Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


While on-line newspaper vendors like and are terrific resources, these databases often do not have newspapers for the geographical area you are researching. When online sources fail to find an obituary, what is a person to do?

One excellent resource to check with is the local public library in the city, town, or county in which your ancestor died. Provide them with the name, the date of death, and ask them if they have newspapers for that period that they can search for you. Sometimes this query can be done via the local library’s web site. And some local libraries even have links to an obituary index that you can search.

Libraries might charge a nominal fee for this service, but some may provide it for free, especially when they can email you a scanned image of the obituary, rather than mailing it to you.

So don’t forget the local library in the area where your ancestor lived or died can be a valuable resource

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


You don’t have to be a DAR member to use the DAR website and its resources. If you had an ancestor in the Colonies during the American Revolutionary War, here are the steps to finding out what the DAR might have on them:

1. Log onto

2. Click on GRS (green button at top of home page)

3. Click on Ancestors

4. Enter at least your ancestor’s last name and hit Search

A results list will be displayed showing full name, rank, birth and death date, service description. Click on the individual entry and you’ll get some additional data such as residence and spouse. Hint: click again on the member number (aka “Natl Num”) to see even more info. Sometimes you can purchase the associated membership application and/or supplemental supporting documentation as noted by the green Purchase button. Also don’t forget some lineage applications are on Ancestry.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Sanborn Maps were originally created in the 1860’s for assessing fire insurance liability in urbanized areas.  The maps include detailed information about buildings in approximately 12,000 US towns and cities. They are a very useful resource for historical research, genealogical research, and they are the most frequently consulted maps in public libraries.

The good news is The Library of Congress has already placed 25,000 of these maps online and they are in the process of adding more maps monthly. The goal is to have all the maps (approximately 500,000) available online by 2020.

While still hit and miss, maybe the map you need is already online. Check it out at:

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

TIP OF THE WEEK –   Elephind,
 the Search Engine for Historical Newspapers

Many genealogist love the Library of Congress –  Chronicling America – historical, digitized newspapers website, but have you heard of Their goal is to search all the world’s digitized, historical newspapers from one place at one time; it’s similar to the idea behind with the airline industry.

Elephind currently is at about 175 million items from over 3,300 newspaper titles worldwide. That is more than 10 fold what you will find at Chronicling America.  In fact, Chronicling America is one of the sites Elephind has covered. Also like Chronicling America, Elephind is adding volume almost daily.

At the website ,  start with the Search Tips.

The “proximity search” is particularly useful.  An example, using this syntax  “Jane Doe”~4 in Search will find for you :
•Jane Doe
•Jane E Doe
•Jane Elizabeth Doe
•Elizabeth Jane Smith, nee Doe

But it will exclude something like “Jane and Sally found a young, frightened doe in the woods”. will be a good addition to your arsenal of historical newspapers websites and someday it might become the only one you will ever need.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


The  folks at are putting on a  five day conference that you can attend for free!  Even better than that, you have the choice of traveling to Salt Lake City, UT to attend in person, or you may attend the online webinar version from the comfort of your home.

Although the conference is free, space is limited and registration is required for either mode of attendance, so sign up soon.  Don’t miss out.

The Western European Family History Conference 2017 that runs May 15-19 will cover, as it names suggests, genealogical research advice for the countries of Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Class details, more information, and registration can be found at :

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Check out the dozens of free how-to videos Ancestry has made available to the general public on a range of topics from Ancestry Products  (of course), to Records (census, probate, military), Methodology, and Locality-Ethnicity Research.  Videos range in length and subject complexity; everything from “Needle & Thread: Piecing Together African American Families” at almost 2 ½ hours to “1920 Census : An Overview” at only 2 ½ minutes. The latter is in their Short Course Videos series.

There is plenty of subject here to help novice genealogists as well as more seasoned ones.   Find your way to :