We are so excited you found us. Come join us and see why the unraveling of family history is the fastest growing hobby in the land. All members of Idaho Genealogical Society and persons interested in their family history are welcome. The Idaho Genealogical Society meets 11 months out of the year.

09 October 2012


Good News!!

The Family History Center on Maurice Street in Twin Falls is open after their remodel project.  I will be visiting there today to inquire about classes & other news.

Stay tuned.
Roots Tech News:

RootsTech is offering Family History Consultants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a $99 discount to attend all three days of RootsTech 2013. To get the $99 price, consultants must use a discount code at checkout. Consultants received the code in an email on or about last Friday. If you are a consultant and are not receiving consultant emails, I encourage you to register:

Get Ready For RootsTech!

This is a great, high energy video. If you presented, blogged, exhibited, sponsored, or just attended RootsTech 2012, check it out. You might see yourself. You’ll definitely see people you know.

Can’t view the video above? See it at http://bcove.me/bh51ll4f.

21 July 2012

IGS Society Annual Meeting and Conference

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kootenai County Genealogical Society hosts the annual meeting and conference of the Idaho Genealogical Society (IGS), Saturday, September 29, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Express in beautiful Hayden Lake, Idaho on the edge of Coeur‘d Alene, Chairman Jeanne Venturino announced.

The local and state genealogical societies welcome genealogists and historians from all over Idaho, Montana and Washington. Registration begins at 8:30 am by greetings from KCGS President Jean Richards Timmermeister and IGS President Juvanne Martin, CG. 

The IGS will address issues facing both state and local genealogical and historical societies throughout Idaho including membership, volunteers, fund drives, technology, as well as elect board members and state officers.  The state IGS President, Juvanne Martin, will address various projects including this year’s indexing of the 1940 United States Census and the upcoming Sesquicentennial celebration of the Idaho Territory in 2013.

The all-day conference has invited three qualified speakers:  John Schalk, Mariam Midkiff Robbins, and Connie Godak.

John Schalk is a local resident who will share his experiences of growing up in Nazi-occupied Germany.  Schalk was born in 1927 in Langen, Germany and studied to be a lathe machinist. An aunt sponsored his entry into the United States.  Within a year, he joined the military and was stationed in New York, Alabama, the Philippines, Massachusetts (where he married his wife and raised his family), Newfoundland, Canada, and finally, Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, Washington.
Mariam Midkiff Robbins is a blogger and lecturer, and an active member of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society.  She will present “Frugal Genealogy, or How NOT to Spend a Fortune on Your Family Tree.” Her advice contains tips and tricks to cut down on genealogy expenses from subscriptions, purchasing records, to conferences.

Ms. Robbins has been interested in family history from an early age.  She grew up in Southeast Alaska, far from her extended family in Western Michigan.   In 1987, she began to collect information, interviewing relatives, reading genealogy how-to books, and filling out family group sheets and pedigree charts. In 1995, she set out with a mission to reunite her paternal grandmother, an adoptee, with her biological family.  Two years later, after tracing her grandmother’s family tree back three full generations with some lines going into the Colonial American period, she succeeded in reuniting her grandmother with her maternal relatives.

Ms. Robbins has taught online genealogy through the Community Colleges of Spokane’s Institute for Extended Learning since 2005. Her genealogy blog, AnceStories:  The Stories of My Ancestors was voted one of ProGenealogists’ 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs in 2009 and one of FamilyTreeMagazine’s Best Genealogy Blogs in 2010.

Connie Godak is the director of the Hayden Family History Center where she will assist conference attendees to find their ancestors on FamilySearch.org.  Her presentation, “ Finding Family with FamilySearch “ will teach you how to trace your ancestry and find the locality and primary documents you need to ensure that your sources are legitimate and accurate.    Accessing previous research, finding digitalized books, opening vital records, and printing and saving them are other avenues she will explore.  Attendees will find out where one can find research help and lessons, as well as learn about some of the newest tools to help you pinpoint where you need to be searching.  Finally, the FHC Director will show the importance of everyone working together to make the world’s records available and free to everyone.

