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Tutorial Finding People pic

Tutorial: Finding People in the Digital Collections

We’ve written many entries on this blog about how to go about finding records in our Digital Collections (as well as tutorials on other ways to find local history.) To review those tutorials, click on the tag “tutorial” from the column on the right.

If you’re a researcher, genealogist, or just an Issaquah history enthusiast, you’ll enjoy using this section of our digital collections to find records relating to specific people. I find myself using the Click Search function of our Digital Collections more than any other search method. Here’s why it’s my go-to:

– It’s the easiest way to find people. All you have to know is the first letter of their last name. From there you can browse last names until you find who you’re looking for.

– It can lead you to people you didn’t know existed. Say you’re looking for a specific person, you find them in the drop down menu and see their name surrounded by 10 others with that last name.

– You don’t have to worry about spelling. It’s common for names to be spelled differently – it’s like the old game of telephone. After a name has been written and rewritten for decades by different people, chances are the spelling you have is different than the spelling we have.

Below is our old tutorial for how to use the Click & Search function to find people. It’s been updated with screenshots for your ease!


Click & Search
 

Using the Click & Search is a fun way to peruse the Digital Collections. It is also helpful when finding people if you aren’t sure of the spelling of a name or have limited information. It is also fun just to browse! 

 

To find people using Click & Search: 

 

1.       Click on the left-hand button labeled “Click & Search.”

 

2.       You will see rows labeled different things, all with letters of the alphabet following them. In the row labeled “People”, select the letter of the last name of the person you are researching.

 

3.       A dropdown box will appear. Click on the down arrow and make your selection.

 

 

4.       Your search results will appear on the next page. To view the item record, click on the text link. To view only the image, click on the thumbnail and it will pop up into a new window as a larger image.

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Looking for Local History: Law & Order – IHM edition

 

 

We’ve done tutorials in the past on how to search our digital collections so this will just be a general refresher – only with a focus on our Washington Archives Month 2012 theme: Law and Order.
We’ve made searching for these sort of things easy. I think the best way to do this is either with Click & Search or Keyword Search. We’ll start with the former.
Click & Search
Begin by going to our Digital Collections. On the left you’ll see the navigation bar. Click on the button labeled “Click & Search”.
The next page will show you many different fields from which to search. For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on “Subjects.” Click on the letter that corresponds to your search term – as you can see in the image we’ve chosen “Law and Order.” Other relevant search terms you may try are “Police Department”, “Police Station”, and “Crime”.
Doing this will bring up all the records that have those search terms in their record.
Keyword Search
Another good option for searching for records would just be to use a simple Keyword Search – same as any search engine. Click on “Keyword Search” from the navigation bar. Type in what you’re searching for – in this case, “police.”

 

You can also narrow your search by using the box on the right. You can choose to eliminate records with no image, or search only within certain records.
Once you’ve searched, there are more ways of narrowing your search. First, you can see within the records where the word you’ve searched for has shown up – the word is in bold pink text.
At the top tells you how many records were found, and how many of each type. And on the right you can again narrow your search results.
Be sure to check out all of our other tutorials for great information on how to do your own research, both within our records and other places on the internet. Click here for those blog entries.

Looking For Local History: Searching the Oral History Collection

 

In 2006, we launched a project to record and transcribe oral histories with more than 25 community members. At the end of the project, after staff members had an opportunity to review the transcripts, we realized the value of the information we’d gathered. It also made us curious about the 38 old recordings that were part of our collection, but which had never been accessed. These tapes had been part of the collection for at least 20 years, but we had no information on the contents. Many of the recordings were made in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with individuals who grew up in Issaquah during the 1890s-1930s. Thanks to a generous grant from 4Culture, we were able to convert the recordings into a stable format, transcribe the interviews, catalog the contents of the interview, and make the oral histories readily available to the public. 


We’re thrilled to begin sharing the contents of our oral history collection! There is a wealth of interesting stories and memories within the oral history collection  – each oral history transcript contains dozens of pages of memories about a variety of people and topics. 


