South King County Genealogical Society August Events

Monday, August 10, 1 – 3 pm: Genetic Genealogy/DNA Interest Group. DNA Catch-Up: Share Useful Techniques and Tips To Use DNA for Genealogy. For meeting invitations, reminders and discussion, join

Monday, August 17, 1 – 3 pm: Technology User Group. Data Mining/Web Scraping for Genealogy and Family History Research. For meeting invitations, reminders and discussion, join

Monday, August 24, 1 – 3 pm: Genealogy Chat. Meet up and chat about genealogy subjects and topics. We have no agenda; we just like one another! Join for invitations, reminders and discussion.

Heritage Quest Research Library News

We are OPEN!
Mondays:   10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Wednesdays:   10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Thursdays:   10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Fridays:   10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

No appointment necessary!
We are here to help you with your Genealogical research.
When was the last time you came in to work on your family history?

Did you know?
If you are a member ($40.00 single, $45.00 family per year)
you will have access at home to Ancestry Library Edition and My Heritage Library Edition.

You can now become a member through our website with PayPal. Find us at


Great news for our Society and genealogy researchers! When you come into Heritage Quest Research Library and use our computers to access, you will have increased access to records previously only available at a Family History Center.  Come in and see what you can find!  

Seattle Genealogical Society News


Each quarter, the Seattle Genealogical Society recognizes one member as our volunteer of the quarter. Our Volunteer for Summer 2020 Quarter is Herb McDaniel. 

Herb recently stepped down from co-chairing the DNA SIG. He is an alum of the University of Washington. As a space program systems engineering manager at Boeing, his career highlight was serving as the test conductor of the first Lunar Roving Vehicle, which went to the moon on Apollo 15. Prior to retirement in 1995, he became interested in genealogy and joined SGS.

Herb learned to do his genealogical research at the NARA Facilities on Sandpoint Way, searching through microfiche files of census data, and using the Soundex system to find similar sounding surnames. As more data was digitized, he bought a desktop application to build his family tree, and joined the SGS Computer SIG. Herb put together an extensive family tree for both his paternal, McDaniel, and maternal, Ryan, ancestral lines.

In 2005, DNA testing was beginning to be used to validate family lines. Herb and his wife, Darlene, tested with National Geographic, and later tested at Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, Ancestry DNA and My Heritage. By 2010, the SGS DNA SIG was forming so Herb joined it to learn more about using the various DNA tests. Following the untimely death of one of the DNA SIG founders, Herb volunteered to help Cary Bright as her co-chair.

For the past 9 years, Herb has been successful in using DNA testing to find biological parents of adoptees, as well as half siblings, and other relationships. He has been able to help both SGS members and DNA matches to himself and Darlene in their pursuits. But his biggest surprise was in 2017 as he assigned his DNA matches to his 4 grandparent lines. With over 50 close DNA matches at 3 companies, there were no matches in his maternal grandfather’s line. So he asked a known cousin in the line of his grandfather’s sister to test. The test showed that there were no shared DNA segments, indicating that Herb’s grandfather who raised him was not his biological grandfather. Herb contacted close DNA matches whom he had not been able to assign to one of his grandparents. One of these matches came from a family that had migrated to Saskatchewan to homestead at the same time his grandparents lived there. Canadian census data showed a member of this family lived in the same little town of about 100 people as his grandparents. Now armed with the name of a potential biological grandfather, Herb contacted 2 of the living sons. They agreed to test. The results showed that these 2 matches are younger half-brothers to Herb’s mother. Herb has subsequently been able to meet with his new half-uncles, and they have welcomed him into their family.

Thank you, Herb, for your years of service to the DNA SIG.   

The Seattle Genealogical Society is adhering to the Covid-19 safety precautions, so this Fall we will not be holding any in-person meetings at the SGS Library. Since last spring, we have been successful holding online events via Zoom and we will continue to offer you these quality programs – right in the comfort of your home.

