One of the main projects of the CGW is their Camwood Obituary Index. It is a Google Sheets spreadsheet of a list of obituaries of Stanwood and Camano residents. This is a shared spreadsheet and you must use the Edit Find command at the top of the sheet. You will not be able to change or edit this sheet or download it for your own use. If you find a name for which you would like an obituary, contact us with a postal address and we will mail it to you. There is no charge for this service, though donations to Stanwood Area Historical Society are accepted. If you find a name for which you would like an obituary, contact us through the SAHS website contact info.
The Camwood Obituary Index was started by the Camwood Genealogy Workshop (CGW) group – a group of Stanwood/Camano Island area people with a common interest — Genealogy. The CGW was started in the early 1980’s and like all genealogy groups, had guest speakers on genealogy and field trips to local genealogy libraries and the National Archives in Seattle.
At some point they started collecting local obituaries and putting them on 3 x 5 cards. They might have had as many as 5000 obits in the file drawers when, in 2003, the group decided they should have an index that they could share with others interested in genealogy. Five or six members started transcribing the information on the cards to a computer spreadsheet. Members would each take a file drawer home and transcribe the obits. Then the separate files were combined into one master file. It took many months to complete this task to get one index.
Then in 2005 we wanted to make the index available to the public. A friend from Sno-Isle Genealogical Society, who had joined our CGW group, offered to put it on the USGenWeb/Snohomish Co. website. Thank you Friend.
We weren’t done yet. At the time we were meeting in the Stanwood Area Historical Society research room and right next to our obits were the boxes of all the Stanwood Newspapers that the Stanwood Area Historical Society (SAHS) had dating back to 1905. Not all of the papers are included but from about 1930 to date they have about 80% of them. In Stanwood the papers included the Stanwood Times, the Stanwood Tidings, the Stanwood News the Twin City News and the Stanwood/Camano News. East Stanwood had the East Stanwood Sun and the East Stanwood Bulletin. Camano Island had the Camano Islander.
So we decided to go through the newspapers, page by page, and add any obit that wasn’t in our files. We started this in about 2007 with 6000 obits in our files and finished the newspaper checks recently with 13,000 obits. We also have gone through many other files in the SAHS (scrapbooks, family files, etc.) to add other obits.
We have now started going to the Stanwood/Camano News office and copying the obits from the papers that are not at SAHS. They have almost a complete set from 1905.
As anyone who has volunteered at a genealogy library knows all the work is well worth the effort when someone comes into the library and finds information on their family. We get several people a year who come to the SAHS to research their families and the obit files are one of the main sources. To hear the excitement in their voice is GREAT when they find something. We also get about 20 to 30 people a year though out the US and World that Email us to get a copy of an obit that they have found in the online index. We don’t charge for this but the SAHS gets many donations a year for our service.
Isn’t Genealogy FUN ?
Camwood Genealogy Workshop
c/o Stanwood Area Historical Society
P.O. Box 69
Stanwood, WA 98292