Gopher Genealogy by Susan LeBlanc provides information about research, lectures, published articles and book reviews, and Serendipity Moments that are the results of searching for ancestors both personally and for clients. The objective of the blog is for others to receive insight and inspiration in doing their family history research. It is an evolving method of communication and input from reviewers is welcome.
This morning I randomly looked at my blog gophergenealogy.blogspot.com and was shocked to find the following update. There were 50,000 in February 2015. In January 2017 there were 100,000. Will it make 150,000 by this January?
Pageviews all time history
United States 88587
United Kingdom 728
Thank you to those who take the time to read my posts. It truly is a miracle that I am writing. The past couple of years have involved so many volunteer hours at the Watts House and in Columbia County, Oregon. I am speaking less and working more for clients. On Wednesdays I volunteer four hours at the local Family History Center. This week I am returning to Gladstone Family History Center to do two classes on research at familysearch.org in Spanish. We will see how I do with my rusty Spanish. It will be great to visit with so many genealogy friends. Please come if you are able, free and a free lunch. From 9-3. Information and syllabus available at http://milwaukiefamilyhistoryconference.blogspot.com/
Saturday I attended the seminar in Milwaukie, Oregon at the Milwaukie Center, with CeCe Moore as the speaker, put on by the Genealogical Forum of Oregon. It was a fantastic program on DNA research. The speaker was so motivating in encouraging me in wanting to do more of this type of testing and discovering more about my ancestors. We had a wonderful lunch and enjoyed visiting with so many friends. Then I bought way too many books, but I am prepared for reading when I take breaks from working on the DNA results. Thank you to my friend Tricia Oberndorf from St. Helens for driving and helping me cart the books home.
Watts Books at the Scappoose Library
and Marchen, by Lillian Foster, 1899: John Russell Collier
by Griffin M. Lovelace: Helen Watts Clothier
Erzahlungen by H. A. Guerber: 1914-15 Helen L. Watts, S.H.S.
Erzablungen by H. A. Guerber, vol. 2, Helen L. Watts, S.H.S. ‘17
bie Rirdje by Mills Whittlesey, A.M., Helen Watts
by Gustav Gruener, 1911, Presented by J. G. Watts, Feb. 17, 1930
Footprints of Time And a Complete Analysis of the American System of
Charles Bancroft, 1880, Jas. G. Watts, 1881, 17 yrs. old,
Scappoose, Ore., Bought May 2, 1881, $5.00
Business Law for Business
Men, State of Oregon, by A. J. Bledsoe, 1915, Watts and Price 1915
With receipt, received
payment A. J. Bledsoe Mgr., Watts & Price, Scappoose, Or., Aug. 24, 1915
Excile or six months of travel, by David R. Locke, 1882, Presented to Scappoose
Library by Miss Vera Price May 1940, Mrs. D. W. Price
Story of One
Hundred Years, by Daniel B. Shepp, Presented to Scappoose Public Library by
Vera Price May 1940, Mrs. D. W. Price
The Oregon Country, by Harvey W. Scott, 1924, Presented by Mr. & Mrs. Henry
Collier (Miss Maude Watts) Feb. 15, 1930, sticker in book Presented by Henry E.
Collier, Maude E. Collier, In Memory of John R. Watts and Elizabeth M. Watts,
Homespun Missionary, by M. Leona Nichols, 1935, from the library of A. E.
Burns, a grandson of William Watts, Scappoose Pioneer of 1852
A History of
Oregon, by Robert Carlton Clark, Ph. D., 1926, from the library of A. E. Burns,
a grandson of William Watts, (a pioneer of Scappoose (1852) ), Ira W. Burns
Life on the
Plains of the Pacific, Oregon: History, Condition and Prospects, by Rev.
Gustavus Hines, 1881, Given by Ida Watts Burns in memory of her father William
Watts (1803-1873) on whose donation homestead the town of Scappoose is located,
A. E. Burns
the Columbia River Valley, by Fred Lockley, 1928, Presented to the Scappoose
Public Library by Mrs. Henry Duncan of Warren, Oregon in memory of her brother
Wm. Fullerton born in the Scappoose vicinity in 18??
No Man Like
Joe, The Life and Times of Joseph L. Meek, by Harvey Elmer Tobie, Our Pioneer
Association, May 1875, sticker in book Presented by Friends In Memory of J. G.
and Rose E. Watts
Letters of Mrs. Jason Lee, by Theresa Gay, 1936, Presented by friends of J. G. and
Rose E. Watts.
the Shoshones, by Dela Gould Emmons, 1949, Presented by friends of J. G. and
Rose E. Watts.