So, how can you navigate this sea of information to find what you’re interested in? By using the Digital Collections search engine. Here’s a tutorial that shows you how:
Anytime you use the Digital Collections search function to locate specific people or information, the search pulls from all the online records – photographs, objects, letters and oral histories. You can limit your search to just the oral history collection, and easily find what you’re looking for, by following these steps:


  • In the collections field, enter Oral History Collection. Complete the keyword, subject or person field. You can complete as many fields as you need to in order to describe your search, but keep in mind that the more fields you complete, the narrower your search and the fewer your results. Let’s look for information about the rodeo within the oral histories.


  • There is only one oral history that contains information about the rodeo, an oral history with Walt Seil. Within the catalog record you’ll find a multimedia link called “Transcript”. Follow this link to view the transcript.
  • Once you’ve opened the transcript (which requires the Adobe Reader program), use your browser’s search function to find the word rodeo within the transcript.


  • From this screen, you can also print out or save a copy of the transcript.
Or maybe you’re just in the mood to read one person’s story. If you want to read a specific oral history, choose from the oral history directory http://www.issaquahhistory.org/learn/oral-history-directoryand select the person whose history you would like to read. In the future, the directory will include basic biographical information about each subject. 
GIS mapping 1

Looking for Local History: Fun with GIS


May is 
local history month! All month long, we’ll be sharing bits and pieces of Issaquah’s collection, as well as tutorials to help you find local history on your own. Enjoy!

 
Many of the research requests we receive revolve around questions about where things used to be located, or what the area looked like before. One of the niftiest features of the King County iMap is it’s ability to layer different information onto one map. Using iMap, it’s possible to look at a current road (and parcel) map superimposed with the 1936 aerial image, to see what changes have occurred in the roads or landscape.
 
1. Start iMap and locate the property you’re interested in (see our previous blog post for more information on how to find a property using iMap).


2. Once you’ve found the parcel map for your property, take a look at the checkbox options on the left. You can experiment with these options to increase or decrease the amount of information that is layered onto your map. At the bottom of the list is “Imagery.” Expand this item so you can see your options. Select 1936 aerial view.


3. Here we see current parcel boundaries laid over a 1936 black and white aerial photograph. See that large property with the two diagonal sidewalks? This is the Issaquah High School in 1936. Today, the Issaquah Community Center is located on this lot.


 
4. Here we take a look at the Issaquah Highlands. In the first map, current roads are laid over the 1936 aerial image, and contour lines have been added to show elevation differences. In the second map, parcel boundaries have been added to show properties:


Looking for Local History: Washington State Digital Archives

The Washington State Digital Archives are my favorite free online resource. You can access a broad range of records there, and many of them include an image of the record in question. And did I mention that they are free?


A word of warning: the search is literal, and names are not transcribed with 100% accuracy. Just because you can’t find someone on the first try, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Try entering just the first letters of the name you’re looking for, and then browsing through the results for a likely match. This works for both first and last names. You can adjust the date range on many searches, also.

Marriage record of Jacob Jones, Sr. and Mary Anderson

Records available via the Washington State Digital Archives (WSDA) include:


1. Marriage records. When we are cataloging photographs with the inevitable notation, “Mr. and Mrs. Frank Franklin,” it’s so nice to be able to go to WSDA, track down their marriage record, and find out that, yes, Mrs. Frank Franklin also had her very own name. There records are also very helpful when we’re trying to figure out how various cousins, aunts and uncles are related, or when trying to unravel the order of multiple marriages. You might also learn something new about whoever you’re researching by noting who witnessed the wedding (“stood up for” was how the newspapers often put it), or where the couple was married. In the example at left, George W. Tibbetts, acting as Justice of the Peace, married Jacob Jones, Sr. and Mary Anderson.  The witness “R.A.Tibbetts” was Rebecca Tibbetts, George’s wife. (For more about the Jones family, see this post).


