Wednesday, July 5, 2023



SATURDAY JULY 8, 2023                        ZOOM MEETING

Join the July meeting with information from Lenore.....

Saturday, June 10, 2023



   JUNE 10, 2023       9AM          ZOOM MEETING


  With the summer months we have people off on vacations this month.   Lenore just returned from Turkey and Donna from the Stans of Central Asia-Silk Road.

   Donna discussed the discovery, via DNA matching, that she has an adult new nephew FOUND BY DNA!


Friday, April 7, 2023



            ZOOM MEETING        SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 2023     9 AM



Friday, March 10, 2023



               ZOOM MEETING                        MARCH 11, 2023    SATURDAY 9AM

                           CONTACT  LENORE FOR SIGN-IN INFORMATION

                               MINUTES FOR THE MARCH 11, 2023
    Present: Janice Choat-Zavaval, Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Sue Miller, Isabelle Rivera, Deborah Richards, Ellen Schneider and Donna Wendt
   Meeting began at 9:00 a.m.
   Topic of the Day - DNA
   Sue Miller shared that she has been busy looking into her Irish relatives. She has also been watching DNA Painter tutorials. She especially wanted to note an interesting tutorial on upcoming technology.
   Donna Wendt has also been viewing tutorials and recent 2023 Rootstech online and live presentations. This began an open discussion about DNA. Deborah Richards stated being intrigued by the DNA trees on account.  
   Using the Zoom Shared Screen, Donna Wendt did a quick overview of Ancestry’s DNA page. Opening the DNA section, one has the option of viewing
      1) your DNA Story which shows your ethnicity estimate;
     2) your DNA Matches; and 3) your ThruLines which are suggestions on how you may be related to your DNA matches. 
    When "Ancestry" introduced the capability of splitting your ethnicities between Parent 1 and Parent 2 that was amazing, but they are now able to specify maternal or paternal ethnicity divisions based on DNA matches to other people in your tree. The key is finding that “common ancestor” in tree connections.  
Matches are difficult to trace without trees, and quite a few matches do not include any family tree.  How does Ancestry do it?  They say "You and your matches have identical segments of DNA, likely passed down from common ancestors. By comparing these segments, we can split your matches into two sides."
     In the DNA Story section you are taken to a map highlighting the portions of the world your ethnicity is linked to. On the right side of the page, scroll down to “DNA Communities”. This section identifies specific cultural groups or locations where your ancestors probably came from.
     In ThruLines, you discover how people in your tree connect with other people’s trees. Treat these matches as a “hint”. Make sure the other trees have good sources and you are able to look deeper to confirm a tree is indeed part of your family. Some trees simply copy other trees if they believe it is a match. You want to find good solid matches.
      If you desire to learn more about DNA there are numerous books, YouTube tutorials, podcasts, blog sites, as well as our choice of online genealogy sites and organizations (,,, RootsTech, etc).  Besides the “DNA Painter” tutorials, another DNA expert suggested is Christa Cowen, aka as “The Barefoot Genealogist”. She is one of Ancestry’s well known DNA experts with a blog site and YouTube tutorials.
      Donna also demonstrated how to locate Ancestry’s teaching tools.  Begin at Ancestry’s Home page > click on Extras > click on Ancestry Academy. There are many topics listed: Researching Your Military Ancestors in the US,, Getting the Most Out of Ancestry, Researching Outside the United States, Understanding DNA, Census Records, etc.   Other genealogy sites offer similar teaching tools to their subscribers. The software program,
     LegacyTreeMaker also has wonderful webinars. Subscription is $49.95 for one year.         

     Sometimes you will make a surprising and exciting connection on your genealogy site. Donna recently replied to an Ancestry message. It turned out that this person had a photo of her 3rd great-uncle, Henry Hunt Hague, sitting beside a dog, taken in England, circa 1900, at Newton, England!   

   It was asked, “How does Zoom work?” Lenore provided the following information –
Open up a free account in You can now create a meeting with your family and friends. Keep in mind that the limit is 40 minutes per meeting. If you choose to pay the monthly fee, then you have 30 hours to meet.  Google has a similar program.
       Interested in creating your own blog? Create one for free at  To view a great example of a blog site, go to This is a personal blog Donna Wendt created full of interesting genealogy data and family stories.
    Organizing our photos and mementos for the generation who follow us can be a daunting task. Do we have a family member who will look through and take possession of our traditional photo albums?  Donna continues to inspire us to organize our collection of photos and keepsakes.  After scanning a stack of photos in her hardworking Epson FF680W scanner she tosses non-essential photos, takes some to her daughter and stores ones she cannot part with. Good portraits are packed
with archival material, but simple snapshots are now sorted by years, placed in zip-lock bags and stored in marked boxes.    Donna also scans letter and files by years. Letters, cards and calendar pages are also scanned and a computer folder created to file them into. Now you can, hopefully, discard those old cards and calendars to create more space.  A great suggestion is to make a timeline of your life, and those in your family.   

800 photos (1600 images front & back) for 1989

     Deborah Richards aptly dubbed Donna a “living archivist” for her family. Yet, all of us who value our families’ history and search for relatives and their stories are also living archivists. Let’s strive to be living archivists for our families while we are able.
           Member Notes:
 Alan Toft will be traveling to England, Nice and Italy in April.
 Lenore Hanse-Stafford will be traveling to Turkey at the end of April.
 In mid-April to mid-May, Donna Wendt will be off to Uzbekistan and three other "Stans" in Central Asia.
            We wish our world travelers a safe journey and lots of good memories.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, April 8, 2023, 9:00 a.m
           Sue Miller will discuss DNA Painter.
    Meeting adjourned around 11:18 a.m.
(by Bella Rivera)