Builders, by Robert Ormond Case, 1949, Presented by the Scappoose Parent
Teacher Association founders day February 18, 1959, in memory of Mrs. Rose
Watts, sticker in book Presented by Friends In Memory of J. G. and Rose E.
Rand-McNally Guide to the Great Northwest, by S. H. Soule, 1903, From the
library of Archie Burns who was a grandson of William Watts the 1852 Pioneer of
Scappoose, Presented Ida W. Burns, 1955
The Use of
the National Forests, by Gifford Pinchot, Forester, 1907, Given to Scappoose
Public Library, 1946, Mary Ewing
Flower Arrangement Book, by Nell True Welch, 1942, Presented to Scappoose
Library by Mrs. W. D. Burg, 1950, Mrs. Lena Burg
There are some books that
we were unable to locate and they are probably set aside somewhere. They
Beasee Hero? by Ruth
The State of Oregon
General & Special Laws, Legislative Assembly 1899
The Tender Heart by Archie
Days with Chief Joseph:
Diary, by Erskine Wood, 1950
12 October, William Watts born 1803
KY, arrived in Oregon with his second wife Nancy Jane with whom he had two
children Robert and Elizabeth; settled Donation Land Claim 1358, 10 December
1852. The claims were for 320 acres and an additional 320 acres for the wife.
His son Benjamin M. (wrote Ben Watts
Trail Log), had Donation Land Claim 1450. William had seven children from his
first marriage to Elizabeth M. Naylor and all five sons came to Oregon
including John W. (wrote “Foghorn”
Diary), James W., Francis and Thomas. William with his third wife, Mary Ann
Butterworth, had four children Henry Clay (his daughter Alice Mary Watts wrote about the family in 1981), Ewing Jolly,
Isabelle (her daughter Ida Marion Strong
Seggel wrote about the family in 1976) and Ida Ann.
1861 12 December James Washington Watts
married Elizabeth Matilda Nessly, parents of Minnie Annette, James Grant and
William Thomas; Elizabeth later married John Ralph Watts a cousin of James
14 August death of James Washington
1873 27 April marriage of Elizabeth Matilda
Watts to John Ralph Watts. Three daughters born to them: Lillie May Perry,
Marie Ellen Eskridge and Maude Elizabeth
Collier (wrote about the family in 1976).
23 October James Grant Watts born in Scappoose, Oregon. (Wrote history of
1868 25 December Arizona Rosamund Ewing born
in DesMoines, Iowa.
February Daniel (Dee) William Price married Minnie Annette Watts.
September James Grant Watts married Arizona Rosamund (Rose) Ewing.
1891 4 June
birth of son Raymond Ewing Watts, who died 16 June 1904.
April birth of daughter Hazel Mildred Watts who married Rev. Vernon Walter
Cooke 16 May 1917.
December birth of daughter Helen Lucille who married Reverdy Mead Clothier 1
1902 James Grant Watts built Watts house in
1905 1 February birth of son James Loring Watts who married Irene K.
Leach 12 March 1938. (Wrote about the family in 1976)
April death of John Ralph Watts, second husband of Elizabeth Matilda Watts.
book produced by the Columbia County Ladies Aid Society.
1920 2 January death of Elizabeth Matilda
Nessly Watts. Scappoose Street named for her. Will in Columbia Co. She
bequeathed land for public schools.
April first special election held, J G Watts elected first mayor
1921 13 July City of Scappoose Incorporated
and adopted its first charter, voted on Aug. 13 at Watts and Price Hall,
Scappoose, Oregon, formally adopted November 1, 1921
water system complete
book produced by the Scappoose Ladies Aid Society.
connected to homes
Garden Club Organized
started by Rose Watts, Caroline Dorris and Lena Burg, November 29 tea, over 100
1931 Fire at Watts and Price store, library books
moved to Watts home
22 April Scappoose Garden Club
reorganized. Gladys Wheeler President, Rose Watts Vice-President, Amy Frakes
April James Grant Watts died.
1958 Scappoose Public Library built as part of Fire
Station building, dedication October 20, books to be moved
by the high school
students. About 4,000 to 5,000 books. Corner stone placed with items of
January Rose Watts died.
Kennedy became librarian and would serve for over thirty years, retiring in
1969 June 26 – City of Scappoose purchased the
Watts house from James Loring Watts and Irene L. Watts for $20,000. About this
time it is estimated that there were 16,000 books in the library.