2. Birth records. These handwritten records exist only for the period prior to 1908, when recording births became a function of the counties rather than the state. In the example at below (click to view at larger size), you can see that a child was born to Mary Albasini and Peter Pedrignana in March 1894. The baby girl was born in Gilman (which became Issaquah five years later). The age of both parents and their birthplaces are  listed, as is the father’s occupation (coal miner, in this case). In the next to last column is the name of the person who delivered the baby. In the case of Baby Girl Pedrignana, Dr. W.E. Gibson was on hand for the delivery. Doc Gibson attended the birth of hundreds, possibly thousands, of Issaquah babies over the course of his 50+ year career in Issaquah. Baby Girl Pedrignana grew up to become Eugenia L. Pedegana, her parents having simplified their last name within a few years of her birth.


One tip – when you’re looking for a birth record, search for the name of the father or the mother (or both). Most babies were not named at the time their birth was registered, but parent names have been indexed.

Third line from the bottom: child born in Gilman

3. Death records. There are two kinds of death records listed: those from the Social Security Death Index (which include birth and death date) and Washington State death records (which includes parent names, spouse names, age, date of death, and place of death). As with birth records, indexing is fallible so experiment with various name spellings before you give up.
 
4. Frontier Justice. This collection of records references court cases held in Washington Territory. Most of the cases deal with things like collection of debt, conveyance of deed, and the occasional divorce, but they often raise interesting questions (for example, were holiday meals impacted when Pete Reppe took his cousins to court for failure to pay his wages?).  Documents from individual cases are not available, but the information you’ll need to find the files is. 
 
5. There are a number of places to access free census records. The WSDA is one of these. Although other sites might have snazzier searches available for the census, it’s nice to be able to search Washington State records and the census records at the same times.
 
6. Many others. Browse around and you’ll find incorporation papers, naturalization paperwork, and military registration forms. 
 
Do you have any state archives discoveries you’d like to share? Tell us about them!
 

Looking for Local History: Council Meeting Minutes, Ordinances & Resolutions


Town and City Council meetings for Issaquah can provide a lot of interesting information. Looking at the issues the council members were grappling with can tell you a lot about the state of the city at that time. (To get a better sense of all the issues at play when Stella Alexander was recalled as Mayor, take a look at the 1933 council meeting minutes).

1. All of the minutes, resolutions and ordinances for Issaquah are posted here. http://issaquah.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=0
 
2. If you already know the date of the ordinance you’re looking for, you can select the appropriate date range, first by decade, then year, and then month. The ordinance numbers for each decade also also displayed, so if you only know the ordinance number, you can browse for it that way, also.




3. If you don’t know the date of the event, you can use the Advanced Search feature. Advanced Search is not infallible, so if you can’t find something through the search, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Many of the records, for early years in particular, are hand-written and almost impossible to index. Advanced Search is a good place to start, though.

 
4. I’m looking for the resolution that changed the street names in Issaquah (the first time). I’m pretty sure they were changed in the early 1960s, but I don’t remember exactly, so I’ll choose two decades to expand the search range.
 

5. There are four different ordinances on record that use the phrase “street names,” The second one looks like the document I was searching for, although apparently not the only one dealing with street names and numbers.


6. Voila!



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property search 1

Looking for Local History: Property Information

May is local history month! All month long, we’ll be sharing bits and pieces of Issaquah’s collection, as well as tutorials to help you find local history on your own. Enjoy!


One of the most common research questions we receive is, “How can I find out more history about my house?” The best place to start is with the Puget Sound branch of the Washington State Archives. http://www.sos.wa.gov/archives/archives_puget.aspx. During the Depression, WPA workers took photographs of each property in King County. Using the parcel number, you can ask the archives to pull the property description for your home. The description will probably list the ownership of the property starting in the 1930s, along with structural and value changes to the property. You will need to make a research appointment with them, and you’ll need your parcel number. You can probably find your tax parcel number on home purchase or mortgage records, but here’s another (possibly easier) way to find that information:
 
1. Go to http://www.kingcounty.gov/operations/GIS/Maps/iMAP.aspx. Click on the Start iMap button (If you’re using dial-up, click on the Parcel Viewer link below the map.)