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

HCGS Meeting Feb 11, 2023


            Meeting of the Honolulu County Genealogical Society   ZOOM   Feb 11, 2023


                             MINUTES FOR THE FEBRUARY 11, 2023
Present: Janice Choat-Zavaval, Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Karin Jones, Stanley Jones, Larry Meyers,
Isabelle Rivera, Deborah Richards, Ellen Schneider, Alan Toft and Donna Wendt
Meeting began at 9:00 a.m.
Due to conflicting schedules, the signatory changes on the HCGS’s bank account have been postponed.
The parties hope meet at the nearest bank branch in the near future to complete, schedules permitting.
   Clarifications/Corrections to the January 14, 2023 Minutes
Under Presentation – The last paragraph, date should be corrected to read:
[On February 13, 2023, Karin sent to select members a link to sign up for this free event. There is no
  Under Calabash Bowl – Alan Toft’s information regarding half-siblings should read:
At the death of a person who owned property, full siblings and their children, are given priority to the
inheritance, before any half siblings.
   Under Calabash Bowl – Donna Wendt requested clarification regarding the paragraph advising caution on Ancestry messages from people inquiring on relatives:
Caution was in reference to sharing personal family information, which is not public knowledge, with
new contacts. Verify their connection and then make a decision how much you wish to share. Donna
added that it is advisable to communicate through personal email if you decide to continue the
Genealogy Events and Tools:
   February 13, 2023 – Southern California Genealogical Society is presenting an online Legacy
seminar. It will include an open discussion on problems you may be having regarding genealogy.
   February 25, 2023 is Forever Family History Event. The topic for this year is “What to Do with
Your Research”. Time is from 7 to 10 a.m.
On February 13, 2023 Karin sent to select members a link to sign up for this free event and
Lenore emailed the link on February 17, 2023. There is no obligation.
   RootsTech 2023 Conference is being held on March 2nd through the 4th in Salt Lake City. Inperson
attendance will be $98 and it includes the free virtual pass. You can sign up for the free
virtual pass at
    Larry Meyers has been watching Legacy Family Tree webinars through MyHeritage. Access to all
programs costs $51 a year. Larry is highly impressed with a particular 12 program once-a-month
series by Elizabeth Shown Mills. A recent webinar – Trousers, Black Domestic, Tacks &
Housekeeping Bills: Problem-Solving with “Trivial Details” addressed how to look in depth at
details and clues, looking beyond what we see on the surface.
Donna Wendt purchased at a past genealogy conference a well-known book, “Evidence
Explained” by Elizabeth Shown Mills. Donna still has it and recommends it as research book.
    Donna has been using for quite some time a fast file search engine, MasterSeeker. It quickly
searches files and directories by name, size and inside specific directories and it is free. Go to for more information or to download.
 The Families App is “designed to operate in conjunction with Legacy Family Tree. Your Legacy
family files can be easily transferred to your smart phone, or device, enabling them to be viewed
and edited wherever you are” (online description). Alan Toft highly recommends this app.
Through Lenore’s February 17, 2023 email, Alan shared personal experience, some information
and the download site for this app.
    Podcasts are great sources of learning. Donna uses the Podcast Addict App to search for
interesting podcasts – Family Tree Podcast, Genealogy Gems, The Genealogy Guys, Ancestral
Findings, Extreme Genes are a few examples.
    Recommended Family Tree Article, “11 Must-See Genealogy TV shows that Will Inspire You”.
A New Leaf – Ancestors – Ancestors in the Attic – Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
- Genealogy Roadshow – the Genetic Detective – The Generations Project – Long Lost Family –
Relative Race – Roots Less Traveled – Who Do You Think You Are?
    Suggestion courtesy of Lenore regarding entering information on trees with no official
documents/sources (example: vital statistics) – place a note in the tree how the information was
determined or who provided (example: “verbal information” or “from a family Bible”, etc.)
Deborah Richards inquired on “fixing” photos. (search for the free download) is an app
Donna Wendt has shared about in past meetings. There are many popular software packages such as
Adobe Photoshop available.
   From a podcast, Donna heard of a photo scanning app, Photomyne. It provides scanning, enhancing and restoration of photos. The free Photomyne Basic allows customers to try out a limited amount of the app’s scanning capabilities before deciding whether or not to upgrade to a paid account. Upgrading will unlock more features and remove restrictions after your initial sampling of the Basic. With the upgrade you will have unlimited scanning, sharing and saving to your device or computer, photo-to-PC transfer, photo backup, multi-device access, web access, online photo storage and unlimited photo styling & enhancements.
   My Heritage does not “fix” photos, but their photo tools will enhance pictures you download. will also try to get the best results possible for any media sent to be stored in the user’s
Member Notes:
   A highlight of Alan Toft’s January 2023 Maui vacation was a visit to the Alexander & Baldwin
Sugar Museum in Puunene. He also recommended a book, “Life Behind Barbed Wire: The WWII
Internment Memoirs of a Hawaii Issei.
Alan will be travelling April/May 2023 in England. He will be gathering with cousins from his
maternal grandfather’s family.
   Lenore Hanse-Stafford has been fixing her home.
   Karin and Stanley Jones have future plans to move from their current home to another part of
   Keeping legacies alive – the family of an old family friend were pleased with letters Karin Jones
had found and sent to them. Deborah shared how touched an aunt had been over a family
album Deborah had made on their immediate family.
Deborah also inquired if anyone had experience dealing with embassies, maritime organizations and
entry ports. Donna has visited the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts and Alan with
Halifax, the Ellis Island of Nova Scotia.
    After a break of a few months, we returned to the 1853 journal of Donna’s gold prospecting relative,
Wesley Stevens. We find him continuing his quest to find California gold with his partner. They have
gone through Cache Creek, Sacramento into the gold hills, Grass Valley by Lake Tahoe, up to Ophir and finally back to Sacramento and Cache Creek. Rain, sickness and loneliness for his family and friends back home were part of Phineas’ days. He also found wonder in the natural beauty he traveled through and a deepening faith in God.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, March 11, 2023, 9:00 a.m.
Meeting adjourned around 11:30 a.m.
(minutes by Bella Rivera)

Thursday, January 12, 2023

HCGS Meeting Jan 14, 2023


  JANUARY 14, 2023           9 AM

                                      MINUTES FOR THE JANUARY 14, 2023

Present: Janice Choat-Zavaval, Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Karin Jones, Larry Meyers, Isabelle Rivera, Deborah Richards, Alan Toft, Susan Victor and Donna Wendt
Meeting began at 9:00 a.m.

