NW Genealogy Conference News

Finally have a chance to catch my breath after the NW Genealogy Conference in Arlington!

The conference started on Wednesday, August 17th with a FREE day for beginning genealogists. There were three classes: Introduction to Genealogy, Secrets of Ten Record Groups and If I’d Only Known. They also had a ‘scavenger’ hunt. All the attendees received a card to be signed by the vendors. A great way to meet and greet.

I was a vendor at this conference and had the pleasure of setting up next to Susan Sullivan owner of FamilyAncestrees. She is a graphic designer and has some fantastic ideas on how to present Family Trees. You can email Susan at familytrees@fmscreative.com .

Next, there was Molli Allen with Origami Owl. She will design a beautiful Living Locket for you. You choose the charms that represent your passions, memories, dreams and the things you love and Molli will capture them in your Living Locket. Check out the web site to see all the different items available.

And of course, there was Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems. Always fun and informative to hear her speak.

The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society  puts on an excellent conference. This year’s theme was “Family Secrets Uncovered – Lost History Found”. The speaker line up was fantastic! Claudia Breland, Lisa Louise Cooke, Blaine Bettinger, Beth Foulk, Donna Potter Phillips, Mary Kircher Roddy……. Are you jealous yet? You can read all about these and the MANY other excellent speakers I didn’t name on the 2016 Classes page. So many topics! So much wonderful information!

One of the things I like best about these conferences is all the knowledge being shared outside of the classes. You get a chance to talk to others who can help work out strategies, offer advice and neverending encouragement. I heard several people talking excitedly about finding living ‘cousins’ sitting next to them in a class. Other high spots were the meetups at the end of the day and a Friday Banquet with Blaine Bettinger speaking on The Science Fiction Future of Genetic Genealogy.

If you missed this year’s conference, don’t despair. Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society already has a Save The Date out for next year – August 16th – 19th, 2017. Even better, register before February 15th for early bird prices: Full three day conference: Members $125, non-members $140 Single day: $70

For an in-depth review of the conference, check out the Washington State Genealogical Society Blog

Until next time….. Keep on Searching!

Dame Sheila

June is Graduation Month !

I work at a public university and about now the campus is slowing down.  Soon the graduates will be on their way out into the world and most of the current students will be leaving campus for the summer. It’s always a crazy time but it’s also a proud time.   Listening to the stories told by the graduates about the many different roads traveled to earn that piece of paper is exhilarating.

Have you ever thought what it was like for your ancestors?  According to historians reading and writing were skills taught in school during the colonial era but if you weren’t lucky enough to have a school in your township then writing would be taught to males and perhaps a few privileged females. It was said that “Men handled worldly affairs and needed to both read and write. Girls only needed to read”   Women could read but were unable to sign their names. This is why you so often see documents with an X for the signature.

It wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that  education  became common in cities. For those families that lived in rural  areas, education was not as central in a child’s upbringing. Rural schools were a one room building with students of all ages in a single class.  Inequality of education was noticeable.  While all were taught reading, writing and arithmetic, the girls were schooled in  household duties and chores so they could become better wives and mothers.

For an  interesting online site showing a timeline for the history of education check out http://www.pbs.org/onlyateacher/timeline.html

If you would like to learn more about the movement for women’s literacy check out the many books available on the subject. A few of my favorites showing just how far we’ve come are:

Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thoughts on the Education of Daughters with Reflections of Female Conduct in the More Important Duties of Life, (J. Johnson), 1787.  http://digital.library.lse.ac.uk/objects/lse:ruf494jak

Beecher, Catharine E, and Harriet B. Stowe. The New Housekeeper’s Manual: [embracing a New Revised Edition of the American Woman’s Home, Or, Principles of Domestic Science, Being a Guide to Economical, Healthful, Beautiful, and Christian Homes]. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2013. https://archive.org/details/newhousekeepersm00beec

More scholarly texts are:

The Ascent Of Woman: A History of the Suffragette Movement by Phillips, Melanie New Edition (2004)    http://amzn.to/1TNfYJq

Learning to Stand and Speak: Women, Education, and Public Life in America’s Republic 1st edition by Kelley, Mary (2006) http://amzn.to/1NVA8ll

And if you prefer your history as a story:

The Coquette and the Boarding School (Broadview Editions)
Hannah Webster Foster http://amzn.to/1TNgO97

Dame Sheila


Change is inevitable and occurs in our lives at regular intervals.  Sometimes it’s planned and sometimes it just comes about. I try to look at life as an adventure and look at change as a new chapter.

I’m telling you this because there has been a change in The Genealogy Dames.  My partner and friend Lisa Marker has decided to follow another path.  I think she wants to enjoy life at a slower pace.

The Genealogy Dames will continue business as usual and I hope to see you at an upcoming conference.  I also hope to convince Lisa to contribute to the blog now and then.  She has some wonderful ideas on House History.

So, I’ll end with a note from Lisa.

“It has been a wonderful adventure and a sincere pleasure to be associated with the Genealogy Dames! For personal reasons, I am choosing to take my leave, with many thanks to our clients, friends, and especially to Sheila Thayer. Her determination, business acumen and knowledge of genealogy is incredible!

I’d like to extend good wishes to Sheila and for the ongoing success of The Genealogy Dames.

 Thank you!

 Lisa Marker “