Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Both American Ancestors and Ancestry have free access promotions this month. If you hurry, you can get in on the last few days. 

Between Tuesday, November 12 and Tuesday, November 19, 2019, anyone can access the many research databases of American Ancestors by registering as a FREE Guest Member. That link is contains some of the most important online databases for researching American ancestry, with more than 1.4 billion names in records covering 18 countries. 

For Veterans Day, Ancestry.Com is offering free access to their military records collection covering all 50 states and nearly 400 years of American history, from the Colonial era to Vietnam—and beyond. Search for free now through November 17

, 2019,  at 11:59 p.m. EST. Use the link for this offer.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Most people who keep their family tree on Ancestry regularly attach records/images to an individual in their tree using the ‘Save to a person in my tree’ function, thinking they have really saved the record to their tree, and it will be there forever and ever. Fun and easy? True. Forever and ever? Not true. What has really happened was a link was created from their tree to that record/image in a database. So once they stop subscribing to Ancestry, they will still have access to their family tree kept there, but they will no longer be able to view any record/image attachments “saved” from a paid database — which most are.  

The bottom line, if these records/images are important to you, by all means, “Save to someone in my tree” as you have been doing, but also use the “Save to my computer” function.  Name the record/image file you saved something meaningful, so it can easily be identified later, and keep it organized in a folder on your computer. A good practice might be to create a folder on your computer for each of your family surnames.

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


Once again this edition’s tip comes from Sue Jensen, Library Director at SGS, in the form of a Q&A session. 

Question: “I want to find my grandmother’s high school photo, she went to Stadium High School in Tacoma and graduated in 1926. Does the SGS Library have yearbooks for high schools?” 

Answer: “Yes! We have lots of school yearbooks for Seattle schools (high schools, UW, and others), King County schools (high schools and colleges), Washington State schools ( high schools, colleges, and universities). These yearbooks are in the Special Section area of our library on the north wall in the main room and are labeled by school, county, and year.”

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

  This edition’s tip comes from Sue Jensen, Library Director at SGS, in the form of a Q&A session. 

Question: “My great-grandparents lived in Orange County, New York. How do I find information on Orange County, New York in Seattle Genealogical Society’s Library?”

Answer: “First, go to the New York section of our bookshelves and look for this manila colored “county card” shown in the left photo below. Look down the list for Orange County and see that it has the #36. All our books are numbered with the state first, then the county # and finally the sequence # of the book in that County’s collection. So, NY 36-1 would be the first book cataloged in Orange County in our collection in New York.  NY 36-1 is the “call number” for that book. The “county card” (left)  and book “call number”(right) are shown in these photos: 


You may also find a book and its call number in our library by using the Library Catalog you can find on our website:  

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

  It’s finally here, and Family Search members are excited for the newest enhancement that allows for correction to names in the indexes on Family Search. If and when you find it necessary to correct an index record, you will be asked to provide an explanation for the correction and given a choice of two reasons :   

  • Indexed incorrectly  (such as misread of the original document) 


  • Wrong in the original document (such as nickname used)

Keep in mind that your correction does not override the information already on FamilySearch. Instead, you are providing additional information. The old index information remains intact. Your change, as well as the original information, are both searchable; therefore, allowing other members to more readily locate these persons. There could end up being several changes for the same record, so please edit carefully since multiple changes will muddy the waters. 

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Labor Day Weekend special! Ancestry has an indexed collection of middle school, junior high, high school, and college yearbooks from across the United States; yearbooks dated from 1900-1999. They are offering free access to this collection until Monday, September 2, 2019, 11:59 pm ET. With over 450,000 yearbooks and 62 million pages, see what you can find here.
  Speaking of yearbooks, do you know SGS has an extensive collection of Seattle area yearbooks? We have Roosevelt High School from 1923-1988.  We also have Franklin, Garfield, Queen Anne, and West Seattle High Schools, as well as University of Washington “Tyee” and Eckstein Jr High. Come browse through them. Our library is closed over Labor Day Weekend, but will reopen on Tuesday, September 3, 2019.   

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

FREE MILITARY GENEALOGY WORKSHOP    On Sunday, September 15, 2019, at 1:00 PM, the Puget Sound Navy Museum in Bremerton, WA is offering this free workshop that is open to the public.  

“Uncover your Sailor’s story through military records! Join our curator to learn about researching military service records, with a focus on records available from the National Archives” is how the workshop is described on their Facebook Page.  

While the workshop is free, an RSVP is requested. Please RSVP on Facebook, or to or (360) 627-2452 by Friday, September 13, 2019. 
  The Puget Sound Navy Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the naval heritage of the Pacific Northwest for the benefit of the U.S. Navy and general public. 

Currently it is open daily from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. There are programs for children as well as adults.  Search for Puget Sound Navy Museum on Facebook, or visit their website, 

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week


On our Seattle Genealogical Society Networking Group Facebook page, a member posted this question, “I’m wondering if there’s a safe process for bringing out what’s written on the back of old photograph cardboard stock that the photo was mounted on. Looks like maybe pencil”.  

Several members replied they have had luck scanning the back of the photograph at the highest resolution possible and then using a photo editing application to adjust the contrast and brightness, etc. Possibly with this technique, you will be able to make out what was written on the back of that precious old photograph. 

Seattle Genealogical Society Tip of the Week

Established in 1845, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is America’s founding genealogical organization, one of the most respected names in family history, and the largest society of its kind in the world. by the New England Historic Genealogical Society is one of the most widely used online genealogical resources in the world, providing access to over 1.4 billion searchable records. Records that reach beyond New England; they cover the entire United States, the British Isles, continental Europe, and more. also provides many educational resources.    

A perk of visiting the SGS Library, you can access absolutely free of charge to you from one of our patron computers. Come see what you can discover about your ancestors in this top-notch database.