We’ve been busy planning these upcoming educational events:

  • Second Saturday Presentations resume Sept 12
  • A Virtual Cemetery Tour in late Sept
  • Fall Seminar with Blaine Bettinger – Oct 17 (details being finalized)
  • Digging Deeper Workshop: “Finding Your Female Ancestors” on Nov 7
  • Special Interest Groups
  • Online classes
  • How to Use Zoom
  • And more!

To coordinate our upcoming Fall and Spring Seminars, we welcome Elizabeth Miller, our new Seminar Chair. Elizabeth has an extensive background in event planning and a lifelong passion for genealogy. While we say hello to Elizabeth, we say farewell for Lori Lee Sauber. Lori Lee did a stellar job as our Seminar Chair, including our last Spring Seminar with Dr. Fritz Juengling. Lori Lee is not entirely leaving us; she will be our Second Saturday presenter in October. 

SGS is not the only genealogical society going virtual. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2020 Conference will be live, online on September 2nd. Speakers will include CeCe Moore, Thomas W. Jones, Ari Wilkins, Judy G. Russell, and Lisa Louise Cooke. All the details can be found here:

Check the SGS Calendar of Events on our website for details on all of our upcoming events. And stay connected on Facebook and by reading our eNews!

If you have a program you’d like SGS to offer, please contact Heidi Mair, Director of Education,      

  As part of our commemoration of Women’s Suffrage, we are sharing women’s stories of 100 and more years ago. You may read all of the women’s stories on the SGS website:

This month, Lori Lee Sauber shares the story of her search for her Mayflower ancestors, utilizing the SGS Library collections. Lori Lee will reveal more details at her Second Saturday presentation on October 10, 2020.

SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS*** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until further notice and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.

Saturday, August 1, 2020, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm,  

SGS Centennial Planning Meeting (Virtual), Join in – help us brainstorm ideas on how to commemorate our centennial. As always, you will find the Zoom meeting id link on the Calendar of Events section of the SGS Website. 

Seattle Genealogical Society News


  On October 18, 1923, eight family history researchers got together with the mission of forming an active genealogical society and creating a genealogy library collection available to all Pacific Northwest researchers. That Society is Seattle Genealogical Society and those original members were : 

  • Alexander Craig Dermond
  • Eleanor M. Freeman
  • Elizabeth A. Hubbart
  • Susan M. Keppel
  • Lida R. McKercher
  • Harry Denton Moore
  • Alice V. Robinson
  • George E. Tilton 

Join us on Saturday, August 1, 2020, and help us make plans to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Seattle Genealogical Society, an important milestone. 

As you might suspect, and as has become the norm, this will be a virtual online Zoom meeting. The Zoom meeting id link can be found on the SGS website, under Calendar of Events. 


Here’s an intriguing project. The Boston Public Library is asking for volunteers to transcribe documents in their Anti-Slavery Collection. Much of this collection is the handwritten correspondence of 19th century abolitionist leaders. 

In the late 1890s the family of William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist and editor of “The Liberator”, donated his letters and papers, dated from the 1830s-1870s, to the BPL. Others followed suit, and now the Boston Public Library has arguably the largest and most important collection of abolitionist material in the US – about 40,000 pieces of correspondence, newspapers, pamphlets, books, and memorabilia. Other anti-slavery activists with materials in this collection include the Weston sisters, Deborah Weston and Maria Weston Chapman, publisher of “The Liberty Bell”, Wendell Phillips, and many others.

The goal is to get this collection of handwritten documents transcribed into text so it can be indexed and searched, making it more easily read and researchable by students, teachers, historians, and electronic data applications.

If you would like to help by transcribing some of this collection, you can find instructions and sign up here:


In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until further notice and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.
Stay home – stay healthy – but stay engaged by attending one of our live, online events!   