2. Click on the “Property Search” button and enter your address; iMap defaults to searching by parcel number, so make sure you have checked the box for searching by address. For this example, you can see we’re using the address for the Gilman Town Hall.




3. iMap will zoom in on your parcel, and the parcel number will be displayed in the block below it. This is the number you’ll need to take to the archives.





4. Click on “Get Assessor Report” to see the County’s description of your property.


5. You’ll notice that the “year built” date is 1914. Construction dates on these records are not always accurate; the Gilman Town Hall was constructed in 1888.

Issaquah-History-Museums

Looking for Local History: Using our Digital Collections: Searching By Date

 

Searching for specific dates is a useful tool when researching. We recommend that you utilize Advanced Search when looking for certain dates and time periods. Although, Keyword Search and Click & Search have their place, and we will cover how to use them in searching for dates as well. 

 

 

Things to Know:

 

          Our dates are formatted as follows:
o   YYYY/MM/DD
o   YYYY/MM
o   YYYY

 

          Sometimes we only know about what time a photograph or object is from; as in, circa 1920. These are dated as follows:
o   YYYY ca. (e.g. 1923 ca.)
o   YYYYs (e.g. 1920s)

 

          Some items in the collections do not have specific dates, but merely ranges (oftentimes, broad ranges.) This is why searching with the Year Range function in Advanced Search is the recommended method (see below.)

 

Advanced Search 

 

1.       Click on the “Advanced Search” button on the left-hand side. Enter any non-date specific information you want to search for in the appropriate boxes. 

 

2.       When searching for dates with Advanced search, you have two options: 

 

a.       You can enter a specific date (see above formats) in the box labeled “Date”. This will search for that specific number in either the Date field, or the Year Range fields. It will NOT however include dates that fall into a range with numbers other than the one you typed in. For example, if you are searching with the year 1914 in the Date field, you would get records with a Year Range 1914-1918 but NOT 1913-1918, even though 1914 falls within that range. 

 

b.      You can use the Year Range feature in the Advanced Search by entering in your “Start Date” and “End Date.” This will give you results with dates within that range. This is the recommended method. 

 

3.       On the right hand side, there is a box with options for narrowing your search. You can search for only records with images by clicking the button labeled “Only records with images. You can also search specific content sections in our database. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, it’s recommended to search “All Content”. To search one or more specific sections, click the box next to the section you wish to search. 

 

4.       Click the Search button and your results will appear on the next page. To view the item record, click on the text link. To view only the image, click on the thumbnail and it will pop up into a new window as a larger image.

 

Keyword Search 

 

The main page of our Digital Collections is the Keyword Search. Should you navigate away from the page, you can return to it either by clicking “Home” or “Keyword Search” from the left-hand buttons.  

 

Using Keyword Search for dates will bring you some interesting results. With Keyword Search you can search outside of our Date format. Sometimes the date in the Description field of an item will include the name of a month (e.g. October) instead of its numerical form. (It should be noted you can search for this in Advanced Search by entering the month name into the “Description” search field.) 

 

To Use Keyword Search: 

 

1.       In the box on the main page, enter the date or text you are looking for. Putting quotes around the text will search for ONLY that phrase – exactly as you’ve typed it. 

 

2.       As in Advanced Search, you can limit your results to records with images only, and choose which section/s you wish to search (or search All Content). Click the Search button and your results will appear on the next page. To view the item record, click on the text link. To view only the image, click on the thumbnail and it will pop up into a new window as a larger image.

 

Click & Search 

 

Using the Click & Search is a fun way to peruse the Digital Collections. When searching for date specific information in our database, it’s a good way to see what is available within certain time periods. 