Connie was born and raised in northwest Wyoming, the only girl with five older brothers.  She became interested in genealogy as a teenager trying to find out how various members of her family fit together.  She married husband Jack forty-three years ago. The Godaks moved to Idaho when Jack got a job with the forest service.  They raised six children and have nine grandchildren.

Connie has been working on family history for over twenty years and has served as director of the local family history center for the past four years.  She also organizes a free genealogy seminar each fall.

Conference registration is just $25 for IGS and KCGS members; all others are $30.  Both fees include lunch.  Registration deadline is Sept. 15 to assure having lunch.  Registration is by email or phone to Waneva Maymon, wmaymom@icehouse.net. or (208)772-6618.

The Holiday Inn Express, 151 West Orchard Ave, Hayden, Idaho 83835, (208)772-7900 has offered a special rate of just $89 a night plus tax for IGS Annual Meeting and Conference attendees.

Idaho Sesquicentennial Special License Plate

A REMINDER for those who enjoy Idaho history. 

Monday, July 2nd, 2012, the Idaho Sesquicentennial Special License Plate will go on sale in every County Motor Vehicle Registration and Licensing office in Idaho, (See Attachment).  In Nez Perce County,- (The Nez Perce County Court House).  Revenues derived from the sale of the Idaho Sesquicentennial Special License Plates will go to every county's historical society or designated entities in the State of Idaho. In Nez Perce County, revenues will be equally shared by the Nez Perce County Historical Society and the Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission. 

The Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission successively initiated, supported and sponsored the Idaho Sesquicentennial Special License Plate Bill.  Commissioners on the Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission include Bill R. Miller, Chair;  Jacquelyn Height, Vice Chair;  Bill McVicars;  Greg Follett;  Dwight Ferguson;  John Mock;  Ron Karlberg;  Garry Bush;  Tara Forsmann;   Dr. Dennis Ohrtman, Lewiston City Council Liaison and former commissioner, Dick Riggs.

Cost of this Special Plate will be $35 plus registration fees.  Sample Plates are $30.00.

Be sure and ask for and receive credit for the remaining months left on your current license plate when applying for the Idaho Sesquicentennial Special License Plate.

Commemorate and celebrate Idaho's Sesquicentennial 1863 - 2013, one-hundred fifty years as a territory and state. 

08 July 2012

Early Idaho Songs Programs

Wednesday, July 18.  6:30 p.m.  Roseberry.   The Way We Worked in Idaho.  This is a program of early Idaho work songs I developed last year to support the Smithsonian traveling exhibit on American labor as it visited six towns around the state during the year.

Thursday, July 19.  7:00 p.m.  Warm Lake.  Bad Asses and Disasters of Early Idaho - Songs That Should Have Been Written But Weren't.  This is a new program that includes recently written songs about unfortunate events of early Idaho, where we have been unable to find early songs.

These events take place in McCall.

30 June 2012

Hello from Southern Idaho

I'm Penny O'Keefe and I live in Filer.  I was born in the Panama Canal Zone.  My parents met there after WWII:  my Dad was in the Navy & my Mom worked for JAG.  My mother's side of the family was from Texas, my father's from New York City.  When my Dad retired from the Navy, we ended up in San Antonio, Texas where I grew up.

I have always been interested in genealogy because I never knew any of my Grandparents.  Three had died before I was born & one when I was just three years old.
When my Mom died in 2003, I joined ancestry.com and started my journey up my family tree.  Juvanne taught me how to research and helped me get started.  When my first grandson was born in 2007, I started a tree just for him.  He now has over seven thousand people in his tree!!! 

I will be keeping everyone posted about genealogy news in Idaho.  Happy hunting!!