    The future of the Honolulu County Genealogical Society was briefly discussed.
    A point to continue to the society was brought up by Alan Toft. He expressed concern over the
dwindling numbers of organized groups. Yes, there is much information to find online, on one’s own, yet there is much to be said for being a part of a group that meets regularly to share and discuss specific topics of interest. Whether we meet in person or in Zoom we have learned much from each other regarding genealogy tools, facts, as well as personal histories and stories.
The HCGS website can still be found on the internet on and  Unfortunately, these sites are at a 2018 standstill as the creator had moved to the mainland. The current P.O. Box is still listed on the website. It was suggested contacting the web company to look into obtaining ownership or closing it down. If we continue as an organization perhaps we should look into creating a new website if we are unable to access the existing sites.
     Thankfully, we have the HCGS blog that Donna Wendt created and faithfully updates every month - .
One excuse which more than one member has received when inviting people to attend our meetings is the particular day - Saturday. Many people, especially the “younger” generation are busy on the weekends. In our search for future genealogists, we may have to consider being flexible with our meeting dates and times.  Perhaps a weeknight meeting would be more acceptable for the new generation. It is also important to update our web and Facebook presence if our organization wants to thrive.
     At an earlier meeting, the suggestion to gather to share a meal was introduced. The Joneses graciously offered to open their home if people were willing to come out to the West side.
    Another suggestion was the Waioli Kitchen and Bake Shop in Manoa Valley. They are open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Present members are willing to get together, but a set date and place is pending until the HCGS funds are accessible.  Lenore Hansen-Stafford (treasurer), Stanley Jones (president) and Karin Jones, agreed to meet at the nearest bank branch to complete necessary signatory paperwork in order to access the HCGS funds.  Due to the pandemic shutdown the transfer of names has been on hold.

PRESENTATION: QR (Quick Response) Codes on by Karin Jones
In a previous meeting, members were intrigued with the QR Code which Karin had included at the end of a photobook she had made for her husband, Stan. The QR Code linked the reader to a video of Stan.  With the possibility of storage disks/flash drives becoming outdated or lost, the new QR Code technology offers another means of storage, keeping, sharing and displaying media.
Take a video and download to your computer. In go to the QR Code generator to
download the image or video, once saved it is ready to download to your scrap or photo book. The QR Code image or video does not take up any of your storage space in your Forever account.
Those receiving the QR code will automatically be taken to the video or image when scanned. They will be able to download. Question asked, “Are you able to send URL Code?” The answer was “Yes”.  Forever Boxes are on special – transfer your media to storage. Choose and order a box, fill with media you would like saved, close and send to Color correction is automatic for slides and photos. You will be contacted first if your media is over the storage space you have purchased.  Karin’s recommendation is to purchase the medium sized box (the most reasonably priced) and “cram” it with your media. If you are contacted due to reaching your storage limit you will be able to decide which media to process or if you would like to purchase more storage. Boxes are sent via Fedex and trackable during the entire transit time. Forever guarantees the best results possible. If you are not pleased they will redo the record(s).
Forever will migrate all of their storage to the latest technology. They also offer passing access of your records and storage to your designated heirs.  February 25, 2023 is Forever Family History Event. The topic for this year is “What To Do With Your Research”. Time is from 7 to 10 a.m.
[On February 13, 2021 Karin sent to select members a link to sign up for this free event. There is no obligation.]

At the opening of today’s meeting various members shared memories, history and thoughts.
   Alan Toft, joined us from his vacation rental in Kihei, Maui. He shared of his love for the Nova Scotia community.
   Deborah Richards’ maternal family, are of Irish and English stock. They traveled on whaling ships from Nantucket to Hawaii, choosing to remain in the islands. Her Norwegian and Swedish ancestors settled in Maui in 1881. One can find a monument to these ancestors by the lighthouse in Lahaina.  Deborah’s Moloka’I family were given land by King Lunalilo. Because the land could not be developed it was used by the family as a cemetary.
   Karin Jones shared that for hundreds of years the parishes of Sweden were tasked with keeping records of the family/people in their respective parishes. Records are kept at the Lansarkivet (National Archives of Sweden). Check the Lansarkivet if you are searching for Swedish relatives.
In researching Stan Jones’ Scottish/Swedish heritage Karin discovered an interesting inheritance law for titled gentry. A widow had the right to continue collecting rents/income from property left by her husband for the rest of her life, but she was not allowed to inherit the property. Title to property was passed only to the sons so as to remain with the original family.  Alan Toft said that in England, if someone dies without a will a full sibling's child will inherit before a half sibling.
   Susan Victor is back in Hawaii as of December 2022. She is recovering well from her back injury.
   Shutterfly products are now accessible through Costco. Costco members receive 50% discount. Donna Wendt orders her photobooks and personalized gift items from Shutterfly.  Shutterfly is not a storage company but they do store photos you upload. They recently sent out reminders that customers need to purchase any item within 18 months to remain active and not have your stored photos deleted.
   Donna cautioned regarding messages on Ancestry from people inquiring on relatives. We could have large pool of possible relatives listed under our matches on various sites. DNA is interesting but it can be hard to trace most of the matches for higher removed cousins. Many do not have trees, or their trees are private. Make sure to check out the person’s tree, their name(s) and shared matches.
   The Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has a new title, the Family Search Library and the Family Search Centers are your local LDS research libraries
   Searching for groups on Facebook – tap on the magnifying glass icon in the Search box, then put in specific information for groups you are searching for.
    Our next meeting will be on Saturday, February 11, 2023, 9:00 a.m.  on Zoom.  See email from Lenore.
Meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
(02/10/2023 by Bella Rivera)  .

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Honolulu County Genealogical Society Dec 10, 2022

 Honolulu County Genealogical Society   Dec 10, 2022

Next Zoom Meeting Jan 14, 2022 at 9am....




 Present:  Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Karin Jones, Stanley Jones Deborah Richards, Isabelle Rivera,
Ellen Schneider and Donna Wendt

 Meeting officially began 9:13 a.m.                                      


If you do not receive Lenore’s Zoom meeting notice, sent on January 9, 2023, or have a problem connecting onto the link she has attached to her email, go directly onto the Zoom website.  Enter the new ID number, 84220254009; and then the password, DNA.  If you have problems logging into the meeting, contact Lenore at (808) 341-0766.