- Formed society, city moved offices into Watts house
3 – Society members met with City Council
5 – Society incorporated with non-profit status, Mary Pintarich president,
21 – Society met with city and established guidelines
29 – Society bylaws adopted
6 October – Council
behind society 1976 project to rejuvenate the Watts house, received grant,
society to oversee the museum
24 – Children’s Museum opened, overseen by the Woman’s Club of Scappoose
19 – Watts house designated first historic landmark of Scappoose
28 – Watts house place on National Register of Historic Places
5 – Watts house recognized by State Historic Preservation Office
May 2 – Final Woman’s Club meeting,
turned over Children’s Museum and funding to Scappoose Historical Society, copy
1987 December 5 – Watts house non-profit
status reinstated by Oregon Corporation Division
March 3 – Vivian R. Urie
president, chairperson and registered agent of society
1989 June 20 – Irene Watts a member of the
society is quoted, “Home was purchased by the city with the understanding it
was a historical site and would become a museum eventually.”
June 20 Board minutes of
Scappoose Historical Society
1997 20 members
November 22 – The 22 year
relationship between city and the society, city report
Scappoose High School advanced
wood working class and instructor donated their time to construct the display
cases, Scappoose Woman’s Club treasury provided funds, Scappoose Senior
Citizens donated a quilt that they made as a bicentennial project
2004 ReAnna Sharp president of society
Barbara Hayden president of society
Elaine Thompson president of society,
Went out to lunch with my brother and his daughter. We went to one of our mother's and grandmother's favorite restaurants, the Wishing Well, in St. John's, Oregon. Great Chinese food. I had not been there for 15 years. We celebrated my niece's birthday and had a great visit. Then we drove by my Aunt and Uncle's home who I have not spoken to in four years. They were at the beach, but I hope to make contact soon. Sometimes we get promptings to do something and it feels so good when we follow them. Family memories are precious. My niece shared with me that she had been given some of our mother's things. Her family now has the silverware our mother purchased before she got married to our father and a couple of her paintings. What a treasure just knowing she has them. A serendipity day.
After a year of sorting, organizing, reading, typing, putting into notebooks, making lists and taking lots of notes I am drawing to a close on the Watts House Collections Inventory for the Scappoose Historical Society. There are still a few odds and ends to finish now that the overall project is completed. There are several posts on my blog gophergenealogy.blogspot.com if you are interested in seeing what we found. Today I created two notebooks, one for the overall board information and the other for all of the collections. That is how I preserve the memories and compilations in a format that documents the many hours spent on this project. My thanks to Tricia Oberndorf, Karen Holmberg, Dorothy Gallagle, our board member Mardi's daughter, Mardi's high school students and anyone else I may have overlooked. It has been a great learning adventure which has enhanced my working skills immensely!
These family histories were written by family members and others who wanted to preserve the stories of the Watts family. Three of them were written in 1976 as part of the Bi-Centennial Celebration of the United States. Van Watts, while not a descendant, contributed greatly to the story and promoted the family during this time period.
The Watts Family in Oregon, 1852-1934 by James Grant Watts (1940)
History of Scappoose by James Loring Watts, son of James Grant Watts, (1976)
Genealogy of the Covered Wagon Wattses by Maude Watts Collier, half-sister of James Grant Watts
"Covered Wagon Watts" by Alice Mary Watts, cousin of James Grant Watts
My Columbia County Relatives by Ida Strong Seggel, aunt of James Grant Watts (1976)
"Foghorn" Diary by Dr. John William Watts, uncle of James Grant Watts
Ben Watts Trail Log by Benjamin Marion Watts, uncle of James Grant Watts
This was the first set of ledger books. A transcription was made of the first book due to the fragile nature of the book. It is done as close as possible to the original, but many pages are very hard to read. With the digitized copy and more time to verify some of the text a more complete and accurate transcription may be made. The second book for the Watts/Price store is easier to read and so only a list of names included was created. The pages of the book are for various families who had accounts with the store, with extensive lists of the items being purchased. The last four books were used to create lists of people who lived in the area and paid water payments and other types of transactions with the city of Scappoose.
1. Scappoose, Oregon Historical Sketches, Good History, 25
names: Book No 1, Pioneers,
1824 – 1850; J. G. Watts, 1940; Lists of Names for 1830, 1840, 1850; Earliest Settlers 1845; Scappoose Sunday School - Ralph Watts Supt. 83 years old; J. G. Watts - City of Scappoose, 1852. Scanned by Columbia County Historical Museum 2017.