19 June 2012

Please join me in welcoming Penny Harford, our new Idaho Genealogical Society blogger from Twin Falls, Idaho.  Penny replaces Vice-President Christa Klemme, who resigned the end of March.  We, at IGS, will always be grateful for Christa for creating not only this blog, but our Facebook page.  She has a true talent and we will miss her passion.  Penny has a unique story to tell about her birth place and how she got into genealogy and Facebook....but I am getting ahead of myself if I tell her story.  Therefore, I will let her tell hers.....
Juvanne Martin, CG

President of IGS

16 March 2012

Dead Relative Collectors Meeting @ State Archives - Sat. 03/17 10:30-12

Dead Relative Collectors Meeting at the State Archives- Saturday March 17th 10:30-12. Featuring IGS President Juvanne Martin lecturing on "Coping with No Database for the 1940 Census: Using Finding Aids and Enumeration Districts"

Followed by the Idaho Genealogical Society Board Meeting (begins as soon as DRC is over). Everyone is welcome.

25 February 2012

1940 Census draws closer to the date of release!

Here is a fantastic video on the release of the 1940 census. We are excited to be a part of the indexing project through partners FamilySearch.org,  Archives.com, and Findmypast.com. Until the indexed records are released you will be able to see the images from the census by enumeration district only. To find out how to find your ancestor by enumeration district, watch this video from Archives.gov:

1940 Census video from Archives.gov

Then on April 2, you can see the digitized images from the census @ 1940census.archives.gov.

(Remember they are not indexed! That is why we are volunteering to index them.)

If you are interested in volunteering in the indexing project, please register for an indexing account at : http://the1940census.com . Once you submit your name, email, and preferred state to index, you will get instructions in an email on how to sign up. When you create your profile, remember to look for: <Group> on the <My Profile> page. Under <Group>, select <Idaho Genealogical Society>. We would be grateful if you joined our team! The sponsors are going to have some fun contests with prizes to encourage the volunteers. It's going to be a unique opportunity for all ! Please join us and be sure to send us an email when you sign up @ idgensociety@gmail.com. We can confirm that you've joined our group and if not, we can fix it so you are!!

22 February 2012

DRC 25 Feb 2012 @ 10:30 , Social Networking and Genealogy

DRC (Dead Relative Collectors) hosts
"Why Social Networks are Important in the 
World of Genealogy 
and How to Use Them for Genealogy

Lecturer and Historian Christa Klemme
Saturday, February 25th, 10:30 am - 12 pm
Idaho State Archives
2205 Old Penitentiary Road 
Boise, ID 83712

Free & Bring a Friend

The Idaho Genealogical Society would like to inform you of a group titled, The Dead Relative Collectors (DRC). The Dead Relative Collectors hosts a variety of free classes for those interested in furthering their genealogy research. As featured in the IGS 2011 Winterly Quarterly, "DRC has no bylaws, no dues, and no membership requirements. If you come to our meetings, you are a member and all are welcome."

The DRC meetings are just prior to the IGS Board Meetings.  The DRC meets the 3rd Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Idaho State Archives, 2205 Old Penitentiary Road, Boise, ID 83712. Come learn from our talented lecturers and then put to practice what you've learned in the Idaho State Archives!!

This month, DRC hosts IGS Vice-President, historian, and lecturer, Christa Klemme. Christa has previously taught classes to the DRC group on topics such as Immigration and Naturalization,  Migration Patterns and British Isles research.  She is a regular lecturer at the BYU-ID Nampa Family History Conference.  Please send an email to idgensociety@gmail.com  if you'd like a copy of the class syllabus.

Future DRC scheduled classes are as follows:

March 17th, Saturday: 1940 Census 

April: No Meeting Because Of Nampa BYU-ID Spring Family History Conference

To sign up, see the following site:
Dates & Locations:  Rexburg, April 21st and  Nampa, April 28th - $11 Reg. Fee 

May 19th, Saturday: "Developing a Workable Research Plan", Gene Williams, CG, Free 

June 16th, Saturday: "Telling Our Family Stories", Jerry Cowley, Free 


Idaho Genealogical Society

13 February 2012

The Idaho Genealogical Society joins the 1940 Census Community Indexing Project

The Idaho Genealogical Society 
joins the
1940 Census
 Indexing Project
We are excited to announce that our society has joined the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project to help index the 1940 U.S. Federal Census! Indexing records from our state will be an essential part of this monumental grass-roots effort that will put one of the richest genealogical data sets in the world online, complete and free of charge forever.  