During the pandemic Lenore Hansen-Stafford has faithfully continued to handle the business for the Honolulu County Genealogical Society the past 3 years. 

One item of business is the yearly P.O. Box fee.  With emails, the HCGS blog, online connections, the suspension of dues during the pandemic, and activities of other organizations cancelled or suspended during the pandemic era, there has been very little mail coming to the HCGS P.O. Box.

A suggestion was made by Lenore to close the P. O. Box. 

 Considering the dwindling number of members, for many valid reasons, a second suggestion was made to dissolve the Honolulu County Genealogical Society.  With the remaining funds we could meet to share a meal, or more, together.  If the membership chooses to dissolve, interested parties could continue to meet as a webinar group.

 PRESENTATION:  Photobooks

Donna Wendt shared a photobook she made with in honor of her mother, Nadine Pearce Hague.  The book had many photos of her family – her Welsh great-grandparents who immigrated to Iowa then Colorado Springs; the Fern Hotel in Los Angeles, California; Vincent Hague (Donna’s father) whom Nadine met and fell in love at the Fern Hotel; Donna, her brother, Dickie, as well as other relatives.  To end the photobook, Donna included a screenshot of the family tree she had on her Family Tree Maker software for ancestors and descendants of Nadine Pearce Hague.   Donna also uses these types of memory books to remember events experienced with her great-grandchildren.

 Karin Jones shared Volume 2 of the photobook she had created for Stan Jones, using  In Volume 1, Stan’s youth to adulthood was highlighted.  This Volume 2 covers his life with his first wife, their daughter and son.  Karin is working on another book for Stan’s great-grandchildren.  “So How Are We Related” pages show the generations how they are related within the family.  A fascinating new technology offered by is the use of QR codes.  Karin placed a QR code on the final page which takes the viewer to a video of Stan speaking to his family.  History – a relative of Stan’s was one of the first Calvinist preachers in Ulster.   Note for our calendars – Stan will be a young 92 years-old in March 2023.

 Deborah Richards has many photo binders.  It was suggested that she can have them scanned and the images stored permanently at


This past summer, Karin and Stan Jones, experienced an exciting trip to Sweden.  Karin shared her discoveries with us of her visit to the second largest cathedral in Sweden.  Karin’s family are descendants of King Gustav Vasa who is interred in this cathedral.  She first was amazed by the beautiful stained glass windows. In the Treasury Room rests the Gustav Vasa Bible.  It was commissioned by King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century.  Of note, this Bible is 100 years older than the King James Bible.

“Travel broadens our world.”  “Appreciate where you are.”  - Deborah Richards has a sale on December 13, 2022.  You can purchase a box to convert media (ex: movies) for $28.  Forever will never delete your storage, they keep your files forever and up-to-date with the most current technology.  If you would like more information or help on projects, please contact Karin.

 Multiple Storage Options and Recommendations  -  It is so important to protect your digital records and photos.  Besides an outside storage source like, you still want to preserve your hard work and collections at home.  Cloud storage sites, hard drives and external drives are recommendations as backup storage.

 Deborah is still searching for a projector.  She wants to project digital media onto a projector screen.

She has tried contacting previous suggested source(s) but was unable to get a representative on the phone.  It was recommended that she go down in person to the physical store to talk to someone. Another suggestion was to rent a projector, perhaps from a local university.

Still cleaning out your inventory of books?  Lenore took hers to the Kapolei Library (they do not provide donation receipts).  Donna has donated to the Friends of the Library of Hawaii.  Their drop off point is located at 501 Sumner Street, Unit 614 and you will need to make an appointment.  They will provide an online receipt.

 The Census for Scotland is now available, but on a pay-for-view basis.

 The newest My Heritage tool features artificial intelligence.  Their AI Time Machine creates avatars allowing you to picture yourself in different historical eras.  You can view yourself as you might have looked at the time your ancestors lived.

 Join us for our first meeting of 2023.  It will be on Saturday, January 14, 2023, 9:00 a.m.

 Meeting adjourned at 11:02 a.m.    ( by Bella Rivera)





Honolulu County Genealogical Society Nov 12, 2022

             MINUTES FOR THE NOVEMBER 12, 2022



     Present: Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Thomas Hughes, Larry Meyers, Sue Miller, Deborah
Richards, Isabelle Rivera, Ellen Schneider and Donna Wendt
     Meeting officially began 9:00 a.m.

           OLD BUSINESS:
If you do not receive Lenore’s Zoom meeting notice or have a problem connecting onto the link
she has attached to her email, go directly onto the Zoom website. Enter our ID number,
83224651197; and then the password, DNA. If you have problems logging into the meeting,
contact Lenore
Donna Wendt ran a 6-minute YouTube video. On June 2, 2007, the Honolulu County Genealogy
Society went on an excursion to the Waipahu Plantation Village. Tom Bopp (2007 president) and
Georgia Bopp set up the field trip to attend a Genealogy Day event. The day included viewing
of the Village which contains examples of homes representing the different immigrant
ethnicities who settled in Hawaii to work on the plantations and start new lives. There were also
tables set up in the Meeting House representing the various nationalities.

