Day 2 at the Northwest Genealogy Conference

“Sergeant” Michael Strauss ready for duty

Attention! That’s military talk for listen up! And that’s what we did during keynote speaker Michael Strauss’s presentations. Entertaining, energetic, informative — everything from the Colonial Wars through WWII. All three sessions kept us rapt with “attention!”

Diane Carter from Aberdeen channeling her Colonial ancestor

An always super fun activity at the conference is the “Dress Like Your Ancestor Day.” It was so fun to see attendees dressed as their Salem Witch ancestor (complete with noose), Colonial dame (watch out for that hoop skirt!), Norwegian (or German or New England or Irish or…other parts of the globe) ancestor. We all love to talk about our ancestors and today it was so fun to see them walking around the conference.

My two “extra” classes today were Sara Cochran’s “Irish Eyes Are Smiling: Finding Vital Records in the Land of Sain” and “Motive, Means and Opportunity: The Sad Saga of George Richards” with Jean Hibben. I’d never taken a workshop with their instructor, but will in the future. Great information and presentations!

Yo ho! Yo ho!

Ahoy, maties! The evening closed with the annual banquet at the Gleneagle Golf Course. The always entertaining Daniel Earl kept us laughing all through his presentation on pirates. Yes, pirates! Who would have known how piracy affected our ancestors!

Tomorrow’s the last day of the conference, but a full one. Looking forward to hearing Thomas MacEntee — via video conference. Unfortunately, Thomas was unable to fly to the conference, but being the professional that he is, conference organizers arranged to have him live through the wonders of technology.

Day 1 at the Northwest Genealogy Conference

You could feel the excitement and energy in the building as more than 250 genealogy enthusiasts gathered at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center for the first full day of the 2019 Northwest Genealogy Conference.

Our keynote speaker was the amazing Angie Bush. Angie is a senior genealogist with Ancestry ProGenealogists. She’s also one of my favorite DNA speakers. She uses clear language, great examples and case studies and really keeps up on the ever-changing world of DNA.

Angie Bush speaking at Thursday’s conference

Angie’s presentations today included Direct Line Testing (Y-DNA & mtDNA), Answering Genealogical Questions with Autosomal DNA and Power Tools to Make the Most of Your DNA Test. I had many “ah ha’s” to take home to apply to my own DNA results. Lots of notes scribbled on my syllabus.

Jill Morelli channeling her inner Sherlock Holmes with Roxanne Lowe

In addition to the three keynote presentations, the conference attendees had to make the difficult choice of choosing just two workshops from the ten offered. I opted for Janice Lovelace’s “Becoming Washington: Who Came to the Northwest and Why” and “The Genealogical Proof Standard According to Sherlock Holmes” with Jill Morelli. Both classes were standing room only — more chairs brought in to Janice’s Washington class and Jill’s Sherlock Holmes class was moved to a bigger classroom.

I had a chance to visit a few vendors — interesting! Will buy raffle tickets and visit the Heritage Quest Research Library book store tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow…great fun is in store! It’s “Dress Like Your Ancestor” day! You can still register for the day. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. We’re waiting for you!

NWGC 2019 is Here!

The Northwest Genealogy Conference is one of the region’s best learning and networking opportunities. I look forward to it all year and today didn’t disappoint! In case you hadn’t heard, the conference, in its sixth year, is August 14 – 17, 2019, at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at Arlington High School.

Angie Bush showing Julie Miller from Olympia how to maximize her DNA matches on AncestryDNA.

The afternoon began for many taking advantage of Janet O’Conor Camarata’s free beginning class. I saw more than beginners in the class — there’s always something new to learn or relearn in the world of genealogy. There were also three “advanced workshops” offered: Connecting DNA Matches with Angie Bush, Family History Writing with Lisa Alzo and Disaster Proofing Your Research with Sara Cochran. There was a lot of buzz about all three classes.

Daniel Earl and Michael Strauss enjoyed Wednesday evening’s Meet and Greet

The evening closed with a “Meet and Greet” taco bar at the Gleneagle Golf Course. What a great way to see old friends and make new ones.

Tomorrow we’ll be treated to three DNA-related plenary sessions with Angie Bush and “Making the Most from Your Public Library” with Jennifer Foreman. In addition to Angie’s and Jennifer’s presentations, we’ll also have to choose just two classes from the ten offered — everything from death, dying and burial customs to finding ancestors without the 1890 census. In combing through the 170-page syllabus, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to choose!

If you aren’t one of the 250+ people who have already registered for the conference, don’t despair! You can register at the door for one day, two days or all three! You can’t register online anymore (and meals are not available for on-site registrants), but show up at the door and the uber-efficient volunteers from conference host Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society will get you set up. Just show up early! Doors open at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center at 7:30 a.m.

I’m excited, full of energy and enthusiasm! More tomorrow…

One Week to Go Before NWGC

Northwest Genealogy Conference

There is only a week before the Northwest Genealogy Conference, August 14-17 in Arlington, WA.

