Author Archives: Teresa Smick

Good News!!

There will be an online talk to focus on life of Sacajawea’s son, this Saturday, February 13th at 1 p.m.
Jean Baptiste Charbonneau traveled more of the West as a baby than most people have in their lifetime. Charbonneau, also known as “Pomp,” was the son of Sacajawea, who traveled with William Clark and Meriwether Lewis and the Corps of Discovery. His story will be shared in “The Life and Times of Pomp: Jean Baptiste Charbonneau” at 1 p.m. Saturday during an online discussion by historians Garry Bush, of Lewiston, and Steven Lee, of Clarkston. After traveling through Idaho to the Pacific as an infant, Pomp grew up to be a fur trader, helped chart the Sante Fe Trail and was one of the first gold miners in California. He died along the Owyhee River in southwest-ern Idaho in 1866. Registration for the event can be done through this shortened link: bit.ly/3tvfwH6.  The event is presented by the Nez Perce County Historical Society and the Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation Idaho Chapter. !

RootsTech Connect 2021

February 11th, 2021 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

RootsTech is FREE! and virtual, this year.  This experience begins in 2 weeks!  This would be a great time to check it out and see if you would want to attend, in person, in the future.  For more information, and to sign up, go to:  www.rootstech.org

When Will It End!!??

January 10th, 2021 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

It is now January 2021 and we have been experiencing Covid-19 for 9 heartbreaking months.  Many of us have been personally touched by this awful disease and it continues to affect us, daily.  So what can we do with our time as we protect ourselves and families?

RootsTech is coming up February 25th through the 27th, 2021.  This year it is free and virtual!!  What a chance to experience this event, all in the comfort of your own home.  Here is a link for more information.  https://www.rootstech.org/?lang=eng

The Eastern Washington Genealogy Society continues to hold their monthly meetings the 1st Saturday of every month via Zoom!  Each meeting usually has a presentation.  Dues to become a member are only $25.00 a year for individual or couple!  February’s presentation is about researching French Canadian Ancestors presented by Margie Beldin.  In March Jane Haldeman will present on Researching Colonial American Ancestors: Southern Colonies.   April will be bringing their Spring Workshop and they will be having 2 presenters, one of which is Maureen Taylor; The Photo Detective.  How special is that!!  Prices for the workshop have not been announced yet, but you can keep updated by visiting their website: https://ewgsi.org/eventListings.php?nm=283#er495

That is all for now.  We hope you are keeping busy finding all of those hidden ancestors!  Keep visiting here and we will try to keep you posted on some fun things to do!

FREE Fall mini-seminar

September 11th, 2018 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Whitman County Genealogical Society is hosting a FREE Fall mini-seminar Bishop Place Independent Living Social Room, 811 SE Klemgard, Pullman, WA Saturday, October 13, 2018


“All About Heraldry and Its Use in Genealogy” By Anthony (Tony) Durnford deGray Birch

“Digital Research – Tips, Tricks and Resources”  By Lee Pierce

9:00 am: The doors open.

9:30 am-10:30 am: Anthony (Tony) Birch is a retired higher education administrator and long standing member of Eastern Washington Genealogical Society. He doesn’t claim to be a heraldry expert, but a family historian trying to make sense out of things he has inherited or found through research. His presentation will focus on heraldry, and how the genealogist/family historian can use heraldry to learn more about their ancestors. He will share examples of his ten-year search of his ancestors’ crests and coats of arms and what the many images, forms and colors mean.

10:30-10:45 Break and refreshments.

10:45 am-11:45 am: Lee Pierce is the archivist for the Eastern Region Branch of the Washington State Archives in Cheney, Washington. His mission is to collect, preserve and provide access to the records of local government agencies of the 11 furthest east counties of the state. He will be showing and telling about the digital archives and how best to use it, as well as other government resources that are available to researchers.

If you have any questions or need more information contact WCGS President, Sue Kreikemeier at:
aerocraft@completebbs.com or 509-635-1303. Please RSVP to Sue or whitmancgs@gmail.com
by October 6 to accommodate handouts & refreshments.

While the seminar is free, donations are welcome at the door.
Directions: Turn off Bishop Boulevard onto Klemgard Ave., follow Klemgard Ave. up the hill and turn left at the top. Do not go into the front entrance, but turn right, continuing up the hill and turn left at the white car ports. Find an appropriate parking place, enter the building through the main doors and go straight ahead to the Social Room.