2. Watts/Price Store 1889/1890, Singed ledger book, lists of
sales to Individuals. Scanned by Columbia County Historical Museum 2017.
3. Cash Book, Ledger of Water Payments and other City of
Scappoose Financial Records,
January 1, 1941 to June 30, 1942, 131 pages.
4. Journal, Ledger of Water Payments and other City of
Scappoose Financial Records July 1942 to June 1944, 201 pages. Expenses on
Library 2nd Quarter 1944 Library $15.00.
5. S. E. Ledger, Water Payments and other City of Scappoose
January 1945 to February 1946, 138 pages
6. Journal, Records for 1948-1949, Scappoose City Taxes for
Commercial Accounts, 142 pages.
There were thirty scrapbooks found at the Watts house. They cover a wide range of topics. Eight of them are articles written by the Roving
Reporter with Social Notes published in the Columbia Herald from 1961 to 1980.
Another is newspaper articles written by Karl Klooster, but there are no dates
on the articles. I won’t go into detail on the other twenty-eight as they are
explained some in the attached list. My favorite scrapbooks are numbers 2, 4,
5, 6, and 7. These will be further reviewed as time allows. So glad that we could get that
We finally got the newspapers brought upstairs so there was room to sort through them and inventory what we have. It took about fourteen hours of work, but it is done! Once the information is typed up we will share the newspapers in the collection. We did find a 1928 Scappoose Register and two 1931 Scappoose Independent papers. There is one tote of local Columbia County papers, one tote of the Bicentennial papers, three totes of Oregonians and one tote of Oregon Journals. While you can access some of them online the copies are not always easy to read. Most of these papers concern major national and world events. The motivation to finish this dirty and time consuming work are the last two collections to now process. We will be working on the scrap books and church collection in the coming month. Those will contain some of the heart of this community. I hope to close out the processing of the museum collections within the year of my first beginning the work.
Susan, "Well here goes, I must say, you are tenacious, based on your research you will get the info with or without me."
Thank you to a current client for this wonderful compliment. I do push to look in every nook and cranny I can think of when researching a family's history. The person had been most helpful in providing direct personal family information while I worked with the online resources. Her family was one of the last parts of a family and when I looked online I found information about her immediate family including six children. But I needed to connect to her birth family. In looking online at genealogybank.com I found an article about her sister's wedding listing all of the family members. I call that a serendipity moment. There were no other articles about the family with a rather uncommon surname that came up!
After a year of compiling information on the materials held at the Watts House by the Scappoose Historical Society it is time to post the results. To start with I am posting the list of church books that were organized by dates they cover and as a group for the Ladies Aid Society of the Congregational Church of Scappoose, Oregon. First I will give a short overview and then the list.
There were many hours dedicated to organizing the forty
church books of all various types and sizes. The forty books have been read and copies of lists and information about the Watts family
and friends are recorded in about 150 pages of notes. These are available in the
basement in a notebook. There are two additional red notebooks that hold the
loose papers from the church collection. In the front of one notebook is the
membership certificate for Rose Ewing Watts. She held many positions in the
church and ladies organizations. Serving as clerk for many years Rose recorded
the history of the people from this community.
Took Anne and the girls to a tea luncheon at the Watts' house in Scappoose, OR. What a fun event. The girls, ages 6 and 9, were on their very best behavior as they had lunch with about 24 women from the area. Each group had their own table. They made only slight accommodations for the girls, like a few peanut butter and honey sandwiches. They did give us decaf teas to choose from and had punch as well. First came a dish of sorbet which they loved. Then came the three tier stand for the plates of food. Sandwiches, sweet breads and deserts. More than we could ever eat in one sitting so we brought a few home to Grandpa. Then each of the girls won a candle door prize. They wore their cutest dresses, sandals and just shined. Before leaving Hannah took them on a tour of the upstairs. Anne seemed to have a good time as well.
Just have to add to the picture and the post. This Tea is put on by the Scappoose Historical Society as an annual fund raiser. It is all volunteer labor, including the food prep, serving, set up, take down, and all else this involves. I am so impressed with the women and men who are members of this great Historical Society. There is much to be proud of in the little town of Scappoose. A great heritage is a priceless gift to all who share in the memories. Thank you so much for making the Tea possible.