If you’re still thinking about whether to attend or not, consider these benefits and offerings:

  • Unlimited networking with other enthusiastic genealogists.
  • More than two dozen top-notch presenters offering more than 30 classes. Keynote speakers will be Thomas MacEntee (through the magic of video), Angie Bush and Michael Strauss — all amazing presenters. What an opportunity to hear nationally renowned experts right here in Western Washington!
  • Whether you consider yourself a beginner or more advanced genealogist, attend the FREE beginning genealogy session on Wednesday, the 14th, with Janet Conor Camarata. There’s always something to learn (or relearn!) in the world of genealogy.
  • There are still openings in some of the “advanced” workshops held on Wednesday. Pre-registration and payment is required. Click here for more information.
  • If you’ve got a young person interested in attending, a complimentary youth registration (ages 13-17) is available with one paid full conference registration. (Email or call the Society at 360-435-4838 for further information.)
  • Vendors! Vendors! Vendors! Don’t miss the opportunity to see what’s new!
  • Sign up for all three days or just one — fit it into your schedule.
  • Maybe you’ll find a cousin if you post a surname message on the Cousin Board in the registration area. A great way to connect with other attendees.

Don’t miss this opportunity. Sign up today by clicking here.

Free Class at NWGC

Sign up for one of the best bargains of the summer! A FREE Beginning Genealogy day with Janet Camarata on August 14th at the Northwest Genealogy Conference in Arlington. Sign up here.

During Janet’s jam-packed workshop (1:00 – 4:30 p.m.), she’ll cover:

Janet Conor Camarata
  • Are you a Genealogist or Family Historian?
  • The Basics of the Genealogical Hunt
  • Organizing Strategies for Genealogy Success
  • Locating Genealogy Records Online and Off-line
  • Techniques and Tools to Transform your Approach to Research
  • Resources and References for Improved Research Results
  • Tips to avoid Genealogy Traps, Confusion, and Overload
  • The Next Steps as a Genealogist

Don’t consider yourself a beginner? Good for you, but I can attest that I learn (or relearn!) something in every workshop I attend. So, sign up for this great opportunity whether you’re a beginner or intermediate or advanced researcher!

Northwest Genealogy Conference Update

The Northwest Genealogy Conference is pleased to announce that Janet Camarata has graciously stepped up to replace Thomas MacEntee on Wednesday August 14th for the FREE Beginning Genealogy Class to be held at the beautiful (air conditioned) Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington. You can register at and get the details of the other exciting classes being offered …online registration closes Aug 13 – don’t miss this fun event!

Montana State Genealogical Society Annual Conference


Montana State Genealogical Society Home Page

30th ANNUAL STATE GENEALOGY CONFERENCE Preserving The Past Delta Hotels Helena Colonial
September 19, 20, 21, 2019 Hosted by the Montana State Genealogical Society and the Lewis and Clark County Genealogical Society Click to download Full Schedule & Registration Form

Featuring National Speakers:

German Life’s Family Research / Familie Forschung columnist James M. Beidler is the author of two successful commercially published German genealogy books (The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide and Trace Your German Roots Online). His newest book is The Family Tree Historical Newspapers Guide. Beidler writes “Roots & Branches,” a weekly newspaper column and blog (at He is also a research-reports editor for the worldwide research firm Legacy Tree Genealogists.
A Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan, where he specializes in family history and Michigan research, Kris Rzepczynski has worked in the genealogical community for nearly 20 years. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University and a Master of Arts in History from Western Michigan University. Kris has presented at national, state, and local conferences, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, Ohio Genealogical Society, Historical Society of Michigan, Indiana Historical Society, and for dozens of local genealogical societies and public libraries, and is a former Vice-President of Membership for the Federation of Genealogical Societies and a former President of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society.

James M. Beidler will present:

TACKLING THE “BORN IN PENNSYLVANIA” PROBLEM: Many researchers will find their research extends to an ancestor said to be “born in Pennsylvania” without additional information. Learn the strategies for making the needle bigger and the haystack smaller in this type of search!
GERMAN IMMIGRANT WAVES: CONTRASTS AND SOURCES:  The 1700’s “Pennsylvania Germans” were a different breed than the “German Americans” who immigrated in the 1800’s. This presentation shows the differences in geography, economic class, religion, and aspirations of – as well as sources about – the two great waves of German immigration as well as reviewing “the basics” of German genealogy.
ZIGZAGGING THROUGH GERMAN CHURCH RECORDS:  Explaining the methodology of using the baptismal, confirmation, marriage and burial records from German church registers most effectively. By utilizing the different bits of information found in each, researchers can zigzag their way to adding centuries to a pedigree.
PIONEERS AND COLONISTS: BACKGROUND OF GERMANS IN EASTERN EUROPE:  Millions of German-speaking people never spent a day in today’s countries of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.  For centuries, German-speaking enclaves existed in Eastern Europe. This presentation introduces and gives historical background about these “Germans outside Germany”.