 

To Use Click & Search: 

 

1.       Click on the left-hand button labeled “Click & Search.” 

 

2.       You will see rows labeled different things, all with letters of the alphabet following them. In the row labeled “Date”, click on “#”. Find the date range you are looking for and click the link.  

 

3.       A dropdown box will appear. Click on the down arrow and make your selection. As you can see some years have a lot of specific dates, and others not as many.  

 

4.       Your search results will appear on the next page. To view the item record, click on the text link. To view only the image, click on the thumbnail and it will pop up into a new window as a larger image.

 

Tutorial Finding People pic

Looking for Local History: Using Our Digital Collections: Finding People

There are a few ways to go about finding people in our Digital Collections. You can use Keyword Search, Advanced Search, or Click & Search. There are reasons for using each one, and I will go through them here. 

 

Keyword Search

 

Using the Keyword Search is your basic catch-all search, just like an internet search engine. Simply type in what you are looking for and you’ll receive your results. The Keyword Search searches all available fields including Name, Description, Title, Collection, etc.  

 

The main page of our Digital Collections is the Keyword Search. Should you navigate away from the page, you can return to it either by clicking “Home” or “Keyword Search” from the left-hand buttons.

 

To find people using Keyword Search: 

 

1.       In the box on the main page, enter the name you are looking for. Putting quotes around the name will search for ONLY that phrase – exactly as you’ve typed it. This is not really recommended when searching for names, as often times maiden names, nicknames, and other spellings will be excluded from your results. 

 

2.       On the right hand side, there is a box with options for narrowing your search. You can search for only records with images by clicking the button labeled “Only records with images. 

 

3.       You can also search specific content sections in our database. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, it’s recommended to search “All Content”. To search one or more specific sections, click the box next to the section you wish to search. 

 

4.       Click the Search button and your results will appear on the next page. To view the item record, click on the text link. To view only the image, click on the thumbnail and it will pop up into a new window as a larger image.
Click & Search 

 

Using the Click & Search is a fun way to peruse the Digital Collections. It is also helpful when finding people if you aren’t sure of the spelling of a name or have limited information. It is also fun just to browse! 

 

To find people using Click & Search: 

 

1.       Click on the left-hand button labeled “Click & Search.”

 

2.       You will see rows labeled different things, all with letters of the alphabet following them. In the row labeled “People”, select the letter of the last name of the person you are researching.

 

3.       A dropdown box will appear. Click on the down arrow and make your selection.

 

4.       Your search results will appear on the next page. To view the item record, click on the text link. To view only the image, click on the thumbnail and it will pop up into a new window as a larger image.
 
Advanced Search

 

Using Advanced Search is helpful if you want to search specific fields for names or you have other parameters you wish to use to narrow down your results.

 

To find people using Advanced Search

 

1.       Click on the left-hand button labeled “Advanced Search.”

 

2.       You will see different fields you search. Each of these boxes searches the database in the specific field labeled to the left. Entering a name in each box will search ONLY that field in our database for that name. As in Keyword Search you can use quotation marks to search for specific phrases.


3.       Enter names and other information you wish to search by in the boxes. Choose which parameter you wish for your results to sort by clicking the radio button next to the box.

 

4.       As in Keyword Search, you can limit your results to records with images only, and choose which section/s you wish to search (or search All Content). Click the Search button and your results will appear on the next page. To view the item record, click on the text link. To view only the image, click on the thumbnail and it will pop up into a new window as a larger image.


Tip: If narrowing your results in Advanced Search based on date, you have two options:

 

1.       You can enter a specific date (format: YYYY/MM/DD; YYYY/MM; or YYYY) in the box labeled “Date”. This will search for that specific number in either the Date field, or the Year Range fields. It will NOT however include dates that fall into a range with numbers other than the one you typed in. For example, if you are searching with the year 1914 in the date field, you would get records with a Year Range 1914-1918 but NOT 1913-1918, even though 1914 falls within that range.

