Seattle Genealogical Society 2020 News


12:30 PM – 1:00 PM 

SGS Members, please attend the spring membership meeting on Saturday, March 14, 2020, 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm, and meet the nominees for the Board of Directors and Officers. At the meeting,  nominations from the floor will be allowed provided the person nominated is present at the meeting.  

The meeting will be held at the SGS Library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.  Immediately following the meeting, Lori Lee Sauber will give her Second Saturday Series presentation, “Do You Trello and Kanban?”.    

Each month throughout 2020 we will share women’s stories from 100 or more years ago, including brick walls that elude even the most diligent genealogist. Stories might be brief – one or two paragraphs – or longer – and will appear on our web site:
Finding female ancestors can be challenging, especially if they lived before accurate vital records were kept. Women with unknown parentage present an additional hurdle to the genealogist. Hopefully, our project will help you discover the stories of your own female ancestors. And that you will enjoy reading the stories of others.

We begin with the story of Amelia:

Thank you to everyone who took the time to answer our questions in the recent Survey. The number of responses was low, but we received some very good suggestions about resources for the Library. Some of the things that you were interested in we already have in the Library including:

  • Complete subscriptions to,,, (New England), and Czech Genealogical Society. These you can search for free, but they must be accessed on our patron computers in the Library.
  • An Affiliate designation from allowing you to access locked documents by using our computers or your own in our facility.
  • A large Mayflower and Colonial Section of books and periodicals.
  • Seattle City Directories covering the years from 1890 to 1993.
  • A designated section of books for DNA research.
  • Two large map boxes containing maps of genealogical interest.

Through a generous corporate donation, we recently acquired newer workstations and replacement chairs. This allows us to provide more working area for our patrons around the computers. New lighting in the computer area is scheduled as well.

For those that inquired about additional databases, thank you, but unfortunately, they are cost prohibitive:

  • JSTOR: the initial fee is $1,500 and the ongoing annual fee is $600 to $1,000 per subject category.
  • MyHeritage Library Edition is $1,600 annually.
  • Genealogy Bank: Seattle Public Library has this available. Use your Seattle Public Library Account to access this online.
  • WorldCat: also expensive and needs extensive re-numbering of our 15,000 volumes.
  • FindMyPast: is $995 annually and does not include British and Irish Newspapers or the Living Relatives database (UK electoral records). 

The Seattle Genealogical Society is almost 100 years young and has been an all-volunteer, donation-based society for the entire time. A large portion of our library collection is from donations, so we have many areas that have interested our members over the years. We try to add to the collection the items that appeal to our membership, although we focus on Seattle, King County, Washington state, and the Pacific Northwest: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska.  We will be announcing any new acquisitions to the Library in the eNews! on a monthly basis beginning this month, so please look for it.

Thank you again for your help:

Sue Jensen, Director of the Library
Library Trustee Board

NEW ACQUISITIONS FOR JANUARY 2020, found in the New Acquisitions Bookcase at the SGS Library:

Families: “A History of The Jarnagin Family in Iowa (1856-1996)” and “Where the Waters Part, A Family’s Search for Freedom and Authenticity: Nine Generations of Wards, Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia, and Their Descendants.”

Germany: “Dictionary of German Names by Hans Bahlow (English Version)”; “Die Familiennamen Der Juden in Deutschland/ The Family Names of Jews in Germany”; “Germanic Genealogy A guide to worldwide sources and migration patterns”; “Historical Guide to Erfurt, Gera and Suhl Germany – Historischer Fuhrer Bezirke Erfurt, Gera, Suhl”; “Register zu dem Reformierten Kirchenbuch der pfarrei Lambsborn/ Register to the Reformed Church Book of the Lambsborn Parish 1689-1798 and 1747-1798”

Ireland: “The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Kilmacduagh”; “Memorial Atlas of Ireland 1901”; “Galway Roots Clanna na Gaillimhe” and “A Genealogical and Historical Map of Ireland”

Seattle: “For the Least of These From the Seattle Council of Catholic Women to the Association For Catholic Childhood”; Yearbook: “University of Washington Civil Engineering: 1898-1998 One Hundred Years of Excellence in Education”

Washington: Yearbook: “Tahoma, Stadium High School Yearbook: Pierce” and “The Cruiser Eatonville, WA High School”

Other States:NH: “Index to Genealogies In New Hampshire Town Histories”; NY: “Inventory of the Church Files In New York City, LUTHERAN”; NJ: “Mark Newby The First Banker in New Jersey and His Patrick Halfpence/Early Settlers in Newton/Local American History Newton Township and Its Environs in the Revolution/Letters of George Washington/Battle of Chestnut Neck etc” and TN: “The Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History”   SAVE THE DATE
Spring 2020 SGS Seminar 
with Fritz Juengling,
Fairview Christian School,
844 NE 78th St,
Seattle, WA

Saturday, May 16, 2020   Mr Juengling is the German, Dutch and Scandinavian Research Specialist at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. SGS is happy to have Fritz as the presenter for our spring seminar.   SGS CALENDAR OF EVENT   Unless otherwise indicated all programs will be at the SGS Library, 6200 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle. Check the SGS Web Site for additions, changes,  and corrections. Programs may be canceled or postponed because of inclement weather. FEBRUARY
Saturday, February 8, 10:15 am-12:15 pm, FamilySearch  SIG, with leader Lou Daly, discover the many ways to use Family Tree & Each meeting will feature an aspect of the FamilySearch website.  There will be time for Q&A.