Go to http://the1940census.com/society and register to participate with our society. Simply select Idaho Genealogical Society on the profile screen when creating your account. Every new person indexing with our society gets us closer to milestones that qualify us for incentives provided by the sponsors of the project, so sign up today!

Please email: idgensociety@gmail.com if you have any difficulty in registering. Our administrators would be happy to help you register. Also, please send us an email (at the email listed above) confirming you signed up. The IGS will confirm your registration into our group was successful. After you register, you will get a confirmation email from FamilySearch with index training resources. 

Thank you in advance for your participation. We look forward to the impact this resource will have for researchers of our area and so many others.

Warm regards,

Idaho Genealogical Society

About the 1940 Census Community Project:
On April 2, 2012, images of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census will be released for the first time. Unlike previous census years, images of this census will be made available as free digital images.

Upon its release, the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project, a joint initiative between Archives.com, FamilySearch, findmypast.com, and other leading genealogy societies and organizations, will coordinate efforts to provide quick access to these digital images and immediately start indexing these records to make them searchable online with free and open access.

Interest in the 1940 U.S. Census is both significant and sentimental because it documents what is often referred to as "The Greatest Generation" of U.S. citizens. As a group, these are individuals who:

*          Survived the Great Depression
*          Fought in the Second World War
*          Innovated technology (TV, Microwave)

There are many people still alive today who will be able to find themselves in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. Others will be able to readily connect with relatives they knew personally or through family stories. Imagine the great resource this will be to current and future society members!

03 February 2012

IGS and RootsTech - SLC - Day 1


Picture taken during Barbara Renick's lecture "Eleven Layers of Online Searches"

IGS is "in the house" at the RootsTech conference! We are meeting the "Who's Who" in the genealogy world. (Well, Christa is and Juvanne is meeting old friends and making new.) Saw Joshua Taylor who has jumped from NEGHS to Brightsolid- a major sponsor here at Rootstech. Saw Geneabloggers Thomas MacEntee who made mention of IGS in his luncheon talk about the IGS's progress in technology and he also gave Christa some blogger beads. We took a class to help out our Idaho genealogists join the 1940 censuss indexing group. (Got confirmation that the IGS is a group for the 1940 Census and we are getting trained to take on volunteers). Just got a demo on BillionGraves.com- a new site that'll knock the socks off of genealogists who roam cemeteries with their camera. Took a class from Barbara Renick (a fabulous and personable lecturer) on internet search techniques. A night at the library ended a great day 1 at Rootstech convention in SLC. Stay tuned for details tomorrow!

28 January 2012

Idaho Sesquicentennial License Plate Bill Proposal

From our friends who ask for your support:

A bill to establish an Idaho sesquicentennial license plate has been sent to the House Transportation Committee by Rep. John Rusche.

The license bill number is RS 20960. It will be introduced into the House Transportation Committee on Feb 2, 2012.

Revenue from the sale of this plate will be distributed to the county historical societies across the state. 

Although not expected to raise huge sums, your local historians make a dollar go a long, long ways.  Please consider supporting this legislation.

27 January 2012

Sign up today for the IGS Group for FamilySearch's 1940 Indexing Project!

The Idaho Genealogical Society has been asked to partnership with FamilySearch in the 1940 Census Indexing. We have gladly accepted the task and are looking forward to indexing. We have been assigned “Group” status and can now recruit volunteers! So, this is where we need you! We have loyal members and would greatly appreciate your volunteerism.  The greatest part about this program is that you can index in the comfort of your own home and go at your own pace.

To register for the 1940 census indexing project, go to: https://indexing.familysearch.org/
Click “Register”. Even if you are a member of the LDS Church, you will have to register as a non-member to sign up for our IGS group project. When you are registering, it will say, "What kind of account do you want to create?" Please select “FAMILY SEARCH ACCOUNT (for the general public)”. You must be at least 13 years of age to register. You should get a drop down menu for groups. They will be in alphabetical order.  Find Idaho Genealogical Society.