 

2.       You can use the Year Range feature in the Advanced Search by entering in your “Start Date” and “End Date.” This will give you results with dates within that range. This is the recommended method. 


Things to Know 

 

·         Generally, women are listed by their married name. However, their maiden name is included in their full name listing  (if known) and is therefore searchable using Keyword and Advanced Search.
·         From any page on our Digital Collections you can click the button on the left-hand side labeled “Help” for more information.
·         When viewing the Full Record of an item you can click on a name and then click on “Related Records” to view all Records with that name. This is just like finding the name through “Click & Search.”
 
 


 
ISQ01041934P01

Looking for Local History: The Issaquah Press & Issaquah Independent



May is local history month! All month long, we’ll be sharing bits and pieces of Issaquah’s collection, as well as tutorials to help you find local history on your own. Enjoy!

One of the easiest (and most fun) ways to follow the history of Issaquah (or any other town, really) is to read it’s newspaper. The Issaquah Press (originally the Independent) has been a weekly paper since 1900, and as a small local paper, it holds a vast amount of information about the day-to-day life of Issaquah citizens.
 
Disclaimer: Mind the Gap
There are two significant gaps in the Press archives. Issues between 1900 and 1907, and between 1911 and 1918, are missing, lost sometime before the Press was microfilmed in the early 1980s. When you’re researching a particular topic, it can often feel like everything interesting that ever happened in Issaquah occurred during those gaps. I try to adopt a glass-half-full perspective, and focus on all the issues of the Press that dosurvive.
 
The Gap aside, you have several options when it comes to viewing archived issues of the Issaquah Press:
 
1.  An almost-complete set (complete, minus the previously-mentioned gap) is available on microfilm at the Issaquah Library or the University of Washington Library. The University of Washington’s microfilm machines allow viewers to print pages OR to save digital copies of pages onto a thumb drive. You can also look through the Issaquah Press microfilm at our research center at the Gilman Town Hall (email us if you’d like to make an appointment).
Pros: Microfilm represents as complete a copy as possible of the Press
Cons: The only way to search through the microfilm is by date; the less specific your time frame, the more time it will take to find what you want. Viewing also requires some prior planning.
 
2. Selected issues of the Press are also digitally available – and searchable – through SmallTownPapers.com. SmallTownPapers (STP) is the entity that began digitizing the Press, and the Press is still part of their “collection.” You can view it here:
Pros: Searchable, and FREE!
Cons: The search function is only fair; just because you can’t find something via search, that doesn’t mean it’s not in there somewhere.
 
3.  A limited number of Press issues can also be found at the Google archives.
 
Pros: FREE! And some years missing on STP can be found on Google.
Cons: Not searchable.
 
At some future time, the Issaquah Press collection might be hosted by a genealogy or archived news website. The STP collection was hosted for a time at WorldVitalRecords, and then at Footnote.com, and then at NewspaperArchives.com. All three of these sites require membership. The Issaquah History Museums paid for a membership to Footnote.com, and it was well worth the investment. There were actually more copies available through Footnote than there are today at STP.com. However, Footnote became Fold3 and stopped hosting SmallTownPapers.com. The Issaquah Press content was supposed to move to NewspaperArchives.com, but after waiting several months for issues prior to 1940 to be posted, the IHM dropped its membership. NewspaperArchives.com’s customer service was fair-to-poor, and it was impossible to find out when, or if, additional copies of the Press would be hosted there. I have been trying to discern whether or not NewspaperArchives.com still hosts the Issaquah Press. They either do not host them, or you need to join to see whether or not they host them, which doesn’t sound like a very good gamble to me.
 
Someday, I hope that the Press can be completely digitized and completely searchable. A history geek can dream, right?
 
Have you run into any pre-2000 digital issues of the Press online? Let us know!

Page one of the January 4, 1934 Issaquah Press, which reported on the recall of Mayor Stella Alexander. Click the image to read the text. You can also read through the whole issue here.