    Bella Rivera commented that part of the property the Village sits on was the farm her Chinese family had lived and made their living on.  Lenore commented on the sad condition of old plantation homes located in the Ewa Plantation  Village area. The type and size homes reflected the status of the worker.
Lenore recommended a book – “The Three-Year Swim Club” by Julie Checkoway. The story of
children in Maui learning to swim in the sugar ditches.
   Members shared current snippets of their lives:
Welcome back Larry Meyers. Larry had been on the mainland for 5 months. During that
time, he helped to clean out 2 family homes, returning to Hawaii with a suitcase full of
pictures of his wife’s family. He now begins a search into her Norwegian line.
Larry’s personal DNA heritage was recently updated increasing his Norwegian ancestry to 11%,
from the original 2%.
      It was also good to have Tom Hughes back. Tom shared that he had various health issues over
the past 2-1/2 years, but he is feeling much better and looking forward to working on
genealogy projects. He currently resides at The Plaza Pearl City.   His current project is to digitize records and photos in his possession. To this end, he is anticipating receiving his order for an Epson 680W wireless scanner through Best Buy. It is the same scanner owned and highly recommended by Donna Wendt.
   As a result of Tom’s passion for genealogy, Tom had been entrusted with the history and
documents of his beloved wife’s family. She was of Japanese ancestry and her family’s
documents included enormous photo scrolls of special occasions. Tom expressed gratitude that his father-in-law had resided with them a number of years and being able to “pick his brain” while he was still alive.  Tom also inquired if a DNA test taken many years ago through FamilyTree DNA would still
be active. Lenore Hansen-Stafford recommended Tom request Family Tree to “revisit” his
      Downsizing continues to be a 2022 hot topic with Lenore also working on sorting and paring
down her possessions. Both Lenore and Donna have been gifting possessions to their
daughters. Tom Hughes also has been pondering on whom to pass on the family records he
has collected all these years. Regarding the collection of his in-law’s historical documents, it
was suggested donating to the Japanese Consulate or the Japanese Cultural Center. He is
also considering donating his family’s records to a museum or a pioneer association back in
Minnesota where he is from. Scandinavian and German families settled throughout Minnesota.
A suggestion from Donna is to post a notice on Ancestry and/or Family Search to see if a family
member or organization comes forward expressing interest in his collection.
     Sue Miller has been busy contacting people who share X chromosomes using DNA Painter.
With her brother submitting his DNA, their family found 23andMe had the most extensive
material. “DNA Painter is an easy-to-use tool that helps genealogists make sense of DNA
testing. By mapping segments of DNA to chromosomes, we can begin to see which ancestors
gave us which pieces of DNA, and thus how new matches are related. As a result, DNA
Painter has quickly become an essential tool for genealogists!” Blaine Bettinger of DNA
Central and The basic service is free in which one can sign up for
the free mailing list, watch free webinars, try a sample chromosome map (which is not saved)
and a DNA Painter user group on Facebook. To fully use their services, there is an annual
subscription of $55. Imports to DNA Painter is allowed from MyHeritage, 23andMe and
    Deborah Richards is working on a new ethnicity added to her DNA makeup. She has always
known of her Hawaiian, Swedish, Norwegian and Portuguese ancestry. She is a proud
member of the Portuguese Society here in Hawaii. The Society has terrific records of
Portuguese immigrants who made Hawaii their home. Deborah had assisted with indexing
these records.   Deborah’s subsequent DNA updates now include the intriguing addition of New Zealand Maori FNA.
     Ellen Schneider was also surprised by an addition to her DNA profile. Her family has always
considered themselves 100% German. DNA now states Ellen has a very significant amount of
English blood.
          Miscellaneous: is offering an online class today on understanding German writing.
Bella had just received a Christmas box from a German cousin, Heike. Included in the box was
a photo book created by Heike and her daughters to honor an aunt and uncle. The book
contained a few photos of the Hawaii family and photos of Bella’s mother she had never seen
    Photos:  Another website to look into if trying to identify people in a photo is Dead Fred, You post the photo and wait to see if anyone responds. You can also
search through their photo archive for your surname. Perhaps you will find a family member.
Shutterfly has been sending out notices stating that they will be purging stored photos to open
up memory. Free photo storage will only be available as a benefit to active customers. To
remain active, one must make a purchase at least once every 18 months.
    Donna shared wonderful old photos of the homes of her Blanding family. Her immediate family
lived in Madison Lake, Minnesota and Lake Pleasant, California.
    To close out this November meeting, Donna continued reading from The Journal of Wesley
Wesley is in 1853 California. He is not having success at his gold mining operation
and battling illness. He decides to move on and we left him crossing the Yuba River.
Larry Meyers has had the opportunity to be on the Yuba River. Mining operations are still
going on there.
     Our last meeting of 2022 will be on Saturday, December 10, 2022, 9:00 a.m.
The agenda is open for this meeting. Take a breather from the busy holiday chores, settle into
your office chair, place a glass of eggnog and a special treat on your desk top, and join us for
an hour or two. We hope you will be able to pop in as we close out the year by wishing each
other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
[ADDENDUM 12/09/2022 – My Heritage’s AI Photos program to be showcased by Donna
Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
( 12/09/2022 by Bella Rivera)

Saturday, October 8, 2022

 Honolulu County Genealogical Society   Oct 8, 2022

Oct 8, 2022   Zoom Meeeting

Present: Janice Choat-Zavaval, Isabelle Rivera, Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Deborah Richards, Ellen
Schneider and Donna Wendt
Meeting was begun around 9:05 a.m.
Funeral service for member Trisha Robertson will be held on October 20, 2022 at St. John Vianney
Catholic Church, 940 Keolu Dr., Kailua, 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Hawaiian Memorial Park. More information will be posted by Donna Wendt on the HCGS blog site.
  Rose Mary Thompson, wife of our past president, Stanley Yon, passed on August 15, 2022, in Atlanta, GA. Her service will be held at the Church of the Holy Nativity, 5286 Kalaniana’ole Highway, Aina Haina, 10 a.m. Inurnment will take place at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl).
   James Case, husband of former member, Suzanne Case, passed away on September 21, 2022 at the
amazing age of 102. His services will be held at Central Union Church on October 30, 2022, 3:30 p.m.

We send Susan Victor prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery of a back injury she sustained in
her home in Michigan. Her healing will be a slow and patient process but Susan seemed in good spirits.
She bravely joined our meeting for a shortened period and we admired her positive attitude.