Kris Rzepczynski will present:

BECOMING AMERICAN: RESEARCH WITH NATURALIZATION RECORDS:  Although one of the most important tools in family history research, naturalization records can often be very difficult to locate. This program will explore naturalization records, the many tools available to assist you in your research, and successful strategies to locate citizenship records, utilizing both online and print resources.
BIG CITY BLUES?  RESEARCHING URBAN ANCESTERS:  Using case studies from Chicago, Detroit, and other cities, this program will explore successful strategies for researching ancestors in large urban centers across the US.
MIDWEST REPOSITORIES AND ONLINE COLLECTIONS:  The Midwest is full of archives and libraries bursting with genealogical records and online content.  This session will explore some of the key research institutions and their collections.
BEYOND NAMES AND DATES: ADDING THE “STORY” TO YOUR FAMILY HISTORY:  Our ancestor’s lives are so much more than just names and dates on a pedigree chart. This program will explore record collections and examples beyond the basics that can provide rich detail and reveal fantastic stories about your ancestors’ lives.

Registration Fees:

2 full days without meals: $70.00
Full Registration with 3 meals (2 lunches & 1 banquet): $134.00
Friday Only without meals: $45.00
Saturday Only without meals:  $30.00

Accommodations at the Conference Hotel:

The Conference will be held at the Delta Hotels Helena Colonial, 2301 Colonial Drive, Helena, Montana.  Rates are $109.00/night plus taxes for 2 bedded rooms and $119.00/night plus taxes for king bedded rooms. Over 2 persons per room additional $10.00 each person. Reserve your room, BEFORE 19 AUGUST 2019 to receive these rates. To reserve a room online or Phone: 406-443-2100 and state you are with the MT State Genealogical Society.

Watch this site for additional updates as they become available.

Click Registration Form to download the Complete Schedule & Registration Form.

For more information contact page updated 17 July 2019

Still Time to Register for NWGC Advanced Classes

There are still a few openings in the advanced workshops at next month’s Northwest Genealogy Conference. There was a little hiccup at the beginning of the registration period, but everything’s working fine now, so jump on this opportunity.

Open to fully paid, full conference registrants, the class options include:

  • Connecting Your Matches With AncestryDNA with Angie Bush, $40 (class is nearly full, so hurry up & register!)
  • Schivener for Easier Family History Writing Projects with Lisa Alzo, $30
  • Disaster Proofing Your Research with Sara Cochran, $30

The Northwest Genealogy Conference is August 14 – 17, 2019 at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center in Arlington, Washington.

FGS Society Tables

  Reminder: Introduce your society to the nation at our Society Showcase
Act now to get your preferred table! FGS invites its members to set up tables at our 2019 Conference Society Showcase in Washington D.C., August 21-24. In addition to regular Exhibit Hall booths, Society Showcase tables are gathered in one area near the Exhibit Hall for the great price of $50. Handouts may be offered, but no sales are permitted. All Society Showcase participants will be featured in conference promotional material, especially the Onsite Conference Guide and the Conference Voice blog. Conference details are available on the FGS Voice blog and on our website at In the meantime, if you have a question, please contact the Society Showcase Chair at or visit for more details. Win! Decorate your table with an attractive theme to be eligible to win a one-year FREE membership in FGS for your organization. Tables will be judged and winner announced by Friday afternoon. Door Prizes: Societies are encouraged to offer door prizes. Door prize winner names should be given to the Exhibit Hall Co-chairs daily by 4:30 pm Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and by 1:00 pm Saturday. Winners will be posted on the bulletin board located near the Society Showcase area or at the FGS booth. Lecture Breaks: Thirty minute breaks are scheduled between lectures, plus more than two hours for lunch each day (12:15-2:30 pm) so attendees have ample time to visit the exhibit hall and Society Showcase area each day. Exhibit Hall Schedule: Wednesday, 21 August: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday, 22 August: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday, 23 August: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday, 24 August: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm FGS Website: Visit to view full program and registration materials, the Exhibit Hall Map, and click here to go directly to the Society Showcase form:

Heritage Quest Research Library Upcoming Seminars

Autumn Quest Seminar, Registrations
Get your registrations in early

Registration Fees Early Bird seminar fee (by July 1) is: $65 per person for HQRL members $75 Non  Members. Lunch is included. After July 1 HQRL Members $75 Non members $85. Lunch is included. Register at Door $95 Space and Lunch not guaranteed.  
Dee Fournier Presents:
Social Media: Facebook & Pinterest for Genealogy Tuesday, July 9, 2019
1:00 to 3:00 PM Social Media is one of the fastest growing resources for discovering your family history.  It allows you to connect with family, friends and colleagues online, as well as meet people with similar interests and hobbies.  This class will focus on Facebook, including how to protect your privacy, and Pinterest.
$20.00 members / $25.00 non-members
Janet O’Conor Camarata
Wednesday, July 24
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Making Sense of Supplemental Censuses
Besides the Federal Population Census, the U. S Government also collected non-population, special supplemental censuses: territorial data, agriculture, manufacturing, slave schedules, state, veterans, social statistics, and mortality (cause of death) schedules.  Learn how to build a personal guidebook for help in reading and understanding each census.  Learn what’s available and where to find them in Ancestry, FamilySearch and the National Archives.

$20.00 members / $25.00 non-members
If you have already registered for a class and are unable to attend, please give us a call so that we may remove your name from the list.