March 4, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.  The meeting will be at WAPI, 28815 Pacific Highway South, Suite …

What Will Happen to Your Family History Stuff?

By Dorothy Pretare
Almost everyone has some family history items.  A few people may have only family stories or a photo, but others may have a Genealogy Room with full file cabinets, bookcases, boxed, etc. Many of us have spent years of hard work, time, and money to research our families.  Let’s identify 1) types of family history stuff and their possible locations, 2) your hopes and possible options, and 3) some steps to help ensure your hopes/wishes will be honored.

Types of family history stuff and their possible locations
Family history items can take many forms, including loose papers; photographs and slides; family heirlooms (like the family Bible, jewelry, household items, tools, etc.); video and audio recordings; notebooks; digital files; posted online family trees; DNA results, etc.

Do you know the locations for all your stuff?  Those items may be in file cabinets; bookcases; stacked on your desk or on the floor nearby; cardboard boxes or plastic tubs; family heirlooms stored …

Generations of Record Cold Spells

By Harold Nielson
The recent bitter arctic cold wave, described as a Polar Vortex by the weather service, has had every one's attention. Record cold temperatures from Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Michigan, all the Great Lakes Region, stretching all the way to New England. The news reported 22 deaths from the cold these past few weeks.

This weather is not new to us older folks who can remember cold winters and blizzards of years gone by. I remember when we lived in Leadville Colorado from 1974-1978 when the winters were bitterly cold at 10,200 feet. It was not unusual to have snow from November still on the ground in March and April. Cold temps of 20-35 degrees below zero were not uncommon. I remember laying out in the street in front of our home changing the starter in my '68 Ford. It was 25 below and I didn't stay out long at a time, but I got the job done.

When our son had his tonsils out, a good snow of 12-15 inches with wind that drifted the snow in around our car. …