Online: Genealogy-Homestead, Land of My Own

Online: Genealogy-Homestead, Land of My Own

Thursday, 23 July 2020 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Presented by MaryLynn Strickland and South King County Genealogical Society.
Register here:

Since its inception, the growth of the United States has been based on its westward expansion by hearty individuals who were willing to meet the challenges of the frontier. These ancestors obtained land, developed it and left its heritage for us to appreciate.

After a brief review of land description terms, we will use genealogical databases such as and land patents and military warrants at the General Land Office website to locate our ancestors’ homesteads. Then we will use online applications to find the old homestead on modern maps, even down to Google street view!

Registration required:

South King County Genealogical Society July Events

Monday 13 July 2020, 1-3 pm: Genetic Genealogy/DNA group. Topic: Using the Leeds Method to sort your DNA Matches. Please join for meeting invitations and reminders.

Monday, 20 July 2020, 1-3 pm: Tech User Group. Topic: “Deep web” of FamilySearch unindexed images: How to find, link them to people in your tree, and cite them in your reports. This will draw on education we have received in the past about record indexing systems, analysis of the image filmstrip rolls, and how to find and use the excellent FamilySearch citations. To receive invitations and meeting reminders, please join

Seattle Genealogical Society News


The SGS Board has reviewed the status of the SGS library facility in the context of the State and King County plans for reopening the community. We decided to link our plans for reopening the library to the State plan; the library will not be reopened for use by our members and guests until King County has moved to Phase 4 of the State plan. We are as anxious to reopen the library as our membership, but we believe that the safety of our membership is paramount, and the guidance provided by the State plan makes it clear that it is not safe for us to reopen the library until Phase 4. We will keep you posted on the library’s status via eNews! notices.  

Throughout our nearly 100-year history, the Seattle Genealogical Society has  compiled many databases and indexes from unique sources that you will not find anywhere else. Although the library is closed for now, we continue to provide research lookups in these databases, as well as in books and online archives. Research Requests are your lifeline to all SGS library resources.

For example, you might request a specific lookup in the King County Court Cases Index 1881-1980 (KC3I), Seattle area Veterans of Foreign Wars Membership Cards, SGS Bulletin and Journal 1952-2020, Seattle Obituaries, Seattle City Directories 1890-1990, or any of the books and periodicals listed in the  SGS Library Catalog.

Research requests may be submitted by anyone for a non-refundable fee of $7.50 per name, or by SGS Members at no charge. For more information, and to make a Research Request, click here: 
SGS Research Services

Very sad news. We just received notice that SGS member Walter Clinton, 68, of Seattle, passed away on Sunday, May 17, 2020. He was a much-appreciated volunteer here at SGS, serving most recently as Chair of the Nominating Committee for our 2020 election. Our condolences to his family.
  You may read Walter’s full obituary or share your memories of him here:

  The Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS) held its June Membership Meeting on June 13, 2020 with over 50 members tuning in on Zoom for a virtual meeting.  James Secan, the new President of the Society, welcomed the new Board, presented Marilyn Rose with a plaque in recognition of her Past President’s status, and reviewed both past, present, and future activities for the Society.

Minutes and attachments, such as financial statements, are located on the SGS website for members. Lori Lee Sauber gave an informative presentation on Trello and Kanban.

On Sunday, July 12th starting at 1:00 PM, Karen Knudson, leader of the Scandinavian SIG, will be hosting their first online virtual meeting via Zoom. Anyone interested in Scandinavian research is invited to join in. You will find the link for this Zoom meeting on the Calendar of Events section of the  SGS website: 

As part of the SGS commemoration of Women’s Suffrage, we are sharing women’s stories of 100 and more years ago. This month, we share The Boughten Dress.

Singer began mass-producing domestic electric sewing machines in 1910 and transformed many women’s lives. Imagine hand-sewing clothing for 12 children! The Boughten Dress, written by Jan Johnson illustrates the significance of the sewing machine in her grandmother’s and mother’s lives. They lived in desperate poverty during the Great Depression in northern Minnesota, close to the Canadian border. Jan inherited her grandmother’s machine and her love of sewing. She cherishes her memories and has carried on the tradition of sewing for her family.