Once registered, you can go back into the site and download the indexing software you will need for indexing.

1. Click Download Now to download the Indexing program installer.
2. Run (open) the installer to set up the Indexing program on your computer.
3. Click the new desktop icon to run the Indexing program.
4. Follow the instructions to create a new FamilySearch account (if you don't already have one.)
5. says “sign in” and begin indexing.
By signing up now you are getting ready for the 1940 census indexing project when the census is released by NARA (the National Archives and Records Administration) in April.
On a side note, you can “Invite” your friends to join. So spread the word. Please!!
Also, you can participate now in other indexing projects that FamilySearch has going in order to prepare you for the 1940 Census.  Please feel free to watch the demo videos regarding how to use the indexing software as well as the many other training tools that are available in their Help toolbar. Get signed in today and practice your indexing skills. (It’s not as difficult as you may imagine.) We are hoping to coordinate some indexing parties and show FamilySearch how united we are as a group in this wonderful project! We look forward to seeing you in our group!

19 January 2012

What a Sweet Surprise! IGS on National Radio!!

While the Idaho Genealogical Society has been growing leaps and bounds this last year with advances in technology through avenues such as our website, our Facebook page, and our Blog, we've never been on national radio before! The Idaho Genealogical Society has been invited to be featured on My Society hosted by The Federation of Genealogical Societies. What a treat this will be for us!

Mark your calendars! The Idaho Genealogical Society will be featured in the Society Spotlight segment of an upcoming episode of FGS Radio – My Society (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mysociety) this coming Saturday.

On Saturday, January 21, 2012, from 1:00pm – 2:00pm Central, Randy Whited, this week's host will be talking about Crafting an Effective Member Survey with guest members Paula Hinkel, of the FGS-member society Southern California Genealogical Society in Burbank, California, and Taneya Koonce, a member of the FGS Education Committee.  After the special guests, The Idaho Genealogical Society has the opportunity to shine! We will share our recent accomplishments and goals for the new year.

"Tune in to FGS Radio – My Society each week to learn more about genealogy societies and join in a discussion of the issues impacting the genealogical community."

My Society

My Society is presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies and each week they address topics that relate to genealogical societies.

18 January 2012

Rootstech - Are You Registered ? We Are :}


I have taught many a class and I get countless comments on how many fellow family historians feel behind the times in technology in regards to how it relates to genealogy. The Rootstech 2012 conference is the perfect solution to that conundrum. I truly appreciate the variety of levels of skill that this conference is directed towards. We are all going at our own pace in genealogy & technology and it is nice that RootsTech addresses this. The classes and computer workshops are directed towards beginner and intermediate users, as well as, developers. The classes are original and intriguing. They are of a different variety than the ones offered at BYU Family  History Conferences offered in the summer in Provo.

The fees are relatively inexpensive for a conference.  The class schedule is online now. In fact, the workshops are filling up fast. Schedule your workshops today if you are planning on attending!!

Juvanne Martin, CG[SM],  President of the Idaho Genealogical Society, and myself are headed to Salt Lake to try out RootsTech. So many good class topics to choose from. There is even a class on Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101!   (Stay tuned to the blog! It only gets better!!!)

Another exciting class we plan on attending is the Help Index the 1940 U.S. Census. The IGS has been asked to assist recruiting people and help index the 1940 Census. What a great way for us to get a sneak peak into the 1940 Census!

We'll keep you posted on our adventures in SLC, RootsTech, the Keynote speakers, featured lunches, the night of comedy, and our late night at the Family History Library.  (My husband wonders why I get so excited about late nights in the library! To some it's boring. However, it's like candy to me! If they did an over-nighter at the Library you wouldn't have to ask me twice to sign-up!)

Act now - RootsTech.  You won't regret it. So many things to look forward to...

Christa Klemme
Idaho Genealogical Society