The topic of downsizing was brought up in the September 2022 meeting.
    Donna Wendt shared on her ongoing goal to do just that – downsize. Currently she has been working on paring down her collection of books. She shared photos of books presented by her parents to each
other. These and other sentimental books, as well as favorite photos, will be kept and treasured, but
others are being sorted for giving away or donating.
     For quite some time, Donna has been working on downloading individual photos and photos of
scrapbook pages on her Epson Fast Photo 680 wireless scanner. Sort your photos, removing the ones
you wish to store. Scan them into your computer.
    Donna recommends running any favorite photos a second time with a higher resolution. Higher
resolutions will provide clearer copies, especially if enlarging, if you decide to print these photos. Now
you are ready to sort again. Choose which originals to keep, offer to family or friends, or discard.
Donna and Deborah Richards have stored hard copies in family folders, as well as in their computers.
Another source to load photos into is the Family Tree Maker program.
     Donna cannot remind us often enough to always backup your computer files! Purchase a solid state
external hard drive. Look into Backblaze (a backup of your external hard drive) for additional source of
storage. Flash Drives are fine, but they are not a permanently secure product.
     Donna has a lot of travel data. She found that the Friends of the Library of Hawaii do not want travel
guides older than 3 years, nor in worn condition. They also do not accept video (VHS) tapes and audio
tapes. Goodwill and Salvation Army still accept VHS tapes.
     If you have LP records in good condition, try taking them down to Hungry Ear in Kaka’ako to see what they would offer you. FLH, Salvation Army and Goodwill also accept vinyl records.
Deborah Richards commented on the difficulty of downsizing as almost everything we collect has
meaning. We want to view our collections with the purpose of carrying on our personal, and our
family’s, histories.

PRESENTATION - Research Tips in Scotland by Donna Wendt:
The site to go to for beginners of genealogy research is Cyndi’s List, A site containing a
wealth of topics and advice as one starts their search for ancestors.

Specific sites for Scottish research – - National Records of Scotland - historical resources relating to places throughout Scotland – good subscription site to search for vital records such as birth, death and
marriage - National Library of Scotland

Other sites to search on – ,
Facebook groups (private & public), – This site consists of groups overseen by an administrator and co-administrators.
To request to join a group you simply email the administrator.
Search subscription sites for groups with a knowledge base of Scottish heritage.

Webinars are great learning tools. Numerous webinars are on YouTube. Legacy webinars are available
on, example: “Who Were the Scots-Irish?” First time users can view a
few for free. A yearly subscription costs $49.95.

Donna did a story on a blog of her 2-time great-grandfather, Joshua Wallace. After reading Donna’s
blog, a Mike Donavan contacted her. He had in his possession a daguerreotype photograph of Joshua
Wallace with his second wife, Rebecca. In comparing the photograph with a crayon drawing Donna had
of Joshua Wallace she surmised that it was a match. Mr. Donavan chose to keep the daguerreotype but
Donna was able to obtain a copy of the photo.

In 2012 Donna experienced a memorable heritage trip to Scotland.
Relative, Larry Akin, directed Donna to visit the Scottish Genealogy Society Family History Center in
Edinburgh. At the center Donna met a most hospitable hostess, Ms. Ann King. Ms. King treated Donna
to a tasty lunch of Leek Spinach Tart with a tall glass of Scotch. A Google Images search provided Donna with the identity of the cafĂ©, The Hub, formerly The Assembly Hall and Talbooth Church, Castlehill. After the meal Ms. King took Donna on a little tour of the area.  Donna continued exploring the city with a visit to St. Margaret’s Chapel at Edinburgh Castle. Donna again used Google Images to identify a character on impressive stained glass window. This image turned out to be Sir William Wallace (depicted in the Braveheart movie). Sir Wallace was one of the main leaders in the First War of Scottish Independence. Donna is a descendent of Sir Wallace.  Donna continued her journey with a visit to the North East Scottish city of Aberdeen. Sites visited were the Aberdeen Train Station, the offshore oil rigs and the Aberdeen & North-East Scotland Family History Society. One disappointment, Donna was looking forward but unable to meet an Aberdeen Angus (small beef cattle).

  Money Saving Tip: Amazon Prime & Netflix offer family plans. You can save on fees by joining with a relative who is already paying for the service. Partner up and share fees or find a relative who is willing to add you to their plan for free.
  Deborah has been searching for a projector for presentations of her converted video files. She desires
to show videos, not on a computer or television screen, but on a larger scale, projecting larger images
for her family to view.  Suggestions included asking Best Buy’s Geek Squad and searching Amazon Prime. 
   With the remaining time we had an impromptu practice session was initiated to see if remaining
members were able to participate on screen sharing.  Lenore enabled “Share Screen” > clicked on the green “share”. The people who now has the share screen feature > minimized the zoom screen > brought up their computer file(s) to share. Clicking on the red “stop share” to end.  Practice was a success as everyone was able to participate on the share screen.  To learn more, view tutorials on

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, November 12, 2022, 9:00 a.m.

If you do not receive Lenore’s Zoom meeting notice or have a problem connecting onto the link she
attaches to her email, go directly onto the Zoom website, enter our ID number, 83224651197; and then
the password, DNA. If you have problems logging into the meeting, contact Lenore at (808) 341-0766.
Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
(minutes by Bella Rivera)

HCGS Member Trisha Mach Robertson
Aloha o’e, dear Trisha, … until we meet again.


Obit of Rose Mary, wife of former President of HCGS, Stanley Yon

Honolulu County Genealogical Society Sept 13, 2022

 HCGS Meeting    September 13, 2022        via ZOOM

           SEPTEMBER 13, 2022


Present: Janice Choat-Zavaval, Isabelle Rivera, Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Deborah Richards, Ellen Schneider and Donna Wendt 

Meeting was begun at 9:00 a.m.

OLD BUSINESS:  Donna Wendt intended to present her talk on Scotland but due to today’s small summer attendance it was decided to postpone one more month.

NEW BUSINESS:  A request was made to include in the Minutes the Zoom ID information for the Honolulu County Genealogical Society’s meetings.  If you did not receive Lenore’s Zoom meeting notice or have a problem connecting onto the link she has attached to her email, go directly onto the Zoom website, Zoom.US.   Enter our ID number, 83224651197; and then the password, DNA. If you have problems logging into the meeting, contact Lenore at (808) 341-0766.

CALABASH BOWL:  As in August, today’s meeting became an open discussion and sharing session.

Finding Time to Talk with Family (or Friends): Deborah Richards connects with family on their birthdays. Birthdays are a great reason to talk and reminisce.  Donna suggested hospital stays, or when someone is home recovering (but not with a contagious illness). A visit and conversation with the patient will lift their spirits and may get some good family data.