Today marks six years since the beginning of writing on gophergenealogy.blogspot.com. For the most part writing is something I enjoy doing. This blog keeps me on track with my work and new discoveries from that work. Every day is something new and remarkable in doing family history research. New databases are released from the major online sites on a daily basis. Most of the time it feels as though I am lead to the information that is needed for the family involved.
In the past several months work was done on families to compile information and locate documents and indexed information to confirm what was found. While most of the principal work is done on ancestry.com, using the categories search and exploring all options, at times the information directs me to other websites. Those websites can be a gold mine for facts about a family. We all use findagrave.com and marvel at the items published on the pages for individuals. In looking further we search the cemetery for other known family members. Recently in being directed to the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency a wonderful new resource was discovered.
Attended the library board meeting on Saturday to present our inventories of the Watts books from the original library in the Watts house. Shared the story of discovering who the third library founder was and her contribution. We also provided a list of the 20+ books that have family signatures in them. The Historical Society is hoping they will be placed in the Watts House Museum for preservation. After that I went to the house and transitioned the picture collection to smaller tubs for ease of working with them. Then all was taken down to the basement. It was great going down there and seeing the progress. From 20 open boxes there are now only eleven smaller tubs that are sorted. The notebooks are labeled for the use of anyone wishing to research their families.
Book Wish List
Reference Books for the Genealogist Wish List
By Susan LeBlanc, BGS/FH, AG®[i]
Genealogy books are plentiful and knowing which ones will be most beneficial in your genealogy education is important. While taking classes through BYU, I made the following list of books used in the various classes or suggested by the instructors. It is certainly not everything on my shelves, which contain over 100 reference books, but it will help to get you thinking about creating your own list. Many of my other books are for specific localities and foreign research. Of the 45 books listed, eleven are still on my wish list. An important feature of creating a list is to mark off the books that you have, so when you go to purchase books you will know which books to add to your individual library. Our local librarian requested the list, as she wants to build our library collection. To keep costs down for the home library one can purchase used books at a fraction of the original price. The most recent publication does not always provide many changes from previous versions. While you may be able to access the book online, having a hard cover copy is nice for leisure reading and ready reference. Being able to mark a book for personal use is something true book lover’s relish.
As noted in past newspaper articles Lena Berg was one of the
founders of the Scappoose Public Library in 1929. She worked with Rose Watts
and Caroline Dorris in establishing the library in the second floor of the Price/Watts
store. There they managed to collect hundreds of books and provided hours of
service making those available to the community. They were involved in the
rescue of the books from that building before it was destroyed by fire in 1932.
The books were moved to the Watts house where they were open to the public
until a formal public library was opened in 1959, at the then fire station
building. That move occurred shortly after the death of Rose Watts, who was
quoted as saying, “there were four to five thousand books at that time.”
My mother, Yvonne Olsen Barker, loved the book Opal by Opal Whiteley. She left two copies of the book in her large collection of books. The one I kept for myself is a 1976 edition arranged and adapted by Jane Boulton, with 181 pages. The cost of the book was $2.95 after being reduced from $6.95, probably found in a used book store. On the inside front page she left this inscription:
"This book reminds me so much of how your great grandmother was as a child from the stories she told me. I have this same book in my library so I thought you might enjoy reading this one.
Yvonne Olsen Barker 6/5/93."
Tricia Oberndorf and I attended the "The Coaching Lab: Forensic Genealogy from Inquiry to Affidavit"
Catherine B. W. Desmarais, CG and Amber Goodpaster Tauscher
were the lead instructors, teaching 14 sections individually and often together supporting the learning of how to use technology in the research process.
At about 3:30 this afternoon the blog Gopher Genealogy
reached 100,000 views. The blog began on April 24, 2011. Then in four years-time
on February 28, 2015 it reached 50,000 page views. In less than two years it
has now doubled the amount of page views. These views are from all around the
world, but just over 59,000 come from the United States. When starting the blog
it was a novelty and many other genealogists were doing the same. Geneabloggers
has about 3,000 blogs listed at their website. Today the website posted an
interview entitled, "May I Introduce You to Susan LeBlanc."
Reed is my fourth great grandfather. He fought in the Civil War and died on
October 6, 1864 because of dysentery. I found information about him from his
burial in Little Rock National Cemetery in Arkansas. Much of the information my
family has about him came from his military records. (Military Service)
Learning about him helps me to understand the Civil War on a personal level.
Samuel Reed is significant to me because he was willing to leave his family and
fight for his beliefs.