You can view this story and others on the SGS website – Women’s Suffrage in Your Family History:

SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS*** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until further notice and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.
Stay home – stay healthy – but stay engaged by attending one of our live, online events! 

Heritage Quest Research Library is Still here

We’re happy to say
“We’re still here”!
I know it’s been awhile since we sent out an email, but we are happy to say “we’re still here” even if we haven’t been open.  Pierce County (the county where we are located) has moved to the Phase 2 of the COVID-19 recovery.  For us at the library, it means that we must make sure that we are able to accommodate our patrons in a safe environment. We must be able to protect our volunteers, members and patrons before we are allowed to re-open.  In the mean time we are working on ways to help you with your Genealogy. 
1)  If you are a current member of Heritage Quest Research Library, when you access our webpage, click on the Members tab.  It will take you to the log in page.  Log in and you will see the name Ancestry remote login under members. Click on it and you’re IN!
2)  Can’t find the time to do research?  We have the volunteers who are able to do the research for you. Our assistance rate is $15.00 per hour.  Send inquiries to:
3)  Our Webmaster and our Technology gurus are working to adapt our Pay Pal account to accept your membership payments.  We’re not there yet, but hope to be soon. If you regularly pay by mail, that’s OK too.  Our office manager is picking up our mail on a regular basis.   
4)  We are also working on ways to bring Genealogy to you!  Many of the Gen Societies and Heritage Groups are doing classes remotely.  We are working on that too!  

We sincerely care about all our members and patrons.  We have your health in our hearts.  Be well, stay healthy and we will see you soon!

Heritage Quest Research Library Management Team and Board of Trustees

Seattle Genealogical Society News

POPULAR SGS SPONSORED COURSES “Certification Discussion Group”, an online course to discuss the process and techniques of becoming a Certified Genealogist is taking registration for the fall series of classes. Dates and times have not been set. SGS members, WA residents, and those already with their pre-applications submitted to the Board for Certification of Genealogists have preference. Classes will be organized starting in August.  Sign up here for this SGS sponsored event:
  Also opening up to new registrants is Valerie Lair’s course, “The Level I-Genealogy Basics and Beyond”. This course is suitable for everyone and covers how to successfully conduct research in census records, vital records, newspapers, city directories, churches, cemeteries, military records; using major online resources along with libraries and archives; and so much more. The course will challenge you in perfecting your genealogy skills.     Sign Up for Genealogy Basics & Beyond  

Like many other programs this year, “Journey Home”, the Celtic Connections Conference, co-hosted by The Irish Genealogical Society International and the Irish Ancestral Research Association, had to be transformed from a traditional convention gathering to a virtual online format.

This online virtual conference will last an entire month, July 31 through August 31, 2020 and include : 11 Speakers 25 Pre-recorded Presentations 9   Live Chats All for only $99 (USD)! For more information and registration visit:
  Alice Eleanor McCoy, age 94, of Brier, Washington passed away on Thursday, April 30, 2020. She was a member of Seattle Genealogical Society for over 30 years. Our condolences to Alice’s family and friends. Memories and expressions of sympathy for the McCoy family may be shared at 
  SGS CALENDAR OF EVENTS   *** In consideration of COVID-19 social distancing recommendations, the SGS Library is closed until at least July 5, 2020 and all SGS in-person events have been canceled, postponed, or replaced with an online event.
To stay up-to-date, check the “Calendar of Events” on the SGS website for any last minute changes. 
  Did you remember to renew your membership?   Log in at the SGS website Members Home to renew your membership for 2020-21.
  Or print out a Membership Application and send it with your payment to Seattle Genealogical Society, PO Box 15329, Seattle WA 98115-0329
  If you have questions, send a note to
  Thank you for your participation and continued support of SGS!