Roots Tech:  Roots Tech has just begun sending emails announcing their March 2 to 4, 2023 conference.  Last year’s conference was all-digital and this year offered a combination in-person and digital.  Find information go to their website. Roots Tech is sponsored through  .

Documentation/Photos:  Yesterday, Donna Wendt scanned over 1000 photos on her Epson Fast Photo 680 wireless scanner.  The unit comes with 2 software programs, 1 for documents and 1 for photos.  The quality of your photo copies are better as scans versus taking a photo of a photo. Be mindful of the page thickness. A note or double paper layer will probably be rejected. If that happens, or if your page is larger than the size limit, you will have to take a photo of the scrapbook page with your cell phone or scan with a flatbed scanner/printer.  First check the settings before scanning with Fast Photo...  If you plan on enlarging a photo, scan at a higher resolution (600).   The 300 resolutions are considered standard.  Also in "Settings" under "Enhancements" you have options to auto enhance, to restore faded colors and remove red eye automatically. Once scanned, the photo goes into a file you have named.  Any further tweeking of the photo can be done with a photo editing program. Worth repeating, Donna uses a free photo editing program – found at Avoid the ads on the page and find the free app to download .. usually on upper right, does not add color, or "colorize" old black and white photos,  can do that with their subscription   Members of MyHeritage can also use their features to animate a photo, or even add oral narration to an animated photo.

Also, check your cellphones for default photo editor programs. Most phones have the capability to improve a photo when you bring one up on your screen.

Addition advice: digitize originals and store on a hard drive with a large terabyte capacity. Purchase the hard drive from any trusted shopping site or store. Scan by years and store in appropriate designated folders. Keep what you store current, taking the time to review and delete what you do not want.

An inquiry was made asking about venues who still offer prints of photos. Suggestions included Costco, Rainbow Photo Video, Walgreen and Walmart. Some locations have online order sites, with pick up at the stores.

Possible Future Topic: How Does One Downsize?  Deborah commented on how hard we work gathering and organizing our family trees and sources. A common concern is that we do not want to see all this work lost, or the possibility of our family history disappearing.  Trying to downsize, Donna’s latest project is scanning her 23 binders of Operation Smile missions and then boxing up the binders.  

If we are drowning in hard copy material, how do we downsize? What should be our priorities when we evaluate our collections? How do we best store the items we decide to keep? My Heritage. bought out Legacy, it is owned by an Israeli company. Their strong focus is European roots.  A note of caution regarding the hints on My Heritage - do not add groups of relatives from the site, with the click of a button.  It is best to always review each person individually and add on one-at-a-time if the record is correct.

Ancestry:  Ancestry has the largest collection of records (20+ billion historical records) and more members. Since 2020 the current owner of is the Blackstone Group, an equity investment company.  Ancestry and (LDS church’s non-profit organization) has collaborated throughout the years. In the business world, is primarily a large tech company, not a genealogy company.  [Info from Genealogy Explained article: Who Owns by Marc McDermott, March 14, 2022]

Ancestry’s latest feature is their improvement of pinpointing DNA areas. As more people submit DNA tests, the data of your family origins become narrower and closer to exact sites.

Family Search:  Looking into the records at is free. All the microfilm from Salt Lake City is now digitized, but indexing is still ongoing. On their site, go to the catalog so review the records available.

Living DNA:  Do you have ancestry from the United Kingdom? Living DNA is a UK based genetic testing company. It is strictly a DNA service searching UK data. In 2018, Living DNA partnered with to incorporate British Isles and Irish family history records.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, October 8, 2022, 9:00 a.m.

Planned presentation: Donna Wendt’s talk on Scotland and the possible continuation of Wesley Stevens’ adventure in California.

Meeting adjourned at 11:42 a.m.

Minutes by Bella Rivera)


We end on a somber note with the announcement shared by Kathy Hudson on the passing of long-time member Trisha Mach Robertson on September 29, 2022.  She is remembered as a passionate genealogist who was always willing to share her discoveries of her family history. She always had something to contribute at each meeting she attended. She was a humble, kind, engaging and strong woman.  Every member who had the blessing of knowing Trisha will miss her sweet smile and her eager spirit to be with like-minded souls. It was an honor to have her choose to spend her second Saturdays with us.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.  Funeral at St Johns Vainny on Keola Dr., Kailua  Oct 20th at 10:30 am.   Burial at Hawaii Memorial Park.

Aloha o’e, dear Trisha, … until we meet again.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Honolulu County Genealogical Society August 13, 2022


 AUGUST 13, 2022


Present: Kathy & Don Hudson, Karin & Stanley Jones, Isabelle Rivera, Trisha Robertson, Ellen Schneider, Susan Victor and Donna Wendt

   There was no formal presentation today. Lenore Hansen-Stafford is again on the road heading to the East Coast and Europe. She was unable to join us this month. Though members present were able to meet on Lenore’s Zoom account, Donna Wendt was unable to access the share screen.

Today’s meeting became an open discussion and sharing session.


     Donna Wendt had returned from visiting family in Denver. Susan Victor is coming in from Michigan in the midst of an electrical storm. Kathy and Don Hudson are surviving 100+ degree heat in Utah. Karin and Stan Jones are joining us from cool and comfortable Sweden.  

      Kathy Hudson shared the exciting news that she and Don will be moving back to Oahu in the spring of 2023.

    Waiting to leave for the airport in Sweden, Karin Jones shared some wonderful genealogical discoveries she has made in Sweden. She and Stan attended approximately 7 family gatherings and visited with around 40 family members. Her family helped to identify “unknowns” in some 1958 photos, visited the sarcophagus in Vasteras Cathedral of Eric XIV (1560-1568) and viewed the first Bible translated into Swedish during the reign of Eric’s father, Gustav I (aka Gustav Eriksson and Gustav Vasa) (1496-1560).  The Bible was named the Gustav Vasa Bible (published 1540-41). Karin is a descendent of these kings of Sweden.  Stan and Karin are continuing their travels to London and Glasgow.