Seminar Flyer:  Seminar Flyer Oct 2018 with NO page number

Seminar Bios:  Seminar bios for Oct 2018 NO page number

Dorothy Sevier Matson Scholarship

September 11th, 2018 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

WCGS President Sue Kreikemeier with Samantha Rich and Dorothy Matson plaque

Each year Whitman County Genealogical Society presents the Dorothy Sevier Matson
scholarship to a graduating senior from Pullman. One of the requirements for this scholarship is to
write an essay detailing why family history, or history, in general, is important to the applicant. This
year a $500 scholarship was presented to Samantha Rich. Below is Samantha’s essay.

Many cultures view ancestors as guiding beings who should be remembered and honored even
after their passing. I believe this as well, especially through the power of genealogical work. Family
history provides inspiration from ancestors, allows one to become closer to those far away, and is an
act of service for other family members.

When reading the stories of those who came before one, inspiration comes very strongly. This
phenomenon occurs because one feels empathy of those they are related to and feels grateful for the
sacrifices and work that the ancestor put in for the family line to be in a better place. For example,
I felt this inspiration actively when putting together my senior project and discovered the story of my
great-grandmother who had traveled over the mountains of Peru to provide her then ten-year-old son
and 1-year-old baby a better life outside of the village that had no opportunity for them. This story
inspires me to work harder and take advantage of the opportunities given to me.

Because of my senior project, I had to work on improving my Spanish to adequately interview
my grandparents. This effort to connect is an example of how families grow closer through family
history work as they bond over stories, spend quality time remembering ancestors, and learn from
their own life stories. Doing such closes the gap that distance of time makes among family by
bridging it with the commonalities of ancestry and brings personal strength and confidence by
knowing that one has familial support.

Family history is not a simple task as it requires detail-oriented work to record the facts of
somebody’s life accurately. Therefore, by committing oneself to working on family history, one is
providing service to their community by completing such significant work. Once the genealogical
work has finished, then future generations can access the records and discover their roots just as
those who had done the work themselves.

Family history is a core principle of what I think is important for both a community and
individual identity to mature together. The power of genealogical work bonds families and helps
people discover themselves through reading the histories of their ancestors. After all, the people who
have lived before us are our blood and deserve the honor and recognition we can give them by
keeping their memory alive.

Samantha Rich, Marta Vergaray (her grandmother from Peru) and Petronila Rich (her mother)


September 11th, 2018 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Each year Whitman County Genealogical Society reviews Pullman High School Senior
Projects with the help of Kellie Glaze, PHS counselor, to find any projects which relate to family
history, genealogy, or history in general. If there are any such projects, WCGS then considers
awarding grant money to the senior to help with expenses associated with the project. This year
WCGS selected Evelyn Aguilar to receive $200 for her welding project. Following is Evelyn’s
description of her project along with several pictures. Congratulations, Evelyn!


My senior project was a welded piece as a memorial to Humboldt State University Marching
Lumberjack alumni who have passed on. The Marching Lumberjacks are the university=s marching
band and the school’s mascot is the Lumberjack. I plan to present the Memorial to the band at the
50th Reunion this November (2018).

The symbolism in my piece has special meaning throughout. The log represents the tree that
a lumberjack would cut down. The axe and hard hat placement signifies the end of the work day or
the completion of a task. The boots, along with the hardhat, are part of the uniform. The boots in my
piece are my actual boots that I have worn for all four years of metal shop, as well as in gigs with the
Marching Lumberjacks. Their placement is similar to that of the Fallen Soldier in the Armed Forces.

The last remaining item on my piece may not make any sense at first glance. Why is there a
rubber duckie? What does this have to do with a marching band or lumberjacks? The Marching
Lumberjacks end each gig by playing the song “Rubber Duckie” on their way out. This is called
ADucking Out@ by the band. By including the rubber duckie in this piece it represents those who have
ADucked Out@ and marched on to their next gig.

As I finish collecting the names of those who have passed, name plates will be added to the
front plaque area.

This piece is important to me because the Lumberjacks are my Afamily@. My parents met in
the band and I have been raised in the band. I even did my first gig at 5 days old. Once you have
become a member of the Marching Lumberjacks, even after you=ve graduated or moved on, you are
still a member. You are family. The Marching Lumberjacks have been a major influence on the
person that I have grown into today.