Saturday, February 8, 1:00 pm-3:00pm, Second Saturday Series: “The Price of Love: American Women, the Cable Act and Lost Citizenship”, American women proselytized and protested for more than 70 years to finally win the right to vote. And yet, the victory wasn’t complete with the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920. Come learn more. With Lisa Oberg.   Saturday, February 15, 10:15 am – 12:15 pm, Irish  SIG, with Jean Roth
Saturday, February 15, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, German  SIG, with Jean Roth 
Sunday, March 1, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, DNA Workshop, with Cary Bright. Q&A first hour, while focus second hour in on Genome Mate Pro.

Saturday, March 7, 10:15 am-12:15 pm, FamilySearch  SIG, with leader Lou Daly, discover the many ways to use Family Tree & Each meeting will feature an aspect of the FamilySearch website.  There will be time for Q&A.  

Wednesday, March 11, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm, MAC Computer SIG, co-chairs Lisa Marker & Diane Hettrick. Meets every other month at the Fiske Genealogical Library in Madison Park, 1644 43rd Ave E, Seattle, WA. Jointly sponsored by SGS & Fiske. Open to the public. Focuses on resources for users of Macintosh/Apple computers & the Reunion Program.
Saturday, March 14, 10:15 am-12:15 pm, Family Tree Maker Users Group, with leaders Reiley Kidd and Jess Ramey, Learn and share tips and tricks for using Family Tree Maker 2017
Saturday, March 14, 12:30 pm -1:00pm, SGS Spring Membership Meeting, business meeting, meet the Board and Officer nominees. 

Saturday, March 14,  1:00 pm-3:00 pm, Second Saturday Series: “Do You Trello and Kanban?”, presenter will be Lori Lee Staub. learn how these process/project management tools can aid in your genealogy research. 

Saturday, March 21,  1:00 pm-3:00 pm, Digging Deeper: Researching Women’s History, this presentation is at the University of Washington, Allen Library. Join in for a hands-on workshop to learn how archives are arranged and locate information which might be of interest to you when researching women’s history.  

We need your help and it takes just a few minutes to make a difference.

This week the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB) voted to sell the NARA-Seattle building located on Sand Point Way. (For the complete report, see PBRB  at

The records at NARA-Seattle are primarily for the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. They are PNW records and need to be accessible to PNW researchers.

We and our Attorney General and AGs of other affected states recognized that the process was flawed: the comment time was not of a mandated length, inspections were conducted “on the sly” and the Board voted before the comment period was completed. This is a legal matter and is being handled at that level.

Here is what you can do…

The strategy has now shifted from keeping the Northwest records at the Sand Point facility to keeping them in the Puget Sound area. There are several reasons for this:

  • It is important that the documents of the Northwest stay in the Northwest;
  • When the Alaskan records held by the NA were moved to Seattle just a few years ago, a promise was made to the Tribes that these records would not move out of Seattle.
  • Riverside, one of the suggested archive facilities to perhaps house the PNW records, would require renovation and expansion. That money could instead be invested in the Puget Sound area.
  • Although moving out of Seattle to a less expensive area within the Puget Sound region is a justifiable strategic move, the records need to stay in the PNW.
  • The expertise is here –staff and volunteers –for the unique record sets housed at NA-Seattle. There would be a steep learning curve of other facilities’ staff.
  • Geographic equity of the records of the archives would be disrupted if the documents were moved outside the region, forcing researchers in the area to travel long distances to access the records.
  • Records of the PNW would be unavailable for years if this move takes place, making researchers, academics and genealogists without the ability to access records.
  • It is a myth that all records are or can be digitized. Records are being digitized as quickly as possible, but it takes time, money, and staff to do this overwhelming job. In addition, archivists add important metadata to enable researchers to find the material they are seeking. Digitization is a goal, but it is far from reality and the addition of the metadata is even more problematic due to staffing concerns.

The Society is doing its part and it urges you to contact the individuals below to express your concern, and perhaps outrage, concerning this move of this valuable resource.

Submit your comments to the PBRB at

Call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or contact them at

Write to our senators:  (They have sent their letters of protest to PBRB and FASTA but they need to know that we are backing them.)
Patty Murray (202) 224-2621

Maria Cantwell 
(202) 224-3441

Contact your U.S. Representative

Write WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson: (
Mayor Jenny Durkan: ( )  
Dow Constantine, King County ( )
City Council (

Feliks Banel originally broke the news about the closure on KIRO 97.3 FM and has been posting updates on and Facebook. He is also the editor for Columbia Magazine for the Washington State Historical Society. You might want to follow his blog or his Facebook page. He is working on a story based on an interview with Bob Ferguson that may come out before this memo reaches you.

SGS member Trish Hackett Nicola has been instrumental in coordinating efforts with agencies and other interested parties.  Thank you, Trish.

If you have already contacted these governmental agencies and individuals—do it again! We know that it is the “weight” of the communications, not the discrete number of individuals. If you belong to other groups that should weigh in and haven’t, please pass this communication on to them.

Thank you for your support.

Jill Morelli, CG
President of Seattle Genealogical Society

SGS offers 1-1/2 year membership

During January 1st through March 31st, 2020, new members may join the Seattle Genealogical Society with a membership that extends through May 31, 2021. Dues are $60 individual, or $75 dual (two people in the same household). That’s a year and a half of free research requests, discounted class and event registration fees, and access to exclusive SGS publications and databases. Read more…
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