   In last month’s meeting, Susan Victor, spoke of the 7-times married wife, Martha Hawley, of a relative.  Since last month, she has been in contact with the granddaughter of Martha Hawley. She lives in the same Michigan town as Susan and they have plans to meet.

   Trisha Robertson recently had a situation which makes one pause regarding sharing family history. Trisha had spoken before of the Polish letters her mother had kept. Trish had recently shared copies of these letters with 2 younger cousins (granddaughters of the letter writer). 1 cousin was very excited to receive and view the letters, but the other was so embarrassed that her opinion of her grandmother was changed.  Though saddened by the reaction of one cousin, the joy the other expressed confirmed that it was the right decision to share the letters.

   Last month, Donna Wendt began sharing excerpts from a wonderful journal she discovered years ago at the Buffalo, NY, public library. This author, Wesley Stevens, was a brother of Donna’s ancestor, Phineas Stevens.  This morning Donna continued reading from, “The Journal of Wesley Stevens”. We left off last month with Wesley and the vessel rounding the tip of Cape Horn.  Wesley continued to marvel at porpoises “throwing themselves out of the water snorting like horses”, a sighting of a white whale, the birth of a child on board to a German woman whom no one realized had been pregnant, and simple gift boxes of figs and raisins from the Captain. He endured a gale storm, his longing to receive word from his wife and children, and times of despondence.  After 155 days at sea, the ship finally arrives at San Francisco. From there he traveled to Sacramento, took a stagecoach to Marysville , continued to Dobbin’s Ranch, Foster’s Bar and Mountain House.  Wesley purchased mining equipment and headed out to find gold. Wesley arrived 3 years after gold was first discovered. It did not take long to ascertain that there was no gold on his grubstake in Oregon Creek, CA.  This is where we leave Wesley for this month, on a claim with no gold.

   Susan Victor had a relative who walked across the country, from Bloomfield, NY, to the gold fields in California. He accomplished this feat with a group of friends. He later walked to a Wisconsin town where a brother had died and the widow resided. He may have made some money in California for Susan knows that he purchased plots for everyone in the family.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, September 10, 2022, 9:00 a.m.

Meeting adjourned at 10:37 a.m.

 by Bella Rivera, Secretary

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Honolulu County Genealogical Society July 9, 2022


   Honolulu County Genealogical Society --- a Zoom Meeting on July 9, 2022

  Present: Janice Choat-Zavaval, Lenore Hansen-Stafford, Leilani Maguire, Isabelle Rivera, Ellen Schneider, Susan Victor and Donna Wendt

OLD BUSINESS:  Donna Wendt’s presentation on Research Tips in Scotland will be rescheduled.

CALABASH BOWL: Donna Wendt shared a most interesting journal, “The Journal of Wesley Stevens”. This journal addresses his journey from the eastern United States to the west. A distant uncle of Donna, Wesley Stevens travelled by ship from Jamestown, NY, around the tip of South America, headed to the gold fields in California in 1852. Donna read a few pages filled with descriptions - the ups and downs of living months at sea on a sailing ship, the wonderful sea creatures the passengers observed (turtles, killer whales, porpoises and other “large fish”), the weather elements, and the mental and physical trials of the passengers. I especially enjoyed how his faith in Christ had been tested and grown on that journey.  The transcontinental railroad would not be done until 1863 so many travelled by ships. Wesley’s wife and children would eventually join him in California and the entire family does end up back in New York years later. In future meetings, Donna promised to continue sharing a few more pages of Wesley’s journey as we left him off rounding the tip of South America this morning.

    The reading of Wesley’s journal had Leilani Maguire remembering a long passed meeting in which member Suzanne Case had encouraged other members to write down each day something about your grandparent, or any other relative. Time can run out so quickly. Written memories can be enjoyed by your family for generations.

     Susan Victor had been looking up a relative. He was married to a woman named Martha Hawley who lived to the age of 83. Martha was employed as a ticket agent for the White River Railroad in Park City, Newaygo, Michigan. Susan was surprised to discover Martha had been married 7 times. What were the stories behind so many marriages?

   Divorces:  If you cannot find divorce records in the city/town your relative resided in, try checking nearby towns or states. Expanding your search may help that record pop up.

   Lenore Hansen-Stafford had read of a woman (not related to Lenore) who was arrested for bigamy after she married her second husband. It was discovered that she had not bothered to get divorced from her first.

   Scanned Photos:  Janice Choat-Zavaval inquired about storing and quickly retrieving scanned photos.  Donna demonstrated her technique using Timelines. She also shared her album organization system.  It was a lot of information so Donna will consider making a presentation for a future meeting.  A highly recommended equipment investment – the Epson Fast Photo 680w printer/scanner is the one Donna now uses.

   Summer Schedules:   Lenore Hansen-Stafford shared a bit of her journey last month. She had a most enjoyable time riding the Rocky Mountain Train Tour through British Columbia, Canada. Highlights included the Charles Schultz Museum, a Mary Chapin Carpenter concert, Banff, Lake Louise and a very harrowing experience being caught in a California wildfire.  She continues her summer travels on August 19th with a cruise to Iceland beginning in Boston,  enjoying Iceland and Greenland, vacationing in New York and returning to Honolulu after Labor  Day.

   Karin and Stan Jones will be continuing their 2-month summer trip and will be in Sweden.

   Donna Wendt will be traveling to Denver on July 14th.

   Faith Burgwinkel sent an email message regarding the Native Hawaiian Genealogy Society. Their Facebook site has information on a genealogy fair, scheduled for July 23, 2022, 9am to 2pm, at the LDS Church Chapel, located at 92-900 Makakilo Drive. There will be workshops, displays and a marketplace.

  Ellen Schneider provided an update on the Friends of the Library of Hawaii.  Donations are still being accepted by appointment only, with drop offs at 501 Sumner Street. The most popular books are cooking and children books.  The next sale should be in January 2023 at Washington Intermediate School.  The huge summer book sale should be returning to McKinley High School’s cafeteria in 2023. This summer it was held at their retail site in Ward Center.

Our next meeting will be on Zoom on Saturday, August 13, 2022, 9:00 a.m.

Meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

by Bella Rivera