Thursday, November 29, 2018

Susie Watts Almond Notebooks, Watts Family Research 
Materials provided by Andrea Watts Harrison, who received them from Susie. 
November 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

DNA Discoveries

This has been another amazing day. About 50 years ago I became interested in genealogy or family history. After years of education, training and hard work the rewards are becoming evermore fruitful. Thank you to everyone that has shared in that journey. Tonight as I pulled into the library parking lot to attend a genealogy group meeting in St. Helens, OR, my phone sounded the ping. I took a moment to look at it and saw a message from someone who I helped recently take a DNA test. The results were wonderful. Then a short time ago this person sent a letter about the results to one of her proven family connections. Once I returned home my messages were overtaken by this person and their connection. For privacy reasons I won't share more than that about the situation. My heart is full as the persons reached out to each other in this newly discovered connection. This has happened to me before, but this time it is something extra special. I believe in respecting privacy and handling delicate situations carefully. DNA tests do not lie and the results may not be what we want, but how blessed we are in this day to have the tools to make these discoveries happen. Between cell phones, internet connections, and regular mail options we now can build our families more fully around the world. Thank you so much for those who have shared their DNA discoveries with me.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Family Time - Remembering Fathers

The following are two posts I shared on facebook this week. The point I stressed most in my talk today was writing about our Fathers and sharing their history with our children. Recording our experiences with our parents is important as the next generation does not really know them. makes it easy to post memories and pictures. I utilize my blog for this purpose and will eventually transition the posts to

June 17
We had a very nice Father's Day and there is more celebrating next weekend. Our oldest daughter and partner Charles made us dinner on Saturday. It was fantastic and we had a very nice visit. Then today the two older sons made us a wonderful dinner. We had visits with our other son and daughter's family who live here. Then David had a nice visit with our daughter's family who live in Wyoming. The highlight of the day was speaking in church. We both chose to focus on the most recent conference talk by President Nelson. When we realized this I chose to just use a small part and let David have the rest. The focus of this talk was on personal revelation. I also used the poem, I Am A Child of Royal Birth, sharing some about the author. I also shared a blog post about my father I wrote several years ago. Somehow I managed to speak without too much emotion. My father passed away thirty years ago and my mother five years ago. Going through their things now is very healing for me.

June 8
Had a wonderful day yesterday. For some time I have been wanting to sort through the things of my mother. My niece Stephanie came out for lunch and then we worked for about two hours on the totes in the garage. We made it through all of them. There were a few treasures she took home, three totes and some other things went to Good Will and a few totes went back to the garage. I so appreciate that she was willing to help me. This was the beginning of the process to condense what I have. It has been five years since my mother passed and it was great to review some of her life.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Converting Audio Tapes to CDs Part 2

Finished listening to the CDs of my converted audio tapes. Still have to work on making them more clear to hear or at least louder. Of the last four two are of my grandmother and her cousin in the 1970s and the last two are from a family reunion in March 1986 of the Olsen Family. I took pictures of these events so that will help in understanding who is speaking. What I have learned over the years is that video tapes are far superior if you are recording people and taking pictures from a couple of different cameras provides a little insurance of getting good quality. This certainly clears one of my family history goals and after thirty years I now know what is on each of the CDs. Now to move on to the video tapes, pictures still in packets, redoing the picture albums and then the computer files. The more I try to find pictures the more I want them organized and identified.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Converting Audio Tapes to CDs - Happy Mother's Day to Me

I spent some time listening to four of the eight CDs converted from my old audio cassettes. Maybe only a mother can appreciate the recordings of her small children over thirty years ago. Life was so busy for a young mother also active in other things outside of our home. Thank you to Larsen Digital Services for processing these priceless memories. The fragile audio cassettes are safely filed away. Now to share the CDs, but I am not sure who else would really enjoy them. Also thank you to Thomas MacEntee for doing the Halloween Genealogy Contest which included this package. Happy Mother's Day to me early. If you have items like these take the steps to preserve them. Four more CDs to listen to, two from a family reunion and two from interviews of female relatives. Like a grand adventure!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Inventory of materials on back wall and other bookshelf in basement February 16, 2018

Inventory of materials on back and other bookshelf February 16, 2018.

Library Club March 25, 1894, YPSCE Report 1895, lists of members.

Scappoose Directories – 1953 2 copies, 1964 2 copies plus 1968 Supplement.

Scappoose Women’s Club 1964-1965.

Ledger 1968-1974 Junior CE (Christian Education).

The Wawbansee Yearbooks Scappoose High School – 1924 copied, 1930, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1943 2 copies, 1944 2copies, 1946 2 copies, 1947, 1952.

Inventory of the Watts House Collections at the Scappoose Historical Society

I am not sure if I ever sent this out. This is the final inventory of the Watts House basement conducted by Tricia Oberndorf and myself on February 16, 2018. The process took almost four hours and it is amazing what was found on the shelves. Thank you for your support in the major project of inventorying what is within the collection of the Scappoose Historical Society. I certainly had no idea when we started in August of 2016 where this would lead us. The work on the open boxes in the basement took a little over a month. Then we became involved in the library books. The overall largest part of the project was reviewing every single item for information on the Watts family. The database that was created now contains 1159 individuals and 393 marriages.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

DNA and Where it Can Lead You

About a year ago a friend called me to tell me of a strange event between her father and law enforcement officers who showed up at the care center where he was living and wanted to take a DNA sample from him. After the experience they left a calling card and a very confused patient. The family was amazed at how their DNA results found online lead the authorities to locate her father and request the test. Was this a knowledgeable consent or just an older man who agreeing to get these people out of his room? No one in the family was aware that it happened. Did the care center even know what happened? 

Over this year my friend and I spoke numerous times about the process and how the authorities asked for her help in resolving the case. They told her very little about the case other than it was a serious offender. This week she is relieved to have it all made public, but she notes that the story in the news is not all totally accurate. Surprise! For me this is more serious than using gedmatch to create a suspect list. This family now has a very interesting story to share, but they did endure many hours of stress not knowing what was going on. I am glad that my friend’s family could help. This was certainly a learning experience.

Good article in the Oregonian April 29, 2018 - Technique used to catch killer in spotlight by Avi Selk - Washington Post.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Celebrating Seven Years of Blogging

After seven years I believe writing a blog is one of the most rewarding aspects of doing family history and genealogy work. To celebrate here are some current statistics as of today, 26 April 2018.

Pageviews for all-time 144, 473
Pageviews for today, April 24, 2018 – 27, last post December 26, 2017

Months with the most pageviews
December 2016 – 10,314
May 2017 – 5,414
October 2017 – 2,689

Blog Archive, posts per year
2017 – 28 (Many for the Watts House)
2016 - 3
2015 - 12
2014 - 37
2013 - 56
2012 - 105
2011 - 80

Comments - 111