Guest Speaker on “Citing Your Sources”

Cite Family Research Sources ImageThe April 16th Siuslaw Genealogy Society meeting will feature Shirley Peterson Redmond, speaking on the topic of Cite Your Sources. Ms. Redmond’s interest in genealogy began 15 years ago, upon seeing a 1900 census with her father as a 2 year old. She started researching her paternal grandmother’s line – the only American line of a family with roots from Sweden. Ms. Peterson Redmond has been a Family History Center librarian since 2003 and a member of the Seminar staff since 2005. Join us for a presentation on an essential part of documenting your family history research.

April 16, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Siuslaw Public Library, Bromley Room

The public is invited!

The Siuslaw Genealogy Society’s regular monthly will follow the presentation.

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From Where I Came Project

SGS member Louise Carlson recommends reading a recent article from the Oregonian which highlighted a website created to share stories of one’s travels to places where ancestors lived.  View the article.

The From Where I Came project posts contributing travel stories on their blog.


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Siuslaw Pioneer – Story of Our First Cream Separator

Submitted by Louise Carlson

The Siuslaw Pioneer was a publication of the Siuslaw Historical Society. The following story (written by Mrs. Nellie (H.M.) Petersen) appeared in the 1949 issue.

     When Cream Separators Came to the Siuslaw

In the Weslets of April 21 1899, it was stated that W.R. McCornack Siuslaw Cream Separatoradds a separator to his diary plant. That must have seemed to his neighbors a reckless thing to do for at that time they were just beginning to be heard of in the Siuslaw.

Opinion was freely expressed that this was only a fad, and those foolish enough to put their money into such a contraption would soon find they had wasted their money on something that would not work.

Those were the days of wide shallow tin pans and stone crocks into which the milk was strained then left to stand in a clean cool room until the cream had risen to the top, when it was skimmed off with a large spoon, or skimmer of tin full of small holes for the milk to drain away from the cream.

DasherIt was then slid off into a container and kept until there was enough for a churning. The cream was poured into a churn of the dasher type and someone, usually the children, stayed at the task of lifting the dasher which became more difficult to move as the Churning Creamcream became thicker.

Not long after the McCornack separator had proved its worth Amos Haring purchased one for his dairy, and to quote Grandma Haring as she told it, ” We didn’t see how we had ever got along without it.”

Others, seeing how much work was saved, and more important how much more cream they saved, bought separators until every dairy man in the Siuslaw owned one.”

Note:  Copies of this and other Siuslaw Pioneer publications can be found in the Siuslaw Genealogy Room at the Siuslaw Library.

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New Trend In Sharing Family History

Contributed by Louise Carlson

Several new internet companies are promoting a new method of collecting and sharing family stories.  Read about one such company called StoryWorth.

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David Munsel, Florence Pioneer

Submitted by Marge Bonds

David Munsel’s name is well-known in western Lane county; sadly, he is buried in an unmarked grave in the Glenada Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Born in 1824 in Ohio, he came across the Oregon Trail, arriving in December of 1847. During the next 30 years, he fought in the Indian Wars, lived for a time in Walla Walla, Washington, the Dalles, Oregon, southern Oregon and finally on the North Fork of our own Siuslaw River.

Munsel filed a homestead claim on 146 acres up the North Fork, staying there until around 1888.  Then he moved again into town (Florence) and became known for his skills as a carpenter and cabinet maker.  Chairs seemed David Munsel Chairto be
his ‘specialty’,  but they had to be strong enough to support him. If they broke down under his weight (said to be about 225 pounds and over six feet tall) they were ‘no good‘.  One of his chairs remains on display at the Pioneer Museum in Old Town, Florence (Photo by Eileen Gray).

David Munsel also had some eccentricities.  His known belief system was said to be spiritualism.  He believed spirits lived in trees, so would cut the limbs off trees that stood in front of his house.  He would also smear pitch or tar on his bald head to keep the spirits from bothering him.  Perhaps this is why he never married!

In August of 1896, Mr. Munsel was found alone in his cabin, sitting in one of his own chairs.  He was pronounced dead of natural causes after an official inquest.  He is buried in the Glenada cemetery where many other pioneers were buried during this time period.

David Munsel was said by those who knew him, to be “one of the most honest, industrious and kind-hearted men that ever lived.”  We are fortunate to have Munsel Lake, Munsel Road and Munsel Creek named for this man, a Florence pioneer.

–Information from “Tangled Grass:The Story of those Buried in the Glenada Oregon, Odd Fellows Cemetery” by Kevin Mittge and the Siuslaw Genealogy Society.

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Guest Speaker – Kevin Mittge on Land Records and Genealogy

Siuslaw Genealogy Society member Kevin Mittge will provide an introduction to land records presentation at the March 19 SGS meeting. He’ll show how land records can be a valuable resource in our genealogy research. According to Kevin, “land records can help locate our ancestors, may prove relationships, indicate literacy, provide approximate marriage and death dates, and can help differentiate between two people with the same name.  Grants, patents, homesteads, donation land claims, warranty deeds, quit claim deeds, and mortgages, are just some of the records the family historian can use to solve many research problems.” Kevin will also demonstrate how to use Google Earth and other online resources.

It’s sure to be an interesting and educational evening for anyone doing family research!

Siuslaw Public Library, Bromley Room
7:00 p.m.

The public is invited to attend!

Presentation followed by business meeting.

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Genealogy Webinars – At Your Convenience

Member Jacquie Beveridge suggests viewing:
The site provides weekly webinars (online presentations) for the genealogy community.  Speakers present educational topics to help improve methods for genealogy research.


Register (free) for any upcoming live webinar (Wednesdays & Fridays) accessible by internet via your computer or mobile device.  The webinars are also recorded and available (free) for later viewing up to 7 days after the original webinar date.

Paid subscribers have access to speaker handouts, unlimited access to 225 + hours of archived webinars, and a chance to win door prizes during each live webinar.

Rates:  $9.95/month (intro price) or $49.95/yr (intro price)


Taking the plunge, I viewed the recent webinar, Using Newspapers to Reconnect with the Stories of Your Family’s Past.  The speaker was Tom Kemp, Director of Genealogy Products NewsBank.  (

Unable to ‘attend’ the live webinar, I accessed the site that evening, located the recorded webinar in the Blog Archive list, (left column) and after a few more clicks the presentation began. In his presentation, Mr. Kemp claims newspapers to be a valuable source for compelling stories, images and information about ancestors for anyone doing genealogy research. He displayed slides of great finds  - letters, announcements, and articles from small community newspapers which often reveal accounts of an individual’s military or public service experiences, retirement announcements, and more, that one might never discover otherwise.  Additionally, he recommends ‘casting a wider net’ during research  -  include researching newspapers of surrounding localities of a person’s place of residence for obituaries, letters, etc. He also emphasized adding newspaper links to family trees on-line. (No copyright infringement when linking to the news source (ex., etc.).

Mr. Kemp read portions from several of his own ancestors’ stories, and those he serendipitously found. Several letters became the last written words of individuals facing dire circumstances due to earthquake, execution, or war. He also shared an experience of piecing together a story of his ancestor from a newspaper obituary, letter, and cross stitch sampler of her work made in 1813 at age 6, an image of which he found on EBay.

In summary, after viewing this webinar I’m convinced newspapers can be a valuable source for genealogy research.  The discovery of news articles and stories, whether tragic or heartfelt, would be a great find to anyone’s genealogy research.

Next webinar is Wednesday, March 12 – Some Lesser Known Irish Resources
(Judy Wright)
Access the site at
to register or check for upcoming webinars

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