Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world with more than 162 million items including books, recordings, photographs, maps, sheet music, and manuscripts in its collections. Through its website,,  it provides access to many resources and services.

Monthly the Library of Congress puts on an orientation webinar to help you learn to navigate this sea of information. The webinar is an hour long and there are opportunities to ask questions and try out the search tools. This orientation will provide an overview of what’s available, provide strategies for accessing the materials, and introduce you to the resources created by staff to further your research into the Library’s collections.

The next two orientation sessions scheduled are for :
•Wednesday, March 15, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT
•Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm PDT

Registration is required. Confirmation and log-on instructions will be sent to you via email once you are registered. Here’s the link to the registration form:

Kittitas County Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

KCGenealogy  Soc from Tuck Forsythe , Treas


(I think that link is freely available to all, but possibly you have to provide email address and password the first time you use it) tells of TV-type instruction in various family history subjects—especially at the bottom under NORTH AMERICA


I tried to show mostly classes always available; although they have ( under UPCOMING CLASSSES) brand  new classes, which are only available on a specific date and time


Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

TIP OF THE WEEK –   Scottish Clans Archives

How far are you willing to travel to research your Scottish family history?  Is small town, southwestern Georgia out of the question?

In the south wing of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library, Moultrie, GA,  is the Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library, named for its benefactor.   This library is renowned for its collection concerning Scottish genealogy. It is the archival home for more than 130 Scottish clan organizations! And adding more all the time. It is also home to many rare books including an original edition of Scottish Perrage, as well as The Highland Papers, and Gaelic Bibles.

Other collections at the library are microfilms of 45 local newspapers (dating back to 1856) published in SW Georgia’s 21 counties. Also the Emmett Lucas Collection about the southeast United States, the Civil War, and migrations west is housed there.

For more info check out their website  at :

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Have an intractable problem? Have a real genealogical brick wall? Consider writing up a research plan. State what you are trying to accomplish or find, and then write up what you know. Revisit all the records while you are writing it up.  Then list 5 resources you haven’t looked at–probate, obituaries, vital records, newspapers, land records etc. Now start the search,  but with deliberation–write up the citation for each source you investigated and record your findings, even if nothing. Fresh eyes and a fresh initiative will often cause that wall to come tumbling down!

Tuesday Tip Indexing Errors

I received a newsletter on errors in indexing

I know I ran into a bunch of ladies indexed as Mrs. Jane Doe in the digital archives. So a search for Jane Doe gets nothing, but Mrs. Doe will bring up Mrs. Jane Doe or Mrs. Mary Doe, etc. I asked if they could be edited but that is the way the record reads so they would not change it. Indexers are asked to index as the record shows, so even if the person indexing knows it is incorrect you must index as shown in the record.

I am including the newsletter so let me know if I should include it each time I receive it.


Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week – Scottish Research Site

Have you heard of this site for Scottish research?

Here you will find access to indexes of historic documents in Scotland.  Some of the records sets covered and free to search are the 1841, 1851, and 1861 Scottish Censuses, Deeds, Mental Health Records, Prison Registers, and Paternity Cases.  How fun is this!  Check back often as they continue to add new resources.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week – DNA Help

Have you read the latest DNA book by Blaine Bettinger and Debbie Wayne Parker, “Genetic Genealogy in Practice”? This is a workbook that provides step-by-step help in working with you DNA results. Each chapter includes exercises with answer keys for hands-on practice.

Another good resource  is “Watch Geoff Live: DNA”, a Legacy Software Webinar by Diahan Southard and Geoff Rasmussen. Diahan previously spoke on DNA at SGS.

Tag along as Diahan and Geoff look for the first time at Geoff’s DNA results and use it to solve a brick wall problem. It’s elementary and very useful in (a) what to look for and (b) how much information you can actually extract from the data. While not free, you will find it for a small fee at

Soundex Codes and the Washington State Death Index

Recently received a Tip Sheet from about problems with finding people in the Washington State Death index on microfilm. The problem she talked about was with names that started with Mc. Was the “c” included in the soundex code or not for the name? I actually used that index so much that I don’t even go to the cheat sheet to see how the letters were coded anymore. I had read that you need to look both ways on names like Mc or Mac. Names that start with O’ or Van or Von may have been coded with or without the O’, Van or Von. So O’Connor may be soundexed  as O256 or C560! Van Dorn may have been soundexed as V536 or D650.

Ancestry bought those same microfilms and with OCR posted the Washington Death Index in Ancestry, but they missed bunches of people. Was it a problem with the soundex code? I don’t think so, as they used the actual names of people. I know they missed one whole microfilm and I guess because the 1920-1929 microfilm is very hard to read. Ancestry also missed bunches of people in the 1950s. Why? This is my theory, if you look at the microfilms the earlier years used a two column field for the death month, so 01, 02, …, 11,12. But in the 1950s they switched to a single column, so 1,2,3,…,9,O,N,D. Now any person reading that can see October, November and December, but did the OCR software looking for a number in that field see a number or did it skip those people?

Years ago the Washington State Digital archives was looking for some Washington  databases to index and I suggested that Family Search had the Washington State death certificates on microfilm from 1907 through 1960, and that would be a great database to index. Family Search sent the archives a copy of those death certificates and volunteers indexed those death certificates from the actual death certificates, not by copying the soundex index the state had done. When the death certificate index was done the death certificates went online at the digital archives. A few days later they disappeared and a note on how to get a certified copy from the state appeared on each entry in the index. That same index done by Washington State volunteers is on Family Search now and Family Search added the film  and image number for everyone in that index, so you could order the correct microfilm from Salt Lake City to get a copy of a death certificate.  That was great as Spokane and Spokane County, Yakima and Yakima county death certificates were on different microfilms, so which one to order was hard to figure out.

In the August 2016 Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week they show how to find that death certificate online in the Family Search Catalog.

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Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Tip of the Week – Legacy Family Tree Webinars 2017

A webinar is an online seminar/class that you watch from your computer. All you need is an internet connection and speakers. If you are watching a live presentation, you may also be able to type in questions for the presenter.

What is the cost? Here’s the great thing at Legacy Family Tree Webinars, there is no charge to register and view a live webinar! If you cannot make the live event, recordings are usually available to watch for free during the 7 days immediately following the live event!

After that time period, webinars are available to download for $9.95 each, or as part of a monthly or annual membership. At the beginning of 2017, there will be more than 450 classes in their webinar library.

Check out the list of upcoming Legacy Family Tree Webinars or the titles in their webinar library at :