Summer Get Together

June 10th, 2018 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

The WCGS summer get together will be held on Sat., 23 June, 1 PM at the home of our President Sue Kreikemeier and her husband, Terry, at 2941 Altergott Road, Garfield. This is north of Palouse and south of Garfield just off Highway 27. Driving time from Pullman is about 30 minutes. This is a salad potluck so bring a salad to share. Beverages and table service will be provided. A tour of Eden Valley cemetery, which is just a couple of miles from Sue’s home, will follow the luncheon. Please RSVP to Sue at 509-635-1303 or aerocraft@completebbs.com

Dorothy Sevier Matson Scholarship

April 28th, 2018 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Scholarship - (0 Comments)

Dorothy Sevier Matson during World War II

Each spring Whitman County Genealogical Society awards a scholarship to a graduating senior from Pullman who has met the application requirements for this award. The applicant must write a 1-2 page essay saying why family history or local history is of importance to him/her. The money for this scholarship is given in memory of Dorothy Sevier Matson (1920-2002). She was a lifetime resident of Pullman who graduated from Pullman High School. The first award was given in 2010. The current scholarship amount is $500 and will be awarded on June 5th at the annual awards night at Pullman High School. WCGS also awards grant money in the amount of $200 to one or more seniors whose project emphasizes genealogy or history in some way. We are pleased to be able to honor our friend and longtime WCGS member in this way who was so generous with her time, talent and treasure.

Dorothy Sevier Matson

April 28th, 2018 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Pullman | Veterans - (0 Comments)

Dorothy was a lifetime resident of Pullman, being born 27 January 1920 to Henry Sevier and Almira Lakin Sevier, the youngest of 6 siblings and 4 half-siblings. She graduated from Pullman High School and attended beautician school in Spokane. She then returned to Pullman to work until she joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). While in the Navy, she was stationed in Washington, DC during World War II where she worked with decoding. Following the war, she returned to Pullman and worked at Washington State College (now University) in the mailing department until she retired. She married George Matson 7 January 1955 and he passed away 23 February 1982.

Dorothy had a thirst for knowledge about the past and the people of this area, particularly things relating to Whitman County genealogy and history, with an emphasis on Pullman. She was a cornerstone member of Whitman County Genealogical Society, a lifetime member, and the researcher, who for years single-handedly responded to all of the people who wrote to WCGS asking for help in finding out more information about their Whitman County families. She collected information on people of the area and clipped thousands of newspaper articles, mostly obituaries, but also anniversary celebrations, marriages, reunions and more. She pasted these articles on index cards and several members of WCGS entered every name from these cards into a computer database. WCGS then published three volumes of indexes to these cards entitled “Whitman County Washington Families, An Every Name Index to the Newspaper and Resource Collections of Dorothy Sevier Matson, Vols. I, II and III.” These three indexes (volumes) total over 650 pages of just names! The original cards are stored at the WCGS library and are regularly used by WCGS researchers and others visiting the library. In 2000, Dorothy donated her entire library and all of her research files to WCGS.

Prior to her death on 18 August 2002, Dorothy made a substantial gift to Whitman County Genealogical Society in memory of her brother, Dale Sevier. Dorothy’s dream had always been to write a history of Pullman. Although she was not able to realize that dream in her lifetime, she knew that Whitman County Genealogical Society would carry on her legacy of helping others who were researching their Whitman County roots. She also knew that WCGS would help keep alive the history and records of the Palouse and share it with others, through publications, research, etc.

WCGS felt the best way to remember Dorothy was to create an endowed fund to honor her. WCGS selected Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INWCF) to handle this fund. It was established in September 2009. The WCGS Endowment Fund and Dorothy were featured in the 2010 INWCF Calendar and Annual Report on the month of July.

With the annual distributable income from the endowment fund, WCGS created a scholarship in memory of Dorothy. The Dorothy Sevier Matson Scholarship was awarded for the first time in June 2010.

WCGS is very pleased to be able to honor Dorothy in this way and feels this scholarship is a perfect tribute to her love of the region’s history and genealogy and her support of education. One of Dorothy’s favorite phrases was: “…for my own amazement.” We think Dorothy would be very amazed, pleased and humbled to have this wonderful tribute to her.

Free Fall Seminar

April 24th, 2018 | Posted by Teresa Smick in Seminars - (0 Comments)

Mark your calendar now for the fall seminar of Whitman County Genealogical Society. It will be held on Saturday, October 13, 9:00AM – 12:00Noon in the Independent Living Social Room of Bishop Place Senior Living, 811 SE Klemgard, Pullman, Washington.

Speakers will be Tony Birch from Cheney on the topic of heraldry and Lee Pierce, archivist of the Eastern Region Branch of Washington State Archives. It should be a very informative morning. Hope you can join us. Watch our website for further details as they become available.